Skip to content
browser-side require() the node.js way
JavaScript Other
Fetching latest commit...
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.



Make node-style require() work in the browser with a server-side build step, as if by magic!

build status



Just write an entry.js to start with some require()s in it:

// use relative requires
var foo = require('./foo');
var bar = require('../lib/bar');

// or use modules installed by npm in node_modules/
var domready = require('domready');

domready(function () {
    var elem = document.getElementById('result');
    elem.textContent = foo(100) + bar('baz');

Now just use the browserify command to build a bundle starting at entry.js:

$ browserify entry.js -o bundle.js

All of the modules that entry.js needs are included in the final bundle from a recursive walk using detective.

To use the bundle, just toss a <script src="bundle.js"></script> into your html!


Usage: browserify [entry files] {OPTIONS}

  --outfile, -o  Write the browserify bundle to this file.
                 If unspecified, browserify prints to stdout.                   
  --require, -r  A module name or file to bundle.require()
                 Optionally use a colon separator to set the target.            
  --entry, -e    An entry point of your app                                     
  --exports      Export these core objects, comma-separated list
                 with any of: require, process. If unspecified, the
                 export behavior will be inferred.

  --ignore, -i   Ignore a file                                                  
  --alias, -a    Register an alias with a colon separator: "to:from"
                 Example: --alias 'jquery:jquery-browserify'                    
  --cache, -c    Turn on caching at $HOME/.config/browserling/cache.json or use
                 a file for caching.
                                                                 [default: true]
  --debug, -d    Switch on debugging mode with //@ sourceURL=...s.     [boolean]
  --plugin, -p   Use a plugin.
                 Example: --plugin aliasify                                     
  --prelude      Include the code that defines require() in this bundle.
                                                      [boolean]  [default: true]
  --watch, -w    Watch for changes. The script will stay open and write updates
                 to the output every time any of the bundled files change.
                 This option only works in tandem with -o.                      
  --verbose, -v  Write out how many bytes were written in -o mode. This is
                 especially useful with --watch.                                
  --help, -h     Show this message                                              


Many npm modules that don't do IO will just work after being browserified. Others take more work.

coffee script should pretty much just work. Just do browserify or require('./').

Many node built-in modules have been wrapped to work in the browser. All you need to do is require() them like in node.

  • events
  • path
  • vm
  • http
  • crypto
  • assert
  • url
  • buffer
  • buffer_ieee754
  • util
  • querystring
  • stream


Browserify makes available a faux process object to modules with these attributes:

  • nextTick(fn) - uses the postMessage trick for a faster setTimeout(fn, 0) if it can
  • title - set to 'browser' for browser code, 'node' in regular node code
  • browser - true, good for testing if you're in a browser or in node

By default the process object is only available inside of files wrapped by browserify. To expose it, use --exports=process


The faux directory name, scrubbed of true directory information so as not to expose your filesystem organization.


The faux file path, scrubbed of true path information so as not to expose your filesystem organization.


In order to resolve main files for projects, the package.json "main" field is read.

If a package.json has a "browserify" field, you can override the standard "main" behavior with something special just for browsers.

See dnode's package.json for an example of using the "browserify" field.



With npm do:

npm install -g browserify


To run the node tests with tap, do:

npm test

To run the testling tests, create a browserling account then:

cd testling
Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.