How To – HTTP File Server (HFS)

Winlink Telnet P2P over the mesh works well for short messages and for sending small files, but it has a limit of about 100Kbytes for attachments. Useful high-resolution images and videos can easily be much larger than that.

To make large files available for another mesh user to download, we use the open-source program HTTP File Server (HFS, HFS requires no installation; you just download it and run it. Although it offers authenticated access and upload capabilities, we are using it in its most simple form. Someone on a computer connected to the mesh can click on your HFS link in a Web browser and download any file you choose to make available in the sandboxed HFS file system.

Configuring HFS is simple. The first time you run HFS, you will need to go to “Menu->IP address” and select the address assigned to your computer by the mesh node you are connected to; and click on “Port:: (next to “Menu”) to select a network port that is not already in use by another program on your computer.

You make files available for download by dragging and dropping them on the “Virtual File System” pane in HFS.

To advertise HFS as a service, go to the page “Port Forwarding, DHCP, and Services” on your mesh node. Create a new “Advertised Services” entry using the name of the computer running HFS and the port number you chose:

The CVADN standard for the service name is “DOWNLOAD”. Click “Add”, and when that completes click “Save Changes”. Your node should now advertise the service and provide a link that points at your HFS server.

When you need to send someone a large file, run HFS, drag and drop the file to the HFS Virtual File System, and tell the other person to go to your “DOWNLOAD” link. All they have to do is click on the file.