This is a post in a series about some new tools we've been folding into our workflow here at Raised Eyebrow.
I'll give you a scenario: You've got a client who needs a change NOW but wants to vet the change before it goes live.
You could fumble around with a middle-man external sandbox server or send them a screenshot but chances are you've probably got their site running on MAMP or XAMPP or just plain Apache on your machine. It would be totally simple to make the change on your own box and then you wouldn't need to trip around FTP and SSH trying to get it somewhere they can see it.
Enter LocalTunnel, a ruby script and service that can expose a single port on your machine to the outside world temporarily.
I wrote a blog post on my site about the experience and the particulars of setting it up but the way it works is simple:
- Run: bash$ localtunnel 8888
- go visit your site at http://xxxx.localtunnel.com
That's it. Installing it can be really easys although I had some issues on my home computer.
It should be noted that there are a few caveats from a security point of view. We tend to open up the tunnels for only a few minutes at a time to show each other or a client something or other. During that time though if you've got an unsecured port 8888 (or whatever you use for MAMP or Apache) then someone who stumbles onto your localtunnel url could potentially do some damage. It's up to you to make sure you've got an up-to-date copy of phpMyAdmin and the latest version of your software.