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Serve directory listings


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Package description

What is serve-index?

The serve-index npm package is a middleware for Node.js that serves pages that display directory listings. It's commonly used with Express or other middleware-based HTTP server frameworks. It provides a responsive web interface to navigate the file structure of the served directories.

What are serve-index's main functionalities?

Directory Listing

This feature allows you to list the contents of a directory in a web page. The code sample shows how to use serveIndex with Express to serve the contents of the 'public/files' directory with file icons.

const express = require('express');
const serveIndex = require('serve-index');

const app = express();

app.use('/files', express.static('public/files'));
app.use('/files', serveIndex('public/files', {'icons': true}));


Custom Styles and Templates

Serve-index allows for customization of the directory listing by using custom templates and styles. The code sample demonstrates how to specify a custom HTML template for the directory listing.

const express = require('express');
const serveIndex = require('serve-index');

const app = express();

app.use('/files', serveIndex('public/files', {
  'icons': true,
  'template': 'path/to/custom/template.html'


Filtering Files

Serve-index can filter the files that are displayed in the directory listing. In the code sample, a filter function is used to display only files with the '.html' extension.

const express = require('express');
const serveIndex = require('serve-index');

const app = express();

app.use('/files', serveIndex('public/files', {
  'filter': function (filename, index, files, dir) {
    return filename.endsWith('.html');


Other packages similar to serve-index




NPM Version NPM Downloads Linux Build Windows Build Test Coverage Gratipay

Serves pages that contain directory listings for a given path.


This is a Node.js module available through the npm registry. Installation is done using the npm install command:

$ npm install serve-index


var serveIndex = require('serve-index')

serveIndex(path, options)

Returns middlware that serves an index of the directory in the given path.

The path is based off the req.url value, so a req.url of '/some/dir with a path of 'public' will look at 'public/some/dir'. If you are using something like express, you can change the URL "base" with app.use (see the express example).


Serve index accepts these properties in the options object.


Apply this filter function to files. Defaults to false. The filter function is called for each file, with the signature filter(filename, index, files, dir) where filename is the name of the file, index is the array index, files is the array of files and dir is the absolute path the file is located (and thus, the directory the listing is for).


Display hidden (dot) files. Defaults to false.


Display icons. Defaults to false.


Optional path to a CSS stylesheet. Defaults to a built-in stylesheet.


Optional path to an HTML template or a function that will render a HTML string. Defaults to a built-in template.

When given a string, the string is used as a file path to load and then the following tokens are replaced in templates:

  • {directory} with the name of the directory.
  • {files} with the HTML of an unordered list of file links.
  • {linked-path} with the HTML of a link to the directory.
  • {style} with the specified stylesheet and embedded images.

When given as a function, the function is called as template(locals, callback) and it needs to invoke callback(error, htmlString). The following are the provided locals:

  • directory is the directory being displayed (where / is the root).
  • displayIcons is a Boolean for if icons should be rendered or not.
  • fileList is a sorted array of files in the directory. The array contains objects with the following properties:
    • name is the relative name for the file.
    • stat is a fs.Stats object for the file.
  • path is the full filesystem path to directory.
  • style is the default stylesheet or the contents of the stylesheet option.
  • viewName is the view name provided by the view option.

Display mode. tiles and details are available. Defaults to tiles.


Serve directory indexes with vanilla node.js http server

var finalhandler = require('finalhandler')
var http = require('http')
var serveIndex = require('serve-index')
var serveStatic = require('serve-static')

// Serve directory indexes for public/ftp folder (with icons)
var index = serveIndex('public/ftp', {'icons': true})

// Serve up public/ftp folder files
var serve = serveStatic('public/ftp')

// Create server
var server = http.createServer(function onRequest(req, res){
  var done = finalhandler(req, res)
  serve(req, res, function onNext(err) {
    if (err) return done(err)
    index(req, res, done)

// Listen

Serve directory indexes with express

var express    = require('express')
var serveIndex = require('serve-index')

var app = express()

// Serve URLs like /ftp/thing as public/ftp/thing
// The express.static serves the file contents
// The serveIndex is this module serving the directory
app.use('/ftp', express.static('public/ftp'), serveIndex('public/ftp', {'icons': true}))

// Listen


MIT. The Silk icons are created by/copyright of FAMFAMFAM.


Last updated on 29 Sep 2017

Did you know?

Socket installs a GitHub app to automatically flag issues on every pull request and report the health of your dependencies. Find out what is inside your node modules and prevent malicious activity before you update the dependencies.


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