Skip to content


Subversion checkout URL

You can clone with
Download ZIP
Get Remote Files using some custom schemes #node
tag: v0.1.8

Fetching latest commit…

Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time

Failed to load latest commit information.

Get It

This is a simple remote file loader that makes it easy to open both local and remote files in a simple (and consistent) way.

Build Status

Example Usage

Getting a file:

getit('files/test.txt', function(err, data) {


Getting some online content:

getit('', function(err, data) {


Specifying the Current Working Directory

By default, all files are resolved to the current working directory through using path.resolve. The default directory resolved against can be overriden, however, by passing options to the getit function call:

getit('files/test.txt', { cwd: __dirname }, function(err, data) {


Specifying the cwd option has no effect on remote requests, but there might be other options added in time to tweak the request behaviour eventually. The general principle is you should be able to use getit to get the content of both local and remote resources without having to dramatically change the way you use the library.

Custom URL Schemes

Similar code to this has been implemented in the JS build tool Interleave and will eventually be replaced by integrating getit instead. For this reason some helper URI schemes have been added.

Github Includes (github://)

getit('github://DamonOehlman/getit/index.js', function(err, data) {

Contributing URL Schemes

I haven't as yet ported the schemes from interleave across yet, but the process is incredibly simple, and the content of the github scheme translator is shown below:

var url = require('url');

module.exports = function(parts, original) {
    var pathParts = parts.pathname.replace(/^\//, '').split('/');

    return '' + + '/' + 
        pathParts[0] + '/master/' + pathParts.slice(1).join('/');

The task of the scheme translator is to convert a url of the custom scheme into a standard URI that can be passed to the request library to GET.

To create your own scheme translator simply fork the library, decide on the scheme / protocol prefix (e.g. github, flickr, etc) and then create the relevant translator in the lib/schemes directory. When getit encounters a request for a url matching your custom scheme translator will be required and involved before actually requesting the url. Simple.

Using Streams

If you would like to make use node's excellent streams support, then you can do that very easily. Simply call getit but don't provide a callback function. In this mode getit will return a stream that can be piped to another stream, e.g.


GetIt Options

The getit function supports a second argument for providing options to change the default getit behaviour.

Caching use cachePath

If you provide an optional cachePath, then getit will cache a copy of the data retrieved in the specified path. In addition to the data retrieved, an etag value will be stored in a lookup file. This will be used in subsequent lookups using the If-None-Match header.

By default, caching will only occur on a server that provides an etag value, but this can be overridden by also setting the cacheAny option to true.

var opts = {
    cachePath: '/tmp'

getit('github://DamonOehlman/getit/test/files/test.txt', opts, function(err, data) {


Finally, if you would prefer not to wait around for a HTTP request and a 304 response, then you can provide the preferLocal option always used the cached copy of a file if it exists in the cache folder.

Aggressive caching with preferLocal

If you really want to avoid a round-trip to web servers to check the freshness of the cache, then it might be worth using the preferLocal option also. This instructs getit to skip the etag check if it finds the required file in the cache directory.

If you do decide to implement this functionality, it's recommended that you provide some option in your application to allow users to clear the local cache path.

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.