0.4.1 • Public • Published


    An event-driven IPC implementation for NodeJS using unix file sockets

    Docs | Source | Releases | NPM

    Table of Contents

    About (you are here)


    Advanced Usage


    Quick Start

    Want to get up and running quickly? This is for you.


    npm install --save @crussell52/socket-ipc

    A Simple Example


    const {Client} = require('@crussell52/socket-ipc');
    const client = new Client({socketFile: '/tmp/myApp.sock'});
    // Say hello as soon as we connect to the server with a simple message
    // that give it our name.
    client.on('connect', () => client.send('hello', {name: 'crussell52'}));
    // Connect. It will auto-retry if the connection fails and auto-reconnect if the connection drops.


    const {Server} = require('@crussell52/socket-ipc');
    const server = new Server({socketFile: '/tmp/myApp.sock'});
    // Listen for errors so they don't bubble up and kill the app.
    server.on('error', err => console.error('IPC Server Error!', err));
    // Log all messages. Topics are completely up to the sender!
    server.on('message', (message, topic) => console.log(topic, message));
    // Say hello back to anybody that sends a message with the "hello" topic. 
    server.on('message.hello', (message, clientId) => server.send('hello', `Hello, ${message.name}!`, clientId));
    // Start listening for connections.
    // Always clean up when you are ready to shut down your app to clean up socket files. If the app
    // closes unexpectedly, the server will try to "reclaim" the socket file on the next start.
    function shutdown() {

    More Examples

    Check out the /examples directory in the source for more code samples. (Make sure you set the SOCKET_FILE constant at the top of the example files before you run them!)


    Let's get this out of the way early...


    • NodeJS >= 8.x LTS (might work with perfectly fine with some older versions -- but not tested)

    Transport Support:

    • Unix socket files (might work with windows socket files too -- but not tested)

    Unsupported Features:

    • TCP Sockets
    • UDP Sockets
    • Windows socket files (well maybe it does, I haven't tried )
    • Native client-to-client communication (although you could implement it!)

    Love the project, but you need it to do something it doesn't? Open up a feature request!

    Alternate solutions

    node-ipc ZeroMQ

    Why this one?

    When I needed to solve this problem, most of what I found was tied to some extra external dependency or platform (electron, redis, etc). The node-ipc lib caught my eye for a time, but I wasn't in love with the interface and it was published under a non-standard (and sometimes considered "satirical") license.

    So this package was born. Here are the goals of this project:

    • Bidirectional communication over Unix sockets (maybe other transports, in the future)
    • Simple interface for sending messages:
      • From the server to a specific client
      • From the server to all clients (broadcast)
      • From any client to the server
    • Minimize dependencies (So far, 0!).
    • Event driven (using native NodeJS EventEmitter)
    • Ability to listen for all messages or to narrow in on specific topics.
    • Built-in client resiliency (automatic reconnection, automatic connection retry)
    • Extensible design:
      • Pluggable
      • Stable API
      • Thorough docs to make wrapping or extending easy
      • Leave domain details to the domain experts


    npm i @crussell52/socket-ipc

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