Quicky Web Server for MSWindows XP

Introduction: Quicky Web Server for MSWindows XP

About: computoman.blogspot.com Bytesize articles instead of a trilogy in one post.

Several friends wanted to know how to set up an MSWindows web server quickly. I do not own or plan to own any more Microsoft products such as MSWindows 7 so I am using my existing XP set up for this instructable.

Update: added full web server quickie install.

Step 1: Setup:

You will need to get and install python for you MSWindows.
You will want to go to http://www.python.org/download/ and download the version for your system and http://www.python.org/download/windows/ for more downloads.
Please use their instructions for installing the product. Also contact them if you need help with it.

Step 2: Running Python and Getting the Web Server Started.

Assuming you now have python installed, go to the command prompt  and type ipconfig so you know what address to put in the url of the other computer. Write or make note of the address.
 Then change to the directory you want to serve. I just used the root directory and typed:
c:\python27\python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8080
You are in business.

Step 3: Access the Server.

Now you want to go to the machine you want to download the files to.

1. Open up your web browser and type In the url type in the ipaddress you found in the last step with :8080 added on the end, then press enter (that is just the port being used instead of the usual port 80.)


2. You should see the directory of the host computer. if there is an index.htm(l) file in that directory it will be displayed instead of the directory. (you will need to rename it if you just want to download files.

Viola, you done. Now you can download files if you need to.

Step 4: Apache Quicky Setup

See https://www.instructables.com/id/Home-Automation-MSWindows-XP/ for one of many ways to set up a quicky apache web server on windows.



or not Apache (try at your own risk.


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    8 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    How do you change the directory? Going to C:\Documents and Settings\Dylan\Desktop\SHARED VIA FTP in cmd isn't working for me. :(


    9 years ago on Introduction

    it would b pretty useful for any power user that has a random python installation. Also, i just noticed, in the last step you said you need to type in "xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:8000" and it should be 8080. Just a heads up. :) oh and there is a portable version of XAMPP or there is a program called HTTP file server. Both of them are portable and can fit on a flash drive. go to:


    they have some links.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for the comment and noticing the issue. I missed that. That is what I get for cutting and pasting from my other instructable while in a hurry to get it done. Should be fixed now.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    No prob. I used it and it works like a charm. Also works in linux, but you can just type:

    python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8080

    this will do the same basic thing. Also, this will only work over a network unless you have port forwarded 8080 on your router. :)

    Happy coding. ^_^


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for the comment!

    You are right about linux, In fact I did that with the instructable I did just before this one. https://www.instructables.com/id/Quicky-web-server-for-linux/

    Yes, I am aware of the port forwarding but there are some security issues so that is why I did not mention it.

    I am in the process of doing a new instructable about doing home automation proof of concept with the Wampserver software. If I wanted to I probably could do an update for this server to do that also. Then things get really interesting.

    Thank you for commenting.

    I was using an old Dell gx110 and downloaded the minimal python. I had the whole thing running in a few minutes. This was not meant to be a full blown server. The next time you want to do the quicky server you will not have to download and install python, so set up only take a few seconds by just running the command. You can not even start up apache that fast on the average machine. No need for a sledge hammer when all you need is a flyswatter.

    Nothing wrong with the open source web servers such as xampp, apache, lighttpd, or even nginx, but they would have taken considerable more time to set up. With XP you could probably also use IIS (god forbid). To download just a few files, that would not be feasible usually.

    There a ton of instructables on setting up a web server both under MSWindows and Linux. No need to reinvent the wheel.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Hmm... Not that quicky, you have to download python. What's the problem of just downloading apache or lighttpd?