[time-nuts] lightweight webserver for, e.g., NTP widget

Bill Roy bill at bitlash.net
Mon Feb 11 17:36:21 EST 2013

If you just want to static-serve the assets in a particular folder, and have python available, there's always:

	python -m SimpleHTTPServer

…which serves the current directory on localhost:8080.  But no PHP.

For a modern approach you might look at building a small server based on Node.js, which is a sort of construction kit for network applications like web servers, among other things.  It runs on small linux platforms like the Raspberry Pi, as well as the usual desktop systems.  Open source at http://nodejs.org

As an example, I publish an open-source Node.js application for controlling the Arduino here: 

It's a web server that talks to devices on the serial port and serves control panels with status indicators and controls over the web.

Your DDS control example would be easy to implement in a similar way using node.  Happy to follow up off-list.


On Feb 11, 2013, at 3:01 PM, Jim Lux wrote:

> I'm intrigued by the possibility of using a lightweight web server to provide a management/user interface to test equipment or appliances (e.g. like the NTP server recently discussed, or a box with mixers and counters).
> I've built some web interfaces to very small things using Arduinos and Rabbits, and it works ok for simple stuff (turning on and off switches), but as soon as you start looking at a bit more complexity (e.g. you want to move files around), a bit more sophistication on your server seems useful.  Or, for instance, if you have a DDS you want to program to follow a particular sequence of frequencies (e.g. to match a particular Doppler profile, in my case). Or a data acquisition application.
> The appeal that the "user client" is that any old web-browser is pretty generic.
> I've done this "sort of" by exposing a directory as a public share (SMB) and then "browsing" to that file, using the file:// mechanism, but it seems that actually having a real server might be useful (for things like POST from a form, for instance)
> But, on the other hand, it seems that something like Apache is a bit much to manage.
> Is there something that runs under Linux on a lightweight single board PC (Raspberry pi or Intel Mini-ITX Atom mobos) that isn't too much of a pain, and doesn't require you to be a full time web server administrator to make it work?
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