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npm install listening --save
var listening = require('listening');
listening(8080, function(err, res) {
  // res will be true/false 

Listening API follows server.listen API.


Why would we want to test for a listening server before starting our own server, can't we just try to .listen again later on?

The current answer for node 0.10.x is no you can't.

See the node.js issue.