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1.0.8 • Public • Published
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Version: 1.0.6 - Released August 24, 2012 - Now with Windows Support!!!

Imagine a world where you can write JavaScript to control blenders, lights, security systems, or even robots. Yes, I said robots. That world is here and now with node-serialport. It provides a very simple interface to the low level serial port code necessary to program Arduino chipsets, X10 wireless communications, or even the rising Z-Wave and Zigbee standards. The physical world is your oyster with this goodie. For a full break down of why we made this, please read NodeBots - The Rise of JS Robotics.

Robots, you say?

This library is admittedly a base level toolkit for building amazing things with real world (including robots). Here are a couple of those amazing things that leverage node-serialport:

For getting started with node-serialport, we recommend you begin with the following articles:

How To Use

Using node-serialport is pretty easy because it is pretty basic. It provides you with the building block to make great things, it is not a complete solution - just a cog in the (world domination) machine.

To Install

  npm install serialport

This assumes you have everything on your system necessary to compile ANY native module for Node.js. This may not be the case, though, so please ensure the following are true for your system before filing an issue about "Does not install". For all operatings systems, please ensure you have Python 2.x installed AND not 3.0, node-gyp (what we use to compile) requires Python 2.x.


Ensure you have Visual Studio 2010 installed. If you have any version OTHER THAN VS 2010, please read this:

Mac OS X:

Ensure that you have at a minimum the xCode Command Line Tools installed appropriate for your system configuration. If you recently upgrade OS, it probably removed your installation of Command Line Tools, please verify before submitting a ticket.


You know what you need for you system, basically your appropriate analog of build-essential. Keep rocking!

To Use

Opening a serial port:

  var SerialPort = require("serialport").SerialPort
  var serialPort = new SerialPort("/dev/tty-usbserial1");

When opening a serial port, you can specify (in this order).

  1. Path to Serial Port - required.
  2. Options - optional and described below.

The options object allows you to pass named options to the serial port during initialization. The valid attributes for the options object are the following:

  • baudrate: Baud Rate, defaults to 9600. Must be one of: 115200, 57600, 38400, 19200, 9600, 4800, 2400, 1800, 1200, 600, 300, 200, 150, 134, 110, 75, or 50.
  • databits: Data Bits, defaults to 8. Must be one of: 8, 7, 6, or 5.
  • stopbits: Stop Bits, defaults to 1. Must be one of: 1 or 2.
  • parity: Parity, defaults to 0. Must be one of: 0, 1, or 2.
  • buffersize: Size of read buffer, defaults to 255. Must be an integer value.
  • parser: The parser engine to use with read data, defaults to rawPacket strategy which just emits the raw buffer as a "data" event. Can be any function that accepts EventEmitter as first parameter and the raw buffer as the second parameter.

Note, we have added support for either all lowercase OR camelcase of the options (thanks @jagautier), use whichever style you prefer.

List Ports

You can also list the ports along with some metadata as well.

  serialport.list(function (err, ports) {
    ports.forEach(function(port) {


Out of the box, node-serialport provides two parsers one that simply emits the raw buffer as a data event and the other which provides familiar "readline" style parsing. To use the readline parser, you must provide a delimiter as such:

  var serialport = require("serialport");
  var SerialPort = serialport.SerialPort; // localize object constructor
  var sp = new SerialPort("/dev/tty-usbserial1", { 
    parser: serialport.parsers.readline("\n") 

To use the raw parser, you just provide the function definition (or leave undefined):

  var serialport = require("serialport");
  var SerialPort = serialport.SerialPort; // localize object constructor
  var sp = new SerialPort("/dev/tty-usbserial1", { 
    parser: serialport.parsers.raw

You can get updates of new data from the Serial Port as follows:

  serialPort.on("data", function (data) {
    sys.puts("here: "+data);

You can write to the serial port by sending a string or buffer to the write method as follows:

serialPort.write("OMG IT WORKS\r");

Enjoy and do cool things with this code.