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Assets refer to static files (js, css, images, etc) on your server that you want to make accessible to the outside world. In Sails, these files are placed in the assets/ directory, where they are processed and synced to a hidden temporary directory (.tmp/public/) when you lift your app. The contents of this .tmp/public folder are what Sails actually serves - roughly equivalent to the "public" folder in express, or the "www" folder you might be familiar with from other web servers like Apache. This middle step allows Sails to prepare/pre-compile assets for use on the client - things like LESS, CoffeeScript, SASS, spritesheets, Jade templates, etc.

Static middleware

Behind the scenes, Sails uses the static middleware from Express to serve your assets. You can configure this middleware (e.g. cache settings) in /config/http.js.


Like most web servers, Sails honors the index.html convention. For instance, if you create assets/foo.html in a new Sails project, it will be accessible at http://localhost:1337/foo.html. But if you create assets/foo/index.html, it will be available at both http://localhost:1337/foo/index.html and http://localhost:1337/foo.


It is important to note that the static middleware is installed after the Sails router. So if you define a custom route, but also have a file in your assets directory with a conflicting path, the custom route will intercept the request before it reaches the static middleware. For example, if you create assets/index.html, with no routes defined in your config/routes.js file, it will be served as your home page. But if you define a custom route, '/': '', that route will take precedence.

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