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recache is a file system cache, it watches recursively a directory tree or a file content and updates the data on changes, optionally it may provide the content and the stats for each element stored in the cache.

Comparison with and fs.watchFile

recache provides a more reliable cross-platform way to deal with file system watching, subdirectories are being watched recursively. Under the hood recache uses and fs.watchFile(), but alleviates the different caveats that node fs watch methods have by checking fs stats.

Comparison with chokidar

In general chokidar and recache solve the same problems related to unreliable default node fs watching methods. While chokidar is more focused on watching for fs changes in multiple locations and calling functions on specific events, recache is about watching a single directory tree or file and also reading its paths, stats and content directly using only its API. recache is a pure JS solution and does not require any code compilation on installation.


npm i recache


recache(path[, options, callback])

  • path: [ string ] - path for the root element to be cached
  • options: [ object ] - cache configuration options, optional
    • filter: [ (path: string, stats: fs.Stats) => boolean ] - filter cached elements, by default all elements are cached
    • persistent: [ boolean ] - enable persistence of file system watchers, default is false
    • store: [ boolean ] - enable file content saving, default is false
  • callback: [ (cache: recache.Cache) => void ] - function called when cache is ready

recache will load directories and files provided in the path argument. Directories are recursively traversed, their content is loaded into the memory and watched for changes. Following options can be defined for the cache:

  • filter - a function which receives two arguments, the absolute path and file system stats of traversed directories or files, it has to return a boolean value to filter the elements should be cached, by default all elements from the provided path are cached
  • persistent - a boolean value to define if the process should continue while the cache is watching for changes, by default the created cache is not persistent.
  • store - a boolean value to enable storing the files content in the cache, by default files content is not saved in the cache, note that if this option is enabled files content should not surpass the available memory

The last argument is a callback function which is executed only once, in the beginning when all the files and directories are loaded in the memory, the same functionality can be achieved by listening for the ready event.



Metadata about the cache, it is an empty object which should be used by the user.


The absolute path of the root element of the cache.


location: string

Get the element from the provided relative location. If no location is provided then the element from the root location is returned. If the required location was no found then null is returned. Returned element is object that has the following readonly properties:

  • content - the content of the element, for directories it is an array of strings which represents the name of the contained files or subdirectories, for files it is a buffer with the content of the file if it was set to be stored in the options or null otherwise
  • data - the metadata of the element, it is an empty object which may be filled by the user of the cache
  • location - the relative location of the element to the root element of the cache
  • path - the absolute path of the element in the file system
  • stats - the file system stats of the element


location: string

Checks if the cache has an element on the provided location.


filter: (location: string, index: number, list: string[]) => boolean

List all possible readable sources with an optional parameter to filter elements. If no filter parameter is provided then all readable elements of the cache are returned as an array of strings.


callback: (cache: recache.Cache) => void

Starts the cache, this method is called automatically when the cache is created, it is not necessary to call it manually. It may be called only after the cache was stopped. This method accepts a callback function which is executed only once when the cache is started.


Stops watching the file system for changes, this method is called automatically when the cache is destroyed, it is not necessary to call it manually.


Destroy the cached data.

Emitted events

  • error - (error: Error) - when an error raised, provides the error as the callback argument
  • ready - (cache: recache.Cache) - when all the files and directories are loaded for the first time
  • update - (cache: recache.Cache) - when one or multiple changes were made inside the cache
  • directory - (element: recache.CacheElement) - when a new directory is added to the cache, provides the directory object as the callback argument
  • file - (element: recache.CacheElement) - when a new file is added to the cache, provides the file object as the callback argument
  • change - (element: recache.CacheElement) - when a directory or a file is changed, provides the element object as the callback argument
  • unlink - (element: recache.CacheElement) - when a directory or a file is removed, provides the element object as the callback argument
  • destroy - when the cache is destroyed, no parameter is provided


const recache = require('recache');

const cache = recache('/path/to/files', {
    filter: (path, stats) => {                  // Filter cache elements

        // Filter for hidden files
        if (stats.isFile()) {
            return /^(?!\.).+$/.test(path);

        return false;
    persistent: true,                           // Make persistent cache
    store: true                                 // Enable file content storage
}, (cache) => {
    console.log('Cache ready!');


cache.on('error', (error) => {
    console.log('Something unexpected happened');

cache.on('ready', (cache) => {
    console.log('Cache ready!');


cache.on('update', (cache) => {
    console.log('Cache updated!');


cache.on('directory', (directory) => {
    console.log('new directory added: "' + directory.location + '"');

cache.on('file', (file) => {
    console.log('new file added: "' + file.location + '"');

cache.on('change', (element) => {
    if (element.stats.isDirectory()) {
        console.log('directory "' + element.location + '" changed');
    } else {
        console.log('file "' + element.location + '" changed');

cache.on('unlink', (element) => {
    if (element.stats.isDirectory()) {
        console.log('directory "' + element.location + '" removed');
    } else {
        console.log('file "' + element.location + '" removed');

cache.on('destroy', () => {
    console.log('Cache destroyed!');

/* List cache elements */
=> ['']

=> ['', '1.txt', '2.txt', '3.txt', ...]

/* Get cache elements */
=>  {
        content: Buffer<00 01 02 ...>   // file content
        data: {},                       // file metadata
        location: '<root>/file',        // file location
        path: '/path/to/file',          // file path
        stats: {                        // file stats
            atime: ...
            ctime: ...
            mtime: ...

=>  {
        content: ['1.txt', '2.txt', '3.txt', ...],  // directory content
        data: {},                                   // directory metadata
        location: '<root>/directory',               // directory location
        path: '/path/to/directory',                 // directory path
        stats: {                                    // directory stats
            atime: ...
            ctime: ...
            mtime: ...



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