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cross-spawn

cross-spawn

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A cross platform solution to node's spawn and spawnSync.

Installation

$ npm install cross-spawn

If you are using spawnSync on node 0.10 or older, you will also need to install spawn-sync:

$ npm install spawn-sync

Why

Node has issues when using spawn on Windows:

  • It ignores PATHEXT
  • It does not support shebangs
  • No options.shell support on node < v6
  • It does not allow you to run del or dir

All these issues are handled correctly by cross-spawn. There are some known modules, such as win-spawn, that try to solve this but they are either broken or provide faulty escaping of shell arguments.

Usage

Exactly the same way as node's spawn or spawnSync, so it's a drop in replacement.

var spawn = require('cross-spawn');
 
// Spawn NPM asynchronously 
var child = spawn('npm', ['list', '-g', '-depth', '0'], { stdio: 'inherit' });
 
// Spawn NPM synchronously 
var results = spawn.sync('npm', ['list', '-g', '-depth', '0'], { stdio: 'inherit' });

Caveats

options.shell as an alternative to cross-spawn

Starting from node v6, spawn has a shell option that allows you run commands from within a shell. This new option solves most of the problems that cross-spawn attempts to solve, but:

  • It's not supported in node < v6
  • It has no support for shebangs on Windows
  • You must manually escape the command and arguments which is very error prone, specially when passing user input

If you are using the shell option to spawn a command in a cross platform way, consider using cross-spawn instead. You have been warned.

Shebangs

While cross-spawn handles shebangs on Windows, its support is limited: e.g.: it doesn't handle arguments after the path, e.g.: #!/bin/bash -e.

Remember to always test your code on Windows!

Tests

$ npm test

License

Released under the MIT License.