Static Files Only Application

On some occasions, you might need to deploy an application containing only static files. This use case requires a web server to serve the static files. This page propose two solutions to set this up: using Node.js or Nginx.

Using Node.js as Web Server

A possibility is to deploy a Node.js server using Express, a minimalist web framework. Only one file is required (name it server.js):

var express = require('express');

var app = express();
var directory = '/' + (process.env.STATIC_DIR || 'dist')
app.use(express.static(__dirname + directory));

var port = process.env.PORT || 3000;
app.listen(port, function () {
  console.log('Listening on', port);

With this piece of code, all your static files must be in the dist folder, in the same directory as your server.js file. A different directory can be used by modifying the STATIC_DIR environment variable with the right value.

Your server will listen on the port 3000 in your development environment and on the port defined in the environment variable PORT when deployed on Scalingo.

Don’t forget to add a package.json file in order to add the express dependency:

  "name" : "my-application",
  "version" : "1.0.0",
  "dependencies" : {
    "express" : "4.x"
  "scripts" : {
    "start": "node server.js"

That’s it! Push your code to Scalingo and your application will be up and running, ready to serve your static files.

Using Nginx as Web Server

The other possibility is to use Nginx to serve the static files. In this case, you may need to leverage the multi-buildpacks to add the Nginx buildpack as the last buildpack.

Configure Nginx with the following configuration file (name it nginx.conf):

root /app/dist;

location / {
  try_files $uri $uri/ /index.html =404;

This configuration assumes that your static files are located in the dist folder of your application.

You also need to add a Procfile to instruct Scalingo how to boot Nginx. The Procfile content should be:

web: bin/run

Push your code to Scalingo, and the application is up and running, ready to serve your static files.

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Static Files Only Application

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