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Send is a library for streaming files from the file system as a http response supporting partial responses (Ranges), conditional-GET negotiation (If-Match, If-Unmodified-Since, If-None-Match, If-Modified-Since), high test coverage, and granular events which may be leveraged to take appropriate actions in your application or framework.

Looking to serve up entire folders mapped to URLs? Try serve-static.


This is a Node.js module available through the npm registry. Installation is done using the npm install command:

$ npm install send


var send = require('send')

send(req, path, [options])

Create a new SendStream for the given path to send to a res. The req is the Node.js HTTP request and the path is a urlencoded path to send (urlencoded, not the actual file-system path).



Enable or disable accepting ranged requests, defaults to true. Disabling this will not send Accept-Ranges and ignore the contents of the Range request header.


Enable or disable setting Cache-Control response header, defaults to true. Disabling this will ignore the immutable and maxAge options.


Set how "dotfiles" are treated when encountered. A dotfile is a file or directory that begins with a dot ("."). Note this check is done on the path itself without checking if the path actually exists on the disk. If root is specified, only the dotfiles above the root are checked (i.e. the root itself can be within a dotfile when when set to "deny").

  • 'allow' No special treatment for dotfiles.
  • 'deny' Send a 403 for any request for a dotfile.
  • 'ignore' Pretend like the dotfile does not exist and 404.

The default value is similar to 'ignore', with the exception that this default will not ignore the files within a directory that begins with a dot, for backward-compatibility.


Byte offset at which the stream ends, defaults to the length of the file minus 1. The end is inclusive in the stream, meaning end: 3 will include the 4th byte in the stream.


Enable or disable etag generation, defaults to true.


If a given file doesn't exist, try appending one of the given extensions, in the given order. By default, this is disabled (set to false). An example value that will serve extension-less HTML files: ['html', 'htm']. This is skipped if the requested file already has an extension.


Enable or diable the immutable directive in the Cache-Control response header, defaults to false. If set to true, the maxAge option should also be specified to enable caching. The immutable directive will prevent supported clients from making conditional requests during the life of the maxAge option to check if the file has changed.


By default send supports "index.html" files, to disable this set false or to supply a new index pass a string or an array in preferred order.


Enable or disable Last-Modified header, defaults to true. Uses the file system's last modified value.


Provide a max-age in milliseconds for http caching, defaults to 0. This can also be a string accepted by the ms module.


Serve files relative to path.


Byte offset at which the stream starts, defaults to 0. The start is inclusive, meaning start: 2 will include the 3rd byte in the stream.


The SendStream is an event emitter and will emit the following events:

  • error an error occurred (err)
  • directory a directory was requested (res, path)
  • file a file was requested (path, stat)
  • headers the headers are about to be set on a file (res, path, stat)
  • stream file streaming has started (stream)
  • end streaming has completed


The pipe method is used to pipe the response into the Node.js HTTP response object, typically send(req, path, options).pipe(res).


The mime export is the global instance of of the mime npm module.

This is used to configure the MIME types that are associated with file extensions as well as other options for how to resolve the MIME type of a file (like the default type to use for an unknown file extension).


By default when no error listeners are present an automatic response will be made, otherwise you have full control over the response, aka you may show a 5xx page etc.


It does not perform internal caching, you should use a reverse proxy cache such as Varnish for this, or those fancy things called CDNs. If your application is small enough that it would benefit from single-node memory caching, it's small enough that it does not need caching at all ;).


To enable debug() instrumentation output export DEBUG:

$ DEBUG=send node app

Running tests

$ npm install
$ npm test


Small example

var http = require('http')
var parseUrl = require('parseurl')
var send = require('send')

var server = http.createServer(function onRequest (req, res) {
  send(req, parseUrl(req).pathname).pipe(res)


Custom file types

var http = require('http')
var parseUrl = require('parseurl')
var send = require('send')

// Default unknown types to text/plain
send.mime.default_type = 'text/plain'

// Add a custom type
  'application/x-my-type': ['x-mt', 'x-mtt']

var server = http.createServer(function onRequest (req, res) {
  send(req, parseUrl(req).pathname).pipe(res)


Custom directory index view

This is a example of serving up a structure of directories with a custom function to render a listing of a directory.

var http = require('http')
var fs = require('fs')
var parseUrl = require('parseurl')
var send = require('send')

// Transfer arbitrary files from within /www/example.com/public/*
// with a custom handler for directory listing
var server = http.createServer(function onRequest (req, res) {
  send(req, parseUrl(req).pathname, {index: false, root: '/www/example.com/public'})
  .once('directory', directory)


// Custom directory handler
function directory (res, path) {
  var stream = this

  // redirect to trailing slash for consistent url
  if (!stream.hasTrailingSlash()) {
    return stream.redirect(path)

  // get directory list
  fs.readdir(path, function onReaddir (err, list) {
    if (err) return stream.error(err)

    // render an index for the directory
    res.setHeader('Content-Type', 'text/plain; charset=UTF-8')
    res.end(list.join('\n') + '\n')

Serving from a root directory with custom error-handling

var http = require('http')
var parseUrl = require('parseurl')
var send = require('send')

var server = http.createServer(function onRequest (req, res) {
  // your custom error-handling logic:
  function error (err) {
    res.statusCode = err.status || 500

  // your custom headers
  function headers (res, path, stat) {
    // serve all files for download
    res.setHeader('Content-Disposition', 'attachment')

  // your custom directory handling logic:
  function redirect () {
    res.statusCode = 301
    res.setHeader('Location', req.url + '/')
    res.end('Redirecting to ' + req.url + '/')

  // transfer arbitrary files from within
  // /www/example.com/public/*
  send(req, parseUrl(req).pathname, {root: '/www/example.com/public'})
  .on('error', error)
  .on('directory', redirect)
  .on('headers', headers)






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  • raynos