1.3.0 • Public • Published

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Command line tool to locally run and deploy your node.js application to Amazon Lambda.

Node CI NPM version

$ node-lambda run


With npx:

$ npx node-lambda@latest [COMMAND]

Globally installed:

$ npm install -g node-lambda

Example App

Example apps make it easy to get up and running


There are 4 available commands.

$ npx node-lambda@latest setup
$ npx node-lambda@latest run
$ npx node-lambda@latest package
$ npx node-lambda@latest deploy



Initializes the event.json, context.json, .env, deploy.env files, and event_sources.json files. event.json is where you mock your event. context.json is where you can add additional mock data to the context passed to your lambda function. .env is where you place your deployment configuration. deploy.env has the same format as .env, but is used for holding any environment/config variables that you need to be deployed with your code to Lambda but you don't want in version control (e.g. DB connection info). event_sources.json is used to set the event source of the Lambda function (Not all event sources available in Lambda are supported).

$ npx node-lambda@latest setup --help

Usage: setup [options]

Sets up the .env file.

  -h, --help                        output usage information
  -j, --eventFile [event.json]      Event JSON File
  -x, --contextFile [context.json]  Context JSON File

After running setup, it's a good idea to gitignore the generated event.json and .env files, as well as .lambda.

$ echo -e ".env\ndeploy.env\nevent.json\n.lambda" >> .gitignore
Deploy env variables
PACKAGE_MANAGER            // (default: 'npm')
AWS_ENVIRONMENT            // (default: '')
AWS_ENDPOINT               // (default: '')
CONFIG_FILE                // (default: '')
EVENT_SOURCE_FILE          // (default: '')
EXCLUDE_GLOBS              // (default: '')
AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID          // (default: not set!)
AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY      // (default: not set!)
AWS_PROFILE =              // (default: '')
AWS_SESSION_TOKEN =        // (default: '')
AWS_REGION =               // (default: 'us-east-1,us-west-2,eu-west-1')
AWS_FUNCTION_NAME          // (default: or 'UnnamedFunction')
AWS_HANDLER                // (default: 'index.handler')
AWS_ROLE_ARN || AWS_ROLE   // (default: 'missing')
AWS_MEMORY_SIZE            // (default: 128)
AWS_TIMEOUT                // (default: 60)
AWS_RUN_TIMEOUT            // (default: 3)
AWS_ARCHITECTURE           // (default: 'x86_64')
AWS_DESCRIPTION            // (default: package.json.description or '')
AWS_RUNTIME                // (default: 'nodejs16.x')
AWS_PUBLISH                // (default: false)
AWS_FUNCTION_VERSION       // (default: '')
AWS_VPC_SUBNETS            // (default: '')
AWS_VPC_SECURITY_GROUPS    // (default: '')
AWS_TRACING_CONFIG         // (default: '')
AWS_LAYERS                 // (default: '')
EVENT_FILE                 // (default: 'event.json')
PACKAGE_DIRECTORY          // (default: not set)
CONTEXT_FILE               // (default: 'context.json')
PREBUILT_DIRECTORY         // (default: '')
SRC_DIRECTORY              // (default: '')
DEPLOY_TIMEOUT             // (default: '120000')
DOCKER_IMAGE               // (default: '')
DEPLOY_ZIPFILE             // (default: '')
DEPLOY_USE_S3              // (default: false)
IMAGE_URI                  // (default: '')
AWS_DLQ_TARGET_ARN         // (default: not set)
AWS_TAGS                   // (default: '')


Runs your Amazon Lambda index.js file locally. Passes event.json data to the Amazon Lambda event object.

$ npx node-lambda@latest run --help
Usage: node-lambda run|execute [options]

Run your Amazon Lambda application locally

  -H, --handler [AWS_HANDLER]                                 Lambda Handler {index.handler} (default: "index.handler")
  -j, --eventFile [EVENT_FILE]                                Event JSON File (default: "event.json")
  -u, --runtime [AWS_RUNTIME]                                 Lambda Runtime (default: "nodejs16.x")
  -t, --timeout [AWS_RUN_TIMEOUT]                             Lambda Timeout (default: 3)
  -f, --configFile [CONFIG_FILE]                              Path to file holding secret environment variables (e.g. "deploy.env") (default: "")
  -x, --contextFile [CONTEXT_FILE]                            Context JSON File (default: "context.json")
  -M, --enableRunMultipleEvents [ENABLE_RUN_MULTIPLE_EVENTS]  Enable run multiple events (default: true)
  -y, --proxy [PROXY]                                         Proxy server (default: "")
  --apiGateway                                                Convert to API Gateway events (default: false)
  -h, --help                                                  display help for command


Bundles your application into a local zip file.

$ npx node-lambda@latest package --help
Usage: node-lambda package|zip [options]

Create zipped package for Amazon Lambda deployment

  --packageManager [PACKAGE_MANAGER]            Package manager used to install dependencies (default: "npm", options: "npm", "yarn")
  -A, --packageDirectory [PACKAGE_DIRECTORY]    Local Package Directory
  -I, --dockerImage [DOCKER_IMAGE]              Docker image for npm ci (default: "")
  -n, --functionName [AWS_FUNCTION_NAME]        Lambda FunctionName (default: "node-lambda")
  -H, --handler [AWS_HANDLER]                   Lambda Handler {index.handler} (default: "index.handler")
  -e, --environment [AWS_ENVIRONMENT]           Choose environment {dev, staging, production} (default: "")
  -x, --excludeGlobs [EXCLUDE_GLOBS]            Space-separated glob pattern(s) for additional exclude files (e.g.
                                                "event.json dotenv.sample") (default: "")
  -D, --prebuiltDirectory [PREBUILT_DIRECTORY]  Prebuilt directory (default: "")
  -m, --keepNodeModules [KEEP_NODE_MODULES]     Keep the current node_modules directory. (default: false)
  -v, --dockerVolumes [DOCKER_VOLUMES]          Additional docker volumes to mount. Each volume definition has to be
                                                separated by a space (e.g. "$HOME/.gitconfig:/etc/gitconfig
                                                $HOME/.ssh:/root/.ssh") (default: "")
  --no-optionalDependencies                     Run `npm install` with `--no-optional`
  -h, --help                                    display help for command


Bundles and deploys your application up to Amazon Lambda.

$ npx node-lambda@latest deploy --help
Usage: node-lambda deploy [options]

Deploy your application to Amazon Lambda

  --packageManager [PACKAGE_MANAGER]                    Package manager used to install dependencies (default: "npm", options: "npm", "yarn")
  -e, --environment [AWS_ENVIRONMENT]                   Choose environment {dev, staging, production} (default: "")
  -E, --endpoint [AWS_ENDPOINT]                         Choose endpoint (e.g. localstack, "") (default: "")
  -a, --accessKey [AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID]                   AWS Access Key
  -s, --secretKey [AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY]               AWS Secret Key
  -P, --profile [AWS_PROFILE]                           AWS Profile (default: "")
  -k, --sessionToken [AWS_SESSION_TOKEN]                AWS Session Token (default: "")
  -r, --region [AWS_REGION]                             AWS Region (default: "us-east-1,us-west-2,eu-west-1")
  -n, --functionName [AWS_FUNCTION_NAME]                Lambda FunctionName (default: "node-lambda")
  -H, --handler [AWS_HANDLER]                           Lambda Handler {index.handler} (default: "index.handler")
  -o, --role [AWS_ROLE]                                 Amazon Role ARN (default: "missing")
  -m, --memorySize [AWS_MEMORY_SIZE]                    Lambda Memory Size (default: 128)
  -t, --timeout [AWS_TIMEOUT]                           Lambda Timeout (default: 60)
  --architecture [AWS_ARCHITECTURE]                     The instruction set architecture that the function supports.  (x86_64|arm64) (default: "x86_64")
  -d, --description [AWS_DESCRIPTION]                   Lambda Description (default: "Command line tool for locally running and remotely deploying your node.js applications to Amazon Lambda.")
  -u, --runtime [AWS_RUNTIME]                           Lambda Runtime (default: "nodejs16.x")
  -p, --publish [AWS_PUBLISH]                           Lambda Publish (default: false)
  -L, --lambdaVersion [AWS_FUNCTION_VERSION]            Lambda Function Version (default: "")
  -b, --vpcSubnets [AWS_VPC_SUBNETS]                    Lambda Function VPC Subnet IDs (comma delimited) (default: "")
  -g, --vpcSecurityGroups [AWS_VPC_SECURITY_GROUPS]     Lambda VPC Security Group IDs (comma delimited) (default: "")
  -K, --kmsKeyArn [AWS_KMS_KEY_ARN]                     Lambda KMS Key ARN (default: "")
  -Q, --deadLetterConfigTargetArn [AWS_DLQ_TARGET_ARN]  Lambda DLQ resource
  -c, --tracingConfig [AWS_TRACING_CONFIG]              Lambda tracing settings (default: "")
  -l, --layers [AWS_LAYERS]                             Lambda Layers settings (e.g. "ARN1,ARN2[,..])" (default: "")
  -R, --retentionInDays [AWS_LOGS_RETENTION_IN_DAYS]    CloudWatchLogs retentionInDays settings (default: "")
  -G, --sourceDirectory [SRC_DIRECTORY]                 Path to lambda source Directory (e.g. "./some-lambda") (default: "")
  -I, --dockerImage [DOCKER_IMAGE]                      Docker image for npm ci (default: "")
  -f, --configFile [CONFIG_FILE]                        Path to file holding secret environment variables (e.g. "deploy.env") (default: "")
  -S, --eventSourceFile [EVENT_SOURCE_FILE]             Path to file holding event source mapping variables (e.g. "event_sources.json") (default: "")
  -x, --excludeGlobs [EXCLUDE_GLOBS]                    Space-separated glob pattern(s) for additional exclude files (e.g. "event.json dotenv.sample") (default: "")
  -D, --prebuiltDirectory [PREBUILT_DIRECTORY]          Prebuilt directory (default: "")
  -T, --deployTimeout [DEPLOY_TIMEOUT]                  Deploy Timeout (default: 120000)
  -z, --deployZipfile [DEPLOY_ZIPFILE]                  Deploy zipfile (default: "")
  -B, --deployUseS3 [DEPLOY_USE_S3]                     Use S3 to deploy. (default: false)
  -i, --imageUri [IMAGE_URI]                            URI of a container image in the Amazon ECR registry. (default: "")
  -y, --proxy [PROXY]                                   Proxy server (default: "")
  -A, --tags [AWS_TAGS]                                 Tags as key value pairs (e.g. "tagname1=tagvalue1,tagname2=tagvalue2)" (default: "")
  --silent                                              Silent  or  quiet mode (default: false)
  --no-optionalDependencies                             Run `npm install` with `--no-optional`
  -h, --help                                            display help for command

If you are deploying to a custom endpoint you may also need to pass in an access key/secret. For localstack these can be anything, but cannot be blank:

npx node-lambda@latest deploy --endpoint http://localhost:4574 --accessKey '1234' --secretKey '1234'

Custom Environment Variables

AWS Lambda will let you set environment variables for your function. Use the sample deploy.env file in combination with the --configFile flag to set values which will be added to the lambda configuration upon deploy. Environment variables will also be set when running locally using the same flag

Node.js Runtime Configuration

AWS Lambda now supports Node.js 20, Node.js 18 and Node.js 16. Please also check the Lambda runtimes page.

Use S3 to deploy

Use the command line argument --deployUseS3 or -B. (This option is true/false.) Example: % npx node-lambda@latest deploy -B

You can also set the environment variable DEPLOY_USE_S3. Example: DEPLOY_USE_S3=true

Use the environment variable to set the bucket name or S3 key prefix. The environment variable name is different for each region. Please set it to the environment variable you want to deploy. It can be set in .env.


# S3_<region>_BUCKET

# S3_<region>_PREFIX

In this case, the S3 key: test_aaa/bbb/deploy-package-${FunctionName}.zip

To deploy a container image to Lambda

  1. Pushing a Docker image to ECR
  2. Specify the Image URI of the ECR with the environment variable:IMAGE_URI or --imageUri option, and deploy.

Post install script

When running node-lambda deploy if you need to do some action after npm install --production and before deploying to AWS Lambda (e.g. replace some modules with precompiled ones or download some libraries, replace some config file depending on environment) you can create script. If the file exists the script will be executed (and output shown after execution) if not it is skipped. Environment string is passed to script as first parameter so you can use it if needed. Make sure that the script is executable.


printf "\n\n######  Post install script  ###### \n"
if [ ! -z $1 ]
cp -v "config_$ENV.js" "config.js" \
&& printf "######  DONE!  ###### \n\n"

Post invoke script (example)

If you wish to invoke your deployed AWS Lambda function, you can add the following as a script to your package.json:

"invoke:remote": "aws lambda invoke --function-name myLambdaFnName --payload fileb://fixtures/hi.json invoked.json --log-type Tail | jq -r '.LogResult' | base64 --decode && rm invoked.json"

Prebuilt packages

The --prebuiltDirectory flag is useful for working with Webpack for example. It skips npm install --production and and simply packages the specified directory.

Handling npm link and Dependencies With Local Paths

Perhaps the easiest way to handle these cases is to bundle the code using Webpack and use the --prebuiltDirectory flag to package the output for deployment.


Optional Parameter

When using the eventSourceFile flag (-S or --eventSourceFile) to set a ScheduleEvent trigger, you can pass an optional ScheduleDescription key into the ScheduleEvent object with a custom description for the CloudWatch event rule you are defining. By default, node-lambda generates a ScheduleDescription for you based on the ScheduleName and ScheduleExpression of the rule.

Note on ScheduleState for ScheduleEvents

When setting ScheduleState to ENABLED or DISABLED for ScheduleEvents, it is useful to note that this sets the state of the CloudWatch Event rule but DOES NOT set the state of the trigger for the Lambda function you are deploying; ScheduleEvent triggers are enabled by default in the Lambda console when added using the eventSourceFile flag.

Known Issue

Duplicate ScheduleEvent Triggers

If you are adding a trigger via the eventSourceFile for the first time, remove preexisting triggers from the Lambda console before deploying. Deploying a Lambda with the --eventSourceFile flag will NOT overwrite the same triggers created from the AWS console and may result in a duplicate triggers for the same rule.


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Added some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request

Coding style

This project uses JavaScript Standard Style.

JavaScript Style Guide

Running tests

$ npm install
$ npm test

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