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A collection of common interactive command line user interfaces.

Goal and Philosophy

Inquirer Logo

Inquirer.js strives to be an easily embeddable and beautiful command line interface for Node.js (and perhaps the "CLI Xanadu").

Inquirer.js should ease the process of

  • providing error feedback
  • asking questions
  • parsing input
  • validating answers
  • managing hierarchical prompts

Note: Inquirer.js provides the user interface, and the inquiry session flow. If you're searching for a full blown command line program utility, then check out Commander.js.



npm install inquirer
var inquirer = require("inquirer");
inquirer.prompt([/* Pass your questions in here */], function( answers ) {
	// Use user feedback for... whatever!!

Examples (Run it and see it)

Checkout the examples/ folder for code and interface examples.

node examples/pizza.js
node examples/checkbox.js
# etc...


inquirer.prompt( questions, callback )

Launch the prompt interface (inquiry session)



A question object is a hash containing question related values:

  • type: (String) Type of the prompt. Defaults: input - Possible values: input, confirm, list, rawlist, password
  • name: (String) The name to use when storing the answer in the answers hash.
  • message: (String|Function) The question to print. If defined as a function, the first parameter will be the current inquirer session answers.
  • default: (String|Number|Array|Function) Default value(s) to use if nothing is entered, or a function that returns the default value(s). If defined as a function, the first parameter will be the current inquirer session answers.
  • choices: (Array|Function) Choices array or a function returning a choices array. If defined as a function, the first parameter will be the current inquirer session answers.
    Array values can be simple strings, or objects containing a name (to display in list), a value (to save in the answers hash) and a short (to display after selection) properties. The choices array can also contain a Separator.
  • validate: (Function) Receive the user input and should return true if the value is valid, and an error message (String) otherwise. If false is returned, a default error message is provided.
  • filter: (Function) Receive the user input and return the filtered value to be used inside the program. The value returned will be added to the Answers hash.
  • when: (Function, Boolean) Receive the current user answers hash and should return true or false depending on whether or not this question should be asked. The value can also be a simple boolean.

default, choices(if defined as functions), validate, filter and when functions can be called asynchronously using this.async(). You just have to pass the value you'd normally return to the callback option.

  validate: function(input) {

    // Declare function as asynchronous, and save the done callback
    var done = this.async();

    // Do async stuff
    setTimeout(function() {
      if (typeof input !== "number") {
        // Pass the return value in the done callback
        done("You need to provide a number");
      // Pass the return value in the done callback
    }, 3000);


A key/value hash containing the client answers in each prompt.

  • Key The name property of the question object
  • Value (Depends on the prompt)
    • confirm: (Boolean)
    • input : User input (filtered if filter is defined) (String)
    • rawlist, list : Selected choice value (or name if no value specified) (String)


A separator can be added to any choices array:

// In the question object
choices: [ "Choice A", new inquirer.Separator(), "choice B" ]

// Which'll be displayed this way
[?] What do you want to do?
 > Order a pizza
   Make a reservation
   Ask opening hours
   Talk to the receptionist

The constructor takes a facultative String value that'll be use as the separator. If omitted, the separator will be --------.

Separator instances have a property type equal to separator. This should allow tools façading Inquirer interface from detecting separator types in lists.

Prompts type

Note:: allowed options written inside square brackets ([]) are optional. Others are required.

List - { type: "list" }

Take type, name, message, choices[, default, filter] properties. (Note that default must be the choice index in the array or a choice value)

List prompt

Raw List - { type: "rawlist" }

Take type, name, message, choices[, default, filter] properties. (Note that default must the choice index in the array)

Raw list prompt

Expand - { type: "expand" }

Take type, name, message, choices[, default, filter] properties. (Note that default must be the choice index in the array)

Note that the choices object will take an extra parameter called key for the expand prompt. This parameter must be a single (lowercased) character. The h option is added by the prompt and shouldn't be defined by the user.

See examples/expand.js for a running example.

Expand prompt closed Expand prompt expanded

Checkbox - { type: "checkbox" }

Take type, name, message, choices[, filter, validate, default] properties. default is expected to be an Array of the checked choices value.

Choices marked as { checked: true } will be checked by default.

Choices whose property disabled is truthy will be unselectable. If disabled is a string, then the string will be outputted next to the disabled choice, otherwise it'll default to "Disabled". The disabled property can also be a synchronous function receiving the current answers as argument and returning a boolean or a string.

Checkbox prompt

Confirm - { type: "confirm" }

Take type, name, message[, default] properties. default is expected to be a boolean if used.

Confirm prompt

Input - { type: "input" }

Take type, name, message[, default, filter, validate] properties.

Input prompt

Password - { type: "password" }

Take type, name, message[, default, filter, validate] properties.

Password prompt

User Interfaces and layouts

Along with the prompts, Inquirer offers some basic text UI.

Bottom Bar - inquirer.ui.BottomBar

This UI present a fixed text at the bottom of a free text zone. This is useful to keep a message to the bottom of the screen while outputting command outputs on the higher section.

var ui = new inquirer.ui.BottomBar();

// pipe a Stream to the log zone
outputStream.pipe( ui.log );

// Or simply write output
ui.log.write("something just happened.");
ui.log.write("Almost over, standby!");

// During processing, update the bottom bar content to display a loader
// or output a progress bar, etc
ui.updateBottomBar("new bottom bar content");

Prompt - inquirer.ui.Prompt

This is UI layout used to run prompt. This layout is returned by inquirer.prompt and you should probably always use inquirer.prompt to interface with this UI.

Reactive interface

Internally, Inquirer uses the JS reactive extension to handle events and async flows.

This mean you can take advantage of this feature to provide more advanced flows. For example, you can dynamically add questions to be asked:

var prompts = Rx.Observable.create(function( obs ) {
  obs.onNext({ /* question... */ });
  setTimeout(function () {
    obs.onNext({ /* question... */ });


And using the process property, you have access to more fine grained callbacks:


Support (OS Terminals)

You should expect mostly good support for the CLI below. This does not mean we won't look at issues found on other command line - feel free to report any!

  • Mac OS:
    • Terminal.app
    • iTerm
  • Windows:
    • cmd.exe
    • Powershell
    • Cygwin
  • Ubuntu:
    • Terminal

News on the march (Release notes)

Please refer to the Github releases section for the changelog


Style Guide
Please brief yourself on Idiomatic.js style guide with two space indent

Unit test
Unit test are written in Mocha. Please add a unit test for every new feature or bug fix. npm test to run the test suite.

Add documentation for every API change. Feel free to send corrections or better docs!

Pull Requests
Send fixes PR on the master branch. Any new features should be send on the wipbranch.

We're looking to offer good support for multiple prompts and environments. If you want to help, we'd like to keep a list of testers for each terminal/OS so we can contact you and get feedback before release. Let us know if you want to be added to the list (just tweet to @vaxilart) or just add your name to the wiki


Copyright (c) 2012 Simon Boudrias (twitter: @vaxilart)
Licensed under the MIT license.

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