distra is a tool for building websites.
Use it to serve static files and directories, and to give servers running on your computer nice URLs. Set up hosts and routes using JSON, and then feel like a boss.
It also adds to your hosts file (safely) so you never have worry about that either!
I had so many servers running, particularly serving static files, that I never knew what was being served and on which port. So I built this so I'd never have to care again!
Install and start distra on port 80:
$ npm install -g distra$ sudo distra 80
In another window, find some static files and set distra up to serve them:
$ cd some-project$ distra addHost http://some-project/ pointing to /path/to/some-project added.
- OS X (yeah, sorry)
$ npm install -g distra$ distra
Wahey! You're up, but it won't do much yet – you need to configure it.
Distra is configured from the
.distra.json file in your home directory, but you don't ever have to touch this file if you don't want to.
Adding a host
To add a host, use
$ distra add [host] [directory or url]
directory or url are both optional. If you omit
directory or url distra will serve your current directory.
If you omit both, distra will serve the current directory with the name of the directory as the host.
Head to a directory with some
.html files in it, lets say it's called
$ distra add
Assuming distra is started (just use
distra), you will find that you can go to
http://website:9876/ to access those files.
Removing a host
To remove a host, use
$ distra rm [host]
host is optional - it will just use the directory name if you don't supply one.
The config file
Distra writes its configuration to a config file found at
Here's an example.
In the example above, requests made to
mysite.dev will be proxied through to the server running on port 4000 (a Jekyll server, perhaps). Requests made to
project will be served static files from the directory specified.
You can view your current config using
$ distra configmysite.dev : localhost:4000project : /Users/you/sites/project
You can specify the port on which you want distra to start.
$ distra 1337
I recommend starting on port 80 so you don't have to mess around with ports!
$ sudo distra 80
If you use bash or zsh, why not bring tears of joy to your eye-holes and enable distra's tab completion?
. <(distra completion) to your
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE