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A simple HTTP server testing tool



servertest exists because supertest does way too much and gets in the way when you need to do anything novel (the typical "framework" problem).

servertest doesn't do any assertions for you, you simply hand it an HTTP server and it manages the start / stop lifecycle and makes a request for you, passing you back the results. servertest is built on hyperquest as an HTTP client and supports the same options as hyperquest and will stream if you need to (in and/or out).


var server = http.createServer(function (req, res) {
test('simple web server', function (t) {
  servertest(server, '/', { encoding: 'utf8' }, function (err, res) {
    t.ifError(err, 'no error')
    t.equal(res.statusCode, 200, 'correct statusCode')
    t.equal(res.body, 'OK', 'correct body content')

Even JSON encoding can be handled for you:

var server = http.createServer(function (req, res) {
  res.end(JSON.stringify({ ok: 'mate' }))
test('json web server', function (t) {
  servertest(server, '/', { encoding: 'json' }, function (err, res) {
    t.ifError(err, 'no error')
    t.equal(res.statusCode, 200, 'correct statusCode')
    t.deepEqual(res.body, { ok: 'mate' }, 'correct body content')

And of course it's streams all the way:

// uppercasing server, post it a string and it'll return 
// an uppercased version of it 
var server = http.createServer(function (req, res) {
  req.pipe(through2(function (chunk, enc, callback) {
    callback(null, chunk.toString().toUpperCase())
test('duplex uppercasing server', function (t) {
  // servertest is a duplex stream when posting data 
  var serverStream = servertest(server, '/', { method: 'POST' })
  // pipe data to the POST request 
  // pipe data from the response 
  serverStream.pipe(bl(function (err, data) {
    t.ifError(err, 'no error')
    var expected = fs.readFileSync(__filename, 'utf8').toUpperCase()
    t.equal(data.toString(), expected, 'uppercased data')

Of course this assumes that you have easy access to your http.Server object in your tests. Normally you will want to expose it on your server directly on your main server start script and not perform the listen() yourself if it's not being run as the "main":


module.exports = function () {
  return http.createServer(handler)
if (require.main === module) {
  module.exports().listen(port, function (err) {
    console.log('Server started on port %d', port)

Then you can do this:


var server = require('./index')
test('test server', function (t) {
  servertest(server(), '/path/to/test', function (err, data) {
   // ... 

Or you could reuse the same server object but that's probably not so savoury for testing.


servertest(server, uri, options, callback)

Full arguments form, taking an http.Server instance (or similar object that performs a listen()), the uri to append to http://localhost and the random port number assigned on the listen(), the options object which is mostly passed on to hyperquest. The callback function will receive either an Error as the first argument or a special response object that contains data about the response, see below

servertest(server, uri, callback)

The options argument is optional, default options will be used for hyperquest, including assuming this is a GET request.

var stream = servertest(server, uri, { method: 'POST' }, callback)

A common POST request form whereby you have a WritableStream you can write data to (either via a pipe() or simply write() and end()).

var stream = servertest(server, uri, { method: 'POST' })

Don't use a callback function to receive the data. Instead, the stream is a DuplexStream which has some metadata on the stream object (including the request object direct from hyperquest) and you will need to pipe() it to a WritableStream (or read() or on('data'), whatever you prefer).


  • 'encoding': the only option servertest currently cares about. If you provide 'utf8' the callback will receive a String rather than a Buffer. If you provide 'json' the data received from the server will be passed through JSON.parse() and any exceptions will be returned as the Error argument to the callback.

hyperquest uses the following options:

  • 'method': request method, defaults to 'GET'
  • 'headers': an Object ({}) defining headers to set on the request
  • 'auth': if HTTP authentication is required, must be of the form 'user:pass'

Plus a bunch more for HTTPS.


The callback receives a special response object containing data from the server. It will have the following properties:

  • 'headers': an Object containing a mapping of the header keys and values received from the server
  • 'statusCode': the status code of the response from the server
  • 'body': the response body. By default it will be a Buffer. If you use 'utf8' as the 'encoding' you'll get a String and if you use 'json' as the 'encoding' you'll get whatever JSON.parse() gives you for the response string.


when servertest has an encoding error like this case, you can access a response with the default encoding UTF-8 or utf8 from error.response, this should give you, the users, much clue as to what your program went wrong.


servertest is Copyright (c) 2014 Rod Vagg @rvagg and licenced under the MIT licence. All rights not explicitly granted in the MIT license are reserved. See the included file for more details.