How to Run a Simple Web Server on iPhone (2022)

Have you ever wanted to create your own portable server? Whether you’re learning web development and want to host your own HTML files on your iPhone, or just want to have fun with a server without being limited to using a laptop or computer to install MAMP, your iPhone can do it for you. So if you’re interested, we’ve got you covered with all the important information you’ll ever need. Here’s how to run a simple web server on iPhone.

Run a Simple Web Server on iPhone and iPad

Running a server on your iPhone is not a difficult task at all. In fact, it’s really quite simple. All you need is a simple, free app, and that’s about it. Of course, since it is a Easy web server, it won’t have all the bells and whistles you’d get with something like an XAMP or MAMP install on your laptop or PC. However, he can do the basics and do it well. So let’s go.

As always, you can use the table of contents below to navigate this article.

System Requirements to Run a Web Server on iPhone

Other than an iPhone, all you need to run a web server is a Linux shell environment. There are a few you can use, but we’ll be using the (free) iSH Shell app.

Create a Simple Web Server on iPhone with iSH Shell

  • First, install the iSH Shell (free) app on your iPhone and launch the app.
  • Now we will install Python 3 on the iPhone through the shell. Just type the command mentioned below.
apk add python3
Install python3 on iPhone and iPad
  • Once Python 3 is installed on your iPhone, you are ready to create the server. Enter the command below to start a web server on your iPhone.
python3 -m http.server
Run a Web Server on iOS
  • Then you should see the message “Serving HTTP on 0.0.0.0 port 8000” at the bottom. Besides, you will also get a popup saying something like, “iSH would like to find and connect to devices on your local network. This is needed to connect to localhost and use the ping command” Faucet OKAY in the context menu to continue.
Set up a web server on iPhone and iPad
  • Then you can connect web server from the same or another device. If you want to connect to the iOS/iPadOS web server from the same device (localhost), just point any web browser to the following address.
http://127.0.0.1:8000/
How to Run a Simple Web Server on iPhone
  • To connect to the iOS/iPadOS web server from another device on the same network, point any web server to the address below.
http://device-ip-address:8000/

To note: In the command above, you will need to replace “device-ip-address” with your iPhone’s IP address. You can find your iPhone’s IP address by going to Settings -> WiFi -> Tap on your WiFi name -> IP Address.

How to Run a Simple Web Server on iPhone

How to add your HTML files to your iPhone server

Now that we’ve created a server, you might be wondering where and how to add your HTML files, right? Well, that’s easy too. Just follow the steps below.

To note: We assume that you have already created the HTML file that you want to serve through your iPhone’s web server. If not, you can create an HTML file on your Mac or PC, then follow the steps below.

  • On your iPhone, launch the Files app. Tap the three-dot icon at the top right and tap “Edit”.
steps to enable ish files in files app
  • Enable the toggle next to iSH, then tap “Done”.
enable iSH shell files in iphone
  • From your Mac (or PC), send the file to your iPhone and place it in iSH -> root.
How to Run a Simple Web Server on iPhone

To note: The file must be called index.html.

Now you can visit the IP address “http://iphone-ip-address:8000” from another device connected to the same WiFi network and your HTML file will be displayed.

view html file from iphone server

How to Stop Your iPhone Server

Once you’re done using your iPhone to create the server and playing with the HTML files on it, you need to stop the server as well. Fortunately, this is very simple. Here’s how.

  • In the iSH Shell application where the server is running, press the control icon (up arrow) in the toolbar. Then press ‘Z’ on the keyboard.
stop iphone web server step 1
  • That’s it, iSH Shell informs you that the server has been stopped.
iphone web server stopped

Run a Web Server on iPhone with iSH and Python

Well, that’s how you can create your own simple web server on your iPhone, put your custom HTML files on your iPhone, and visit them from other devices on the network. To be fair, you can start port forwarding from your router for your iPhone’s IP address and also access your server from outside your local network, but that’s beyond the scope of this article. Plus, it opens up your network to unwanted access, so be sure to only do this if you know what you’re getting into. That said, what are your thoughts on running a web server on iPhone? Let us know in the comments below.

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