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1.1.12 • Public • Published

Cross-platform unique machine (desktop) id discovery


This package fixes the issue in automation-stack/node-machine-id#37.

Use cases

  • Software restrictions
  • Installation tracking


  • Hardware independent
  • Unique within the OS installation
  • No elevated rights required
  • No external dependencies and does not require any native bindings
  • Cross-platform (OSx, Win, Linux)

How it works

Module based on OS native UUID/GUID which used for internal needs.

All others approaches requires elevated rights or much depends on hardware components, but this approach summarize the methods of selecting the most reliable unique identifier

  • Win32/64 uses key MachineGuid in registry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Cryptography (can be changed by administrator but with unpredictable consequences)

It is generated during OS installation and won't change unless you make another OS updates or reinstall. Depending on the OS version it may contain the network adapter MAC address embedded (plus some other numbers, including random), or a pseudorandom number.

  • OSx uses IOPlatformUUID (the same Hardware UUID) ioreg -rd1 -c IOPlatformExpertDevice

Value from I/O Kit registry in IOPlatformExpertDevice class

The /var/lib/dbus/machine-id file contains the unique machine ID of the local system that is set during installation. The machine ID is a single newline-terminated, hexadecimal, 32-character, lowercase machine ID string. When decoded from hexadecimal, this corresponds with a 16-byte/128-bit string.

The machine ID is usually generated from a random source during system installation and stays constant for all subsequent boots. Optionally, for stateless systems, it is generated during runtime at early boot if it is found to be empty.

The machine ID does not change based on user configuration or when hardware is replaced.


npm install node-machine-id


Function: machineId(original)

  • original <Boolean>, If true return original value of machine id, otherwise return hashed value (sha-256), default: false

Function: machineIdSync(original);

  • syncronous version of machineId
import {machineId, machineIdSync} from 'node-machine-id';

// Asyncronous call with async/await or Promise

async function getMachineId() {
    let id = await machineId();

machineId().then((id) => {

// Syncronous call

let id = machineIdSync()
// id = c24b0fe51856497eebb6a2bfcd120247aac0d6334d670bb92e09a00ce8169365
let id = machineIdSync({original: true})
// id = 98912984-c4e9-5ceb-8000-03882a0485e4


  • Image-based environments have usually the same machine-id

As a workaround you can generate new machine-ids for each instance (or container) with dbus-uuidgen and changed them in the respective > files: /etc/machine-id and /var/lib/dbus/machine-id. Thanks @stefanhuber

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npm i @garycourt/node-machine-id

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