They do this because serving raw files from a git repo is relatively inefficient, so they want to discourage people from using their repos for static file hosting.
rawgit.net acts as a caching proxy, forwarding requests to the corresponding service, caching the responses either for a short time (in the case of development URLs) or permanently (in the case of CDN URLs), and relaying them to your browser with the correct
The caching layer ensures that minimal load is placed on each service, and you get quick and easy static file hosting right from a repo. Everyone's happy!
Currently, the following services are supported:
No, rawgit.net is not associated with them in any way. Please don't contact their support asking for help with rawgit.net. They'll give you a weird look and back away slowly.
When you make a request to a development URL, the server loads the requested file from the corresponding service, serves it to your browser with the correct
Content-Type header, and caches it for a short time. If you push new changes to your repo, you can reload and see them within a few minutes, which makes development URLs useful for low-traffic testing or sharing demos during development.
Requests to CDN are routed through CloudFlare's content delivery network, and are cached for a year the first time they're loaded. This results in the best performance and reduces load on rawgit.net and on underlying service, but it means that reloading won't fetch new changes. Furthermore, JS, CSS and HTML files can be minified for the sake of performance, if you add
?min=1 query parameter.
During development, when traffic is low and freshness is more important than performance, use development URLs. For anything you share with the public or push to production, use CDN URLs.
No. Please use CDN URLs for anything that might result in heavy traffic. Only use development URLs for low-traffic testing and sharing temporary examples or demos during development. When people misuse the service, it costs me money. Please don't be a jerk.
The service will start serving an error page instead of the requested file.
This is designed to get your attention as quickly as possible before the excessive traffic becomes a major problem for the service and starts costing me large amounts of money or impacting other users of this service.
Remember, only use CDN URLs in production; never development one.
The CDN caches files for one year based on their path. It ignores query strings. This is done both to improve performance and to make it possible for the CDN to handle massive amounts of traffic without causing excessive load on the underlying services.
To ensure that the CDN always serves the version of the file you want, use a git tag or commit ref in the file's path instead of a branch name, and update the URL if you push a new version of the file.
So, instead of a URL like
/user/repo/BRANCH/file, use a URL like
rawgit.net is a free service and cannot provide any uptime or support guarantees, even for CDN URLs. While I do my best to keep things running, things sometimes go wrong. Sometimes there are network or provider issues outside my control, sometimes abusive traffic temporarily affects response times, and sometimes I break things (although I try really hard not to).
You can take a look at our uptime stats to decide if this service is stable enough for you.
To report a critical issue like rawgit.net being broken, used to spread spam/copyright-protected content/etc or to share general feedback, send me a letter. I try to respond quickly when I'm awake and near a computer, but sometimes I do have to sleep. To report a non-critical bug, please file an issue.