create single executables out of your [node/io].js applications

Nexe is a command-line utility that compiles your Node.js application into a single executable file.

  • Ability to run multiple applications with different node.js runtimes.
  • Distributable binaries without needing node / npm.
  • Starts faster.
  • Lockdown specific application versions, and easily rollback.
  • Faster deployments.
  • Linux / Mac / BSD / Windows
  • Python 2.6 or 2.7 (use --python if not in PATH)
  • Windows: Visual Studio 2010+
  • Use the techniques below for working around dynamic require statements to exclude the module from the bundling, and deploy along side the executable in a node_module folder so your app can find it. Note: On windows you may need to have your app be named node.exe if .node file depends on node.

Such As:

var x = require(someVar);

In this case nexe won't bundle the file

var x;
if (someCheck) {
= require("./ver1.js");
} else {
= require("./var2.js");

In this case nexe will bundle both files.


  1. for dynamic requires that you want bundled add the following into your project
var dummyToForceIncludeForBundle = false;
if (dummyToForceIncludeForBundle) {
// ... 

this will trick the bundler into including them.

  1. for dynamic files getting included that you don't want to be
var moduleName = "./ver2.js";
if (someCheck) {
moduleName = "./ver1.js";
var x = require(moduleName);

Note: neither file will be bundled.

Using these two techniques you can change your application code so modules are not bundles, and generate a includes.js file as part of your build process so that the right files get bundled for your build configuration.

Once the module is bundled it is part of the executable. __dirname is therefore the executable dir (process.execPath). Thus if you put resources on a relative path from the the executable your app will be able to access them.

If you had a data file at /dev/myNodeApp/stateManager/handler/data/some.csv and a file at /dev/myNodeApp/stateManager/handler/loader.js

module.exports = fw.readFileSync(path.join(__dirname, "./data/some.csv"));

You would need to deploy some.csv in a sub dir data/ along side your executable

There are potential use cases for __dirname where the executable path is not the correct substitution, and could result in a silent error (possibly even in a dependency that you are unaware of).

Note: __filename will be 'undefined'

child_process.spawn works is unmodified, but child_process.fork will make an attempt to launch a new instance of your executable and run the bundled module.

Via NPM:

npm install nexe [-g]

Or git:

git clone
Usage: nexe -i [sources] -o [binary] [options]
-i, --input    The entry javascript files         [default: cwd]
-o, --output   The output binary                  [default: out.nex]
-r, --runtime  The node.js runtime to use         [default: "latest"]
-t, --temp     The path to store node.js sources  [default: ./tmp/nexe]
-f, --flags    Don't parse node and v8 flags, pass through app flags  [default: false]
-v, --version  Display version number
-p, --python   Set path of python to use.         [default: "python"]
-F, --framework Set the framework to use.          [default: "nodejs"]
var nexe = require('nexe');
input: 'input.js', // where the input file is 
output: 'path/to/bin', // where to output the compiled binary 
nodeVersion: '5.5.0', // node version 
nodeTempDir: 'src', // where to store node source. 
nodeConfigureArgs: ['opt', 'val'], // for all your configure arg needs. 
nodeMakeArgs: ["-j", "4"], // when you want to control the make process. 
python: 'path/to/python', // for non-standard python setups. Or python 3.x forced ones. 
resourceFiles: [ 'path/to/a/file' ], // array of files to embed. 
flags: true, // use this for applications that need command line flags. 
jsFlags: "--use_strict", // v8 flags 
framework: "node" // node, nodejs, or iojs 
}, function(err) {
if(err) {
return console.log(err);
 // do whatever 

As of 0.4.0 you can now embed nexe options into package.json. Note that this Format is still in works, so it is likely to change.

"input": "./bin/nexe",
"output": "nexe^$",
"temp": "src",
"runtime": {
"framework": "node",
"version": "5.5.0",
"js-flags": "--use_strict",
"ignoreFlags": true


  • output: can use ^$ for platform specific file extension
  • js-flags: this is also known as v8 flags, and supports all v8 flags.