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🍣 A Rollup plugin to convert CommonJS modules to ES6, so they can be included in a Rollup bundle


This plugin requires an LTS Node version (v14.0.0+) and Rollup v2.68.0+. If you are using @rollup/plugin-node-resolve, it should be v13.0.6+.


Using npm:

npm install @rollup/plugin-commonjs --save-dev


Create a rollup.config.js configuration file and import the plugin:

import commonjs from '@rollup/plugin-commonjs';

export default {
  input: 'src/index.js',
  output: {
    dir: 'output',
    format: 'cjs'
  plugins: [commonjs()]

Then call rollup either via the CLI or the API.

When used together with the node-resolve plugin



Type: "auto" | boolean | "debug" | string[]
Default: "auto"

By default, this plugin will try to hoist require statements as imports to the top of each file. While this works well for many code bases and allows for very efficient ESM output, it does not perfectly capture CommonJS semantics as the initialisation order of required modules will be different. The resultant side effects can include log statements being emitted in a different order, and some code that is dependent on the initialisation order of polyfills in require statements may not work. But it is especially problematic when there are circular require calls between CommonJS modules as those often rely on the lazy execution of nested require calls.

Setting this option to true will wrap all CommonJS files in functions which are executed when they are required for the first time, preserving NodeJS semantics. This is the safest setting and should be used if the generated code does not work correctly with "auto". Note that strictRequires: true can have a small impact on the size and performance of generated code, but less so if the code is minified.

The default value of "auto" will only wrap CommonJS files when they are part of a CommonJS dependency cycle, e.g. an index file that is required by some of its dependencies, or if they are only required in a potentially "conditional" way like from within an if-statement or a function. All other CommonJS files are hoisted. This is the recommended setting for most code bases. Note that the detection of conditional requires can be subject to race conditions if there are both conditional and unconditional requires of the same file, which in edge cases may result in inconsistencies between builds. If you think this is a problem for you, you can avoid this by using any value other than "auto" or "debug".

false will entirely prevent wrapping and hoist all files. This may still work depending on the nature of cyclic dependencies but will often cause problems.

You can also provide a picomatch pattern, or array of patterns, to only specify a subset of files which should be wrapped in functions for proper require semantics.

"debug" works like "auto" but after bundling, it will display a warning containing a list of ids that have been wrapped which can be used as picomatch pattern for fine-tuning or to avoid the potential race conditions mentioned for "auto".


Type: string | string[]
Default: []

Note: In previous versions, this option would spin up a rather comprehensive mock environment that was capable of handling modules that manipulate require.cache. This is no longer supported. If you rely on this e.g. when using request-promise-native, use version 21 of this plugin.

Some modules contain dynamic require calls, or require modules that contain circular dependencies, which are not handled well by static imports. Including those modules as dynamicRequireTargets will simulate a CommonJS (NodeJS-like) environment for them with support for dynamic dependencies. It also enables strictRequires for those modules, see above.

Note: In extreme cases, this feature may result in some paths being rendered as absolute in the final bundle. The plugin tries to avoid exposing paths from the local machine, but if you are dynamicRequirePaths with paths that are far away from your project's folder, that may require replacing strings like "/Users/John/Desktop/foo-project/" -> "/".


  dynamicRequireTargets: [
    // include using a glob pattern (either a string or an array of strings)

    // exclude files that are known to not be required dynamically, this allows for better optimizations


Type: string
Default: process.cwd()

To avoid long paths when using the dynamicRequireTargets option, you can use this option to specify a directory that is a common parent for all files that use dynamic require statements. Using a directory higher up such as / may lead to unnecessarily long paths in the generated code and may expose directory names on your machine like your home directory name. By default it uses the current working directory.


Type: string | string[]
Default: null

A picomatch pattern, or array of patterns, which specifies the files in the build the plugin should ignore. By default, all files with extensions other than those in extensions or ".cjs" are ignored, but you can exclude additional files. See also the include option.


Type: string | string[]
Default: null

A picomatch pattern, or array of patterns, which specifies the files in the build the plugin should operate on. By default, all files with extension ".cjs" or those in extensions are included, but you can narrow this list by only including specific files. These files will be analyzed and transpiled if either the analysis does not find ES module specific statements or transformMixedEsModules is true.


Type: string[]
Default: ['.js']

For extensionless imports, search for extensions other than .js in the order specified. Note that you need to make sure that non-JavaScript files are transpiled by another plugin first.


Type: boolean
Default: false

If true, uses of global won't be dealt with by this plugin.


Type: boolean
Default: true

If false, skips source map generation for CommonJS modules. This will improve performance.


Type: boolean
Default: false

Instructs the plugin whether to enable mixed module transformations. This is useful in scenarios with modules that contain a mix of ES import statements and CommonJS require expressions. Set to true if require calls should be transformed to imports in mixed modules, or false if the require expressions should survive the transformation. The latter can be important if the code contains environment detection, or you are coding for an environment with special treatment for require calls such as ElectronJS. See also the "ignore" option.


Type: string[] | ((id: string) => boolean)
Default: []

Sometimes you have to leave require statements unconverted. Pass an array containing the IDs or an id => boolean function.


Type: boolean | 'remove' | string[] | ((id: string) => boolean)
Default: true

In most cases, where require calls to external dependencies are inside a try-catch clause, they should be left unconverted as it requires an optional dependency that may or may not be installed beside the rolled up package. Due to the conversion of require to a static import - the call is hoisted to the top of the file, outside of the try-catch clause.

  • true: All external require calls inside a try will be left unconverted.
  • false: All external require calls inside a try will be converted as if the try-catch clause is not there.
  • remove: Remove all external require calls from inside any try block.
  • string[]: Pass an array containing the IDs to left unconverted.
  • ((id: string) => boolean|'remove'): Pass a function that control individual IDs.

Note that non-external requires will not be ignored by this option.


Type: boolean Default: false

Some require calls cannot be resolved statically to be translated to imports, e.g.

function wrappedRequire(target) {
  return require(target);

When this option is set to false, the generated code will either directly throw an error when such a call is encountered or, when dynamicRequireTargets is used, when such a call cannot be resolved with a configured dynamic require target.

Setting this option to true will instead leave the require call in the code or use it as a fallback for dynamicRequireTargets.


Type: boolean | string[] | ((id: string) => boolean) Default: false

Controls how to render imports from external dependencies. By default, this plugin assumes that all external dependencies are CommonJS. This means they are rendered as default imports to be compatible with e.g. NodeJS where ES modules can only import a default export from a CommonJS dependency:

// input
const foo = require('foo');

// output
import foo from 'foo';

This is likely not desired for ES module dependencies: Here require should usually return the namespace to be compatible with how bundled modules are handled.

If you set esmExternals to true, this plugins assumes that all external dependencies are ES modules and will adhere to the requireReturnsDefault option. If that option is not set, they will be rendered as namespace imports.

You can also supply an array of ids to be treated as ES modules, or a function that will be passed each external id to determine if it is an ES module.


Type: boolean | "auto"
Default: "auto"

Controls what is the default export when importing a CommonJS file from an ES module.

  • true: The value of the default export is module.exports. This currently matches the behavior of Node.js when importing a CommonJS file.
    // mod.cjs
    exports.default = 3;
    import foo from './mod.cjs';
    console.log(foo); // { default: 3 }
  • false: The value of the default export is exports.default.
    // mod.cjs
    exports.default = 3;
    import foo from './mod.cjs';
    console.log(foo); // 3
  • "auto": The value of the default export is exports.default if the CommonJS file has an exports.__esModule === true property; otherwise it's module.exports. This makes it possible to import the default export of ES modules compiled to CommonJS as if they were not compiled.
    // mod.cjs
    exports.default = 3;
    // mod-compiled.cjs
    exports.__esModule = true;
    exports.default = 3;
    import foo from './mod.cjs';
    import bar from './mod-compiled.cjs';
    console.log(foo); // { default: 3 }
    console.log(bar); // 3


Type: boolean | "namespace" | "auto" | "preferred" | ((id: string) => boolean | "auto" | "preferred")
Default: false

Controls what is returned when requiring an ES module from a CommonJS file. When using the esmExternals option, this will also apply to external modules. By default, this plugin will render those imports as namespace imports, i.e.

// input
const foo = require('foo');

// output
import * as foo from 'foo';

This is in line with how other bundlers handle this situation and is also the most likely behaviour in case Node should ever support this. However there are some situations where this may not be desired:

  • There is code in an external dependency that cannot be changed where a require statement expects the default export to be returned from an ES module.

  • If the imported module is in the same bundle, Rollup will generate a namespace object for the imported module which can increase bundle size unnecessarily:

    // input: main.js
    const dep = require('./dep.js');
    // input: dep.js
    export default 'foo';
    // output
    var dep = 'foo';
    var dep$1 = /*#__PURE__*/ Object.freeze({
      __proto__: null,
      default: dep

For these situations, you can change Rollup's behaviour either globally or per module. To change it globally, set the requireReturnsDefault option to one of the following values:

  • false: This is the default, requiring an ES module returns its namespace. This is the only option that will also add a marker __esModule: true to the namespace to support interop patterns in CommonJS modules that are transpiled ES modules.

    // input
    const dep = require('dep');
    // output
    import * as dep$1 from 'dep';
    function getAugmentedNamespace(n) {
      if (n.__esModule) return n;
      var f = n.default;
      if (typeof f == 'function') {
        var a = function a() {
          if (this instanceof a) {
            return Reflect.construct(f, arguments, this.constructor);
          return f.apply(this, arguments);
        a.prototype = f.prototype;
      } else a = {};
      Object.defineProperty(a, '__esModule', { value: true });
      Object.keys(n).forEach(function (k) {
        var d = Object.getOwnPropertyDescriptor(n, k);
            ? d
            : {
                enumerable: true,
                get: function () {
                  return n[k];
      return a;
    var dep = /*@__PURE__*/ getAugmentedNamespace(dep$1);
  • "namespace": Like false, requiring an ES module returns its namespace, but the plugin does not add the __esModule marker and thus creates more efficient code. For external dependencies when using esmExternals: true, no additional interop code is generated.

    // output
    import * as dep from 'dep';
  • "auto": This is complementary to how output.exports: "auto" works in Rollup: If a module has a default export and no named exports, requiring that module returns the default export. In all other cases, the namespace is returned. For external dependencies when using esmExternals: true, a corresponding interop helper is added:

    // output
    import * as dep$1 from 'dep';
    function getDefaultExportFromNamespaceIfNotNamed(n) {
      return n && Object.prototype.hasOwnProperty.call(n, 'default') && Object.keys(n).length === 1
        ? n['default']
        : n;
    var dep = getDefaultExportFromNamespaceIfNotNamed(dep$1);
  • "preferred": If a module has a default export, requiring that module always returns the default export, no matter whether additional named exports exist. This is similar to how previous versions of this plugin worked. Again for external dependencies when using esmExternals: true, an interop helper is added:

    // output
    import * as dep$1 from 'dep';
    function getDefaultExportFromNamespaceIfPresent(n) {
      return n && Object.prototype.hasOwnProperty.call(n, 'default') ? n['default'] : n;
    var dep = getDefaultExportFromNamespaceIfPresent(dep$1);
  • true: This will always try to return the default export on require without checking if it actually exists. This can throw at build time if there is no default export. This is how external dependencies are handled when esmExternals is not used. The advantage over the other options is that, like false, this does not add an interop helper for external dependencies, keeping the code lean:

    // output
    import dep from 'dep';

To change this for individual modules, you can supply a function for requireReturnsDefault instead. This function will then be called once for each required ES module or external dependency with the corresponding id and allows you to return different values for different modules.

Using with @rollup/plugin-node-resolve

Since most CommonJS packages you are importing are probably dependencies in node_modules, you may need to use @rollup/plugin-node-resolve:

// rollup.config.js
import resolve from '@rollup/plugin-node-resolve';
import commonjs from '@rollup/plugin-commonjs';

export default {
  input: 'main.js',
  output: {
    file: 'bundle.js',
    format: 'iife',
    name: 'MyModule'
  plugins: [commonjs(), resolve()]

Symlinks are common in monorepos and are also created by the npm link command. Rollup with @rollup/plugin-node-resolve resolves modules to their real paths by default. So include and exclude paths should handle real paths rather than symlinked paths (e.g. ../common/node_modules/** instead of node_modules/**). You may also use a regular expression for include that works regardless of base path. Try this:

  include: /node_modules/

Whether symlinked module paths are realpathed or preserved depends on Rollup's preserveSymlinks setting, which is false by default, matching Node.js' default behavior. Setting preserveSymlinks to true in your Rollup config will cause import and export to match based on symlinked paths instead.

Strict mode

ES modules are always parsed in strict mode. That means that certain non-strict constructs (like octal literals) will be treated as syntax errors when Rollup parses modules that use them. Some older CommonJS modules depend on those constructs, and if you depend on them your bundle will blow up. There's basically nothing we can do about that.

Luckily, there is absolutely no good reason not to use strict mode for everything — so the solution to this problem is to lobby the authors of those modules to update them.


This plugin exposes the result of its CommonJS file type detection for other plugins to use. You can access it via this.getModuleInfo or the moduleParsed hook:

function cjsDetectionPlugin() {
  return {
    name: 'cjs-detection',
      meta: {
        commonjs: { isCommonJS }
    }) {
      console.log(`File ${id} is CommonJS: ${isCommonJS}`);




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