pagekite v0.5.8e(1) Make localhost servers publicly visible


pagekite [--options] [service] kite-name [+flags]


PageKite is a system for exposing localhost servers to the public Internet. It is most commonly used to make local web servers or SSH servers publicly visible, although almost any TCP-based protocol can work if the client knows how to use an HTTP proxy.

PageKite uses a combination of tunnels and reverse proxies to compensate for the fact that localhost usually does not have a public IP address and is often subject to adverse network conditions, including aggressive firewalls and multiple layers of NAT.

This program implements both ends of the tunnel: the local "back-end" and the remote "front-end" reverse-proxy relay. For convenience, pagekite also includes a basic HTTP server for quickly exposing files and directories to the World Wide Web for casual sharing and collaboration.


Basic usage, gives http://localhost:80/ a public name:
$ pagekite
To expose specific folders, files or use alternate local ports:
$ pagekite /a/path/ +indexes  # built-in HTTPD
$ pagekite *.html           # built-in HTTPD
$ pagekite 3000           # HTTPD on 3000
To expose multiple local servers (SSH and HTTP):
$ pagekite ssh:// AND 3000


The most comman usage of pagekite is as a back-end, where it is used to expose local services to the outside world.

Examples of services are: a local HTTP server, a local SSH server, a folder or a file.

A service is exposed by describing it on the command line, along with the desired public kite name. If a kite name is requested which does not already exist in the configuration file and program is run interactively, the user will be prompted and given the option of signing up and/or creating a new kite using the service.

Multiple services and kites can be specified on a single command-line, separated by the word 'AND' (note capital letters are required). This may cause problems if you have many files and folders by that name, but that should be relatively rare. :-)


The options --list, --add, --disable and --remove can be used to manipulate the kites and service definitions in your configuration file, if you prefer not to edit it by hand. Examples:

Adding new kites
$ pagekite --add /a/path/ +indexes
$ pagekite --add 80
To display the current configuration
$ pagekite --list
Disable or delete kites (--add re-enables)
$ pagekite --disable
$ pagekite --remove


Flags are used to tune the behavior of a particular kite, for example by enabling access controls or specific features of the built-in HTTP server.

Common flags

Enable connections only from this IP address.
Enable connections only from this /24 netblock.

HTTP protocol flags

Require a username and password (HTTP Basic Authentication)

Rewrite the incoming Host: header.
Replace Host: header value with N.
Do not rewrite (or add) any HTTP headers at all.
Allow access to phpMyAdmin, /admin, etc. (per kite).

Built-in HTTPD flags

Enable directory indexes.
Enable directory indexes including hidden (dot-) files.
Obfuscate URLs of shared files.

A list of extensions, for which files should be treated as CGI scripts (example: +cgi=cgi,pl,sh).


The full power of pagekite lies in the numerous options which can be specified on the command line or in a configuration file (see below).

Note that many options, especially the service and domain definitions, are additive and if given multiple options the program will attempt to obey them all. Options are processed in order and if they are not additive then the last option will override all preceding ones.

Although pagekite accepts a great many options, most of the time the program defaults will Just Work.

Common options

Skip loading the default configuration file.
Interactively sign up for service.
Set defaults for use with service.
Don't send anonymous crash reports to

Back-end options

Run PageKite in an interactive shell.
Silent UI for scripting. Assumes Yes on all questions.

List all configured kites.
Add (or enable) the following kites, save config.
Remove the following kites, save config.
Disable the following kites, save config.
Disable all but the following kites, save config.

Allow access to phpMyAdmin, /admin, etc. (global).

Configure for local serving only (no remote front-end).
Display proxied data (higher N = more verbosity).

Ignore system (or config file) proxy settings.

--proxy=type:server:port, --socksify=server:port, --torify=server:port
Connect to the front-ends using SSL, an HTTP proxy, a SOCKS proxy, or the Tor anonymity network. The type can be any of 'ssl', 'http' or 'socks5'. The server name can either be a plain hostname, user@hostname or user:password@hostname. For SSL connections the user part may be a path to a client cert PEM file. If multiple proxies are defined, they will be chained one after another.

Explicit configuration for a service kite. Generally kites are created on the command-line using the service short-hand described above, but this syntax is used in the config file.

Same as --service_on, except disabled by default.

--service_cfg=..., --webpath=...
These options are used in the configuration file to store service and flag settings (see above). These are both likely to change in the near future, so please just pretend you didn't notice them.

Connect to the named front-end server. If this option is repeated, multiple connections will be made.

Choose num front-ends from the A records of a DNS domain name, using the given port number. Default behavior is to probe all addresses and use the fastest one.

Never connect to the named front-end server. This can be used to exclude some front-ends from auto-configuration.

Connect using SSL, accepting valid certs for this domain. If this option is repeated, any of the named certificates will be accepted, but the first will be preferred.

Path to your trusted root SSL certificates file.

Register changes with DynDNS provider X. X can either be simply the name of one of the 'built-in' providers, or a URL format string for ad-hoc updating.

Terminate early if any tunnels fail to register.
Don't attempt to connect to any kites' old front-ends.
Path recipe for the httpfinger back-end proxy.
Reject all probes for service state.

Front-end options

Enable front-end operation.

Accept tunneling requests for the named protocols and specified domain, using the given secret. A * may be used as a wildcard for subdomains or protocols.

--authdomain=auth-domain, --authdomain=target-domain:auth-domain
Use auth-domain as a remote authentication server for the DNS-based authetication protocol. If no target-domain is given, use this as the default authentication method.

Send the contents of this file to new back-ends as a "message of the day".

--host=hostnameListen on the given hostname only.
Listen on a comma-separated list of ports.
--portalias=A:BReport port A as port B to backends (because firewalls).
Accept the listed protocols for tunneling.

Listen for raw connections these ports. The string '%s' allows arbitrary ports in HTTP CONNECT.

Consult an external access control file before accepting an incoming connection. Quick'n'dirty for mitigating abuse. The format is one rule per line: `rule policy comment` where a rule is an IP or regexp and policy is 'allow' or 'deny'.

--client_acl=policy:regexp, --tunnel_acl=policy:regexp
Add a client connection or tunnel access control rule. Policies should be 'allow' or 'deny', the regular expression should be written to match IPv4 or IPv6 addresses. If defined, access rules are checkd in order and if none matches, incoming connections will be rejected.

Default name to use for SSL, if SNI (Server Name Indication) is missing from incoming HTTPS connections.

Terminate SSL/TLS for a name using key/cert from a file.

System options

Read settings from file X. Default is ~/.pagekite.rc.

Read settings from /path/to/directory/*.rc, in lexicographical order.

Saved settings will be written to this file.

Save the current configuration to the savefile.

Dump the current settings to STDOUT, formatted as a configuration file would be.

Disable zlib tunnel compression.
Enable zlib compression in OpenSSL.
Buffer at most N kB of data before blocking.
Log to file F, stdio means standard output.
Run as a daemon.
Set UID:GID after opening our listening sockets.
Write PID to the named file.
URL to redirect to when back-ends are not found.


Configure the built-in HTTP daemon for HTTPS, first generating a new self-signed certificate using openssl if necessary.

--httpd=X:P, --httppass=X, --pemfile=X
Configure the built-in HTTP daemon. These options are likely to change in the near future, please pretend you didn't see them.


If you are using pagekite as a command-line utility, it will load its configuration from a file in your home directory. The file is named .pagekite.rc on Unix systems (including Mac OS X), or pagekite.cfg on Windows.

If you are using pagekite as a system-daemon which starts up when your computer boots, it is generally configured to load settings from /etc/pagekite.d/*.rc (in lexicographical order).

In both cases, the configuration files contain one or more of the same options as are used on the command line, with the difference that at most one option may be present on each line, and the parser is more tolerant of white-space. The leading '--' may also be omitted for readability and blank lines and lines beginning with '#' are treated as comments.

NOTE: When using -o, --optfile or --optdir on the command line, it is advisable to use --clean to suppress the default configuration.


Please keep in mind, that whenever exposing a server to the public Internet, it is important to think about security. Hacked webservers are frequently abused as part of virus, spam or phishing campaigns and in some cases security breaches can compromise the entire operating system.

Some advice:

* Switch PageKite off when not using it.
* Use the built-in access controls and SSL encryption.
* Leave the firewall enabled unless you have good reason not to.
* Make sure you use good passwords everywhere.
* Static content is very hard to hack!
* Always, always make frequent backups of any important work.

Note that as of version 0.5, pagekite includes a very basic request firewall, which attempts to prevent access to phpMyAdmin and other sensitive systems. If it gets in your way, the +insecure flag or --insecure option can be used to turn it off.

For more, please visit: <>


Using pagekite as a front-end relay with the native Python SSL module may result in poor performance. Please use the pyOpenSSL wrappers instead.


- Bjarni R. Einarsson <>
- The Beanstalks Project ehf. <>
- The Rannis Technology Development Fund <>
- Joar Wandborg <>

- Luc-Pierre Terral


Copyright 2010-2016, the Beanstalks Project ehf. and Bjarni R. Einarsson.

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Affero General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Affero General Public License along with this program. If not, see: <>