2.1.8 • Public • Published


a local development server designed to work with browserify.


  • can live reload your browser when your code changes (if you want)
  • works with whatever version of browserify or watchify; globally installed or locally installed to node_modules/.
  • will spit compile errors out into the browser so you don't have that 1-2 seconds of cognitive dissonance and profound ennui that follows refreshing the page only to get a blank screen.
  • will spit out a default index.html for missing routes so you don't need to even muck about with HTML to get started
  • serves up static files with grace and aplomb (and also appropriate mimetypes)
  • is designed to fall away gracefully, as your project gets bigger.
  • loves you, unconditionally

how do I get it?

npm install -g beefy; and if you want to always have a browserify available for beefy to use, npm install -g browserify.


$ cd directory/you/want/served
$ beefy path/to/thing/you/want/browserified.js [PORT] [-- browserify args]

what bundler does it use?

Beefy searches for bundlers in the following order:

  • First, it checks your local project's node_modules for watchify.
  • Then it checks locally for browserify.
  • Failing that, it checks for a global watchify.
  • Then falls back to a global browserify.


the path to the file you want browserified. can be just a normal node module. you can also alias it: path/to/file.js:bundle.js if you want -- so all requests to bundle.js will browserify path/to/file.js. this is helpful for when you're writing gh-pages-style sites that already have an index.html, and expect the bundle to be pregenerated and available at a certain path.

You may provide multiple entry points, if you desire!

--browserify command

--bundler command

use command instead of browserify or ./node_modules/.bin/browserify.

in theory, you could even get this working with r.js, but that would probably be scary and bats would fly out of it. but it's there if you need it! if you want to use r.js with beefy, you'll need a config that can write the resulting bundle to stdout, and you can run beefy with beefy :output-url.js --bundler r.js -- -o config.js.

NB: This will not work in Windows.


Enable live reloading. this'll start up a sideband server and an fs watch on the current working directory -- if you save a file, your browser will refresh.

if you're not using the generated index file, beefy has your back -- it'll still automatically inject the appropriate script tag.

    <script src="/-/live-reload.js"></script> 

--cwd dir

serve files as if running from dir.


turn off browserify source map output. by default, beefy automatically inserts -d into the browserify args -- this turns that behavior off.


automatically discover a port and open it using your default browser.


Provide your own default index! This works great for single page apps, as every URL on your site will be redirected to the same HTML file. Every instance of {{entry}} will be replaced with the entry point of your app.


var beefy = require('beefy')
  , http = require('http')
var handler = beefy('entry.js')

Beefy defaults the cwd to the directory of the file requiring it, so it's easy to switch from CLI mode to building a server.

As your server grows, you may want to expand on the information you're giving beefy:

var beefy = require('beefy')
  , http = require('http')
    entries: ['entry.js']
  , cwd: __dirname
  , live: true
  , quiet: false
  , bundlerFlags: ['-t', 'brfs']
  , unhandled: on404
function on404(req, resp) {
  resp.writeHead(404, {})
  resp.end('sorry folks!')

beefy(opts: BeefyOptions, ready: (err: Error) => void)

Create a request handler suitable for providing to http.createServer. Calls ready once the appropriate bundler has been located. If ready is not provided and a bundler isn't located, an error is thrown.


Beefy's options are a simple object, which may contain the following attributes:

  • cwd: String. The base directory that beefy is serving. Defaults to the directory of the module that first required beefy.
  • quiet: Boolean. Whether or not to output request information to the console. Defaults to true.
  • live: Boolean. Whether to enable live reloading. Defaults to false.
  • bundler: null, String, or Function. If a string is given, beefy will attempt to run that string as a child process whenever the path is given. If a function is given, it is expected to accept a path and return an object comprised of {stdout: ReadableStream, stderr: ReadableStream}. If not given, beefy will search for an appropriate bundler.
  • bundlerFlags: Flags to be passed to the bundler. Ignored if bundler is a function.
  • entries: String, Array, or Object. The canonical form is that of an object mapping URL pathnames to paths on disk relative to cwd. If given as an array or string, entries will be mapped like so: index.js will map /index.js to <cwd>/index.js.
  • unhandled: Function accepting req and resp. Called for 404s. If not given, a default 404 handler will be used.
  • watchify: defaults to true -- when true, beefy will prefer using watchify to browserify. If false, beefy will prefer browserify.

Beefy may accept, as a shorthand, beefy("file.js") or beefy(["file.js"]).



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  • dlmanning
  • chrisdickinson