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Node.js commandline/terminal interface.

Easily run simple or sophisticated console/terminal command(s) from Node. Supports sequential and parallel execution. Returns a promise that resolves to an array of exit codes for each command run.

With node-run-cmd you can execute a single command or an array of commands quite simply.

If you want, set in-depth options for commands being run, including callbacks for data, errors, and completion. Also set working directory, environment variables, run execution process in detached mode, set the uid and gid for the execution process(es), and set the shell to run the command in.

The source that this package is based on has been in production since February, 2016. Note that the examples here are for illustrative purposes only; most of the time there is no real need to run commands from Node, and they should be avoided if there are cross-platform requirements. This package aims to help when there isn't an agreeable alternative.

If most of your commands are filesystem related, I would instead look to node-fs-extra to accomplish what the commands would have.


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Licensed via MIT License.

Quick Start

The quickest way to get started is to run a single, simple command, then increase complexity as needed.

Install the package:

$ npm install --save node-run-cmd

Use the package:

var nrc = require('node-run-cmd');'mkdir foo');


These examples get increasingly complex to demonstrate the robustness of the package. Not all options are demonstrated; see the Options Object section for all possible options.

Simple command'mkdir foo');

Aysnchronous usage

Promise style'mkdir foo').then(function(exitCodes) {
}, function(err) {
  console.log('Command failed to run with error: ', err);

Callback style

var callback = function (exitCodes) {
};'mkdir foo', { onDone: callback } );

Use output (stdout) from command

var dataCallback = function(data) {
};'ls', { onData: dataCallback });

Use error output (stderr) from command

var errorCallback = function(data) {
};'ls ~/does/not/exist', { onError: dataCallback });

Use exit code from command

var doneCallback = function(code) {
};'ls foo', { onDone: doneCallback });

OR'ls foo').then(function(codes){ useCode(codes[0]); });

Run multiple commands[ 'mkdir foo', 'touch foo/bar.txt' ]);

Set working directory for commands

var commands = [
  'mkdir foo',
  'touch foo/bar.txt'
var options = { cwd: 'path/to/my/dir' };, options);

Set different working directory for each command

var commands = [
  { command: 'mkdir foo', cwd: 'dir1' },
  { command: 'mkdir foo', cwd: 'dir2' }

Set different working directory one command and default working directory for the others

var commands = [
  'mkdir foo',
  { command: 'mkdir foo', cwd: 'different/dir' },
  'mkdir bar'
var options = { cwd: 'default/dir' };, options);

Run commands in parallel

var commands = [
var options = { mode: 'parallel' };, options);

NRC Methods



var promise =, globalOptions);


A promise that resolves to an array of exit codes for commands run. #### Arguments: commands can be specified in any one of the below formats

name type required description example
commands string yes The command to run 'ls'
commands array(string) yes An array of string commands to run ['ls', 'mkdir foo']
commands array(object) yes An array of objects describing commands to run. See section Options Object for allowed properties. [{ command: 'ls' }, { command: 'mkdir foo' }]
commands array(object or string) yes A mixed array of objects describing commands and string commands to run. See section Options Object for allowed properties. [{ command: 'ls' }, 'mkdir foo']
globalOptions object no The global options to set for each command being run. Overridden by command's options. { cwd: 'foo', verbose: true, logger: gutil.log }

Options Object

Options available for the commands or globalOptions argument:

property type required default description
command string yes - the command to run
cwd string no process.cwd() the directory to run the command in
onData function(data) no null where to send output from stdout. Called each time stdout is written.
onError function(data) no null where to send output from stderr. Called each time stderr is written.
onDone function(code) no null where to send the exit code of the command. Called once.
verbose boolean no false show verbose output
logger function(data) no console.log what function to use to log when verbose is set to true
env object no null Environment key-value pairs
stdio string or array no null Child's stdio configuration
detached boolean no null Prepare child to run independently of its parent process. Specific behavior depends on the platform.
uid number no null Sets the user identity of the process.
gid number no null Sets the group identity of the process.
shell boolean or string no null If true, runs command inside of a shell. Uses '/bin/sh' on UNIX, and 'cmd.exe' on Windows. A different shell can be specified as a string. The shell should understand the -c switch on UNIX, or /s /c on Windows. Defaults to false (no shell).

Global-Only Commands

These options can only be set in the globalOptions argument.

property type required default description
mode string no 'sequential' Whether to run commands in series (sequentially) or in parallel.