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This fast, small, zero-dependency package is all you need to enable ES modules in Node 6+ today!

See the release post šŸ“– and video šŸŽ„ for all the details.

Getting started

Run npm i --save @std/esm in your app or package directory.

There are three ways to enable ESM with @std/esm.

  1. Enable ESM with a CJS bridge:


    //Ā ProvideĀ optionsĀ asĀ aĀ parameter,Ā environmentĀ variable,Ā orĀ rcĀ file.
    requireĀ =Ā require("@std/esm")(module/*,Ā options*/)
    module.exportsĀ =Ā require("./main.mjs").default
  2. Enable ESM in the Node CLI with the -r option:

    nodeĀ -rĀ @std/esmĀ main.mjs
  3. Enable ESM in the Node REPL:

    nodeĀ -rĀ @std/esm

    or upon entering:

    $Ā node
    >Ā require("@std/esm")
    @std/esmĀ enabled

Note: All "cjs" options are unlocked in the Node REPL.

Standard Features

The @std/esm loader is as spec-compliant as possible and follows Nodeā€™s ESM rules.

šŸ‘‰ This means, by default, ESM requires the use of the .mjs file extension.
šŸ”“ You can unlock ESM with the .js file extension using the "js" ESM mode.

Out of the box @std/esm just works, no configuration necessary, and supports:


Unlock features with options specified as one of the following:

  • The "@std/esm" field in your package.json
  • JSON6 in an .esmrc or .esmrc.json file
  • JSON6 or file path in the ESM_OPTIONS environment variable
  • CJS/ESM in an .esmrc.js or .esmrc.mjs file

Commonly used options may be specified in shorthand form:

  • "@std/esm":"js" is shorthand for "@std/esm":{"esm":"js"}
  • "@std/esm":"cjs" is shorthand for "@std/esm":{"cjs":true,"esm":"js"}


A string mode:

  • "all" files as ESM
  • "js" and other files with import, import.meta, export, or "use module" as ESM

A boolean or object to unlock CJS features in ESM.

Unlockable Features


A boolean for storing ES modules in require.cache.


A boolean for respecting require.extensions in ESM.


A boolean for __esModule interoperability.


A boolean for importing named exports of CJS modules.


A boolean for following CJS path rules in ESM.


A boolean for top-level return.


A boolean for __dirname, __filename, and require in ESM.


A boolean for top-level await in modules without ESM exports. (requires Node 7.6+)




A boolean for toggling cache creation or string path of the cache directory.


A boolean for unmasking stack traces.


A boolean for including inline source maps.


A boolean for logging development parse and runtime warnings.



  • Load @std/esm before @babel/register v7+
  • Load @std/esm with the ā€œrequireā€ option of ava, mocha, nyc, and tape
  • Load @std/esm with the --node-arg=-r --node-arg=@std/esm option of node-tap
  • Load @std/esm with the --node-args="-r @std/esm" option of pm2
  • Load @std/esm with wallaby.js
  • Use @std/esm to load jasmine
  • Use "@std/esm":"cjs" for the --watch and --watch-extensions options of mocha
  • Use "@std/esm":"cjs" for ava and webpack
  • When in doubt, use "@std/esm":"cjs"