Minimal Server with Live Reload
Last updated 5 years ago by dmitriz .
ISC · Repository · Bugs · Original npm · Tarball · package.json
$ cnpm install min-server 
SYNC missed versions from official npm registry.


Minimal and fast Server with Live Reload and Package — never again manually reload your browser!

Dependency Status Code Climate



LiveReload monitors changes in your files and instantly updates all changes in your browser. It is very useful when you are updating your site and don't want to keep manually reloading the page in your browser again and again after every edit.


  • Many setups are bloated with unnecessary options and packages.
  • Start clean and minimal and extend as you go.
  • Add single package to your project instead of many, to get your live reload server up and running.

Why not something else?

  • live-server is small and awesome but unfortunately slow; there is noticeable delay between the change in your file and its effect in the browser.
  • browser-sync is incredibly powerful and fast but:
    • it is massive with 25MB total to download;
    • it flashes "Connected with Browser-Sync" in a large black on box top of your page on every reload that I find distracting.
  • webpack-dev-server is promising and can do great if you are using Webpack but it feels like too much "magic" that may break any time you do anything "non-standard". Specifically it didn't reload the main html file when I tried to change it. Hopefully things will improve, including the documentation :)

Why Gulp plugins?

  • Fast: use streams, no temporary files.
  • Gulp plugins have uniform API: stream in, stream out; no massive command line options.
  • Convenient and expressive node-glob abstraction to select files/directories to be watched.
  • Less magic, more control and understanding of what is going on, less chance and dependence on bugs.

Why not npm scripts?

The npm scripts provide a powerful tool to ease and automate your workflow and I love using them. However, the proposed livereload solution has 2 problematic points:

  • You need to run both server and watcher from the same shell, and the proposed way is to use parallelshell which is not a robust tool such as Gulp. Specifically trying npm run dev as suggested leads to some error that, after termination, leave 4 processes running in background that you have to kill manually, or else you can't access the same ports. Not fun.
  • It requires to "highjack" your source files with script tags that I don't feel belong there:
  <script src="//localhost:9091/livereload.js"></script>

A more recent article again advocated in favor of npm scripts. However, it did not provide any viable alternative for a LiveReload server, nor any of the of recommended sources did, as far as I could see.

Use cases


  • Minimal functional Server setup with Live Reload setup.
  • Use as repository (git clone) or package (npm install).
  • Installs all dependency packages, no need to install them manually. Keeps your package.json clean.
  • Automatically and gracefully (without overwriting) copied to your project directory:
    • Minimal Gulpfile.js (with comments) includes:

      • Gulp task gulp connect with 4 lines of code to start connect server:
      gulp.task('connect', function () {
      • Gulp task gulp watch with 4 lines of code to watch your files for changes:
      gulp.task('watch', ['connect'], function () {
        gulp.watch(['*.{html,css,js}', '!Gulpfile.js'], function (file) {
      gulp.task('serve', ['connect'], function () {

If you are new to Node

Download and Install Node.js, see How do I get started with Node.js for more information.

To use as separate Repository:


git clone https://github.com/dmitriz/min-server

or simply Download this Repository, unzip it and cd min-server-master.

Install dependencies

npm install --save-dev

To use as Package (add to your project):

In your main project directory (should contain package.json):

npm install min-server --save

Getting started

Simply run the default Gulp task:


Now try to edit and save index.html and see how your changes instantly appear in the browser!


Current Tags

  • 1.0.0                                ...           latest (5 years ago)

7 Versions

  • 1.0.0                                ...           5 years ago
  • 0.1.6                                ...           5 years ago
  • 0.1.5                                ...           5 years ago
  • 0.1.4                                ...           5 years ago
  • 0.1.3                                ...           5 years ago
  • 0.1.2                                ...           5 years ago
  • 0.1.1                                ...           5 years ago
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