⚡️ Node.js bindings to the ØMQ library
Latest commit 09b2207 Oct 18, 2018



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Users | From Source | Contributors and Development | Maintainers

zeromq: Your ready to use, prebuilt ØMQ bindings for Node.js.

ØMQ provides handy functionality when working with sockets. Yet, installing dependencies on your operating system or building ØMQ from source can lead to developer frustration.

zeromq simplifies creating communications for a Node.js application by providing well-tested, ready to use ØMQ bindings. zeromq supports all major operating systems, including:

  • OS X/Darwin (x64)
  • Linux (x64, ARMv7 and ARMv8)
  • Windows (x64 and x86)

Use zeromq and take advantage of the elegant simplicity of binaries.

Installation - Users

We rely on prebuild.

Install zeromq with the following:

npm install zeromq

windows users: do not forget to set msvs_version according to your visual studio version 2013,2015,2017 npm config set msvs_version 2015 Now, prepare to be amazed by the wonders of binaries.

To use your system's libzmq (if it has been installed and development headers are available):

npm install zeromq --zmq-external

Rebuilding for Electron

If you want to use zeromq inside your Electron application it needs to be rebuild against Electron headers. We ship prebuilt binaries for Electron so you won't need to build zeromq from source.

You can rebuild zeromq manually by running:

npm rebuild zeromq --runtime=electron --target=1.4.5

Where target is your desired Electron version. This will download the correct binary for usage in Electron.

For packaging your Electron application we recommend using electron-builder which handles rebuilding automatically. Enable the npmSkipBuildFromSource option to make use of the prebuilt binaries. For a real world example take a look at nteract.

Installation - From Source

If you are working on a Linux 32-bit system or want to install a development version, you have to build zeromq from source.



  • python (v2.7 recommended, v3.x.x is not supported)
  • make
  • A proper C/C++ compiler toolchain, like GCC

Use your distribution's package manager to install.


  • python (v2.7 recommended, v3.x.x is not supported): already installed on Mac OS X
  • Xcode Command Line Tools: Can be installed with xcode-select --install


  • Option 1: Install all the required tools and configurations using Microsoft's windows-build-tools by running npm install -g windows-build-tools from an elevated PowerShell (run as Administrator).

  • Option 2: Install dependencies and configuration manually

    1. Visual C++ Build Environment:
    • Option 1: Install Visual C++ Build Tools using the Default Install option.
    • Option 2: Install Visual Studio 2015 (or modify an existing installation) and select Common Tools for Visual C++ during setup.

    💡 [Windows Vista / 7 only] requires .NET Framework 4.5.1

    1. Install Python 2.7 or Miniconda 2.7 (v3.x.x is not supported), and run npm config set python python2.7
    2. Launch cmd, and set msvs_version according to your visual studio version 2013,2015,2017 npm config set msvs_version 2015


Now you can install zeromq with the following:

npm install zeromq

Installation - Contributors and Development

To set up zeromq for development, fork this repository and clone your fork to your system.

Make sure you have the required dependencies for building zeromq from source installed.

Install a development version of zeromq with the following:

npm install


Run the test suite using:

npm test

Running an example application

Several example applications are found in the examples directory. Use node to run an example. To run the 'subber' application, enter the following:

node examples/subber.js

Examples using zeromq


This example demonstrates how a producer pushes information onto a socket and how a worker pulls information from the socket.


// producer.js
var zmq = require('zeromq')
  , sock = zmq.socket('push');

console.log('Producer bound to port 3000');

  console.log('sending work');
  sock.send('some work');
}, 500);


// worker.js
var zmq = require('zeromq')
  , sock = zmq.socket('pull');

console.log('Worker connected to port 3000');

sock.on('message', function(msg){
  console.log('work: %s', msg.toString());


This example demonstrates using zeromq in a classic Pub/Sub, Publisher/Subscriber, application.

Publisher: pubber.js

// pubber.js
var zmq = require('zeromq')
  , sock = zmq.socket('pub');

console.log('Publisher bound to port 3000');

  console.log('sending a multipart message envelope');
  sock.send(['kitty cats', 'meow!']);
}, 500);

Subscriber: subber.js

// subber.js
var zmq = require('zeromq')
  , sock = zmq.socket('sub');

sock.subscribe('kitty cats');
console.log('Subscriber connected to port 3000');

sock.on('message', function(topic, message) {
  console.log('received a message related to:', topic, 'containing message:', message);

For maintainers: Creating a release

When making a release, do the following:

npm version minor && git push && git push --tags

Then, wait for the prebuilds to get uploaded for each OS. After the prebuilds are uploaded, run the following to publish the release:

npm publish


This codebase largely came from the npm module zmq and was, at one point, named nteract/zmq-prebuilt. It started as a community run fork of zmq that fixed up the build process and automated prebuilt binaries. In the process of setting up a way to do statically compiled binaries of zeromq for node, zmq-static was created. Eventually zmq-prebuilt was able to do the job of zmq-static and it was deprecated. Once zmq-prebuilt was shipping for a while, allowed building from source, and suggesting people use it for electron + node.js, the repository moved to the zeromq org and it became official.