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Author Topic: Cool Open Source file-sharing app: HTTP File Server (HFS)  (Read 19825 times)
zridling
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« on: October 17, 2006, 02:45:04 AM »

Added a really cool Open Source app tonight to the Great Software List called HFS, for "HTTP File Server", and I love it. You may have heard of it.



HFS, HTTP File Server is file sharing software which allows you to send and receive files, very much like a webserver (only it doesn't host websites). You can limit this sharing to just a few friends, or be open to the whole world. HFS is different from classic file sharing because there is no network. HFS is a web server which uses web technology to be more compatible with today's Internet. Since it is actually a web server, your friends can download files as if they were downloading from a website using a web browser, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox. Your users don't have to install any new software. HFS lets you share your files. Most web servers are used to publish a website, but HFS is not designed to do that. You are, however, free to use it in any way you wish, but at your own risk. HFS needs no installation. Just put the "hfs.exe" file in a folder of your choice (perhaps named HFS), and run it. The first time it runs, you are prompted to see if you wish to integrate it into the context menu. If you pick "yes," and then in Windows Explorer you can simply right-click on a file to add it to HFS (and make it downloadable). (This option can also be accessed after installation in Menu > Other options > Shell context menu, or you can use a download manager to obtain multiple files quickly and easily.) What an incredible app, give it a try and hell, donate something, anything to this fantastic open source software!

My thanks goes to Peter Herbert of Copenhagen for sharing it with me.
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- zaine (on Google+)
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2006, 04:52:06 AM »

looks great.
ps. there are a few of these similar tools, i think we've posted about a couple on the forum but i can't find the posts.
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f0dder
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2006, 05:55:26 AM »

That kind of stuff is really great when you just need to share a few not-insanely-large files (like my younger brother with his weird home-made music smiley). It's also okayish even for larger stuff, but then the downloader should preferably use something like flashget to grab - or at least something with resume and a bit more solid than internet explorer...

For larger stuff, I prefer the torrent protocol. Even if there will only be one "seeder" (ie, you're a file sending directly to a friend), the per-piece hashing and retransmit on error makes it worthwhile. And with µTorrent with it's built-in tracker and .torrent file creator, it's easy-peasy as well smiley
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herbiman
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2006, 06:53:08 AM »

HFS works with most download managers, including Flashget, so resuming downloads isn't a problem.

I'm a great Torrent fan too, but HFS is quite fast -- it depends what you pay for at yor ISP. I get upload speeds around 200 kbs if i don't run eg Torrent at the same time.

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herbiman
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2006, 07:01:00 AM »

Also, HFS can be used to host websites (I'm not done this myself.9 But I quote from the doc:

Use HFS to host a website

Classic webservers are used for publishing one or more websites. They work in a simple way: you just indicate which folder contains files to be published, and it is done.

However, this is also possible with HFS. Just follow these steps:
In the virtual file system, right-click on root(home) and click bind root to real-folder.
Select the folder that contains the website files.
Right-click root again, and click default file mask.
Type index.htm*.

The name index.htm* is normally ok, but your particular main page file may have a different name, such as default.html; check it out.

No server-side scripting is currently supported.
Disclaimer
HFS is not designed to publish websites.
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f0dder
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2006, 09:08:23 AM »

HFS works with most download managers, including Flashget, so resuming downloads isn't a problem.
This does require the downloader to install a download manager though - he might as well have installed a torrent client then smiley. But for hassle-free downloads for non-techy users, HFS does seem like a great solution.

Quote
I'm a great Torrent fan too, but HFS is quite fast -- it depends what you pay for at yor ISP. I get upload speeds around 200 kbs if i don't run eg Torrent at the same time.
There's actually a pretty good point there - some stupid ISPs throttle torrent traffic. Some do it for default ports, some do it at protocol level, some do heuristics (hm, 500 clients trying to connect to this port, it must be torrent traffic, throttle). I don't think there's (m)any that throttle regular HTTP traffic though?

EDIT: haven't checked out HFS yet and probably won't have time to do so before work, but if it has uPNP support and can show you your external IP without requiring you to go to one of those ad-festered sites, it would be really great for letting non-techy users share files.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2006, 09:10:50 AM by f0dder » Logged

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herbiman
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2006, 11:32:34 AM »

I don't know what it's like where you are fodder, (suprise!) but where i live you pay a tarrif for say 256kbps upload,, more for 512kbp, more for 1mb and so on up the scale. (Banding?) Download works the same way.

I was really referring to the fact that some ISPs just block port 80 (HSF default) -- but it works for any port.

It's self test feature shows you your external port without taking you anywhere. I simply don't know about uPNP support. My guess is not yet, but that really is a complete guess.

One of the great things is the User forum. You can post questions like that there, and you'll almost always get a definitive and helpful reply within a few hours. (Depends on time zones, I think)
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rejetto
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2006, 11:49:24 AM »

hi!
upnp is in to-do list
the self-test is a function that with just 1 click try to determine the right settings for you to work over the internet, and if it fails, it try to tell you the what's the problem.
it is not perfect, and it doesn't configure your router, but i try to improve it over time.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2006, 01:01:58 PM »

Awww, I posted about this months ago. One of my favorite apps. cheesy But it seems your thread has bested mine. You even got the dev in here. Nice. Wink Welcome rejetto!

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rejetto
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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2006, 01:12:42 PM »

hehe, it was reported to me.
anyway thanks for your kind words, to both Oshyan and Zaine.
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mouser
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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2006, 04:57:59 PM »

welcome to the site rejetto!
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f0dder
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« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2006, 05:24:19 PM »

Quote
I don't know what it's like where you are fodder, (suprise!) but where i live you pay a tarrif for say 256kbps upload,, more for 512kbp, more for 1mb and so on up the scale. (Banding?) Download works the same way.
For ADSL here in .dk, it's the upstream that's (insanely) expensive. Typically the rates are like 8092/512, 4096/256, 512/128... for some reason I got 4096/512 though I was supposed to have 256, but I'm not complaining unless the bill is higher Wink

Quote
I was really referring to the fact that some ISPs just block port 80 (HSF default) -- but it works for any port.
Haven't seen that - but most block incoming SMTP (some of them offering workarounds with some pointing back and forth between yours and their servers... still allowing you to run a SMTP server, but removing the possibility for open-relay exploiting).

I've heard that, in other countries, it's becoming common to throttle torrent traffic.

rejetto: Nice to see you here! Sounds good that uPNP is on the way, it makes things SO much easier for the novice users, and still easier for the power users (certainly a lot faster than entering router password, configuring, saving, ...). By the way, I've heard rumours that Microsoft's uPNP API doesn't always work properly, and the author of µTorrent told me he wrote his own code - just something to keep in mind / research before you spend time on the quirky MS API.
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2006, 06:08:14 PM »

You think 8048/512 is bad? try 20mb/400kb like we have here... Wink
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f0dder
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« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2006, 01:42:55 AM »

jgpaiva: kbit or kbyte? If it's kbit, then christ >_<. I wish it was easier to get fiber when you live in an appartment block... as it is now, we'd have to get everybody in the block interested, AND our landlord. But it'd be nice...

Currently we give EUR47/month for 4096/512. Switching to a fiber company would mean paying EUR54/month for 10/10, and probably somewhat better ping time too (though it's not too shabby on the ADSL).
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« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2006, 03:33:43 AM »

I mean kbit, 20480kbi/400kbit. it's a pretty bad upload for such download rate (i even think that the full 20480 can't be used because of that)but oh well... It's for 34€, the same other ISPs ask for a 4096/400 connection.
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herbiman
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« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2006, 03:38:16 AM »

Actually fodder, i do know what it's like where you are !

I'm dk too, use TDC which is expensive (static IP) but v. reliable and can't be bothered to switch, but if you know a good ISP? Fibre is a real future possibility, because landlord (DAB) is ok, and we just need a simple majority of apartment-dwellers (& Inet is v. popular);  but I won't be able to afford it.
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f0dder
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« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2006, 05:03:20 AM »

herbiman: my mum is still on 2048/512 TDC, and while it's one of the more stable ISPs, their support SUCKS when it's more advanced questions (like: "ok, WHY did you change our static IP when we got speed boosted, and wtf can't we get it back?"). They're a bit more competent if you have one of their business lines, but well...

I've moved to CyberCity SOLO, 350DKK/month for the 4096/512 line (which should only be 256 up, but I'm not complaining Wink). You lose all tech support, except if there's something wrong with the line or the router. But you can't call them for help on configuring stuff etc. Stability seems as good as TDC, it's certainly cheaper, and I do get the advertised speed.

Fibre in the Ă…rhus and Horsens regions is around 400/month for 10/10, cheaper for 1/1. In Silkeborg, it's insanely expensive... depends on the energy company as well the fibre provider.
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herbiman
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« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2006, 05:34:02 AM »

Thanks for the info, fodder.

I'm in Værløse and can potentially save 100 ddk a month or get a faster line if I switch to Cybercity. I can live without phone support, so am talking to their Customer support right now.
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zridling
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« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2006, 12:04:04 AM »

Thanks for the corrections, Herbiman! As Peter Herbert noted, HFS can be used to host websites, but it wasn't necessarily designed to do so.
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« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2008, 08:58:33 PM »

i was using hfs for a while, then i wanted to use it  as a drive i could access over the internet but i couldn't. i kept looking deeper into it and realized that it won't work behind a router... and i'm behind a router. is there anyway i could make it accessible from the internet still behind the router? or do i have to do it when im not behind a router?
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« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2008, 09:36:20 PM »

it does work behind a router, but as any other server software, requires you to configure the router adequately.
you'll get the help you need at http://www.portforward.co...orwarding/routerindex.htm
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« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2011, 02:07:38 AM »

More than 3 years later ... smiley

Echoing the general sentiment here -- finding HFS to be quite nice  Thmbsup

Particularly appreciate that it works under WINE -- nice to have quick file-sharing under *nix without much hassle.  Also nice is the file-uploading feature.

Wondering whether others have encountered difficulties with the folder archive feature -- the resulting tar files seem to cause difficulty for tar under *nix (at least in some Debian-derivatives).  (I think this can be worked around via 7-Zip / WINE.)

Any thoughts?
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rejetto
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« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2011, 06:58:45 AM »

thank you smiley
HFS would deserve a full rewriting.
I would use python, make it cross platform, keep GUI and service separated, get rid of the difference between real and virtual folders, use python itself as scripting language, use XML or similar (json, yaml) for data storage.
Pity i have no enough spare time at the moment beacuse of my job.

I know nothing about TAR compatibility issues.
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« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2011, 07:39:38 AM »

Thanks for your response!

I examined a tar file I downloaded via the folder archive feature of HFS and compared it to one I made via 7-zip.

In the former I noticed that the file name portion (as described here) appears to use backslashes for directory separators, while in the latter, forward slashes appear to be used.

From my cursory research, my impression is that the tar file format expects forward slashes to be used for directory separators.  Perhaps someone with more definitive knowledge can chime in regarding this.


P.S. Sorry to hear you don't have more time -- a Python-based version sounds nice to me smiley
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rejetto
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« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2011, 07:47:09 AM »

maybe it's so in 2.2 but 2.3 (still in beta) is using forward slashes for sure (just checked)
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