Node.js Modules

What is a Module in Node.js?

Consider modules to be the same as JavaScript libraries.

A set of functions you want to include in your application.

Built-in Modules

Node.js has a set of built-in modules which you can use without any further installation.

Look at our Built-in Modules Reference for a complete list of modules.

Include Modules

To include a module, use the require() function with the name of the module:

var http = require('http');

Now your application has access to the HTTP module, and is able to create a server:

http.createServer(function (req, res) {
    res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/html'});
    res.end('Hello World!');

Create Your Own Modules

You can create your own modules, and easily include them in your applications.

The following example creates a module that returns a date and time object:


Create a module that returns the current date and time:

exports.myDateTime = function () {
    return Date();

Use the exports keyword to make properties and methods available outside the module file.

Save the code above in a file called "myfirstmodule.js"

Include Your Own Module

Now you can include and use the module in any of your Node.js files.


Use the module "myfirstmodule" in a Node.js file:

var http = require('http');
var dt = require('./myfirstmodule');

http.createServer(function (req, res) {
    res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/html'});
    res.write("The date and time are currently: " + dt.myDateTime());
Run example »

Notice that we use ./ to locate the module, that means that the module is located in the same folder as the Node.js file.

Save the code above in a file called "demo_module.js", and initiate the file:

Initiate demo_module.js:

C:\Users\Your Name>node demo_module.js

If you have followed the same steps on your computer, you will see the same result as the example: http://localhost:8080