nar

node.js application archive

nar

nar is a simple and idiomatic application packager utility for node/io.js to create self-contained executable applications that are ready-to-ship-and-run

It provides built-in support for creating, extracting, installing and running applications easily from a simple configuration through a featured command-line interface or full asynchronous event-based programmatic API

It could be good solution for distributing, running and testing public or private node applications that are outside of the npm ecosystem

Questions? Read the FAQs or open an issue

  • Simple and featured command-line interface
  • Easy-to-use asynchronous programmatic API
  • Fully configurable from package.json
  • Supports pre/post run hooks based on npm scripts
  • Can download and run archives from remote servers
  • Can install archives from local and remote servers (like npm does)
  • Can embed global dependencies
  • Can embed dependencies by type
  • Can embed node/io.js binary, supporting multiple versions
  • Can install archives like npm does
  • Can create archives like plain binaries (fully self-contained)
  • Integrable in your development workflow through Grunt or Gulp
  • Uses tarball bitstream with gzip compression/decompression
  • Transparent file checksum integrity verification

It's recommended you to install nar as global package

npm install -g nar

If you want to use the programmatic API, install it as package dependency

npm install nar --save[-dev]

Creating a new archive (reading metadata from package.json)

nar create

Extracting archive files

nar extract app-0.1.0.nar

Running an application archive

nar run app-0.1.0.nar

Installing nar archive (default to node_modules)

nar install app-0.1.0.nar --save[-dev]

Installing from remote server is also supported

nar install http://server.net/app-0.1.0.nar --save[-dev]

nar also provides support for creating executables binary-like archives which has node/io.js binary embedded, and therefore, is not required to have it already installed in the target OS

This is a useful feature when you need to deploy or test node applications in fresh or isolated servers

Create the executable:

nar create --executable
> Creates: myapp-0.1.0-linux-x64.nar

Then you can run it as simple as:

chmod +x myapp-0.1.0-linux-x64.nar
./myapp-0.1.0-linux-x64.nar start --args-start='--port 8080 --env dev'

If you need to pass custom arguments to your application, instead of use the --args-start flag, you could use the exec command directly

./myapp-0.1.0-linux-x64.tar exec --port 8080 --env dev

You can also embed a custom node binary per platform, processor architecture and version

nar create --executable --os darwin --arch x64 --node 0.12.0
nar create --executable --os darwin --arch x64 --io 1.1.0

Supported platforms:

  • linux (x86, x64, armv7l)
  • darwin (x86, x64, armv7l)
  • sunos (x86, x64, armv7l)

Note: armv7l is only available in io.js and linux platform

Supported node versions:

  • 0.8.x
  • 0.9.x
  • 0.10.x
  • 0.11.x
  • 0.12.x

Supported io.js versions:

  • 1.x.x
  • 2.x.x

Help: you can build and distribute nar executables with auto installer using the installer script

Example package.json with full configuration

{
  "name": "my-package",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "archive": {
    "dependencies": true,
    "devDependencies": false,
    "globalDependencies": ["npm", "bower", "http-server"],
    "patterns": ["**", "!test/**"]
  },
  "scripts": {
    "start": "node app --env ${ENV}"
  },
  "dependencies": {
    "some": "~0.1.0"
  }
}

Following options can be declared in your application package.json as properties members of the archive object

Type: boolean Default: true

Include runtime dependencies in the archive, loaded from package.json

Type: boolean Default: false

Include development dependencies in the archive, loaded from package.json

Type: boolean Default: true

Include peer dependencies in the archive, loaded from package.json

Type: array Default: null

Include global dependencies in the archive. It should define an array of strings with packages names

nar will resolve global installed packages (via requireg) and will add them to the archive

Global dependencies will be placed in .node/lib/node on archive extraction and them will be available both via require and PATH environment variable (for binary files)

Type: boolean Default: false

Include the node binary in the nar archive. This is useful when you want to deploy a fully self-contained application which works in a sandboxed runtime environment

The included node binary will be, by default, the same as the used when your create the archive (taken from process.execPath)

Hooks scripts that requires node will use the self-contained binary inside the archive. It will be accessible via PATH environment variable. If you want to use node from package.json hook scripts, you could simply use: node script.js

Note: the node binary is OS and platform specific. Take this into account if you are going to deploy the archive in multiple platforms

Type: string Default: process.execPath

Custom node binary path to add into the archive

You must define the binary option as true in order to apply this. You can use interpolated environment variables expressions in this option, like ${HOME}/binaries/node

Aditionally, you can also define the binaryPath value from the NAR_BINARY environment variable

Type: boolean Default: true

Enable/disable ignore-like files processing in order to load files patterns to discard from the archive

Type: array Default: ['**']

Glob patterns for matching files to include or exclude in the archive. OS level specific hidden files such as .DS_Store or Thumbs.db will be ignored by default

Aditionally, nar will ignore matched patterns defined in ignore-like files

nar supports application pre/post execution hooks, that are also supported by npm

You should define them from package.json in the scripts member (see npm scripts)

Supported hooks (by execution order):

  • prestart
  • start
  • stop
  • poststop

Configuration example:

{
  "name": "app",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "scripts": {
    "prestart": "mkdir -p temp/logs",
    "start": "node app --env ${ENV}",
    "stop" "rm -rf cache"
  }
}

You can consum environment variables from hook comands using the ${VARNAME} notation

nar will expose the NODE_NAR environment variable in the hooks execution contexts and node application

You can make any environment runtime checks if your application needs a different behavior dependending of the runtime environment

nar will find ignore-like files in order to load and match patterns of files to discard

Supported files by priority are (the first one found implies to ignore other ones):

  • .narignore
  • .buildignore
  • .npmignore
  • .gitignore
Usage: nar [options] [command]
 
Commands:
 
  help
    Output usage information
  create [options] [path]
    Create a nar archive
  extract [options] <archive>
    Extract archive
  run [options] <archive>
    Run archive files
  list [options] <archive>
    List archive files
  install [options] <archive>
    Install archive
  get [options] <url>
    Download archive from HTTP server
 
Options:
 
  -h, --help     output usage information
  -V, --version  output the version number
 
Usage examples:
 
  $ nar create
  $ nar run app.nar
  $ nar extract app.nar -o some/dir
  $ nar list app.nar
  $ nar install app.nar --save
  $ nar get http://server.net/app.nar
 
Command specific help:
 
  $ nar <command> --help

Alias: c build

Create a new archive from an existent application

$ nar create
$ nar create some/path --debug
$ nar create path/to/package.json -o some/dir
$ nar create --dev-dependencies --global-dependencies 'npm, grunt-cli'
$ nar create --omit-dependencies
$ nar create --verbose
$ nar create --executable

Alias: e

Extract archive files into directory

$ nar extract
$ nar extract app.nar
$ nar extract app.nar -o some-dir
$ nar extract app.nar --debug

Alias: x start

Run nar archive application

$ nar run app.nar
$ nar run app.nar --no-hooks
$ nar run app.nar --no-clean --debug
$ nar run app.nar --verbose
$ nar run app.nar --args-start '--env ${ENV}'
$ nar run app.nar --args-stop '--path ${PATH}'
$ nar run http://server.net/app.nar

Alias: i

Install nar archive as dependency (defaults to node_modules)

$ nar install app.nar --save
$ nar install app.nar -o some/dir --save-dev
$ nar install app.nar --debug
$ nar install http://server.net/app-0.1.0.nar
$ nar install -g http://server.net/app-0.1.0.nar

Alias: g download

Download a remote archive

$ nar get http://server.net/app.nar
$ nar get http://server.net/app.nar --user john --password pa$s
$ nar get http://server.net/app.nar --proxy http://proxy:3128
$ nar get http://server.net/app.nar --strict-ssl --timeout 60000

Alias: l show

List files from archive

$ nar list app.nar
$ nar list app.nar --no-table

nar provides a full featured programmatic API designed to easy to use from other node applications

The API is full asynchronous event based

var nar = require('nar')
 
var options = {
  path: 'my/package.json', // defaults to ./package.json 
  dest: 'build/', // defaults to current directory 
  binary: true, // embed node binary to use it when run the archive 
  dependencies: true, // embed dependencies declared in package.json 
  devDependencies: true, // the same for dev dependencies 
  globalDependencies: ['npm', 'grunt-cli'] // and for globals :) 
}
 
try {
  nar.create(options)
    .on('error', function (err) {
      throw err
    })
    .on('info', function (nar) {
      console.log(nar.name)
    })
    .on('entry', function (file) {
      console.log('Adding file:', file.name)
    })
    .on('end', function (path) {
      console.log('Archive created in:', path)
    })
} catch (e) {
  console.error('Cannot create the archive:', e.message)
}

Fired events: end, error, entry, archive, message, info, start

Create new archive based a the given package.json and additional defined options

You can pass any configuration options and the following options:

  • path string Path to package.json or application directory. Required
  • dest string Extract destination path. Default to random temporal directory
  • file string Archive file name. Default to package name + version, taken from package.json
  • patterns array List of glob patterns to match files to include or exclude. See node-glob

Same as nar.create(), but this generate an executable binary-like archive

Aditional executable options supported are:

  • os string Node.js OS binary platform to embed. Detault to runtime OS
  • arch string Node.js OS binary architecture to embed. Default to runtime OS arch
  • node string Node.js version to embed. Default to the current node runtime version

Fired events: end, error, entry, archive, message, info, start

Extract archive files into an output directory

  • path string Path to nar archive. Required
  • dest string Extract destination path. Default to random temporal directory
  • tmpdir string Temporal directory to use. Default to random temporal directory

Fired events: end, error, entry, archive, command, info, start, stdout, stderr, exit

Read, extract and run an application. It will read command scripts hooks in package.json

  • path string Path to nar archive. Required
  • dest string Extract destination path. Defaults to random temporal directory
  • args object Aditional argument to pass to hooks. Keys must have the same hook name
  • hooks boolean Enable/disable run command hooks. Defaults to true
  • clean boolean Clean app directory on exit. Defaults to true

Options: path

Fired events: end, error, entry

Read and parse a given .nar archive, emitting the entry event for each existent file

  • path string Path to nar archive. Required

Fired events: end, download, downloadEnd, error, entry, start, progress

Install archive as dependency in node_modules directory. It can aditionally download the archive from remote server

  • path string Path to nar archive. Required if url is empty
  • url string URL to download the archive. Required if path is empty
  • filename string Downloaded filename. Defaults taken from URI path
  • dest string Install destination path. Defaults to random node_modules
  • clean boolean Clean downloaded archive after install. Defaults to true
  • proxy string Proxy server URL. Default taken from environment variable http_proxy
  • auth object user and password for HTTP basic authentication
  • timeout number HTTP request timeout in ms. Defaults to 10000
  • headers object Define aditional HTTP request headers
  • strictSSL boolean Performs HTTP request with valid SSL servers. Defaults to false
  • save boolean Save installed package as runtime dependency in package.json. Default to false
  • saveDev boolean Save installed package as development dependency in package.json. Default to false
  • savePeer boolean Save installed package as peer dependency in package.json. Default to false
  • global boolean Install package as global dependency. Default to false

Alias: download

Fired events: end, error, download, progress

Download archive from remote server. It supports basic HTTP authentication and proxy

  • path string Path to nar archive. Required if url is empty
  • url string URL to download the archive. Required if path is empty
  • dest string Install destination path. Defaults to random node_modules
  • filename string Downloaded filename. Defaults taken from URI path
  • clean boolean Clean downloaded archive after install. Defaults to true
  • proxy string Proxy server URL. Default taken from environment variable http_proxy
  • auth object user and password for HTTP basic authentication
  • timeout number HTTP request timeout in ms. Defaults to 10000
  • strictSSL boolean Performs HTTP request with valid SSL servers. Defaults to false

Type: string

Complete list of available events for subscription

  • end ([result]) Task was completed successfully
  • error (error) Some error happens and task cannot be completed
  • entry (entry) On read/write file, usually fired from file streams
  • archive (archive) Emit the archive that is being processed
  • message (message) General information status message, useful for debugging purposes
  • download () Starts a download process
  • command (command) Hook command to execute when run an application
  • info (config) Expose the nar archive config
  • start (command) On application start hook command
  • stdout (string) Command execution stdout entry. Emits on every chunk of data
  • stderr (string) Command execution stderr entry. Emits on every chunk of data
  • exit (code, hook) When a hook command process ends

nar archives are just a tarball containers with gzip compression. It's equivalent to a file with tar.gz extension, so you can extract it with tar, 7zip or file compression tools ans inspect the archive contents

Example using tar

$ tar xvfz app-0.1.0.nar

Note: this is not applied for nar executables, since they have another format and not just a tarball file interface

No. From version 0.3.0 you can create executable binary-like applications containers and there is no more required to have previously installed node or nar in order to run, install or extract an application

You can create an executable archive simply passing a flag

$ nar create --executable

Then you could run it like a binary:

$ ./app-0.1.0-linux-x64.nar [run|extract|install] [options]

If you don't create your archive with this option, you must to have nar (and consequently node) installed in the target computer

No. nar executables only can run in POSIX operative systems (GNU/Linux, Darwin or SunOS)

Is not planned to support it due to technical limitations in Windows OS

V8 JavaScript engine (which node uses) has a heap memory limit of 1 GB. This is teorically the maximum fize limit, however, it can variadic depend on the number of files and its sizes, and also based on your machine memory resources and OS (if you are running Windows) when creating, running or extracting nar archives

However, nar was tested in real projects creating archives which contains thousands of files and which the generated archive has more than 100 MB of file size

The node binary that is begin used when the nar archive is created

To be exactly, the binary that process.execPath points to

That means, if you create an executable archive in OSX and then deploy it into a GNU/Linux server, it will fail. If you want to create a nar archive for different OS, you must create a nar executable passing the target OS and, optionally, the processor architecture or node.js version, like this:

nar create --executable --os linux --arch x64 --node 0.11.9

When you use the run command, if the archive you are running has a node binary embedded and therefore it was created with the binary option set true, your application will use it transparently

One of the following types will be valid:

  • application/x-gzip
  • aplication/x-compress
  • application/x-compressed
  • application/octet-stream

Of course. You could use both methods:

Passing credentials via optional flags:

$ nar get https://server.net/archive.nar --user john --password p@s$

Or using the HTTP_USER and HTTP_PASSWORD environment variables

$ HTTP_USER=john HTTP_PASSWORD=p@s$ nar get https://server.net/archive.nar

Wanna help? Cool! It will be really apreciated :)

nar is completely written in LiveScript language. Take a look to the language documentation if you are new with it. and follow the LiveScript language conventions defined in the coding style guide

You must add new test cases for any new feature or refactor you do, always following the same design/code patterns that already exist

Only node.js is required for development

Clone/fork this repository

$ git clone https://github.com/h2non/nar.git && cd nar

Install dependencies

$ npm install

Compile code

$ make compile

Run tests

$ make test

Publish a new version

$ make publish

MIT © Tomas Aparicio