Fork pseudoterminals in Node.JS
Tyriar Merge pull request #233 from Gotham13121997/patch-1
Added section about thread safety in README
Latest commit 773b349 Oct 9, 2018


Build status

forkpty(3) bindings for node.js. This allows you to fork processes with pseudoterminal file descriptors. It returns a terminal object which allows reads and writes.

This is useful for:

  • Writing a terminal emulator (eg. via xterm.js).
  • Getting certain programs to think you're a terminal, such as when you need a program to send you control sequences.

node-pty supports Linux, macOS and Windows. Windows support is possible by utilizing the winpty library.

Real-world Uses

node-pty powers many different terminal emulators, including:

Do you use node-pty in your application as well? Please open a Pull Request to include it here. We would love to have it in our list.

Example Usage

var os = require('os');
var pty = require('node-pty');

var shell = os.platform() === 'win32' ? 'powershell.exe' : 'bash';

var ptyProcess = pty.spawn(shell, [], {
  name: 'xterm-color',
  cols: 80,
  rows: 30,
  cwd: process.env.HOME,
  env: process.env

ptyProcess.on('data', function(data) {

ptyProcess.resize(100, 40);


# Install dependencies and build C++
npm install
# Compile TypeScript -> JavaScript
npm run tsc

Dependencies on Windows

npm install requires some tools to be present in the system like Python and C++ compiler. Windows users can easily install them by running the following command in PowerShell as administrator. For more information see

npm install --global --production windows-build-tools


The wiki contains instructions for debugging node-pty.


All processes launched from node-pty will launch at the same permission level of the parent process. Take care particularly when using node-pty inside a server that's accessible on the internet. We recommend launching the pty inside a container to protect your host machine.

Thread Safety

Note that node-pty is not thread safe so running it across multiple worker threads in node.js could cause issues.


Powershell gives error 8009001d

Internal Windows PowerShell error. Loading managed Windows PowerShell failed with error 8009001d.

This happens when PowerShell is launched with no SystemRoot environment variable present.


This project is forked from chjj/pty.js with the primary goals being to provide better support for later Node.JS versions and Windows.


Copyright (c) 2012-2015, Christopher Jeffrey (MIT License).
Copyright (c) 2016, Daniel Imms (MIT License).