How to Run a Node Script from the Command Line

This post is going to be short and sweet because I have to help my lady pack for her big trip to Germany. Over the past few days I've been messing around with command line tools written in Ruby so today I decided to give it a shot in Node.

We're going to start small in this first post and just get a little script running. After that we'll step it up so it can be distributed using NPM, just like we did with our previous Ruby gem.

First write some codez

Make a new directory called compliment and create two files inside of it: comliment.js and package.json.

In compliment.js we're just going to print out some kind words.

#! /usr/bin/env node

console.log('you. are. AWESOME!');  

Simple enough right? Just make sure you include that shebang up at the top which directs the system to use Node to execute our script.

Package it up

Ok now that we have our little script we'll give its package.json some love.

    "name": "compliment",
    "version": "0.0.1",
    "description": "Tell us how awesome we are.",
    "preferGlobal": "true",
    "bin": { "compliment": "compliment.js" },
    "author": "Rob Dodson",
    "engines": { "node": "*" }

Most of that should be self explanatory. The key aspect is the bin section where you tell it to translate compliment into compliment.js. To install it all we have to do is run npm link. After you've done that you should be able to type compliment and hear how awesome you are!

Keep in mind this isn't distributable just yet, we'll work on that tomorrow. Till then have fun playing with your new powers :D

  • Rob

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