Node.js Hello World command line


Node.js can also be used to create command line utilities. The example below reads the first argument from the command line and prints a Hello message.

To run this code on an Unix System:

  1. Create a new file and paste the code below. The filename is irrelevant.
  2. Make this file executable with chmod 700 FILE_NAME
  3. Run the app with ./APP_NAME David

On Windows you do step 1 and run it with node APP_NAME David

#!/usr/bin/env node

'use strict';

    The command line arguments are stored in the `process.argv` array, 
    which has the following structure:
    [0] The path of the executable that started the Node.js process
    [1] The path to this application
    [2-n] the command line arguments

    Example: [ '/bin/node', '/path/to/yourscript', 'arg1', 'arg2', ... ]

// Store the first argument as username.
var username = process.argv[2];

// Check if the username hasn't been provided.
if (!username) {

    // Extract the filename
    var appName = process.argv[1].split(require('path').sep).pop();

    //  Give the user an example on how to use the app.
    console.error('Missing argument! Example: %s YOUR_NAME', appName);

    // Exit the app (success: 0, error: 1). 
    // An error will stop the execution chain. For example:
    //   ./app.js && ls       -> won't execute ls
    //   ./app.js David && ls -> will execute ls

// Print the message to the console.
console.log('Hello %s!', username);