Access your dev servers by their names
katon is a development tool that makes dev servers accessible on beautiful local .ka domains. It also autostarts/stops them for you.
katon supports any server: Node, Ruby, Python, Go, Java, PHP, ... that can be started with a command-line and runs on OS X.
Note: for a lighter and cross-platform version, see hotel.
Make sure Node is installed first, then:
$ npm install -g katon
To manually install katon, you can run
sudo katon install && katon start.
Known issue: if Apache is running, it needs to be stopped to avoid conflict with katon.
$ katon add 'nodemon'$ katon add 'npm start'$ katon add 'grunt server'$ katon add 'rails server --port $PORT'$ katon add 'python -m SimpleHTTPServer $PORT'$ katon add 'php -S 127.0.0.1:$PORT'
To add a server with a different name than its directory.
$ katon add 'grunt server' my-custom-nameApplication is now available at
Note: it's important to use
' and not
" to avoid
$PORT to be evaluated.
Port is dynamically set by katon using
PORT environment variable but can be passed as a parameter using
In case your server doesn't accept a port parameter, you can retrieve the
PORT environment variable in your code. For example, for a Node server you would write something like:
var port = processenvPORT || 3000;
The same technique can be applied with other languages too.
katon addcommand, its configuration is saved locally to
~/.katon/hosts/<app>and an equivalent
~/.katon/logs/<app>directory is also created.
<app>.kaserver within an hour, then katon automatically stops it. Therefore, Katon automatically manages resources by starting only needed servers and stopping them when they're not used.
When adding a server, you can access it by its URL
http://app.ka. But you can also use subdomains (e.g.
If you want to map a server to a subdomain, let's say
api.app.ka, simply use
katon add <cmd> api.app.
Using xip.io you can access your servers from other devices (iPad, iPhone, ...) on your LAN.
# Let's say your local address is 192.168.1.12http://<app_name>.192.168.1.12.xip.io/
You can find your local address using
ifconfig or going to index.ka
Using ngrok.com you can share access to your servers with others, when running behind a firewall or NAT.
First, follow the instructions to install ngrok, then register on the site to enable custom subdomains.
Then run ngrok with your application name as the subdomain:
ngrok http -subdomain app_name 80
This exposes port 80 to the internet on app_name.ngrok.io. Use at your own risk: all of your web hosts are accessible on this port while ngrok is running.
You can also use HTTPS to access your servers
Server logs are stored in
~/.katon/logs/<app_name>.log, to view them you can use:
$ katon tail [app_name]$ katon tail all # View all logs
katon works with any version manager, simply set the desired version before adding your server and katon will remember it.
$ nvm use 0.11 && katon add 'npm start'$ rbenv local 2.0.0-p481 && katon add 'rails server --port $PORT'
Depending on your version manager, you may need to add environment variables.
$ rvm use ruby-2.0.0-p576 && katon add 'bundle exec unicorn' --env GEM_PATH# Will use GEM_PATH previously set by rvm
For Node users, to keep access to katon CLI accross Node versions, add an alias to your .profile and reopen the Terminal.
echo "alias katon=`which katon`" >> ~/.profile
katon status or check
If you're stuck, feel free to create an issue.
$ npm rm -g katon
This will run the uninstall script wich does basically
katon stop && sudo katon uninstall. To remove katon completely, run also
rm -rf ~/.katon.
katon is released under the MIT License.