10.9.0 • Public • Published

Babel 6.x presets for Node 5.x (updated regularly!)

Node 5.x brings ~59% native ES6/ES2015 coverage. This preset for Babel 6 attempts to bridge the gap for the much of the remaining 41% using Babel plug-ins.


Babel 6.x is awesome, but simply including the ES2015 preset means you're transpiling features that your Node 5.x installation can already do faster and natively, replacing them with inferior / old code.

This preset complements existing V8-native functionality - it doesn't work around it.

The end result is nearly always a faster build and script execution time.

Key features:

Note: This package originally shipped with the React preset, but to avoid bloat, doesn't any longer. If you want to add that, please install babel-preset-react too

Usage instructions


Install via NPM the usual way:

npm i babel-preset-node5


Via .babelrc (recommended)

Create a .babelrc file in your project root, and include 'node5' in your preset path:

  "presets": [

Now whenever you run babel-node, it will polyfill your app with the ES2015 features that Node 5 is missing.


$ babel script.js --presets node5

Via Node API

If you don't want to use a project-wide .babelrc file (as above):

require("babel-core").transform("code", {
  presets: ["node5"]

And if you do, and you want to use vanilla node instead of babel-node as your CLI, you can create an entry script that references your pre-transpiled code like so:


... which will then run everywhere Node can.

Of course, make sure to npm i -S babel-core or npm i -S babel-register respectively, to grab the NPM packages you'll need to transpile on-the-fly.

Webpack, Gulp, Browserify, etc

Follow vendor instructions and include node5 in your babel "preset" list.

How to add React support

Babel has a ready-made preset for React, and you now need to install it separately.

Just grab it via NPM:

npm i babel-preset-react

And then add it to your "presets" list in .babelrc:

  "presets": [

How to use async/await

The async/await proposal allows you to wait on a Promise, and write asynchronous code that looks synchronous.

Here's an example:

async function getUsers(howMany) {
  try {
    const response = await fetch(`http://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/users/${howMany}`); // <-- a Promise
    return response.json(); // <-- Another promise.
  } catch(e) {
    console.log('some kind of error occurred: ', e)

getUsers.then(body => {
  // "body" contains the result of `response.json()`. Async functions *always*
  // return a promise, even if that means wrapping a non-Promise in Promise.resolve

In the above example, fetch returns a promise. By prefixing the function with async and prefixing every Promise with await, we avoid the typical .then() chain inside of the function block and can reason about the flow of the application a little more clearly.

We can also wrap promises in try/catch blocks, instead of bolting on .catch() chains.

The necessary babel plug-ins to use async/await are included in this package, so you can use this syntax right away.

No longer tracking Babel 6 versions

This package originally tracked Babel 6.x versioning. The problem is, many of the plug-ins and transforms provided by Babel don't always track the the babel-core version, so updating one dependency can throw the versioning schema off.

This package will instead now follow its own semver, starting (arbitrarily) at v10.0.0.

I'm using this repo in production, so you can be assured that I'm making it a priority to update Babel 6 deps regularly and track the latest plug-in versions.

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npm i @somehats/babel-preset-node5

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