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Eclipse Orion running on a pure Node.js server.
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A minimal, single-user deployment of Eclipse Orion. Use for hacking files on your computer using Orion's editing environment.


  • Basic Navigator operations (Create file/folder, delete file/folder, copy/move/rename a file)
  • Basic Editor operations (Edit file, save file, ETags)
  • Plugin operations
  • Shell command for launching a node app (type help node in the Shell page to find out more)
  • Client caching for static content (cache time: 2 hours)
  • Gzip
  • Concatenation and minification of pages (requires a manual step, see Concatenation + Minification, below)


  • node.js (plus npm)
  • A web browser

Known Issues

  • Missing file operations: import and export.
  • Copy and Move only work on files, not folders (yet).
  • The breadcrumb is buggy.
  • The node.js development features are a work in progress. Current limitations are:
    • Standard output (and error) from a running node app is currently discarded and cannot be viewed. (We're working on it!)
    • There's no way to provide standard input to a running node app.


  1. Checkout the orionode repository from GitHub. (Alternatively, you can install orionode using npm by running npm install orion).
  2. If you checked out the repo from GitHub, download the dependencies by running: npm install
  3. Recommended: create a one-line password.txt file containing a secret password.
  4. Launch the Orion server by running one of the following commands from a shell.
    • If you installed by checking out the Git repo: node server.js [-p port] [-w directory] [-password password.txt]
    • If you installed using npm, the path to server.js will be different: node ./node_modules/orionode/server.js [-p port] [-w directory] [-password password.txt]
    • If you're not passing any command-line arguments to the server, you can just do this: npm start
  5. Go to http://localhost:8081 (or whatever port you chose) in your web browser to start using Orion.
Optional command line arguments:
  • -p or -port: the port that the Orion server will listen on. Defaults to 8081.
  • -pwd or -password: path to a file containing a password. If provided, Orionode will enforce HTTP Basic Authentication with the password (the auth 'User' field is ignored -- Orionode only verifies the password). Use caution: if you don't provide a password file, no authentication is used (so anyone request can read and write your files!).
  • -w or -workspace: the target directory for reading and writing files. Will be created if it doesn't exist. Defaults to a subdirectory named .workspace in the repository folder.
  • -dev: starts the server in development mode. In this mode, some client-side code is not cached by the browser, to ease development.
  • -log: logs each request served to standard output.

Use Orionode to debug your node.js application

You can use Orionode to debug your node.js application. If you have exisiting node.js applications, make sure the code is under a subfolder in the -w option when you start Orionnode. This will give you easy access to your node.js apps from within Orionode. You can also create a new node.js application in your workspace.

  1. After Orionode starts, open the shell page and use help to see what commands are available.
  2. 'cd' to the folder where your application lives.
  3. Use 'node debug yourApp.js givenPort' to start your app in debug mode. You can start multiple apps in debug mode by repeating this step.
  4. In the return value of the 'node debug' command, you will see a "debugURL" string.
  5. Copy and paste the debug URL into a webkit browser (e.g., Chrome, Safari) and start debugging. The URL normally looks something like: http://yourOrionNodeServer:8900/debug?port=theGivenPort.

Security Concerns

No security is guaranteed or even implied. Always run Orionode with the -pwd flag to prevent unauthorized access to your files.

Concatenation + Minification

By default the pages served up by Orionode are not concatenated or minified, so they will load rather slowly. You can mitigate this by running the client-side build. To do this, just run build.js, found in the build directory:

orionode $ node ./build/build.js
[lots of output]
orionode $

Clear your browser cache. The next time you load Orionode, it should be much faster.

Other ways of using Orionode

You can use Orionode as a file server, to access your local files from (or any other Orion installation). All you need is Orionode and a publicly-accessible URL pointing to your local Orionode server.

  1. Visit this page on your Orionode server (the hostname will differ from this example) and copy its URL: http://yourOrionNodeServer:8081/plugins/fileClientPlugin.html
  2. Log in to Orionhub.
  3. Click the user menu in the top right-hand corner of the page, then click Settings.
  4. Select the Plugins category, click Install, paste in the URL, click Submit.
  5. Return to the Navigator page. Your Orionode files should appear as a new filesystem in the left-hand sidebar.
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