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20.18. BaseHTTPServer — Basic HTTP server

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20.19. SimpleHTTPServer — Simple HTTP request handler

Note: The SimpleHTTPServer module has been merged into http.server
in Python 3.0. The 2to3 tool will automatically adapt imports when converting your sources to 3.0.

The SimpleHTTPServer module defines a single class, SimpleHTTPRequestHandler, which is interface-compatible with BaseHTTPServer.BaseHTTPRequestHandler.

The SimpleHTTPServer module defines the following class:

class class SimpleHTTPServer.SimpleHTTPRequestHandler(request, client_address, server)

This class serves files from the current directory and below, directly mapping the directory structure to HTTP requests.

A lot of the work, such as parsing the request, is done by the base class BaseHTTPServer.BaseHTTPRequestHandler. This class implements the do_GET() and do_HEAD() functions.

The following are defined as class-level attributes of SimpleHTTPRequestHandler:


This will be "SimpleHTTP/" + __version__, where __version__ is defined at the module level.


A dictionary mapping suffixes into MIME types. The default is signified by an empty string, and is considered to be application/octet-stream. The mapping is used case- insensitively, and so should contain only lower-cased keys.

The SimpleHTTPRequestHandler class defines the following methods:


This method serves the 'HEAD' request type: it sends the headers it would send for the equivalent GET request. See the do_GET() method for a more complete explanation of the possible headers.


The request is mapped to a local file by interpreting the request as a path relative to the current working directory.

If the request was mapped to a directory, the directory is checked for a file named index.html or index.htm (in that order). If found, the file’s contents are returned; otherwise a directory listing is generated by calling the list_directory() method. This method uses os.listdir() to scan the directory, and returns a 404 error response if the listdir() fails.

If the request was mapped to a file, it is opened and the contents are returned. Any IOError exception in opening the requested file is mapped to a 404, 'File not found' error. Otherwise, the content type is guessed by calling the guess_type() method, which in turn uses the extensions_map variable.

A 'Content-type:' header with the guessed content type is output, followed by a 'Content-Length:' header with the file’s size and a 'Last-Modified:' header with the file’s modification time.

Then follows a blank line signifying the end of the headers, and then the contents of the file are output. If the file’s MIME type starts with text/ the file is opened in text mode; otherwise binary mode is used.

For example usage, see the implementation of the test() function.

New in version 2.5: The 'Last-Modified' header.

See also:

Module BaseHTTPServer
Base class implementation for Web server and request handler.