Access local servers
Host a site on a development machine web server, then access the content from an Android device.
With a USB cable and Chrome DevTools, you can run a site from a development machine and then view the site on an Android device.
- Port forwarding enables you to view content from your development machine's web server on your Android device.
- If your web server is using a custom domain, you can set up your Android device to access the content at that domain with custom domain mapping.
Set up port forwarding #
Port forwarding enables your Android device to access content that's being hosted on your development machine's web server. Port forwarding works by creating a listening TCP port on your Android device that maps to a TCP port on your development machine. Traffic between the ports travel through the USB connection between your Android device and development machine, so the connection doesn't depend on your network configuration.
To enable port forwarding:
- Set up remote debugging between your development machine and your Android device. When you're finished, you should see your Android device in the list.
- Click Port forwarding button.
localhost:8080is set up by default.
- Check Enable port forwarding. If you want to set up other ports, follow the steps 4 and 5. Otherwise skip to step 6.
- In the Port textfield on the left, enter the
localhostport number from which you want to be able to access the site on your Android device. For example, if you wanted to access the site from
localhost:5000you would enter
- In the IP address and port textfield on the right, enter the IP address or hostname on which your site is running on your development machine's web server, followed by the port number. For example, if your site is running on
localhost:7331you would enter
- Click Done.
Port forwarding is now set up. You can see a status indicator of the port forward at the top as well as besides the device name.
To view the content, open up Chrome on your Android device and go to the
localhost port that you specified in the Device port field. For example, if you entered
5000 in the field, then you would go to
Map to custom local domains #
Custom domain mapping enables you to view content on an Android device from a web server on your development machine that is using a custom domain.
chrome.devtools. So, you create an entry in your
hosts file on your development machine to map this domain to
127.0.0.1 chrome.devtools). After setting up custom domain mapping and port forwarding, you'll be able to view the site on your Android device at the URL
Set up port forwarding to proxy server #
To set up port forwarding to a proxy:
- Run the proxy server and note the port that it's using. Note: The proxy server and your web server must run on different ports.
- Set up port forwarding to your Android device. For the local address field, enter
localhost:followed by the port that your proxy server is running on. For example, if it's running on port
8000, then you would enter
localhost:8000. In the device port field enter the number that you want your Android device to listen on, such as
Configure proxy settings on your device #
Next, you need to configure your Android device to communicate with the proxy server.
- On your Android device go to Settings > Wi-Fi.
- Long-press the name of the network that you are currently connected to. Note: Proxy settings apply per network.
- Tap Modify network.
- Tap Advanced options. The proxy settings display.
- Tap the Proxy menu and select Manual.
- For the Proxy hostname field, enter
- For the Proxy port field, enter the port number that you entered for device port in the previous section.
- Tap Save.
With these settings, your device forwards all of its requests to the proxy on your development machine. The proxy makes requests on behalf of your device, so requests to your customized local domain are properly resolved.
Now you can access custom domains on your Android device Android just as you would on the development machine.
If your web server is running off of a non-standard port, remember to specify the port when requesting the content from your Android device. For example, if your web server is using the custom domain
chrome.devtools on port
7331, when you view the site from your Android device you should be using the URL
Tip: To resume normal browsing, remember to revert the proxy settings on your Android device after you disconnect from the development machine.