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WebDAV

A WebDAV client, written in Typescript, for NodeJS and the browser

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About

WebDAV is a well-known, stable and highly flexible protocol for interacting with remote filesystems via an API. Being that it is so widespread, many file hosting services such as Box, Nextcloud/ownCloud and Yandex use it as a fallback to their primary interfaces.

This library provides a WebDAV client interface that makes interacting with WebDAV enabled services easy. The API returns promises and resolve with the results. It parses and prepares directory-contents requests for easy consumption, as well as providing methods for fetching things like file stats and quotas.

This library's motivation is not to follow an RFC or to strictly adhere to standard WebDAV interfaces, but to provide an easy-to-consume client API for working with most WebDAV services from Node or the browser.

Node support

This library is compatible with NodeJS version 10 and above (For version 6/8 support, use versions in the range of 2.*. For version 4 support, use versions in the range of 1.*). Versions 2.x and 1.x are no longer supported, so use them at your own risk. Version 3.x is deprecated and may receive the odd bugfix.

Browser support

This WebDAV client is supported in the browser is of version 3. The compilation settings specify a minimum supported browser version of Internet Explorer 11, however testing in this browser is not performed regularly.

Although you may choose to transpile this library's default entry point (NodeJS) yourself, it is not advised - use the dedicated web version instead.

You can use the web version via a different entry point:

import { createClient } from "webdav/web";

The browser version uses a UMD-style module definition, meaning you can simply load the library within your browser using a <script> tag. When using this method the library is made available on the window object as such: window.WebDAV. For example:

const client = window.WebDAV.createClient(/* ... */);

NB: Streams are not available within the browser, so createReadStream and createWriteStream are just stubbed. Calling them will throw an exception.

Types

Typescript types are exported with this library for the Node build. All of the types can also be directly imported from the module:

import { AuthType, createClient } from "webdav";

const client = createClient("https://some-server.org", {
    authType: AuthType.Digest,
    username: "user",
    password: "pass"
});

Installation

Simple install as a dependency using npm:

npm install webdav --save

Usage

Usage entails creating a client adapter instance by calling the factory function createClient:

const { createClient } = require("webdav");

const client = createClient(
    "https://webdav.example.com/marie123",
    {
        username: "marie",
        password: "myS3curePa$$w0rd"
    }
);

// Get directory contents
const directoryItems = await client.getDirectoryContents("/");
// Outputs a structure like:
// [{
//     filename: "/my-file.txt",
//     basename: "my-file.txt",
//     lastmod: "Mon, 10 Oct 2018 23:24:11 GMT",
//     size: 371,
//     type: "file"
// }]

Authentication & Connection

The WebDAV client automatically detects which authentication to use, between AuthType.None and AuthType.Password, if no authType configuration parameter is provided. For AuthType.Token or AuthType.Digest, you must specify it explicitly.

Setting the authType will automatically manage the Authorization header when connecting.

Basic/no authentication

You can use the client without authentication if the server doesn't require it - simply avoid passing any values to username, password in the config.

To use basic authentication, simply pass a username and password in the config.

This library also allows for overriding the built in HTTP and HTTPS agents by setting the properties httpAgent & httpsAgent accordingly. These should be instances of node's http.Agent and https.Agent respectively.

OAuth tokens

To use a token to authenticate, pass the token data to the token field and specify the authType:

createClient(
    "https://address.com",
    {
        authType: AuthType.Token,
        token: {
            access_token: "2YotnFZFEjr1zCsicMWpAA",
            token_type: "example",
            expires_in: 3600,
            refresh_token: "tGzv3JOkF0XG5Qx2TlKWIA",
            example_parameter: "example_value"
        }
    }
);

Digest authentication

If a server requires digest-based authentication, you can enable this functionality by the authType configuration parameter, as well as providing a username and password:

createClient(
    "https://address.com",
    {
        authType: AuthType.Digest,
        username: "someUser",
        password: "myS3curePa$$w0rd"
    }
);

Client configuration

The createClient method takes a WebDAV service URL, and a configuration options parameter.

The available configuration options are as follows:

Option Default Description
authType null The authentication type to use. If not provided, defaults to trying to detect based upon whether username and password were provided.
headers {} Additional headers provided to all requests. Headers provided here are overridden by method-specific headers, including Authorization.
httpAgent None HTTP agent instance. Available only in Node. See http.Agent.
httpsAgent None HTTPS agent instance. Available only in Node. See https.Agent.
maxBodyLength None Maximum body length allowed for sending, in bytes.
maxContentLength None Maximum content length allowed for receiving, in bytes.
password None Password for authentication.
token None Token object for authentication.
username None Username for authentication.
withCredentials None Credentials inclusion setting for Axios.

Client methods

The WebDAVClient interface type contains all the methods and signatures for the WebDAV client instance.

copyFile

Copy a file from one location to another.

await client.copyFile(
    "/images/test.jpg",
    "/public/img/test.jpg"
);
(filename: string, destination: string, options?: WebDAVMethodOptions) => Promise<void>
Argument Required Description
filename Yes The source filename.
destination Yes The destination filename.
options No Method options.

createDirectory

Create a new directory.

await client.createDirectory("/data/system/storage");
(path: string, options?: CreateDirectoryOptions) => Promise<void>
Argument Required Description
path Yes The path to create.
options No Create directory options.
options.recursive No Recursively create directories if they do not exist.

options extends method options.

Recursive creation

Recursive directory creation is expensive request-wise. Multiple stat requests are made (totalling the depth of the path that exists, +1) to detect what parts of the path already exist, until finding a segment that doesn't exist - where it then only requests the creation method.

For example, a recursive call to create a path /a/b/c/d/e, where /a/b already exists, will result in 3 stat requests (for /a, /a/b and /a/b/c) and 3 createDirectory requests (for /a/b/c, /a/b/c/d and /a/b/c/d/e).

createReadStream

Synchronously create a readable stream for a remote file.

Note that although a stream is returned instantly, the connection and fetching of the file is still performed asynchronously in the background. There will be some delay before the stream begins receiving data.

client
    .createReadStream("/video.mp4")
    .pipe(fs.createWriteStream("~/video.mp4"));

If you want to stream only part of the file, you can specify the range in the options argument:

client
    .createReadStream(
        "/video.mp4", 
        { range: { start: 0, end: 1024 } }
    ).pipe(fs.createWriteStream("~/video.mp4"));
(filename: string, options?: CreateReadStreamOptions) => Stream.Readable
Argument Required Description
callback No Callback to fire with the response of the request.
filename Yes The remote file to stream.
options No Read stream options.
options.range No Stream range configuration.
options.range.start Yes Byte-position for the start of the stream.
options.range.end No Byte-position for the end of the stream.

options extends method options.

createWriteStream

Create a write stream targeted at a remote file.

Note that although a stream is returned instantly, the connection and writing to the remote file is still performed asynchronously in the background. There will be some delay before the stream begins piping data.

fs
    .createReadStream("~/Music/song.mp3")
    .pipe(client.createWriteStream("/music/song.mp3"));
(filename: string, options?: CreateWriteStreamOptions, callback?: CreateWriteStreamCallback) => Stream.Writable
Argument Required Description
filename Yes The remote file to stream.
options No Write stream options.
options.overwrite No Whether or not to overwrite the remote file if it already exists. Defaults to true.
callback No Callback to fire once the connection has been made and streaming has started. Callback is called with the response of the request.

options extends method options.

customRequest

Custom requests can be made to the attached host by calling customRequest. Custom requests provide the boilerplate authentication and other request options used internally within the client.

const resp: Response = await this.client.customRequest("/alrighty.jpg", {
    method: "PROPFIND",
    headers: {
        Accept: "text/plain",
        Depth: "0"
    },
    responseType: "text"
});
const result: DAVResult = await parseXML(resp.data);
const stat: FileStat = parseStat(result, "/alrighty.jpg", false);
(path: string, requestOptions: RequestOptionsCustom) => Promise<Response>
Argument Required Description
path Yes The path to make a custom request against.
requestOptions Yes Request options - required parameters such as url, method etc. - Refer to the RequestOptionsCustom type definition.

The request options parameter does not extend method options as things like headers can already be specified.

deleteFile

Delete a remote file.

await client.deleteFile("/tmp.dat");
(filename: string, options?: WebDAVMethodOptions) => Promise<void>
Argument Required Description
filename Yes The file to delete.
options No Method options.

exists

Check if a file or directory exists.

if (await client.exists("/some/path") === false) {
    await client.createDirectory("/some/path");
}
(path: string, options?: WebDAVMethodOptions) => Promise<boolean>
Argument Required Description
path Yes The remote path to check.
options No Method options.

getDirectoryContents

Get the contents of a remote directory. Returns an array of item stats.

// Get current directory contents:
const contents = await client.getDirectoryContents("/");
// Get all contents:
const contents = await client.getDirectoryContents("/", { deep: true });

Files can be globbed using the glob option (processed using minimatch). When using a glob pattern it is recommended to fetch deep contents:

const images = await client.getDirectoryContents("/", { deep: true, glob: "/**/*.{png,jpg,gif}" });
(path: string, options?: GetDirectoryContentsOptions) => Promise<Array<FileStat> | ResponseDataDetailed<Array<FileStat>>>
Argument Required Description
path Yes The path to fetch the contents of.
options No Configuration options.
options.deep No Fetch deep results (recursive). Defaults to false.
options.details No Fetch detailed results (item stats, headers). Defaults to false.
options.glob No Glob string for matching filenames. Not set by default.

options extends method options.

getFileContents

Fetch the contents of a remote file. Binary contents are returned by default (Buffer):

const buff: Buffer = await client.getFileContents("/package.zip");

It is recommended to use streams if the files being transferred are large.

Text files can also be fetched:

const str: string = await client.getFileContents("/config.json", { format: "text" });

Specify the maxContentLength option to alter the maximum number of bytes the client can receive in the request (NodeJS only).

(filename: string, options?: GetFileContentsOptions) => Promise<BufferLike | string | ResponseDataDetailed<BufferLike | string>>
Argument Required Description
filename Yes The file to fetch the contents of.
options No Configuration options.
options.details No Fetch detailed results (additional headers). Defaults to false.
options.format No Whether to fetch binary ("binary") data or textual ("text"). Defaults to "binary".

options extends method options.

Download progress

You can calculate the progress of the download by using onDownloadProgress:

import { ProgressEvent } from "webdav";

await client.getFileContents("/package.zip", {
    onDownloadProgress: (progressEvent: ProgressEvent) => {
        // {
        //     total: 12345600,
        //     loaded: 54023
        // }
    }
});

getFileDownloadLink

Generate a public link where a file can be downloaded. This method is synchronous. Exposes authentication details in the URL.

Not all servers may support this feature. Only Basic authentication and unauthenticated connections support this method.

const downloadLink: string = client.getFileDownloadLink("/image.png");
(filename: string) => string
Argument Required Description
filename Yes The remote file to generate a download link for.

getFileUploadLink

Generate a URL for a file upload. This method is synchronous. Exposes authentication details in the URL.

const uploadLink: string = client.getFileUploadLink("/image.png");
(filename: string) => string
Argument Required Description
filename Yes The remote file to generate an upload link for.

getQuota

Get the quota information for the current account:

const quota: DiskQuota = await client.getQuota();
// {
//     "used": 1938743,
//     "available": "unlimited"
// }
(options?: GetQuotaOptions) => Promise<DiskQuota | null | ResponseDataDetailed<DiskQuota | null>>
Argument Required Description
options No Configuration options.
options.details No Return detailed results (headers etc.). Defaults to false.
options.path No Path used to make the quota request.

options extends method options.

lock

Lock a remote resource (using a write lock).

const lock = await client.lock("/file.doc");

// Later
await client.unlock("/file.doc", lock.token);
(path: string, options?: LockOptions) => Promise<LockResponse>
Argument Required Description
path Yes The path to lock.
options No Configuration options.
options.timeout No WebDAV lock requested timeout. See the WebDAV Timeout header documentation.
options.refreshToken No Previous valid lock token that should be refreshed.

options extends method options.

moveFile

Move a file to another location.

await client.moveFile("/file1.png", "/file2.png");
(filename: string, destinationFilename: string, options?: WebDAVMethodOptions) => Promise<void>
Argument Required Description
filename Yes File to move.
destinationFilename Yes Destination filename.
options No Method options.

putFileContents

Write data to a remote file. Returns false when file was not written (eg. { overwrite: false } and file exists), and true otherwise.

// Write a buffer:
await client.putFileContents("/my/file.jpg", imageBuffer, { overwrite: false });
// Write a text file:
await client.putFileContents("/my/file.txt", str);

Specify the maxBodyLength option to alter the maximum number of bytes the client can send in the request (NodeJS only). When using { overwrite: false }, responses with status 412 are caught and no error is thrown.

Handling Upload Progress (browsers only): This uses the axios onUploadProgress callback which uses the native XMLHttpRequest progress event.

// Upload a file and log the progress to the console:
await client.putFileContents("/my/file.jpg", imageFile, { onUploadProgress: progress => {
    console.log(`Uploaded ${progress.loaded} bytes of ${progress.total}`);
} });
(filename: string, data: string | BufferLike | Stream.Readable, options?: PutFileContentsOptions) => Promise<boolean>
Argument Required Description
filename Yes File to write to.
data Yes The data to write. Can be a string, buffer or a readable stream.
options No Configuration options.
options.contentLength No Data content length override. Either a boolean (true (default) = calculate, false = don't set) or a number indicating the exact byte length of the file.
options.overwrite No Whether or not to override the remote file if it exists. Defaults to true.

options extends method options.

stat

Get a file or directory stat object. Returns an item stat.

const stat: FileStat = await client.stat("/some/file.tar.gz");
(path: string, options?: StatOptions) => Promise<FileStat | ResponseDataDetailed<FileStat>>
Argument Required Description
path Yes Remote path to stat.
options No Configuration options.
options.details No Return detailed results (headers etc.). Defaults to false.

options extends method options.

unlock

Unlock a locked resource using a token.

await client.unlock("/file.doc", lock.token);
(path: string, token:string, options?: WebDAVMethodOptions) => Promise<void>
Argument Required Description
path Yes Remote path to unlock.
token Yes Token string from a previous lock request.
options No Configuration options.

options extends method options.

Custom properties

For requests like stat, which use the PROPFIND method under the hood, it is possible to provide a custom request body to the method so that the server may respond with additional/different data. Overriding of the body can be performed by setting the data property in the method options.

Method options

Most WebDAV methods extend WebDAVMethodOptions, which allow setting things like custom headers.

Option Required Description
data No Optional body/data value to send in the request. This overrides the original body of the request, if applicable.
headers No Optional headers object to apply to the request. These headers override all others, so be careful.
signal No Instance of AbortSignal, for aborting requests.

Common data structures

Item stats

Item stats are objects with properties that descibe a file or directory. They resemble the following:

{
    "filename": "/test",
    "basename": "test",
    "lastmod": "Tue, 05 Apr 2016 14:39:18 GMT",
    "size": 0,
    "type": "directory",
    "etag": null
}

or:

{
    "filename": "/image.jpg",
    "basename": "image.jpg",
    "lastmod": "Sun, 13 Mar 2016 04:23:32 GMT",
    "size": 42497,
    "type": "file",
    "mime": "image/jpeg",
    "etag": "33a728c7f288ede1fecc90ac6a10e062"
}

Properties:

Property name Type Present Description
filename String Always File path of the remote item
basename String Always Base filename of the remote item, no path
lastmod String Always Last modification date of the item
size Number Always File size - 0 for directories
type String Always Item type - "file" or "directory"
mime String Files only Mime type - for file items only
etag String / null When supported ETag of the file
props Object details: true Props object containing all item properties returned by the server

Detailed responses

Requests that return results, such as getDirectoryContents, getFileContents, getQuota and stat, can be configured to return more detailed information, such as response headers. Pass { details: true } to their options argument to receive an object like the following:

Property Type Description
data * The data returned by the procedure. Will be whatever type is returned by calling without { details: true }
headers Object The response headers.
status Number The numeric status code.
statusText String The status text.

CORS

CORS is a security enforcement technique employed by browsers to ensure requests are executed to and from expected contexts. It can conflict with this library if the target server doesn't return CORS headers when making requests from a browser. It is your responsibility to handle this.

It is a known issue that ownCloud and Nextcloud servers by default don't return friendly CORS headers, making working with this library within a browser context impossible. You can of course force the addition of CORS headers (Apache or Nginx configs) yourself, but do this at your own risk.

Projects using this WebDAV client

Buttercup Password Manager, Nextcloud Server, Nextcloud Photos, ownCloud SDK, React OxIDE, BackItUp