Skip to content
javascript module management. brings node's require statement and npm to the browser
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.

require brings require to the browser

Node implements a simple module management system with the require function and the npm command line module manager. This library brings those functionalities to the browser, as well as advanced compilation functionality for production deployment.


From npm repo

sudo npm install -g require

or from source

git clone git://
sudo npm install -g ./require

Commandline usage

Start the dev server.

require serve ./example --port 1234 --host localhost

In your HTML, import a javascript module and all of its dependencies with a script include.

<script src="//localhost:1234/require/client"></script>

This will effectively resolve to calling require('client') with ./example in require.paths - i.e. it will try ./example/client.js, ./example/client/index.js, or read the "main" field from ./example/client/package.json. Read more on node's require path resolution

For production you want to bundle all your dependencies into a single static file, and compress them.

require compile ./example/client.js

Use programmatically

You can start the require server programmatically alongside another node server:

require('require/server').listen(1234, __dirname + '/example')

or, you can mount it on an http server you're already running:

var http = require('http'),
    requireServer = require('require/server')

var server = http.createServer(function(req, res) { })
requireServer.mount(server, __dirname + '/example')
server.listen(8080, 'localhost')

or, as connect middleware

var connect = require('connect'),
    requireServer = require('require/server')

    connect.static(__dirname + '/example'),
    requireServer.connect(__dirname + '/example')

There's also a programmatic API for the compiler.

var compiler = require('require/compiler')

The compiler supports all the options of, e.g.

compiler.compile('./example/client.js', { beautify:true, ascii_only:true })

npm packages in the browser

require can import npm packages in the browser. Try installing e.g. raphael, the SVG library.

sudo npm install raphael

And then require it client-side

var raphael = require('raphael'),
    canvas = document.body.appendChild(document.createElement('div')),
    paper = raphael(canvas), 50, 40)

You can see the result if you have the source checked out:

git clone git://
cd require/example/
node server.js
# Open browser to http://localhost:8080/raphael_circle.html
Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.