node package manager

fs-extra

fs-extra contains methods that aren't included in the vanilla Node.js fs package. Such as mkdir -p, cp -r, and rm -rf.

Node.js: fs-extra

fs-extra adds file system methods that aren't included in the native fs module. It is a drop in replacement for fs.

NOTE (2016-04-28): Node v0.10 will be unsupported 2016-10-01. Node v0.12 will be unsupported on 2017-04-01.

I got tired of including mkdirp, rimraf, and ncp in most of my projects.

npm install --save fs-extra

fs-extra is a drop in replacement for native fs. All methods in fs are unmodified and attached to fs-extra.

You don't ever need to include the original fs module again:

var fs = require('fs') // this is no longer necessary 

you can now do this:

var fs = require('fs-extra')

or if you prefer to make it clear that you're using fs-extra and not fs, you may want to name your fs variable fse like so:

var fse = require('fs-extra')

you can also keep both, but it's redundant:

var fs = require('fs')
var fse = require('fs-extra')

Most methods are async by default (they take a callback with an Error as first argument).

Sync methods on the other hand will throw if an error occurs.

Example:

var fs = require('fs-extra')
 
fs.copy('/tmp/myfile', '/tmp/mynewfile', function (err) {
  if (err) return console.error(err)
  console.log("success!")
});
 
try {
  fs.copySync('/tmp/myfile', '/tmp/mynewfile')
  console.log("success!")
} catch (err) {
  console.error(err)
}

NOTE: You can still use the native Node.js methods. They are copied over to fs-extra.

copy(src, dest, [options], callback)

Copy a file or directory. The directory can have contents. Like cp -r.

Options:

  • clobber (boolean): overwrite existing file or directory
  • dereference (boolean): dereference symlinks
  • preserveTimestamps (boolean): will set last modification and access times to the ones of the original source files, default is false.
  • filter: Function or RegExp to filter copied files. If function, return true to include, false to exclude. If RegExp, same as function, where filter is filter.test.

Sync: copySync()

Example:

var fs = require('fs-extra')
 
fs.copy('/tmp/myfile', '/tmp/mynewfile', function (err) {
  if (err) return console.error(err)
  console.log("success!")
}) // copies file 
 
fs.copy('/tmp/mydir', '/tmp/mynewdir', function (err) {
  if (err) return console.error(err)
  console.log('success!')
}) // copies directory, even if it has subdirectories or files 

Ensures that a directory is empty. Deletes directory contents if the directory is not empty. If the directory does not exist, it is created. The directory itself is not deleted.

Alias: emptydir()

Sync: emptyDirSync(), emptydirSync()

Example:

var fs = require('fs-extra')
 
// assume this directory has a lot of files and folders 
fs.emptyDir('/tmp/some/dir', function (err) {
  if (!err) console.log('success!')
})

Ensures that the file exists. If the file that is requested to be created is in directories that do not exist, these directories are created. If the file already exists, it is NOT MODIFIED.

Alias: createFile()

Sync: createFileSync(),ensureFileSync()

Example:

var fs = require('fs-extra')
 
var file = '/tmp/this/path/does/not/exist/file.txt'
fs.ensureFile(file, function (err) {
  console.log(err) // => null 
  // file has now been created, including the directory it is to be placed in 
})

Ensures that the directory exists. If the directory structure does not exist, it is created.

Sync: ensureDirSync()

Example:

var fs = require('fs-extra')
 
var dir = '/tmp/this/path/does/not/exist'
fs.ensureDir(dir, function (err) {
  console.log(err) // => null 
  // dir has now been created, including the directory it is to be placed in 
})

Ensures that the link exists. If the directory structure does not exist, it is created.

Sync: ensureLinkSync()

Example:

var fs = require('fs-extra')
 
var srcpath = '/tmp/file.txt'
var dstpath = '/tmp/this/path/does/not/exist/file.txt'
fs.ensureLink(srcpath, dstpath, function (err) {
  console.log(err) // => null 
  // link has now been created, including the directory it is to be placed in 
})

Ensures that the symlink exists. If the directory structure does not exist, it is created.

Sync: ensureSymlinkSync()

Example:

var fs = require('fs-extra')
 
var srcpath = '/tmp/file.txt'
var dstpath = '/tmp/this/path/does/not/exist/file.txt'
fs.ensureSymlink(srcpath, dstpath, function (err) {
  console.log(err) // => null 
  // symlink has now been created, including the directory it is to be placed in 
})

Creates a directory. If the parent hierarchy doesn't exist, it's created. Like mkdir -p.

Alias: mkdirp()

Sync: mkdirsSync() / mkdirpSync()

Examples:

var fs = require('fs-extra')
 
fs.mkdirs('/tmp/some/long/path/that/prob/doesnt/exist', function (err) {
  if (err) return console.error(err)
  console.log("success!")
})
 
fs.mkdirsSync('/tmp/another/path')

Moves a file or directory, even across devices.

Options:

  • clobber (boolean): overwrite existing file or directory
  • limit (number): number of concurrent moves, see ncp for more information

Example:

var fs = require('fs-extra')
 
fs.move('/tmp/somefile', '/tmp/does/not/exist/yet/somefile', function (err) {
  if (err) return console.error(err)
  console.log("success!")
})

Almost the same as writeFile (i.e. it overwrites), except that if the parent directory does not exist, it's created. options are what you'd pass to fs.writeFile().

Sync: outputFileSync()

Example:

var fs = require('fs-extra')
var file = '/tmp/this/path/does/not/exist/file.txt'
 
fs.outputFile(file, 'hello!', function (err) {
  console.log(err) // => null 
 
  fs.readFile(file, 'utf8', function (err, data) {
    console.log(data) // => hello! 
  })
})

Almost the same as writeJson, except that if the directory does not exist, it's created. options are what you'd pass to jsonFile.writeFile().

Alias: outputJSON()

Sync: outputJsonSync(), outputJSONSync()

Example:

var fs = require('fs-extra')
var file = '/tmp/this/path/does/not/exist/file.txt'
 
fs.outputJson(file, {name: 'JP'}, function (err) {
  console.log(err) // => null 
 
  fs.readJson(file, function(err, data) {
    console.log(data.name) // => JP 
  })
})

Reads a JSON file and then parses it into an object. options are the same that you'd pass to jsonFile.readFile.

Alias: readJSON()

Sync: readJsonSync(), readJSONSync()

Example:

var fs = require('fs-extra')
 
fs.readJson('./package.json', function (err, packageObj) {
  console.log(packageObj.version) // => 0.1.3 
})

readJsonSync() can take a throws option set to false and it won't throw if the JSON is invalid. Example:

var fs = require('fs-extra')
var file = path.join('/tmp/some-invalid.json')
var data = '{not valid JSON'
fs.writeFileSync(file, data)
 
var obj = fs.readJsonSync(file, {throws: false})
console.log(obj) // => null 

Removes a file or directory. The directory can have contents. Like rm -rf.

Sync: removeSync()

Examples:

var fs = require('fs-extra')
 
fs.remove('/tmp/myfile', function (err) {
  if (err) return console.error(err)
 
  console.log('success!')
})
 
fs.removeSync('/home/jprichardson') //I just deleted my entire HOME directory. 

walk(dir, [streamOptions])

The function walk() from the module klaw.

Returns a Readable stream that iterates through every file and directory starting with dir as the root. Every read() or data event returns an object with two properties: path and stats. path is the full path of the file and stats is an instance of fs.Stats.

Streams 1 (push) example:

var items = [] // files, directories, symlinks, etc 
fse.walk(TEST_DIR)
  .on('data', function (item) {
    items.push(item.path)
  })
  .on('end', function () {
    console.dir(items) // => [ ... array of files] 
  })

Streams 2 & 3 (pull) example:

var items = [] // files, directories, symlinks, etc 
fse.walk(TEST_DIR)
  .on('readable', function () {
    var item
    while ((item = this.read())) {
      items.push(item.path)
    }
  })
  .on('end', function () {
    console.dir(items) // => [ ... array of files] 
  })

If you're not sure of the differences on Node.js streams 1, 2, 3 then I'd recommend this resource as a good starting point: https://strongloop.com/strongblog/whats-new-io-js-beta-streams3/.

See klaw documentation for more detailed usage.

Writes an object to a JSON file. options are the same that you'd pass to jsonFile.writeFile().

Alias: writeJSON()

Sync: writeJsonSync(), writeJSONSync()

Example:

var fs = require('fs-extra')
fs.writeJson('./package.json', {name: 'fs-extra'}, function (err) {
  console.log(err)
})

Use Bluebird. See https://github.com/petkaantonov/bluebird/blob/master/API.md#promisification. fs-extra is explicitly listed as supported.

var Promise = require('bluebird')
var fs = Promise.promisifyAll(require('fs-extra'))

Or you can use the package fs-extra-promise that marries the two together.

If you like TypeScript, you can use fs-extra with it: https://github.com/borisyankov/DefinitelyTyped/tree/master/fs-extra

If you want to watch for changes to files or directories, then you should use chokidar.

  • mfs - Monitor your fs-extra calls.

Wanna hack on fs-extra? Great! Your help is needed! fs-extra is one of the most depended upon Node.js packages. This project uses JavaScript Standard Style - if the name or style choices bother you, you're gonna have to get over it :) If standard is good enough for npm, it's good enough for fs-extra.

What's needed?

  • First, take a look at existing issues. Those are probably going to be where the priority lies.
  • More tests for edge cases. Specifically on different platforms. There can never be enough tests.
  • Improve test coverage. See coveralls output for more info.
  • After the directory walker is integrated, any function that needs to traverse directories like copy, remove, or mkdirs should be built on top of it.

Note: If you make any big changes, you should definitely file an issue for discussion first.

fs-extra contains hundreds of tests.

  • npm run lint: runs the linter (standard)
  • npm run unit: runs the unit tests
  • npm test: runs both the linter and the tests

If you run the tests on the Windows and receive a lot of symbolic link EPERM permission errors, it's because on Windows you need elevated privilege to create symbolic links. You can add this to your Windows's account by following the instructions here: http://superuser.com/questions/104845/permission-to-make-symbolic-links-in-windows-7 However, I didn't have much luck doing this.

Since I develop on Mac OS X, I use VMWare Fusion for Windows testing. I create a shared folder that I map to a drive on Windows. I open the Node.js command prompt and run as Administrator. I then map the network drive running the following command:

net use z: "\\vmware-host\Shared Folders"

I can then navigate to my fs-extra directory and run the tests.

I put a lot of thought into the naming of these functions. Inspired by @coolaj86's request. So he deserves much of the credit for raising the issue. See discussion(s) here:

First, I believe that in as many cases as possible, the Node.js naming schemes should be chosen. However, there are problems with the Node.js own naming schemes.

For example, fs.readFile() and fs.readdir(): the F is capitalized in File and the d is not capitalized in dir. Perhaps a bit pedantic, but they should still be consistent. Also, Node.js has chosen a lot of POSIX naming schemes, which I believe is great. See: fs.mkdir(), fs.rmdir(), fs.chown(), etc.

We have a dilemma though. How do you consistently name methods that perform the following POSIX commands: cp, cp -r, mkdir -p, and rm -rf?

My perspective: when in doubt, err on the side of simplicity. A directory is just a hierarchical grouping of directories and files. Consider that for a moment. So when you want to copy it or remove it, in most cases you'll want to copy or remove all of its contents. When you want to create a directory, if the directory that it's suppose to be contained in does not exist, then in most cases you'll want to create that too.

So, if you want to remove a file or a directory regardless of whether it has contents, just call fs.remove(path). If you want to copy a file or a directory whether it has contents, just call fs.copy(source, destination). If you want to create a directory regardless of whether its parent directories exist, just call fs.mkdirs(path) or fs.mkdirp(path).

fs-extra wouldn't be possible without using the modules from the following authors:

Licensed under MIT

Copyright (c) 2011-2016 JP Richardson