Automatically Start Development Servers with Katon

2014-09-23 00:00:00 +0100 by Alex R. Young

Katon (GitHub: typicode / katon, License: MIT, npm: katon) by Typicode is a tool for managing development servers. You can use it with client-side projects, Node applications, and even other server-side technologies.

To use it, npm install -g katon and then run sudo katon install && katon start. This sets up the daemon that will monitor your development servers.

Then all you need to do is navigate to one of your projects and tell Katon how it starts. For example, katon add 'npm start', or katon add 'grunt server'.

The project is inspired by Pow and actually started life as a third-party tool for Pow.

Once you've set up a project you can get to it using a .ka subdomain. Pow uses .dev, but the author of Katon switched to .ka because .dev is a proposed TLD.

Here's Katon running with Express:

Katon, Express

And Typicode sent a screenshot of Rails as well:

Katon, Express

Katon will appeal to those of you that switch between projects regularly. It's also useful if you run web applications that depend on several microservices that you want to run locally.

On a related note, I often use localtunnel for sharing in-development work with people who are outside my network.