Serge van den Oever's weblog

Serving static files from GitHub

April 04, 2019 • ☕️ 2 min read
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Sometimes there is the need to fetch the raw contents of a file from a GitHub repository. I have this case for a Markdown documentation file that I want to show in a web page. The url of this document is When you request this url you get the contents of the GitHub page. There is also a “raw” version of this page where you navigate to when you select the “Raw” tab on the page. This leads you to the url

When this raw document is requested from GitHub it returns the required content, but it has two drawbacks:

  1. A cached copy is returned, this cached copy is often older than the current version
  2. It returns the document with the incorrect content type: text/plain; charset=utf-8 while it should be text/markdown; charset=utf-8

Both issues are very annoying when you are developing, and the second issue can be blocking for your purpose.

In the past I used the services of to overcome these issues, but they decided to stop their services as stated on their website: RawGit has reached the end of its useful life.

On the website they propose some other services. I decided to check out jsDeliver. They even provide a service to convert RawGit links to jsDeliver links.

With the jsDeliver service the required url looks like, and it provides the correct content type!

But… it is cached on the CDN. What if the contents has changed? jsDelivr to the rescue: change the cdn to purge in the url and the next request you get a fresh copy. Easy way to automate that in your package.json scripts:

"purge:readme": "npx req"

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Serge van den Oever's weblog

Serge van den Oever

Personal blog by Serge van den Oever - als je maar lol hebt...
Twitter: @svdoever
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Technology Consultant @ Macaw
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If you like my writing
Buy me a coffee when you like my writing!