node package manager



A web service for building node.js modules that runs on Linux, SmartOS and Windows.


When using module-foundry there are two distinct scenarios:

  • Running a module-foundry server: Starting up a module-foundry endpoint to build npm packages or node.js applications.
  • Requesting a build from module-foundry: Once your module-foundry server is started you can request a new build using foundry-build.

Running a module-foundry server

To start module-foundry simply install it globally with npm and then run module-foundry with the appropriate config file:

  npm install -g module-foundry
  [sudo] module-foundry -c /path/to/config/file.json

Note: sudo is required on *nix platforms to change uid and gid of npm processes.

Requesting a build from module-foundry

Once you have a module-foundry server running you can request a build by using foundry-build:

  npm install -g module-foundry
  foundry-build -p /path/to/package.json --url http://your-module-foundry-server:port

By default foundry-build will not respond with the tarball that was built. You must specify this explicitly by using --file|-f. For example, if we wanted to build the binary module bcrypt we would use this package.json:


    "engines": { "node": "0.8.x" },
    "repository": {
      "type": "npm",
      "package": "bcrypt",
      "version": "0.7.7"

Then all we need to do pass this to foundry-build:

  $ foundry-build -p bcrypt.json --url http://localhost:1337 --file bcrypt-0.7.7.tgz
  Requesting: http://localhost:1337/build
  Streaming output to bcrypt-0.7.7.tgz

For npm specific builds you can also pass this information directly into foundry-build. The below is equivalent to the above:

  $ foundry-build --url http://localhost:1337 --npm "bcrypt@0.7.7"
  Requesting: http://localhost:1337/build
  Streaming output to bcrypt-0.7.7.tgz

Full help for foundry-build can be found by using --help:

  $ foundry-build --help
  usage: foundry-build -p /path/to/package.json -u http://module-foundry:port
    --package, -p  Path to the package.json to build.
    --npm, -n      npm package to build (e.g. "pg@2.7.0").
    --engine, -e   Version of node.js to request build against.  [default: "0.8.x"]
    --input, -i    Expects streaming input from stdin
    --url, -u      URL to the remote module-foundry server       [required]
    --remote, -r   Remote file location to upload to
    --file, -f     Path to local tarball to receive
    --command, -c  npm command to run [build, install]           [default: "build"]
    --help, -h     Display this message

Streaming tarball builds

It is possible to stream tarball builds to module-foundry using npm pack. Using npm pack ensures that all bundledDependencies are included in the tarball you send to module-foundry.

Packaging your application or module

  $ npm pack my-app/
  # ... 
  npm info ok

Sending your tarball to module-foundry

  cat my-app-1.0.0.tgz | foundry-build -u 'http://localhost:1337' -p my-app/package.json -f my-app-built.tgz -i

Supporting native modules

Installing module-foundry is easy with npm:

  npm install -g module-foundry

but: ensuring that module-foundry works for all native modules on the other hand is quite difficult. We have done our best efforts to document the differences between Linux, SmartOS, and Windows:

At nodejitsu, we run module-foundry on SmartOS. We have, however, tested module-foundry against other platforms for the most popular native Node.js modules:

#  npm git  dep pkg
1  8   773  185 ws
2  5   -    172 hiredis
3  8   1052 119 pg
4  7   1336 112 canvas
5  11  717  83  bcrypt
6  1   595  72  websocket
7  5   450  70  sqlite3
8  1   71   67  phantomjs
9  1   802  63  serialport
10 4   325  59  libxmljs
11 2   1017 58  fibers
12 2   234  56  iconv
13 2   -    48  node-expat
14 3   669  42  zmq
15 5   70   38  leveldown
16 1   127  38  microtime
17 1   407  37  node-sass
18 4   759  36  node-xmpp
19 2   98   36  buffertools
20 0   57   30  ref

Native module dependencies

For each platform of the main Node.js platforms we have created a set of scripts to install the best fit OS packages (e.g. apt, pkgsrc) that will satisfy the native dependencies of the most popular native modules.


Given the manual nature of many of the installers and MSIs for Windows we recommend that you read through the Windows installation instructions which will walk you through the process step-by-step.

SmartOS and Ubuntu

Given the more automated nature of using apt or pkgsrc these installations are relatively straight-forward:

  $ MY_PLATFORM='smartos' # MY_PLATFORM='ubuntu' 
  $ ./module-foundry/scripts/$MY_PLATFORM/
  $ ./module-foundry/scripts/


When using module-foundry over HTTP(S), there is only one route:

POST /build

But this route can be used in several different ways depending on the query string and HTTP headers. This mainly stems from module-foundry being capable of streaming a fully-built tarball or real-time npm logs.

HTTP Headers

  • x-package-json: Partial JSON stringified package.json. Only repository is required, but a full package.json is recommended.

Query string options

  • npm-command: Valid npm command to run when building the module. Valid values are install and build. If non-valid values are supplied then the default install is used.
  • stream: If set to true, then the fully built tarball is streamed back to the HTTP(S) request instead of npm build logs. (Defaults to false)
  • webhook: Remote HTTP(S) location to POST the fully built tarball to. (Defaults to null)
  • cpu: Target CPU to build against. Valid values are x86 or x64. If non-valid values are supplied, then the default is used.

Request body data

Should send a application/tar+gzip (.tgz) file directly as data, not as a multipart upload. This archive should include a package/ prefix for all the source like npm pack does. The build will be placed in a build/ prefix, inside of the build/ prefix a couple of log related files will be present, the actual module will be placed in build/module/

Configuration available

Fine tuning your build process is important. With module-foundry there are a number of options available to help you change things like:

  • What node versions are acceptable build targets.
  • HTTP(S) interfaces and ports.
  • Default environment variables to pass to npm.
  • And more!

There are a number of sample configuration files:

Here's a full list of all available configuration options.


  • spawning.user: User to spawn build process as
  • Group to spawn build process with
  • spawning.env: Environmental variables to spawn build process with (can be overridden by plugins)
  • spawning.versions: List of versions to support
  • spawning.platform: Override platform build target
  • spawning.cpu: Override target platform architecture (e.g. x86 or x64).


  • defaults: Group of default options
  • defaults.env: Default environment variables to set on the running npm process.
  • defaults.expand: Default environment variables to append to the running module-foundry process' environment variable value(s).
  • The node version to suggest when determining which version to use for the build process

HTTP(S) & Authorization


  • unauthorized: Group of options related to when authorization fails
  • unauthorized.ok: Allow all privilege requests to succede
  • authorization: Groups of properties related to authorization
  • authorization.header: What the authorization header from http requests must match exactly.


  • http.address: IP address to bind the HTTP server to. (Defaults to ::1)
  • http.port: Port to listen on. (Defaults to 80)


  • https.address: IP address to bind the HTTPS server to. (Defaults to ::1)
  • https.port: Port for the HTTPS server to listen on. (Defaults to 443)

Platform & Architecture

platform A platform is any valid value from this set: windows, linux, sunos, darwin.

  • platform.{{platform}}.env: Sets these environment variables on the npm process on the specified platform.
  • platform.{{platform}}.expand: Appends these environment variables to the running module-foundry process' environment variable value(s) on the specified platform.


An architecture is any valid value from this set: x86, or x64.

  • arch.{{arch}}.env: Sets these environment variables on the npm process on the specified architecture.
  • arch.{{arch}}.expand: Appends these environment variables to the running module-foundry process' environment variable value(s) on the specified architecture.


module-foundry uses understudy to provide Javascript probes to alter it's behavior.

HTTP Probes

  • http.incoming (HttpRequest, HttpResponse, next): When an http request arrives, this could be from any server module-foundry was told to listen on
  • http.authorization (HttpRequest, HttpResponse, next): When trying to determine if a request is authorized, set HttpRequest.authorization appropriately
  • http.authorized (HttpRequest, HttpResponse, next): When a request has been determined to be routed according to authorized principles
  • http.unauthorized (HttpRequest, HttpResponse, next): When a request has been determined to be routed according to unauthorized principles

Build (module-smith) Probes

Building is deferred to another actor, the BuildBot, which is an instance of module-smith please refer to it's probes as well.

  • build.create (BuildBot, next): When you want to hook up to a new BuildBot

BuildBot Probes

These probes are emitted in this order.

  1. build.configure (err, JobDescription): When you want to edit the overall configuration of a build. The repository property matches the options used by checkout.
  2. npm.configure (err, JobDescription): When you want to edit the options when spawning npm.
  3. npm.package (err, JobDescription, package): When you want to modify something in the package.json that will be rewritten to disk. This is very useful for modifying absolute paths in .scripts
  4. npm.spawned (JobDescription, builderProcess): For hooking up directly to npm output.
  5. build.output (err, JobDescription, stream): Full build output. Use the stream to pipe to additional targets.

#### Copyright (C) 2012 Charlie Robbins, Bradley Meck, and the Contributors #### Contributors: [Bradley Meck](, [Charlie Robbins]( #### License: MIT

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