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A tool for inspecting, debugging and commanding Node applications through a web browser or SSH interface into your app

Node Monkey

A tool for inspecting, debugging and commanding Node applications through a web browser or SSH interface into your app.

Node Monkey runs a simple server (or attaches to your existing server) and uses Socket.IO to create a websocket connection between the browser and server. Its primary feature captures anything that would normally be logged to the terminal and passes it to the browser for inspection.

It is incredibly easy to get started (see Quick Usage below) but Node Monkey also provides addition features and significant flexibility for more advanced usage. You can actually SSH in to your app where Node Monkey will provide a command line interface to execute your own custom commands. This can be very useful for debugging, monitoring or otherwise controlling your application while it is running.

The motivation for this project came from trying to debug a Node.js server I wrote that used websockets. I found it problematic trying to inspect objects with the terminal because the output was too large and not browsable. I tried using the built-in debugging that works with the Chrome Developer Tools plugin for Eclipse. Unfortunately, I ran into a problem where setting breakpoints to inspect objects would cause the server to stop responding to heartbeats thus causing the client to disconnect. This would entirely mess up my debugging efforts. All I really needed to do was have a good way to inspect objects.

I searched Google and found projects like node-inspector, which didn't work with the latest versions of Node, and node-codein which had many bugs. And neither worked with Firefox. So, Node Monkey was born!

  • Log console output from your app to the browser console
    • Provides a stream for those using Bunyan (see here)
  • Provides SSH capability so you can get a shell into your app for inspection, debugging or controlling your app
  • Register commands for your application that can be executed from the browser console or the SSH interface
npm install --save node-monkey

If you're interested in testing experimental and upcoming features, run this instead:

npm install --save node-monkey@next

Using NodeMonkey is designed to be extremely easy. All you have to do is include one line in your application. Anything that is logged to the console after this will show up in the browser console once connected. It captures all output to console.log(), console.warn() and console.error().

let monkey = require('node-monkey')([options]);
// Do this if you want to bind to the console and have all output directed to the browser 
// Pass `true` to disable server side logging and only see output in the browser 

When you start your app you will see the following output:

Node Monkey listening at

To connect your browser simply go to the address it shows in your web browser ( in this case). If you change the default host and port bindings or pass in your own server be sure to adjust your URL accordingly. It will prompt you for a username and password. Until you setup a user the default is guest and guest.

If you provide your own server you can view output in the console of your own web application instead. To see how to provide your own server check out the documentation.

<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

NOTE: You do NOT have to refresh the page when you restart your Node.js application to continue to receive output. Node Monkey will automatically reconnect.