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) {
        x = require("./ver1.js");
    } else {
        x = 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',
    output: 'path/to/bin',
    nodeVersion: '0.12.5',
    nodeTempDir: 'src',
    python: 'path/to/python',
    resourceFiles: [ 'path/to/a/file' ],
    flags: true,
    framework: "nodejs"
}, function(err) {

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.

"nexe": {
    "input": "./bin/nexe",
    "output": "nexe^$",
    "temp": "src",
    "runtime": {
        "framework": "iojs",
        "version": "2.3.1",
        "ignoreFlags": true


  • output: can use ^$ for platform specific file extension