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Evented I/O for V8 JavaScript.

An example of a web server written in Node which responds with "Hello World" for every request.

var http = require('http');
http.createServer(function (req, res) {
  res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/plain'});
  res.end('Hello World\n');
}).listen(1337, "");
console.log('Server running at');

To run the server, put the code into a file example.js and execute it with the node program:

% node example.js
Server running at

Here is an example of a simple TCP server which listens on port 1337 and echoes whatever you send it:

var net = require('net');

var server = net.createServer(function (socket) {
  socket.write("Echo server\r\n");

server.listen(1337, "");

See the API documentation for more examples.

Go to the Wiki for lots more information.



git repo

2011.07.19 v0.4.10 (stable)

2011.07.22 v0.5.2 (unstable)

Historical: versions, docs

For build instructions see https://github.com/joyent/node/wiki/Installation


Node's goal is to provide an easy way to build scalable network programs. In the "hello world" web server example above, many client connections can be handled concurrently. Node tells the operating system (through epoll, kqueue, /dev/poll, or select) that it should be notified when a new connection is made, and then it goes to sleep. If someone new connects, then it executes the callback. Each connection is only a small heap allocation.

This is in contrast to today's more common concurrency model where OS threads are employed. Thread-based networking is relatively inefficient and very difficult to use. See: this and this. Node will show much better memory efficiency under high-loads than systems which allocate 2mb thread stacks for each connection. Furthermore, users of Node are free from worries of dead-locking the process—there are no locks. Almost no function in Node directly performs I/O, so the process never blocks. Because nothing blocks, less-than-expert programmers are able to develop fast systems.

Node is similar in design to and influenced by systems like Ruby's Event Machine or Python's Twisted. Node takes the event model a bit further—it presents the event loop as a language construct instead of as a library. In other systems there is always a blocking call to start the event-loop. Typically one defines behavior through callbacks at the beginning of a script and at the end starts a server through a blocking call like EventMachine::run(). In Node there is no such start-the-event-loop call. Node simply enters the event loop after executing the input script. Node exits the event loop when there are no more callbacks to perform. This behavior is like browser javascript—the event loop is hidden from the user.

HTTP is a first class protocol in Node. Node's HTTP library has grown out of the author's experiences developing and working with web servers. For example, streaming data through most web frameworks is impossible. Node attempts to correct these problems in its HTTP parser and API. Coupled with Node's purely evented infrastructure, it makes a good foundation for web libraries or frameworks.

But what about multiple-processor concurrency? Aren't threads necessary to scale programs to multi-core computers? You can start new processes via child_process.fork() these other processes will be scheduled in parallel.

See also:

JS String match
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