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LiveReload server


An implementation of the LiveReload server in Node.js. It's an alternative to the graphical application, which monitors files for changes and reloads your web browser.

Example Usage

You can use this by either adding a snippet of code to the bottom of your HTML pages or install the Browser Extensions.

Install the LiveReload browser plugins by visiting

Only Google Chrome supports viewing file:/// URLS, and you have to specifically enable it. If you are using other browsers and want to use file:/// URLs, add the JS code to the page as shown in the next section.

Add this code:

  document.write('<script src="http://' + ( || 'localhost').split(':')[0] +
  ':35729/livereload.js?snipver=1"></' + 'script>')

Note: If you are using a different port other than 35729 you will need to change the above script.

Running LiveReload

You can run LiveReload two ways:

To use livereload from the command line:

$ npm install -g livereload
$ livereload [path]

To use the api within a project:

$ npm install livereload

Then, create a server and fire it up.

livereload = require('livereload');
server = livereload.createServer(); + "/public");

You can also use this with a Connect server. Here's an example of a simple server using connect and a few other modules just to give you an idea:

var connect  = require('connect');
var compiler = require('connect-compiler');
var static = require('serve-static');
var server = connect();
      enabled : [ 'coffee', 'uglify' ],
      src     : 'src',
      dest    : 'public'
server.use(  static(__dirname + '/public'));
livereload = require('livereload');
server = livereload.createServer(); + "/public");

You can then start up the server which will listen on port 3000.

Passing an array of paths or glob patterns will allow you to watch multiple directories. All directories have the same configuration options.[__dirname + "/js", __dirname + "/css"]);
// server.js 
var server = livereload.createServer({
    originalPath: ""

Then run the server:

$ node server.js

Then, assuming your HTML file has a stylesheet link like this:

<!-- html -->
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="">

When /User/Workspace/test/css/style.css is modified, the stylesheet will be reload.

Command-line Options

The commandline options are

  • -p or --port to specify the listening port
  • -d or --debug to show debug messages when the browser reloads.
  • -e or --exts to include additional extentions that you want to observe. An example being -e 'jade scss'.
  • -u or --usepolling to poll for file system changes. Set this to true to successfully watch files over a network.

Specify the path when using the options.

$ livereload . -i 200

API Options

The createServer() method supports a few basic options, passed as a JavaScript object:

  • https is an optional object of options to be passed to https.createServer (if not provided, http.createServer is used instead)
  • port is the listening port. It defaults to 35729 which is what the LiveReload extensions use currently.
  • exts is an array of extensions you want to observe. The default extensions are html, css, js, png, gif, jpg, php, php5, py, rb, erb, and "coffee."
  • applyJSLive tells LiveReload to reload JavaScript files in the background instead of reloading the page. The default for this is false.
  • applyCSSLive tells LiveReload to reload CSS files in the background instead of refreshing the page. The default for this is true.
  • applyImgLive tells LiveReload to reload image files in the background instead of refreshing the page. The default for this is true. Namely for these extensions: jpg, jpeg, png, gif
  • exclusions lets you specify files to ignore. By default, this includes .git/, .svn/, and .hg/
  • originalPath Set URL you use for development, e.g 'http:/', then LiveReload will proxy this url to local path.
  • overrideURL lets you specify a different host for CSS files. This lets you edit local CSS files but view a live site. See for details.
  • usePolling Poll for file system changes. Set this to true to successfully watch files over a network.


Copyright (c) 2010-2014 Brian P. Hogan and Joshua Peek

Released under the MIT license. See LICENSE for details.