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Node-sass is a library that provides binding for Node.js to libsass, the C version of the popular stylesheet preprocessor, Sass.

It allows you to natively compile .scss files to css at incredible speed and automatically via a connect middleware.

Find it on npm:

Follow @nodesass on twitter for release updates:

Reporting Sass compilation and syntax issues

The libsass library is not currently at feature parity with the 3.2 Ruby Gem that most Sass users will use, and has little-to-no support for 3.3 syntax. While we try our best to maintain feature parity with libsass, we can not enable features that have not been implemented in libsass yet.

If you'd like to see what features are still upcoming in libsass, Jo Liss has written a blog post on the subject.

Please check for issues on the libsass repo (as there is a good chance that it may already be an issue there for it), and otherwise create a new issue there.

If this project is missing an API or command line flag that has been added to libsass, then please open an issue here. We will then look at updating our libsass submodule and create a new release. You can help us create the new release by rebuilding binaries, and then creating a pull request to the node-sass-binaries repo.


npm install node-sass

Some users have reported issues installing on Ubuntu due to node being registered to another package. Follow the official NodeJS docs to install NodeJS so that #!/usr/bin/env node correctly resolved.


var sass = require('node-sass');
    file: scss_filename,
    success: callback
    [, options..]
// OR
var css = sass.renderSync({
    data: scss_content
    [, options..]


The API for using node-sass has changed, so that now there is only one variable - an options hash. Some of these options are optional, and in some circumstances some are mandatory.


file is a String of the path to an scss file for libsass to render. One of this or data options are required, for both render and renderSync.


data is a String containing the scss to be rendered by libsass. One of this or file options are required, for both render and renderSync. It is recommended that you use the includePaths option in conjunction with this, as otherwise libsass may have trouble finding files imported via the @import directive.


success is a Function to be called upon successful rendering of the scss to css. This option is required but only for the render function. If provided to renderSync it will be ignored.


error is a Function to be called upon occurance of an error when rendering the scss to css. This option is optional, and only applies to the render function. If provided to renderSync it will be ignored.


includePaths is an Array of path Strings to look for any @imported files. It is recommended that you use this option if you are using the data option and have any @import directives, as otherwise libsass may not find your depended-on files.


imagePath is a String that represents the public image path. When using the image-url() function in a stylesheet, this path will be prepended to the path you supply. eg. Given an imagePath of /path/to/images, background-image: image-url('image.png') will compile to background-image: url("/path/to/images/image.png")


outputStyle is a String to determine how the final CSS should be rendered. Its value should be one of 'nested' or 'compressed'. ['expanded' and 'compact' are not currently supported by libsass]


precision is a Number that will be used to determine how many digits after the decimal will be allowed. For instance, if you had a decimal number of 1.23456789 and a precision of 5, the result will be 1.23457 in the final CSS.


sourceComments is a String to determine what debug information is included in the output file. Its value should be one of 'none', 'normal', 'map'. The default is 'none'. The map option will create the source map file in your CSS destination. [Important: souceComments is only supported when using the file option, and does nothing when using data flag.]


If your sourceComments option is set to map, sourceMap allows setting a new path context for the referenced Sass files. The source map describes a path from your CSS file location, into the the folder where the Sass files are located. In most occasions this will work out-of-the-box but, in some cases, you may need to set a different output.


stats is an empty Object that will be filled with stats from the compilation:

    entry: "path/to/entry.scss",    // or just "data" if the source was not a file
    start: 10000000,                // before the compilation
    end:   10000001,                // after the compilation
    duration: 1,                    // end - start
    includedFiles: [ ... ],         // absolute paths to all related scss files
    sourceMap: "..."                // the source map string or null

includedFiles isn't sorted in any meaningful way, it's just a list of all imported scss files including the entry.


Same as render() but writes the CSS and sourceMap (if requested) to the filesystem.


outFile specifies where to save the CSS.


sourceMap specifies that the source map should be saved.

  • If falsy the source map will not be saved
  • If sourceMap === true the source map will be saved to the standard location of path.basename(options.outFile) + '.map'
  • Otherwise specifies the path (relative to the outFile) where the source map should be saved


var sass = require('node-sass');
var stats = {};
    data: 'body{background:blue; a{color:black;}}',
    success: function(css) {
    error: function(error) {
    includePaths: [ 'lib/', 'mod/' ],
    outputStyle: 'compressed',
    stats: stats
// OR
    data: 'body{background:blue; a{color:black;}}',
    outputStyle: 'compressed',
    stats: stats

Edge-case behaviours

  • In the case that both file and data options are set, node-sass will only attempt to honour the file directive.


Listing of community uses of node-sass in build tools and frameworks.

Brunch plugin

Brunch's official sass plugin uses node-sass by default, and automatically falls back to ruby if use of Compass is detected:

Connect/Express middleware

Recompile .scss files automatically for connect and express based http servers

var server = connect.createServer(
      src: __dirname
    , dest: __dirname + '/public'
    , debug: true
    , outputStyle: 'compressed'
    , prefix:  '/prefix'
  connect.static('/prefix', __dirname + '/public')

Heavily inspired by

DocPad Plugin

@jking90 wrote a DocPad plugin that compiles .scss files using node-sass:

Duo.js extension

@stephenway has created an extension that transpiles Sass to CSS using node-sass with duo.js

Grunt extension

@sindresorhus has created a set of grunt tasks based on node-sass:

Gulp extension

@dlmanning has created a gulp sass plugin based on node-sass:


@sintaxi’s Harp web server implicitly compiles .scss files using node-sass:

Metalsmith plugin

@stevenschobert has created a metalsmith plugin based on node-sass:

Meteor plugin

@fourseven has created a meteor plugin based on node-sass:

Mimosa module

@dbashford has created a Mimosa module for sass which includes node-sass:

Example App

There is also an example connect app here:

Rebuilding binaries

Node-sass includes pre-compiled binaries for popular platforms, to add a binary for your platform follow these steps:

Check out the project:

git clone --recursive
cd node-sass
git submodule update --init --recursive
npm install
npm install -g node-gyp
node-gyp rebuild

Command Line Interface

The interface for command-line usage is fairly simplistic at this stage, as seen in the following usage section.

Output will be saved with the same name as input SASS file into the current working directory if it's omitted.


node-sass [options] <input.scss> [<output.css>]


  --output-style     CSS output style (nested|expanded|compact|compressed)  [default: "nested"]
  --source-comments  Include debug info in output (none|normal|map)         [default: "none"]
  --include-path     Path to look for @import-ed files                      [default: cwd]
  --help, -h         Print usage info

Post-install Build

Install runs a series of Mocha tests to see if your machine can use the pre-built libsass which will save some time during install. If any tests fail it will build from source.

If you know the pre-built version will work and do not want to wait for the tests to run you can skip the tests by setting the environment variable SKIP_NODE_SASS_TESTS to true.

  SKIP_NODE_SASS_TESTS=true npm install


This module is brought to you and maintained by the following people:


We <3 our contributors! A special thanks to all those who have clocked in some dev time on this project, we really appreciate your hard work. You can find a full list of those people here.

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.
  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.
  • Add documentation if necessary.
  • Add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Send a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.


Copyright (c) 2013 Andrew Nesbitt. See LICENSE for details.


npm i node-sass@0.9.5-rc1





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