node package manager


Command line tool for locally running and remotely deploying your node.js applications to Amazon Lambda.



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

BuildStatus NPM version

node-lambda run


npm install -g node-lambda

Example App

The node-lambda-template example app makes it easy to get up and running.


There are 4 available commands.

node-lambda setup
node-lambda run
node-lambda package
node-lambda deploy



Initializes the event.json, context.json, .env files, and deploy.env 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).

$ node-lambda setup --help
  Usage: setup [options]
    -h, --help                     output usage information

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

echo -e ".env\ndeploy.env\nevent.json" >> .gitignore


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

$ node-lambda run --help
  Usage: run [options]
    -h, --help                          Output usage information
    -H, --handler [index.handler]       Lambda Handler {index.handler}
    -j, --eventFile [event.json]        Event JSON File
    -f, --configFile []                 Path to file holding secret environment variables (e.g. "deploy.env")
    -u, --runtime [nodejs4.3]           Lambda Runtime {nodejs4.3, nodejs} - "nodejs4.3" is the current standard, "nodejs" is v0.10.36
    -t, --timeout [3]                   Lambda Timeout in seconds (max of 300)
    -x, --contextFile [context.json]    Context JSON file


Bundles your application into a local zip file.

$ node-lambda package --help
  Usage: package [options]
    -h, --help                          output usage information
    -A, --packageDirectory [build]      Local Package Directory
    -n, --functionName [node-lambda]    Lambda FunctionName
    -H, --handler [index.handler]       Lambda Handler {index.handler}
    -e, --environment [staging]         Choose environment {development, staging, production}
    -f, --configFile []                 Path to file holding secret environment variables (e.g. "deploy.env")
    -x, --excludeGlobs []               Add a space separated list of file(type)s to ignore (e.g. "*.json .env")
    -D, --prebuiltDirectory []          Prebuilt directory


Bundles and deploys your application up to Amazon Lambda.

$ node-lambda deploy --help
  Usage: deploy [options]
    -h, --help                           output usage information
    -e, --environment [staging]          Choose environment {development, staging, production}
    -a, --accessKey [your_key]           AWS Access Key
    -s, --secretKey [your_secret]        AWS Secret Key
    -P, --profile [your_profile]         AWS Profile
    -k, --sessionToken [your_token]      AWS Session Token
    -r, --region [us-east-1]             AWS Region(s)
    -n, --functionName [node-lambda]     Lambda FunctionName
    -H, --handler [index.handler]        Lambda Handler {index.handler}
    -o, --role [your_role]               Amazon Role ARN
    -m, --memorySize [128]               Lambda Memory Size
    -t, --timeout [3]                    Lambda Timeout
    -d, --description [missing]          Lambda Description
    -u, --runtime [nodejs4.3]            Lambda Runtime {nodejs4.3, nodejs} - "nodejs4.3" is the current standard, "nodejs" is v0.10.36
    -p, --publish [false]                This boolean parameter can be used to request AWS Lambda to create the Lambda function and publish a version as an atomic operation
    -L, --lambdaVersion [custom-version] Lambda Version
    -f, --configFile []                  Path to file holding secret environment variables (e.g. "deploy.env")
    -b, --vpcSubnets []                  VPC Subnet ID(s, comma separated list) for your Lambda Function, when using this, the below param is also required
    -g, --vpcSecurityGroups []           VPC Security Group ID(s, comma separated list) for your Lambda Function, when using this, the above param is also required
    -A, --packageDirectory []            Local package directory
    -x, --excludeGlobs []                Add a space separated list of file(type)s to ignore (e.g. "*.json .env")
    -D, --prebuiltDirectory []           Prebuilt directory

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 v4.3.2, and there have been some API changes for the new version. Most notably, context.done(), context.succeed(), and are deprecated in favor of the Node convention of passing in a callback function. These will still work for now for backward compatibility, but are no longer recommended.

v0.10.36 is still supported, and can be targeted by changing the AWS_RUNTIME value to nodejs in the .env file.

Runtime context options available :

  • context.getRemainingTimeInMillis()
  • context.done() deprecated
  • deprecated
  • context.succeed() deprecated

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"

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.

Running node-lambda as an NPM script

Strangely, NPM overwrites the TMPDIR environment variable (and therefore the result of os.tmpDir()) to the current working directory. This means when running node-lambda deploy as a NPM script in package.json, it fails on the rsync step as the destination directory exists in the folder you're synchronising (causing heaps of file has vanished: type errors).

You can resolve this by explicitly setting the TMPDIR variable as you deploy, something like:

"scripts": {
  "deploy-stage": "TMPDIR=/tmp node-lambda deploy"

Other AWS Lambda Tools Projects


  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

Running tests

npm install
npm test