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CLI Command examples on this page are always provided without the --application (shorthand -A) argument, assuming you’re running these commands in a connected folder (at creation or using the dotcloud connect command). For more details on connected folders, see Migrating to the CLI 0.9.

The static service is a simple web server that can be used to host static content (images, packages...) efficiently.

Like all our Nginx-based services, it can receive a custom Nginx configuration snippet, which allows it to be more than a dummy HTTP server.

This makes it ideal to serve:

  • static “maintenance” pages or placeholders for future services,
  • URL routers, to dispatch requests to other services,
  • and of course, static assets that you want to keep on a separate domain, for hardcore optimization reasons (like cookie separation).

Basic Use

Let’s assume that you are building a dotCloud application called “ramen”. For the sake of simplicity, we will also assume that everything related to this application is located in a directory called “ramen-on-dotcloud”.

Let’s setup our environment:

mkdir ramen-on-dotcloud
cd ramen-on-dotcloud
dotcloud create ramen

A dotCloud application is described by a Build File (dotcloud.yml), which is a simple YAML file named “dotcloud.yml” located in our “ramen-on-dotcloud” directory. To add a new service to our app, we just add the following lines to “ramen-on-dotcloud/dotcloud.yml”:

  type: static
  approot: hellostatic

Our static content will be in the “hellostatic” directory:

mkdir ramen-on-dotcloud/hellostatic

And we should create a little “index.html” file here:

<head><title>Hello World!</title></head>
<body>This is a static service running on dotCloud.</body>

We can now push our application to dotCloud:

dotcloud push

URLs will be generated for each web service in our application. Open your browser to see your new service in action!

If you want to attach a better URL to your application, read the Custom Domains documentation.

Maintenance Page

If you have to take down a service for extended maintenance, you might want to replace it with a maintenance page on a static service for the duration of the maintenance.

To achieve that, put up the files you need for your maintenance page. This could be a single “index.html” page; maybe with some additional assets (images and CSS files); maybe even a whole set of static pages explaining to your users what’s going on.

You will also need create an additional Nginx configuration snippet. Just create the file “ramen-on-dotcloud/hellostatic/nginx.conf” with this content:

location ^~ / {
  try_files $uri $uri/ /index.html ;


The ^~ is here to override the default “location /” block shipped with the stock Nginx configuration.

This will instruct Nginx to fall back on the default “index.html” file if the user requests a non-existent page (which will certainly happen if the user is following an external link or bookmark).

After adding the new files and the nginx.conf snippet, run “dotcloud push” again. At the end of the push, go to your service URL, and try to add some extra path at the end: instead of showing a “404 not found” page, you will see the “index.html” page.