Problem: In the local network i have touchscreen devices with embedded HTML5 browsers (no other OS. No possibility for FTP to download a file).

I would like to host a bunch of PDF files on one machine, so each of the touchscreen devices could read the PDF files in their browsers.

An example URL would be:

At times there is no internet access, so i don't want to host them online either.

  • 1
    So you're looking just for an HTTP server? Or are you asking for something additional, like PDF-to-HTML5 conversion? Aug 7, 2020 at 10:03
  • Arguably, the simple answer is to have another device on the network running a web server (not one of the touchscreen devices, obviously). Aug 7, 2020 at 10:04
  • no conversion needed. only a simple to use HTTP server. What is a easy web server to manage on windows? I found the python http.server. I will look into that one Aug 7, 2020 at 10:26

1 Answer 1


You mentioned that you're in Windows, but the easiest web server that I've seen works in Linux. As such, I recommend enabling WSL. Once WSL is enabled, install the php interpreter and run the following command in the directory of the PDF files that you would like to host:

php -S

Then, a web server that serves that directory will be available on port 8080 of the Windows computer that serves the files in the directory that you ran that command in, so, for example, if a file is called MyPdf.pdf and the IP of that computer is, then the URL that you would use is Note that the command must be running in order for the web server to be active.

  • Thank you for the response. I found that http://nginx.org/was quite easy to use Aug 7, 2020 at 11:00
  • 1
    @tomatoeshift I agree that nginx is easy to use... I use it to host all of my websites :). I just figured that php would be a bit easier to quickly get going.
    – john01dav
    Aug 7, 2020 at 11:07

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