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Asset Relocator Loader for Webpack

Build Status codecov

Asset relocation loader used in ncc for performing Node.js builds while emitting and relocating any asset references.



npm i -g @zeit/webpack-asset-relocator-loader


Add this loader as a Webpack plugin for any JS files.

Any .node files included will also support binary relocation.

  target: "node",
  output: {
    libraryTarget: "commonjs2"
  module: {
    rules: [
        // For node binary relocations, include ".node" files as well here
        test: /\.(m?js|node)$/,
        // it is recommended for Node builds to turn off AMD support
        parser: { amd: false },
        use: {
          loader: '@zeit/webpack-asset-relocator-loader',
          options: {
            // optional, base folder for asset emission (eg assets/name.ext)
            outputAssetBase: 'assets',
            // optional, a list of asset names already emitted or
            // defined that should not be emitted
            existingAssetNames: []
            wrapperCompatibility: false, // optional, default
            escapeNonAnalyzableRequires: false, // optional, default


Assets will be emitted using emitAsset, with their references updated in the code by the loader to the new output location.

How it Works

Asset Relocation

Assets are detected using static analysis of code, based on very specific triggers designed the the most common Node.js workflows to provide build support for a very high (but not perfect) level of compatibility with existing Node.js libraries.

Currently only __filename and __dirname references provide an initial trigger to an asset load.

Static analysis determines these expressions, and if they can be evaluated to an exact asset location, the expression is replaced with a new expression to the relocated asset and the asset emitted. In addition. A fairly comprehensive variety of expression cases are supported here, which is improving over time, but there will still be edge cases the analysis cannot detect.

Support for require.resolve, import.meta.url or even path-like environment variables could also be added as triggers in future.

Binary Relocation

Node binary loading conventions cover the following triggers for binary relocations:

  • require('bindings')(...)
  • nbind.init(..)
  • node-pre-gyp include patterns

Any shared libraries loaded by these binaries will also be emitted as well.

Node.js Compatibility Features

In addition to asset relocation, this loader also provides a couple of compatibility features for Webpack Node.js builds as part of its analysis.

These include:

  • require.main === module checks are retained for the entry point being built.
  • options.wrapperCompatibility: Automatically handles common AMD / Browserify wrappers to ensure they are properly built by Webpack. See the utils/wrappers.js file for the exact transformations currently provided.
  • options.escapeNonAnalyzableRequires: Determines when a require statement is definitely not analyzable by Webpack, and replaces it with the outer __non_webpack_require__. This is useful for things like plugin systems that take a pluginModule string and then try to require it, but still won't correcly support contextual requires for local modules.