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For use during development of a node.js based application.

nodemon will watch the files in the directory that nodemon was started, and if they change, it will automatically restart your node application.

nodemon does not require any changes to your code or method of development. nodemon simply wraps your node application and keeps an eye on any files that have changed.


Either through forking or by using npm (the recommended way):

npm install nodemon -g

And nodemon will be installed in to your bin path. Note that as of npm v1, you must explicitly tell npm to install globally as nodemon is a command line utility.


nodemon wraps your application, so you can pass all the arguments you would normally pass to your app:

nodemon [your node app]

For example, if my application accepted a host and port as the arguments, I would start it as so:

nodemon ./server.js localhost 8080

Any output from this script is prefixed with [nodemon], otherwise all output from your application, errors included, will be echoed out as expected.

nodemon also supports running and monitoring coffee-script apps:


If no script is given, nodemon will test for a package.json file and if found, will run the file associated with the main property (ref).

You can also pass the debug flag to node through the command line as you would normally:

nodemon --debug ./server.js 80

Finally, if you have a package.json file for your app, you can omit the main script entirely and nodemon will read the package.json for the main property and use that value as the app.

Delaying restarting

In some situations, you may want to wait until a number of files have changed. The timeout before checking for new file changes is 1 second. If you're uploading a number of files and it's taking some number of seconds, this could cause your app to restart multiple time unnecessarily.

To add an extra throttle, or delay restarting, use the --delay command:

nodemon --delay 10 server.js

The delay figure is number of seconds to delay before restarting. So nodemon will only restart your app the given number of seconds after the last file change.

Ignoring files

By default, if nodemon will only restart when a .js JavaScript file changes. In some cases you will want to ignore some specific files, directories or file patterns, to prevent nodemon from prematurely restarting your application.

You can use the example ignore file (note that this example file is not hidden - you must rename it to .nodemonignore) as a basis for your nodemon, but it's very simple to create your own:

# this is my ignore file with a nice comment at the top

/vendor/*     # ignore all external submodules
/public/*     # static files
./   # a specific file
*.css         # ignore any CSS files too

The ignore file accepts:

  • Comments starting with a # symbol
  • Blank lines
  • Specific files
  • File patterns (this is converted to a regex, so you have full control of the pattern)


nodemon currently depends on the unix find command (which also is installed on Macs)