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nodejs docs

Process#

The process object is a global that provides information about, and control over, the current Node.js process. As a global, it is always available to Node.js applications without using require(). It can also be explicitly accessed using require():

const process = require('process');

Process events#

The process object is an instance of EventEmitter.

Event: 'beforeExit'#

The 'beforeExit' event is emitted when Node.js empties its event loop and has no additional work to schedule. Normally, the Node.js process will exit when there is no work scheduled, but a listener registered on the 'beforeExit' event can make asynchronous calls, and thereby cause the Node.js process to continue.

The listener callback function is invoked with the value of process.exitCode passed as the only argument.

The 'beforeExit' event is not emitted for conditions causing explicit termination, such as calling process.exit() or uncaught exceptions.

The 'beforeExit' should not be used as an alternative to the 'exit' event unless the intention is to schedule additional work.

process.on('beforeExit', (code) => {
  console.log('Process beforeExit event with code: ', code);
});

process.on('exit', (code) => {
  console.log('Process exit event with code: ', code);
});

console.log('This message is displayed first.');

// Prints:
// This message is displayed first.
// Process beforeExit event with code: 0
// Process exit event with code: 0

Event: 'disconnect'#

If the Node.js process is spawned with an IPC channel (see the Child Process and Cluster documentation), the 'disconnect' event will be emitted when the IPC channel is closed.

Event: 'exit'#

The 'exit' event is emitted when the Node.js process is about to exit as a result of either:

  • The process.exit() method being called explicitly;
  • The Node.js event loop no longer having any additional work to perform.

There is no way to prevent the exiting of the event loop at this point, and once all 'exit' listeners have finished running the Node.js process will terminate.

The listener callback function is invoked with the exit code specified either by the process.exitCode property, or the exitCode argument passed to the process.exit() method.

process.on('exit', (code) => {
  console.log(`About to exit with code: ${code}`);
});

Listener functions must only perform synchronous operations. The Node.js process will exit immediately after calling the 'exit' event listeners causing any additional work still queued in the event loop to be abandoned. In the following example, for instance, the timeout will never occur:

process.on('exit', (code) => {
  setTimeout(() => {
    console.log('This will not run');
  }, 0);
});

Event: 'message'#

If the Node.js process is spawned with an IPC channel (see the Child Process and Cluster documentation), the 'message' event is emitted whenever a message sent by a parent process using childprocess.send() is received by the child process.

The message goes through serialization and parsing. The resulting message might not be the same as what is originally sent.

If the serialization option was set to advanced used when spawning the process, the message argument can contain data that JSON is not able to represent. See Advanced serialization for child_process for more details.

Event: 'multipleResolves'#

  • type <string> The resolution type. One of 'resolve' or 'reject'.
  • promise <Promise> The promise that resolved or rejected more than once.
  • value <any> The value with which the promise was either resolved or rejected after the original resolve.

The 'multipleResolves' event is emitted whenever a Promise has been either:

  • Resolved more than once.
  • Rejected more than once.
  • Rejected after resolve.
  • Resolved after reject.

This is useful for tracking potential errors in an application while using the Promise constructor, as multiple resolutions are silently swallowed. However, the occurrence of this event does not necessarily indicate an error. For example, Promise.race() can trigger a 'multipleResolves' event.

process.on('multipleResolves', (type, promise, reason) => {
  console.error(type, promise, reason);
  setImmediate(() => process.exit(1));
});

async function main() {
  try {
    return await new Promise((resolve, reject) => {
      resolve('First call');
      resolve('Swallowed resolve');
      reject(new Error('Swallowed reject'));
    });
  } catch {
    throw new Error('Failed');
  }
}

main().then(console.log);
// resolve: Promise { 'First call' } 'Swallowed resolve'
// reject: Promise { 'First call' } Error: Swallowed reject
//     at Promise (*)
//     at new Promise (<anonymous>)
//     at main (*)
// First call

Event: 'rejectionHandled'#

  • promise <Promise> The late handled promise.

The 'rejectionHandled' event is emitted whenever a Promise has been rejected and an error handler was attached to it (using promise.catch(), for example) later than one turn of the Node.js event loop.

The Promise object would have previously been emitted in an 'unhandledRejection' event, but during the course of processing gained a rejection handler.

There is no notion of a top level for a Promise chain at which rejections can always be handled. Being inherently asynchronous in nature, a Promise rejection can be handled at a future point in time, possibly much later than the event loop turn it takes for the 'unhandledRejection' event to be emitted.

Another way of stating this is that, unlike in synchronous code where there is an ever-growing list of unhandled exceptions, with Promises there can be a growing-and-shrinking list of unhandled rejections.

In synchronous code, the 'uncaughtException' event is emitted when the list of unhandled exceptions grows.

In asynchronous code, the 'unhandledRejection' event is emitted when the list of unhandled rejections grows, and the 'rejectionHandled' event is emitted when the list of unhandled rejections shrinks.

const unhandledRejections = new Map();
process.on('unhandledRejection', (reason, promise) => {
  unhandledRejections.set(promise, reason);
});
process.on('rejectionHandled', (promise) => {
  unhandledRejections.delete(promise);
});

In this example, the unhandledRejections Map will grow and shrink over time, reflecting rejections that start unhandled and then become handled. It is possible to record such errors in an error log, either periodically (which is likely best for long-running application) or upon process exit (which is likely most convenient for scripts).

Event: 'uncaughtException'#

  • err <Error> The uncaught exception.
  • origin <string> Indicates if the exception originates from an unhandled rejection or from an synchronous error. Can either be 'uncaughtException' or 'unhandledRejection'. The latter is only used in conjunction with the --unhandled-rejections flag set to strict and an unhandled rejection.

The 'uncaughtException' event is emitted when an uncaught JavaScript exception bubbles all the way back to the event loop. By default, Node.js handles such exceptions by printing the stack trace to stderr and exiting with code 1, overriding any previously set process.exitCode. Adding a handler for the 'uncaughtException' event overrides this default behavior. Alternatively, change the process.exitCode in the 'uncaughtException' handler which will result in the process exiting with the provided exit code. Otherwise, in the presence of such handler the process will exit with 0.

process.on('uncaughtException', (err, origin) => {
  fs.writeSync(
    process.stderr.fd,
    `Caught exception: ${err}\n` +
    `Exception origin: ${origin}`
  );
});

setTimeout(() => {
  console.log('This will still run.');
}, 500);

// Intentionally cause an exception, but don't catch it.
nonexistentFunc();
console.log('This will not run.');

It is possible to monitor 'uncaughtException' events without overriding the default behavior to exit the process by installing a 'uncaughtExceptionMonitor' listener.

Warning: Using 'uncaughtException' correctly#

'uncaughtException' is a crude mechanism for exception handling intended to be used only as a last resort. The event should not be used as an equivalent to On Error Resume Next. Unhandled exceptions inherently mean that an application is in an undefined state. Attempting to resume application code without properly recovering from the exception can cause additional unforeseen and unpredictable issues.

Exceptions thrown from within the event handler will not be caught. Instead the process will exit with a non-zero exit code and the stack trace will be printed. This is to avoid infinite recursion.

Attempting to resume normally after an uncaught exception can be similar to pulling out the power cord when upgrading a computer. Nine out of ten times, nothing happens. But the tenth time, the system becomes corrupted.

The correct use of 'uncaughtException' is to perform synchronous cleanup of allocated resources (e.g. file descriptors, handles, etc) before shutting down the process. It is not safe to resume normal operation after 'uncaughtException'.

To restart a crashed application in a more reliable way, whether 'uncaughtException' is emitted or not, an external monitor should be employed in a separate process to detect application failures and recover or restart as needed.

Event: 'uncaughtExceptionMonitor'#

  • err <Error> The uncaught exception.
  • origin <string> Indicates if the exception originates from an unhandled rejection or from synchronous errors. Can either be 'uncaughtException' or 'unhandledRejection'.

The 'uncaughtExceptionMonitor' event is emitted before an 'uncaughtException' event is emitted or a hook installed via process.setUncaughtExceptionCaptureCallback() is called.

Installing an 'uncaughtExceptionMonitor' listener does not change the behavior once an 'uncaughtException' event is emitted. The process will still crash if no 'uncaughtException' listener is installed.

process.on('uncaughtExceptionMonitor', (err, origin) => {
  MyMonitoringTool.logSync(err, origin);
});

// Intentionally cause an exception, but don't catch it.
nonexistentFunc();
// Still crashes Node.js

Event: 'unhandledRejection'#

  • reason <Error> | <any> The object with which the promise was rejected (typically an Error object).
  • promise <Promise> The rejected promise.

The 'unhandledRejection' event is emitted whenever a Promise is rejected and no error handler is attached to the promise within a turn of the event loop. When programming with Promises, exceptions are encapsulated as “rejected promises”. Rejections can be caught and handled using promise.catch() and are propagated through a Promise chain. The 'unhandledRejection' event is useful for detecting and keeping track of promises that were rejected whose rejections have not yet been handled.

process.on('unhandledRejection', (reason, promise) => {
  console.log('Unhandled Rejection at:', promise, 'reason:', reason);
  // Application specific logging, throwing an error, or other logic here
});

somePromise.then((res) => {
  return reportToUser(JSON.pasre(res)); // Note the typo (`pasre`)
}); // No `.catch()` or `.then()`

The following will also trigger the 'unhandledRejection' event to be emitted:

function SomeResource() {
  // Initially set the loaded status to a rejected promise
  this.loaded = Promise.reject(new Error('Resource not yet loaded!'));
}

const resource = new SomeResource();
// no .catch or .then on resource.loaded for at least a turn

In this example case, it is possible to track the rejection as a developer error as would typically be the case for other 'unhandledRejection' events. To address such failures, a non-operational .catch(() => { }) handler may be attached to resource.loaded, which would prevent the 'unhandledRejection' event from being emitt