A node.js module for parsing form data, especially file uploads.
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A node.js module for parsing form data, especially file uploads.

Current status

This module was developed for Transloadit, a service focused on uploading and encoding images and videos. It has been battle-tested against hundreds of GB of file uploads from a big variety of clients and is considered production-ready.


  • Fast (~500mb/sec), non-buffering multipart parser
  • Automatically writing file uploads to disk
  • Low memory footprint
  • Graceful error handling
  • Very high test coverage



  • Emit 'progress' event when receiving data, regardless of parsing it. (Tim Koschützki)
  • Use W3C FileAPI Draft properties for File class

Important: The old property names of the File class will be removed in a future release.

See Commits

Older releases

These releases were done before starting to maintain the above Changelog:


Via npm:

npm install formidable@latest


git clone git://github.com/felixge/node-formidable.git formidable
vim my.js
# var formidable = require('./formidable');

Note: Formidable requires gently to run the unit tests, but you won't need it for just using the library.


Parse an incoming file upload.

var formidable = require('formidable'),
    http = require('http'),

    sys = require('sys');

http.createServer(function(req, res) {
  if (req.url == '/upload' && req.method.toLowerCase() == 'post') {
    // parse a file upload
    var form = new formidable.IncomingForm();
    form.parse(req, function(err, fields, files) {
      res.writeHead(200, {'content-type': 'text/plain'});
      res.write('received upload:\n\n');
      res.end(sys.inspect({fields: fields, files: files}));

  // show a file upload form
  res.writeHead(200, {'content-type': 'text/html'});
    '<form action="/upload" enctype="multipart/form-data" method="post">'+
    '<input type="text" name="title"><br>'+
    '<input type="file" name="upload" multiple="multiple"><br>'+
    '<input type="submit" value="Upload">'+



new formdiable.IncomingForm()

Creates a new incoming form.

incomingForm.encoding = 'utf-8'

The encoding to use for incoming form fields.

incomingForm.uploadDir = '/tmp'

The directory for placing file uploads in. You can later on move them using fs.rename().

incomingForm.keepExtensions = false

If you want the files written to incomingForm.uploadDir to include the extensions of the original files, set this property to true.


Either 'multipart' or 'urlencoded' depending on the incoming request.

incomingForm.maxFieldsSize = 2 * 1024 * 1024

Limits the amount of memory a field (not file) can allocate in bytes. I this value is exceeded, an 'error' event is emitted. The default size is 2MB.


The amount of bytes received for this form so far.


The expected number of bytes in this form.

incomingForm.parse(request, [cb])

Parses an incoming node.js request containing form data. If cb is provided, all fields an files are collected and passed to the callback:

incomingForm.parse(req, function(err, fields, files) {
  // ...


You may overwrite this method if you are interested in directly accessing the multipart stream. Doing so will disable any 'field' / 'file' events processing which would occur otherwise, making you fully responsible for handling the processing.

incomingForm.onPart = function(part) {
  part.addListener('data', function() {
    // ...

If you want to use formidable to only handle certain parts for you, you can do so:

incomingForm.onPart = function(part) {
  if (!part.filename) {
    // let formidable handle all non-file parts

Check the code in this method for further inspiration.

Event: 'progress' (bytesReceived, bytesExpected)

Emitted after each incoming chunk of data that has been parsed. Can be used to roll your own progress bar.

Event: 'field' (name, value)

Emitted whenever a field / value pair has been received.

Event: 'fileBegin' (name, file)

Emitted whenever a new file is detected in the upload stream. Use this even if you want to stream the file to somewhere else while buffering the upload on the file system.

Event: 'file' (name, file)

Emitted whenever a field / file pair has been received. file is an instance of File.

Event: 'error' (err)

Emitted when there is an error processing the incoming form. A request that experiences an error is automatically paused, you will have to manually call request.resume() if you want the request to continue firing 'data' events.

Event: 'end' ()

Emitted when the entire request has been received, and all contained files have finished flushing to disk. This is a great place for you to send your response.


file.size = 0

The size of the uploade file in bytes. If the file is still being uploaded (see 'fileBegin' event), this property says how many bytes of the file have been written to disk yet.

file.path = null

The path this file is being written to. You can modify this in the 'fileBegin' event in case you are unhappy with the way formidable generates a temporary path for your files.

file.name = null

The name this file had according to the uploading client.

file.type = null

The mime type of this file, according to the uploading client.

file.lastModifiedDate = null

A date object (or null) containing the time this file was last written to. Mostly here for compatiblity with the W3C File API Draft.


Formidable is licensed under the MIT license.