Node.js v10.14.1 英文文档


目录

File System#

Stability: 2 - Stable

The fs module provides an API for interacting with the file system in a manner closely modeled around standard POSIX functions.

To use this module:

const fs = require('fs');

All file system operations have synchronous and asynchronous forms.

The asynchronous form always takes a completion callback as its last argument. The arguments passed to the completion callback depend on the method, but the first argument is always reserved for an exception. If the operation was completed successfully, then the first argument will be null or undefined.

const fs = require('fs');

fs.unlink('/tmp/hello', (err) => {
  if (err) throw err;
  console.log('successfully deleted /tmp/hello');
});

Exceptions that occur using synchronous operations are thrown immediately and may be handled using try/catch, or may be allowed to bubble up.

const fs = require('fs');

try {
  fs.unlinkSync('/tmp/hello');
  console.log('successfully deleted /tmp/hello');
} catch (err) {
  // handle the error
}

There is no guaranteed ordering when using asynchronous methods. So the following is prone to error because the fs.stat() operation may complete before the fs.rename() operation:

fs.rename('/tmp/hello', '/tmp/world', (err) => {
  if (err) throw err;
  console.log('renamed complete');
});
fs.stat('/tmp/world', (err, stats) => {
  if (err) throw err;
  console.log(`stats: ${JSON.stringify(stats)}`);
});

To correctly order the operations, move the fs.stat() call into the callback of the fs.rename() operation:

fs.rename('/tmp/hello', '/tmp/world', (err) => {
  if (err) throw err;
  fs.stat('/tmp/world', (err, stats) => {
    if (err) throw err;
    console.log(`stats: ${JSON.stringify(stats)}`);
  });
});

In busy processes, the programmer is strongly encouraged to use the asynchronous versions of these calls. The synchronous versions will block the entire process until they complete — halting all connections.

While it is not recommended, most fs functions allow the callback argument to be omitted, in which case a default callback is used that rethrows errors. To get a trace to the original call site, set the NODE_DEBUG environment variable:

Omitting the callback function on asynchronous fs functions is deprecated and may result in an error being thrown in the future.

$ cat script.js
function bad() {
  require('fs').readFile('/');
}
bad();

$ env NODE_DEBUG=fs node script.js
fs.js:88
        throw backtrace;
        ^
Error: EISDIR: illegal operation on a directory, read
    <stack trace.>

File paths#

Most fs operations accept filepaths that may be specified in the form of a string, a Buffer, or a URL object using the file: protocol.

String form paths are interpreted as UTF-8 character sequences identifying the absolute or relative filename. Relative paths will be resolved relative to the current working directory as specified by process.cwd().

Example using an absolute path on POSIX:

const fs = require('fs');

fs.open('/open/some/file.txt', 'r', (err, fd) => {
  if (err) throw err;
  fs.close(fd, (err) => {
    if (err) throw err;
  });
});

Example using a relative path on POSIX (relative to process.cwd()):

fs.open('file.txt', 'r', (err, fd) => {
  if (err) throw err;
  fs.close(fd, (err) => {
    if (err) throw err;
  });
});

Paths specified using a Buffer are useful primarily on certain POSIX operating systems that treat file paths as opaque byte sequences. On such systems, it is possible for a single file path to contain sub-sequences that use multiple character encodings. As with string paths, Buffer paths may be relative or absolute:

Example using an absolute path on POSIX:

fs.open(Buffer.from('/open/some/file.txt'), 'r', (err, fd) => {
  if (err) throw err;
  fs.close(fd, (err) => {
    if (err) throw err;
  });
});

On Windows, Node.js follows the concept of per-drive working directory. This behavior can be observed when using a drive path without a backslash. For example fs.readdirSync('c:\\') can potentially return a different result than fs.readdirSync('c:'). For more information, see this MSDN page.

URL object support#

For most fs module functions, the path or filename argument may be passed as a WHATWG URL object. Only URL objects using the file: protocol are supported.

const fs = require('fs');
const fileUrl = new URL('file:///tmp/hello');

fs.readFileSync(fileUrl);

file: URLs are always absolute paths.

Using WHATWG URL objects might introduce platform-specific behaviors.

On Windows, file: URLs with a hostname convert to UNC paths, while file: URLs with drive letters convert to local absolute paths. file: URLs without a hostname nor a drive letter will result in a throw:

// On Windows :

// - WHATWG file URLs with hostname convert to UNC path
// file://hostname/p/a/t/h/file => \\hostname\p\a\t\h\file
fs.readFileSync(new URL('file://hostname/p/a/t/h/file'));

// - WHATWG file URLs with drive letters convert to absolute path
// file:///C:/tmp/hello => C:\tmp\hello
fs.readFileSync(new URL('file:///C:/tmp/hello'));

// - WHATWG file URLs without hostname must have a drive letters
fs.readFileSync(new URL('file:///notdriveletter/p/a/t/h/file'));
fs.readFileSync(new URL('file:///c/p/a/t/h/file'));
// TypeError [ERR_INVALID_FILE_URL_PATH]: File URL path must be absolute

file: URLs with drive letters must use : as a separator just after the drive letter. Using another separator will result in a throw.

On all other platforms, file: URLs with a hostname are unsupported and will result in a throw:

// On other platforms:

// - WHATWG file URLs with hostname are unsupported
// file://hostname/p/a/t/h/file => throw!
fs.readFileSync(new URL('file://hostname/p/a/t/h/file'));
// TypeError [ERR_INVALID_FILE_URL_PATH]: must be absolute

// - WHATWG file URLs convert to absolute path
// file:///tmp/hello => /tmp/hello
fs.readFileSync(new URL('file:///tmp/hello'));

A file: URL having encoded slash characters will result in a throw on all platforms:

// On Windows
fs.readFileSync(new URL('file:///C:/p/a/t/h/%2F'));
fs.readFileSync(new URL('file:///C:/p/a/t/h/%2f'));
/* TypeError [ERR_INVALID_FILE_URL_PATH]: File URL path must not include encoded
\ or / characters */

// On POSIX
fs.readFileSync(new URL('file:///p/a/t/h/%2F'));
fs.readFileSync(new URL('file:///p/a/t/h/%2f'));
/* TypeError [ERR_INVALID_FILE_URL_PATH]: File URL path must not include encoded
/ characters */

On Windows, file: URLs having encoded backslash will result in a throw:

// On Windows
fs.readFileSync(new URL('file:///C:/path/%5C'));
fs.readFileSync(new URL('file:///C:/path/%5c'));
/* TypeError [ERR_INVALID_FILE_URL_PATH]: File URL path must not include encoded
\ or / characters */

File Descriptors#

On POSIX systems, for every process, the kernel maintains a table of currently open files and resources. Each open file is assigned a simple numeric identifier called a file descriptor. At the system-level, all file system operations use these file descriptors to identify and track each specific file. Windows systems use a different but conceptually similar mechanism for tracking resources. To simplify things for users, Node.js abstracts away the specific differences between operating systems and assigns all open files a numeric file descriptor.

The fs.open() method is used to allocate a new file descriptor. Once allocated, the file descriptor may be used to read data from, write data to, or request information about the file.

fs.open('/open/some/file.txt', 'r', (err, fd) => {
  if (err) throw err;
  fs.fstat(fd, (err, stat) => {
    if (err) throw err;
    // use stat

    // always close the file descriptor!
    fs.close(fd, (err) => {
      if (err) throw err;
    });
  });
});

Most operating systems limit the number of file descriptors that may be open at any given time so it is critical to close the descriptor when operations are completed. Failure to do so will result in a memory leak that will eventually cause an application to crash.

Threadpool Usage#

All file system APIs except fs.FSWatcher() and those that are explicitly synchronous use libuv's threadpool, which can have surprising and negative performance implications for some applications. See the UV_THREADPOOL_SIZE documentation for more information.

Class: fs.Dirent#

When fs.readdir() or fs.readdirSync() is called with the withFileTypes option set to true, the resulting array is filled with fs.Dirent objects, rather than strings or Buffers.

dirent.isBlockDevice()#

Returns true if the fs.Dirent object describes a block device.

dirent.isCharacterDevice()#

Returns true if the fs.Dirent object describes a character device.

dirent.isDirectory()#

Returns true if the fs.Dirent object describes a file system directory.

dirent.isFIFO()#

Returns true if the fs.Dirent object describes a first-in-first-out (FIFO) pipe.

dirent.isFile()#

Returns true if the fs.Dirent object describes a regular file.

dirent.isSocket()#

Returns true if the fs.Dirent object describes a socket.

dirent.isSymbolicLink()#

Returns true if the fs.Dirent object describes a symbolic link.

dirent.name#

The file name that this fs.Dirent object refers to. The type of this value is determined by the options.encoding passed to fs.readdir() or fs.readdirSync().

Class: fs.FSWatcher#

A successful call to fs.watch() method will return a new fs.FSWatcher object.

All fs.FSWatcher objects are EventEmitter's that will emit a 'change' event whenever a specific watched file is modified.

Event: 'change'#

  • eventType <string> The type of change event that has occurred
  • filename <string> | <Buffer> The filename that changed (if relevant/available)

Emitted when something changes in a watched directory or file. See more details in fs.watch().

The filename argument may not be provided depending on operating system support. If filename is provided, it will be provided as a Buffer if fs.watch() is called with its encoding option set to 'buffer', otherwise filename will be a UTF-8 string.

// Example when handled through fs.watch() listener
fs.watch('./tmp', { encoding: 'buffer' }, (eventType, filename) => {
  if (filename) {
    console.log(filename);
    // Prints: <Buffer ...>
  }
});

Event: 'close'#

Emitted when the watcher stops watching for changes. The closed fs.FSWatcher object is no longer usable in the event handler.

Event: 'error'#

Emitted when an error occurs while watching the file. The errored fs.FSWatcher object is no longer usable in the event handler.

watcher.close()#

Stop watching for changes on the given fs.FSWatcher. Once stopped, the fs.FSWatcher object is no longer usable.

Class: fs.ReadStream#

A successful call to fs.createReadStream() will return a new fs.ReadStream object.

All fs.ReadStream objects are Readable Streams.

Event: 'close'#

Emitted when the fs.ReadStream's underlying file descriptor has been closed.

Event: 'open'#

  • fd <integer> Integer file descriptor used by the ReadStream.

Emitted when the fs.ReadStream's file descriptor has been opened.

Event: 'ready'#

Emitted when the fs.ReadStream is ready to be used.

Fires immediately after 'open'.

readStream.bytesRead#

The number of bytes that have been read so far.

readStream.path#

The path to the file the stream is reading from as specified in the first argument to fs.createReadStream(). If path is passed as a string, then readStream.path will be a string. If path is passed as a Buffer, then readStream.path will be a Buffer.

Class: fs.Stats#

A fs.Stats object provides information about a file.

Objects returned from fs.stat(), fs.lstat() and fs.fstat() and their synchronous counterparts are of this type. If bigint in the options passed to those methods is true, the numeric values will be bigint instead of number.

Stats {
  dev: 2114,
  ino: 48064969,
  mode: 33188,
  nlink: 1,
  uid: 85,
  gid: 100,
  rdev: 0,
  size: 527,
  blksize: 4096,
  blocks: 8,
  atimeMs: 1318289051000.1,
  mtimeMs: 1318289051000.1,
  ctimeMs: 1318289051000.1,
  birthtimeMs: 1318289051000.1,
  atime: Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:24:11 GMT,
  mtime: Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:24:11 GMT,
  ctime: Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:24:11 GMT,
  birthtime: Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:24:11 GMT }

bigint version:

Stats {
  dev: 2114n,
  ino: 48064969n,
  mode: 33188n,
  nlink: 1n,
  uid: 85n,
  gid: 100n,
  rdev: 0n,
  size: 527n,
  blksize: 4096n,
  blocks: 8n,
  atimeMs: 1318289051000n,
  mtimeMs: 1318289051000n,
  ctimeMs: 1318289051000n,
  birthtimeMs: 1318289051000n,
  atime: Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:24:11 GMT,
  mtime: Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:24:11 GMT,
  ctime: Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:24:11 GMT,
  birthtime: Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:24:11 GMT }

stats.isBlockDevice()#

Returns true if the fs.Stats object describes a block device.

stats.isCharacterDevice()#

Returns true if the fs.Stats object describes a character device.

stats.isDirectory()#

Returns true if the fs.Stats object describes a file system directory.

stats.isFIFO()#

Returns true if the fs.Stats object describes a first-in-first-out (FIFO) pipe.

stats.isFile()#

Returns true if the fs.Stats object describes a regular file.

stats.isSocket()#

Returns true if the fs.Stats object describes a socket.

stats.isSymbolicLink()#

Returns true if the fs.Stats object describes a symbolic link.

This method is only valid when using fs.lstat().

stats.dev#

The numeric identifier of the device containing the file.

stats.ino#

The file system specific "Inode" number for the file.

stats.mode#

A bit-field describing the file type and mode.

stats.nlink#

The number of hard-links that exist for the file.

stats.uid#

The numeric user identifier of the user that owns the file (POSIX).

stats.gid#

The numeric group identifier of the group that owns the file (POSIX).

stats.rdev#

A numeric device identifier if the file is considered "special".

stats.size#

The size of the file in bytes.

stats.blksize#

The file system block size for i/o operations.

stats.blocks#

The number of blocks allocated for this file.

stats.atimeMs#

The timestamp indicating the last time this file was accessed expressed in milliseconds since the POSIX Epoch.

stats.mtimeMs#

The timestamp indicating the last time this file was modified expressed in milliseconds since the POSIX Epoch.

stats.ctimeMs#

The timestamp indicating the last time the file status was changed expressed in milliseconds since the POSIX Epoch.

stats.birthtimeMs#

The timestamp indicating the creation time of this file expressed in milliseconds since the POSIX Epoch.

stats.atime#

The timestamp indicating the last time this file was accessed.

stats.mtime#

The timestamp indicating the last time this file was modified.

stats.ctime#

The timestamp indicating the last time the file status was changed.

stats.birthtime#

The timestamp indicating the creation time of this file.

Stat Time Values#

The atimeMs, mtimeMs, ctimeMs, birthtimeMs properties are numbers that hold the corresponding times in milliseconds. Their precision is platform specific. atime, mtime, ctime, and birthtime are Date object alternate representations of the various times. The Date and number values are not connected. Assigning a new number value, or mutating the Date value, will not be reflected in the corresponding alternate representation.

The times in the stat object have the following semantics:

  • atime "Access Time" - Time when file data last accessed. Changed by the mknod(2), utimes(2), and read(2) system calls.
  • mtime "Modified Time" - Time when file data last modified. Changed by the mknod(2), utimes(2), and write(2) system calls.
  • ctime "Change Time" - Time when file status was last changed (inode data modification). Changed by the chmod(2), chown(2), link(2), mknod(2), rename(2), unlink(2), utimes(2), read(2), and write(2) system calls.
  • birthtime "Birth Time" - Time of file creation. Set once when the file is created. On filesystems where birthtime is not available, this field may instead hold either the ctime or 1970-01-01T00:00Z (ie, unix epoch timestamp 0). This value may be greater than atime or mtime in this case. On Darwin and other FreeBSD variants, also set if the atime is explicitly set to an earlier value than the current birthtime using the utimes(2) system call.

Prior to Node.js 0.12, the ctime held the birthtime on Windows systems. As of 0.12, ctime is not "creation time", and on Unix systems, it never was.

Class: fs.WriteStream#

WriteStream is a Writable Stream.

Event: 'close'#

Emitted when the WriteStream's underlying file descriptor has been closed.

Event: 'open'#

  • fd <integer> Integer file descriptor used by the WriteStream.

Emitted when the WriteStream's file is opened.

Event: 'ready'#

Emitted when the fs.WriteStream is ready to be used.

Fires immediately after 'open'.

writeStream.bytesWritten#

The number of bytes written so far. Does not include data that is still queued for writing.

writeStream.path#

The path to the file the stream is writing to as specified in the first argument to fs.createWriteStream(). If path is passed as a string, then writeStream.path will be a string. If path is passed as a Buffer, then writeStream.path will be a Buffer.

fs.access(path[, mode], callback)#

Tests a user's permissions for the file or directory specified by path. The mode argument is an optional integer that specifies the accessibility checks to be performed. Check File Access Constants for possible values of mode. It is possible to create a mask consisting of the bitwise OR of two or more values (e.g. fs.constants.W_OK | fs.constants.R_OK).

The final argument, callback, is a callback function that is invoked with a possible error argument. If any of the accessibility checks fail, the error argument will be an Error object. The following examples check if package.json exists, and if it is readable or writable.

const file = 'package.json';

// Check if the file exists in the current directory.
fs.access(file, fs.constants.F_OK, (err) => {
  console.log(`${file} ${err ? 'does not exist' : 'exists'}`);
});

// Check if the file is readable.
fs.access(file, fs.constants.R_OK, (err) => {
  console.log(`${file} ${err ? 'is not readable' : 'is readable'}`);
});

// Check if the file is writable.
fs.access(file, fs.constants.W_OK, (err) => {
  console.log(`${file} ${err ? 'is not writable' : 'is writable'}`);
});

// Check if the file exists in the current directory, and if it is writable.
fs.access(file, fs.constants.F_OK | fs.constants.W_OK, (err) => {
  if (err) {
    console.error(
      `${file} ${err.code === 'ENOENT' ? 'does not exist' : 'is read-only'}`);
  } else {
    console.log(`${file} exists, and it is writable`);
  }
});

Using fs.access() to check for the accessibility of a file before calling fs.open(), fs.readFile() or fs.writeFile() is not recommended. Doing so introduces a race condition, since other processes may change the file's state between the two calls. Instead, user code should open/read/write the file directly and handle the error raised if the file is not accessible.

write (NOT RECOMMENDED)

fs.access('myfile', (err) => {
  if (!err) {
    console.error('myfile already exists');
    return;
  }

  fs.open('myfile', 'wx', (err, fd) => {
    if (err) throw err;
    writeMyData(fd);
  });
});

write (RECOMMENDED)

fs.open('myfile', 'wx', (err, fd) => {
  if (err) {
    if (err.code === 'EEXIST') {
      console.error('myfile already exists');
      return;
    }

    throw err;
  }

  writeMyData(fd);
});

read (NOT RECOMMENDED)

fs.access('myfile', (err) => {
  if (err) {
    if (err.code === 'ENOENT') {
      console.error('myfile does not exist');
      return;
    }

    throw err;
  }

  fs.open('myfile', 'r', (err, fd) => {
    if (err) throw err;
    readMyData(fd);
  });
});

read (RECOMMENDED)

fs.open('myfile', 'r', (err, fd) => {
  if (err) {
    if (err.code === 'ENOENT') {
      console.error('myfile does not exist');
      return;
    }

    throw err;
  }

  readMyData(fd);
});

The "not recommended" examples above check for accessibility and then use the file; the "recommended" examples are better because they use the file directly and handle the error, if any.

In general, check for the accessibility of a file only if the file will not be used directly, for example when its accessibility is a signal from another process.

fs.accessSync(path[, mode])#

Synchronously tests a user's permissions for the file or directory specified by path. The mode argument is an optional integer that specifies the accessibility checks to be performed. Check File Access Constants for possible values of mode. It is possible to create a mask consisting of the bitwise OR of two or more values (e.g. fs.constants.W_OK | fs.constants.R_OK).

If any of the accessibility checks fail, an Error will be thrown. Otherwise, the method will return undefined.

try {
  fs.accessSync('etc/passwd', fs.constants.R_OK | fs.constants.W_OK);
  console.log('can read/write');
} catch (err) {
  console.error('no access!');
}

fs.appendFile(path, data[, options], callback)#

Asynchronously append data to a file, creating the file if it does not yet exist. data can be a string or a Buffer.

fs.appendFile('message.txt', 'data to append', (err) => {
  if (err) throw err;
  console.log('The "data to append" was appended to file!');
});

If options is a string, then it specifies the encoding:

fs.appendFile('message.txt', 'data to append', 'utf8', callback);

The path may be specified as a numeric file descriptor that has been opened for appending (using fs.open() or fs.openSync()). The file descriptor will not be closed automatically.

fs.open('message.txt', 'a', (err, fd) => {
  if (err) throw err;
  fs.appendFile(fd, 'data to append', 'utf8', (err) => {
    fs.close(fd, (err) => {
      if (err) throw err;
    });
    if (err) throw err;
  });
});

fs.appendFileSync(path, data[, options])#

Synchronously append data to a file, creating the file if it does not yet exist. data can be a string or a Buffer.

try {
  fs.appendFileSync('message.txt', 'data to append');
  console.log('The "data to append" was appended to file!');
} catch (err) {
  /* Handle the error */
}

If options is a string, then it specifies the encoding:

fs.appendFileSync('message.txt', 'data to append', 'utf8');

The path may be specified as a numeric file descriptor that has been opened for appending (using fs.open() or fs.openSync()). The file descriptor will not be closed automatically.

let fd;

try {
  fd = fs.openSync('message.txt', 'a');
  fs.appendFileSync(fd, 'data to append', 'utf8');
} catch (err) {
  /* Handle the error */
} finally {
  if (fd !== undefined)
    fs.closeSync(fd);
}

fs.chmod(path, mode, callback)#

Asynchronously changes the permissions of a file. No arguments other than a possible exception are given to the completion callback.

See also: chmod(2).

File modes#

The mode argument used in both the fs.chmod() and fs.chmodSync() methods is a numeric bitmask created using a logical OR of the following constants:

ConstantOctalDescription
fs.constants.S_IRUSR0o400read by owner
fs.constants.S_IWUSR0o200write by owner
fs.constants.S_IXUSR0o100execute/search by owner
fs.constants.S_IRGRP0o40read by group
fs.constants.S_IWGRP0o20write by group
fs.constants.S_IXGRP0o10execute/search by group
fs.constants.S_IROTH0o4read by others
fs.constants.S_IWOTH0o2write by others
fs.constants.S_IXOTH0o1execute/search by others

An easier method of constructing the mode is to use a sequence of three octal digits (e.g. 765). The left-most digit (7 in the example), specifies the permissions for the file owner. The middle digit (6 in the example), specifies permissions for the group. The right-most digit (5 in the example), specifies the permissions for others.

NumberDescription
7read, write, and execute
6read and write
5read and execute
4read only
3write and execute
2write only
1execute only
0no permission

For example, the octal value 0o765 means:

  • The owner may read, write and execute the file.
  • The group may read and write the file.
  • Others may read and execute the file.

When using raw numbers where file modes are expected, any value larger than 0o777 may result in platform-specific behaviors that are not supported to work consistently. Therefore constants like S_ISVTX, S_ISGID or S_ISUID are not exposed in fs.constants.

Caveats: on Windows only the write permission can be changed, and the distinction among the permissions of group, owner or others is not implemented.

fs.chmodSync(path, mode)#

For detailed information, see the documentation of the asynchronous version of this API: fs.chmod().

See also: chmod(2).

fs.chown(path, uid, gid, callback)#

Asynchronously changes owner and group of a file. No arguments other than a possible exception are given to the completion callback.

See also: chown(2).

fs.chownSync(path, uid, gid)#

Synchronously changes owner and group of a file. Returns undefined. This is the synchronous version of fs.chown().

See also: chown(2).

fs.close(fd, callback)#

Asynchronous close(2). No arguments other than a possible exception are given to the completion callback.

fs.closeSync(fd)#

Synchronous close(2). Returns undefined.

fs.constants#

Returns an object containing commonly used constants for file system operations. The specific constants currently defined are described in FS Constants.

fs.copyFile(src, dest[, flags], callback)#

Asynchronously copies src to dest. By default, dest is overwritten if it already exists. No arguments other than a possible exception are given to the callback function. Node.js makes no guarantees about the atomicity of the copy operation. If an error occurs after the destination file has been opened for writing, Node.js will attempt to remove the destination.

flags is an optional integer that specifies the behavior of the copy operation. It is possible to create a mask consisting of the bitwise OR of two or more values (e.g. fs.constants.COPYFILE_EXCL | fs.constants.COPYFILE_FICLONE).

  • fs.constants.COPYFILE_EXCL - The copy operation will fail if dest already exists.
  • fs.constants.COPYFILE_FICLONE - The copy operation will attempt to create a copy-on-write reflink. If the platform does not support copy-on-write, then a fallback copy mechanism is used.
  • fs.constants.COPYFILE_FICLONE_FORCE - The copy operation will attempt to create a copy-on-write reflink. If the platform does not support copy-on-write, then the operation will fail.
const fs = require('fs');

// destination.txt will be created or overwritten by default.
fs.copyFile('source.txt', 'destination.txt', (err) => {
  if (err) throw err;
  console.log('source.txt was copied to destination.txt');
});

If the third argument is a number, then it specifies flags:

const fs = require('fs');
const { COPYFILE_EXCL } = fs.constants;

// By using COPYFILE_EXCL, the operation will fail if destination.txt exists.
fs.copyFile('source.txt', 'destination.txt', COPYFILE_EXCL, callback);

fs.copyFileSync(src, dest[, flags])#

Synchronously copies src to dest. By default, dest is overwritten if it already exists. Returns undefined. Node.js makes no guarantees about the atomicity of the copy operation. If an error occurs after the destination file has been opened for writing, Node.js will attempt to remove the destination.

flags is an optional integer that specifies the behavior of the copy operation. It is possible to create a mask consisting of the bitwise OR of two or more values (e.g. fs.constants.COPYFILE_EXCL | fs.constants.COPYFILE_FICLONE).

  • fs.constants.COPYFILE_EXCL - The copy operation will fail if dest already exists.
  • fs.constants.COPYFILE_FICLONE - The copy operation will attempt to create a copy-on-write reflink. If the platform does not support copy-on-write, then a fallback copy mechanism is used.
  • fs.constants.COPYFILE_FICLONE_FORCE - The copy operation will attempt to create a copy-on-write reflink. If the platform does not support copy-on-write, then the operation will fail.
const fs = require('fs');

// destination.txt will be created or overwritten by default.
fs.copyFileSync('source.txt', 'destination.txt');
console.log('source.txt was copied to destination.txt');

If the third argument is a number, then it specifies flags:

const fs = require('fs');
const { COPYFILE_EXCL } = fs.constants;

// By using COPYFILE_EXCL, the operation will fail if destination.txt exists.
fs.copyFileSync('source.txt', 'destination.txt', COPYFILE_EXCL);

fs.createReadStream(path[, options])#

Unlike the 16 kb default highWaterMark for a readable stream, the stream returned by this method has a default highWaterMark of 64 kb.

options can include start and end values to read a range of bytes from the file instead of the entire file. Both start and end are inclusive and start counting at 0. If fd is specified and start is omitted or undefined, fs.createReadStream() reads sequentially from the current file position. The encoding can be any one of those accepted by Buffer.

If fd is specified, ReadStream will ignore the path argument and will use the specified file descriptor. This means that no 'open' event will be emitted. fd should be blocking; non-blocking fds should be passed to net.Socket.

If fd points to a character device that only supports blocking reads (such as keyboard or sound card), read operations do not finish until data is available. This can prevent the process from exiting and the stream from closing naturally.

const fs = require('fs');
// Create a stream from some character  device.
const stream = fs.createReadStream('/dev/input/event0');
setTimeout(() => {
  stream.close(); // This may not close the stream.
  // Artificially marking end-of-stream, as if the underlying resource had
  // indicated end-of-file by itself, allows the stream to close.
  // This does not cancel pending read operations, and if there is such an
  // operation, the process may still not be able to exit successfully
  // until it finishes.
  stream.push(null);
  stream.read(0);
}, 100);

If autoClose is false, then the file descriptor won't be closed, even if there's an error. It is the application's responsibility to close it and make sure there's no file descriptor leak. If autoClose is set to true (default behavior), on 'error' or 'end' the file descriptor will be closed automatically.

mode sets the file mode (permission and sticky bits), but only if the file was created.

An example to read the last 10 bytes of a file which is 100 bytes long:

fs.createReadStream('sample.txt', { start: 90, end: 99 });

If options is a string, then it specifies the encoding.

fs.createWriteStream(path[, options])#

options may also include a start option to allow writing data at some position past the beginning of the file. Modifying a file rather than replacing it may require a flags mode of r+ rather than the default mode w. The encoding can be any one of those accepted by Buffer.

If autoClose is set to true (default behavior) on 'error' or 'finish' the file descriptor will be closed automatically. If autoClose is false, then the file descriptor won't be closed, even if there's an error. It is the application's responsibility to close it and make sure there's no file descriptor leak.

Like ReadStream, if fd is specified, WriteStream will ignore the path argument and will use the specified file descriptor. This means that no 'open' event will be emitted. fd should be blocking; non-blocking fds should be passed to net.Socket.

If options is a string, then it specifies the encoding.

fs.exists(path, callback)#

Stability: 0 - Deprecated: Use fs.stat() or fs.access() instead.

Test whether or not the given path exists by checking with the file system. Then call the callback argument with either true or false:

fs.exists('/etc/passwd', (exists) => {
  console.log(exists ? 'it\'s there' : 'no passwd!');
});

The parameters for this callback are not consistent with other Node.js callbacks. Normally, the first parameter to a Node.js callback is an err parameter, optionally followed by other parameters. The fs.exists() callback has only one boolean parameter. This is one reason fs.access() is recommended instead of fs.exists().

Using fs.exists() to check for the existence of a file before calling fs.open(), fs.readFile() or fs.writeFile() is not recommended. Doing so introduces a race condition, since other processes may change the file's state between the two calls. Instead, user code should open/read/write the file directly and handle the error raised if the file does not exist.

write (NOT RECOMMENDED)

fs.exists('myfile', (exists) => {
  if (exists) {
    console.error('myfile already exists');
  } else {
    fs.open('myfile', 'wx', (err, fd) => {
      if (err) throw err;
      writeMyData(fd);
    });
  }
});

write (RECOMMENDED)

fs.open('myfile', 'wx', (err, fd) => {
  if (err) {
    if (err.code === 'EEXIST') {
      console.error('myfile already exists');
      return;
    }

    throw err;
  }

  writeMyData(fd);
});

read (NOT RECOMMENDED)

fs.exists('myfile', (exists) => {
  if (exists) {
    fs.open('myfile', 'r', (err, fd) => {
      if (err) throw err;
      readMyData(fd);
    });
  } else {
    console.error('myfile does not exist');
  }
});

read (RECOMMENDED)

fs.open('myfile', 'r', (err, fd) => {
  if (err) {
    if (err.code === 'ENOENT') {
      console.error('myfile does not exist');
      return;
    }

    throw err;
  }

  readMyData(fd);
});

The "not recommended" examples above check for existence and then use the file; the "recommended" examples are better because they use the file directly and handle the error, if any.

In general, check for the existence of a file only if the file won’t be used directly, for example when its existence is a signal from another process.

fs.existsSync(path)#

Returns true if the path exists, false otherwise.

For detailed information, see the documentation of the asynchronous version of this API: fs.exists().

fs.exists() is deprecated, but fs.existsSync() is not. The callback parameter to fs.exists() accepts parameters that are inconsistent with other Node.js callbacks. fs.existsSync() does not use a callback.

fs.fchmod(fd, mode, callback)#

Asynchronous fchmod(2). No arguments other than a possible exception are given to the completion callback.

fs.fchmodSync(fd, mode)#

Synchronous fchmod(2). Returns undefined.

fs.fchown(fd, uid, gid, callback)#

Asynchronous fchown(2). No arguments other than a possible exception are given to the completion callback.

fs.fchownSync(fd, uid, gid)#

Synchronous fchown(2). Returns undefined.

fs.fdatasync(fd, callback)#

Asynchronous fdatasync(2). No arguments other than a possible exception are given to the completion callback.

fs.fdatasyncSync(fd)#

Synchronous fdatasync(2). Returns undefined.

fs.fstat(fd[, options], callback)#

Asynchronous fstat(2). The callback gets two arguments (err, stats) where stats is an fs.Stats object. fstat() is identical to stat(), except that the file to be stat-ed is specified by the file descriptor fd.

fs.fstatSync(fd[, options])#

Synchronous fstat(2).

fs.fsync(fd, callback)#

Asynchronous fsync(2). No arguments other than a possible exception are given to the completion callback.

fs.fsyncSync(fd)#

Synchronous fsync(2). Returns undefined.

fs.ftruncate(fd[, len], callback)#

Asynchronous ftruncate(2). No arguments other than a possible exception are given to the completion callback.

If the file referred to by the file descriptor was larger than len bytes, only the first len bytes will be retained in the file.

For example, the following program retains only the first four bytes of the file:

console.log(fs.readFileSync('temp.txt', 'utf8'));
// Prints: Node.js

// get the file descriptor of the file to be truncated
const fd = fs.openSync('temp.txt', 'r+');

// truncate the file to first four bytes
fs.ftruncate(fd, 4, (err) => {
  assert.ifError(err);
  console.log(fs.readFileSync('temp.txt', 'utf8'));
});
// Prints: Node

If the file previously was shorter than len bytes, it is extended, and the extended part is filled with null bytes ('\0'):

console.log(fs.readFileSync('temp.txt', 'utf8'));
// Prints: Node.js

// get the file descriptor of the file to be truncated
const fd = fs.openSync('temp.txt', 'r+');

// truncate the file to 10 bytes, whereas the actual size is 7 bytes
fs.ftruncate(fd, 10, (err) => {
  assert.ifError(err);
  console.log(fs.readFileSync('temp.txt'));
});
// Prints: <Buffer 4e 6f 64 65 2e 6a 73 00 00 00>
// ('Node.js\0\0\0' in UTF8)

The last three bytes are null bytes ('\0'), to compensate the over-truncation.

fs.ftruncateSync(fd[, len])#

Returns undefined.

For detailed information, see the documentation of the asynchronous version of this API: fs.ftruncate().

fs.futimes(fd, atime, mtime, callback)#

Change the file system timestamps of the object referenced by the supplied file descriptor. See fs.utimes().

This function does not work on AIX versions before 7.1, it will return the error UV_ENOSYS.

fs.futimesSync(fd, atime, mtime)#

Synchronous version of fs.futimes(). Returns undefined.

fs.lchmod(path, mode, callback)#

Asynchronous lchmod(2). No arguments other than a possible exception are given to the completion callback.

Only available on macOS.

fs.lchmodSync(path, mode)#

Synchronous lchmod(2). Returns undefined.

fs.lchown(path, uid, gid, callback)#

Asynchronous lchown(2). No arguments other than a possible exception are given to the completion callback.

fs.lchownSync(path, uid, gid)#

Synchronous lchown(2). Returns undefined.

fs.link(existingPath, newPath, callback)#

Asynchronous link(2). No arguments other than a possible exception are given to the completion callback.

fs.linkSync(existingPath, newPath)#

Synchronous link(2). Returns undefined.

fs.lstat(path[, options], callback)#

Asynchronous lstat(2). The callback gets two arguments (err, stats) where stats is a fs.Stats object. lstat() is identical to stat(), except that if path is a symbolic link, then the link itself is stat-ed, not the file that it refers to.

fs.lstatSync(path[, options])#

Synchronous lstat(2).

fs.mkdir(path[, options], callback)#

Asynchronously creates a directory. No arguments other than a possible exception are given to the completion callback.

The optional options argument can be an integer specifying mode (permission and sticky bits), or an object with a mode property and a recursive property indicating whether parent folders should be created.

// Creates /tmp/a/apple, regardless of whether `/tmp` and /tmp/a exist.
fs.mkdir('/tmp/a/apple', { recursive: true }, (err) => {
  if (err) throw err;
});

See also: mkdir(2).

fs.mkdirSync(path[, options])#

Synchronously creates a directory. Returns undefined. This is the synchronous version of fs.mkdir().

See also: mkdir(2).

fs.mkdtemp(prefix[, options], callback)#

Creates a unique temporary directory.

Generates six random characters to be appended behind a required prefix to create a unique temporary directory.

The created folder path is passed as a string to the callback's second parameter.

The optional options argument can be a string specifying an encoding, or an object with an encoding property specifying the character encoding to use.

fs.mkdtemp(path.join(os.tmpdir(), 'foo-'), (err, folder) => {
  if (err) throw err;
  console.log(folder);
  // Prints: /tmp/foo-itXde2 or C:\Users\...\AppData\Local\Temp\foo-itXde2
});

The fs.mkdtemp() method will append the six randomly selected characters directly to the prefix string. For instance, given a directory /tmp, if the intention is to create a temporary directory within /tmp, the prefix must end with a trailing platform-specific path separator (require('path').sep).

// The parent directory for the new temporary directory
const tmpDir = os.tmpdir();

// This method is *INCORRECT*:
fs.mkdtemp(tmpDir, (err, folder) => {
  if (err) throw err;
  console.log(folder);
  // Will print something similar to `/tmpabc123`.
  // A new temporary directory is created at the file system root
  // rather than *within* the /tmp directory.
});

// This method is *CORRECT*:
const { sep } = require('path');
fs.mkdtemp(`${tmpDir}${sep}`, (err, folder) => {
  if (err) throw err;
  console.log(folder);
  // Will print something similar to `/tmp/abc123`.
  // A new temporary directory is created within
  // the /tmp directory.
});

fs.mkdtempSync(prefix[, options])#

Returns the created folder path.

For detailed information, see the documentation of the asynchronous version of this API: fs.mkdtemp().

The optional options argument can be a string specifying an encoding, or an object with an encoding property specifying the character encoding to use.

fs.open(path, flags[, mode], callback)#

Asynchronous file open. See open(2).

mode sets the file mode (permission and sticky bits), but only if the file was created. On Windows, only the write permission can be manipulated; see fs.chmod().

The callback gets two arguments (err, fd).

Some characters (< > : " / \ | ? *) are reserved under Windows as documented by Naming Files, Paths, and Namespaces. Under NTFS, if the filename contains a colon, Node.js will open a file system stream, as described by this MSDN page.

Functions based on fs.open() exhibit this behavior as well: fs.writeFile(), fs.readFile(), etc.

fs.openSync(path, flags[, mode])#

Returns an integer representing the file descriptor.

For detailed information, see the documentation of the asynchronous version of this API: fs.open().

fs.read(fd, buffer, offset, length, position, callback)#

Read data from the file specified by fd.

buffer is the buffer that the data will be written to.

offset is the offset in the buffer to start writing at.

length is an integer specifying the number of bytes to read.

position is an argument specifying where to begin reading from in the file. If position is null, data will be read from the current file position, and the file position will be updated. If position is an integer, the file position will remain unchanged.

The callback is given the three arguments, (err, bytesRead, buffer).

If this method is invoked as its util.promisify()ed version, it returns a Promise for an Object with bytesRead and buffer properties.

fs.readdir(path[, options], callback)#

Asynchronous readdir(3). Reads the contents of a directory. The callback gets two arguments (err, files) where files is an array of the names of the files in the directory excluding '.' and '..'.

The optional options argument can be a string specifying an encoding, or an object with an encoding property specifying the character encoding to use for the filenames passed to the callback. If the encoding is set to 'buffer', the filenames returned will be passed as Buffer objects.

If options.withFileTypes is set to true, the files array will contain fs.Dirent objects.

fs.readdirSync(path[, options])#

Synchronous readdir(3).

The optional options argument can be a string specifying an encoding, or an object with an encoding property specifying the character encoding to use for the filenames returned. If the encoding is set to 'buffer', the filenames returned will be passed as Buffer objects.

If options.withFileTypes is set to true, the result will contain fs.Dirent objects.

fs.readFile(path[, options], callback)#

Asynchronously reads the entire contents of a file.

fs.readFile('/etc/passwd', (err, data) => {
  if (err) throw err;
  console.log(data);
});

The callback is passed two arguments (err, data), where data is the contents of the file.

If no encoding is specified, then the raw buffer is returned.

If options is a string, then it specifies the encoding:

fs.readFile('/etc/passwd', 'utf8', callback);

When the path is a directory, the behavior of fs.readFile() and fs.readFileSync() is platform-specific. On macOS, Linux, and Windows, an error will be returned. On FreeBSD, a representation of the directory's contents will be returned.

// macOS, Linux, and Windows
fs.readFile('<directory>', (err, data) => {
  // => [Error: EISDIR: illegal operation on a directory, read <directory>]
});

//  FreeBSD
fs.readFile('<directory>', (err, data) => {
  // => null, <data>
});

Any specified file descriptor has to support reading.

If a file descriptor is specified as the path, it will not be closed automatically.

The fs.readFile() function buffers the entire file. To minimize memory costs, when possible prefer streaming via fs.createReadStream().

fs.readFileSync(path[, options])#

Returns the contents of the path.

For detailed information, see the documentation of the asynchronous version of this API: fs.readFile().

If the encoding option is specified then this function returns a string. Otherwise it returns a buffer.

Similar to fs.readFile(), when the path is a directory, the behavior of fs.readFileSync() is platform-specific.

// macOS, Linux, and Windows
fs.readFileSync('<directory>');
// => [Error: EISDIR: illegal operation on a directory, read <directory>]

//  FreeBSD
fs.readFileSync('<directory>'); // => <data>

fs.readlink(path[, options], callback)#

Asynchronous readlink(2). The callback gets two arguments (err, linkString).

The optional options argument can be a string specifying an encoding, or an object with an encoding property specifying the character encoding to use for the link path passed to the callback. If the encoding is set to 'buffer', the link path returned will be passed as a Buffer object.

fs.readlinkSync(path[, options])#

Synchronous readlink(2). Returns the symbolic link's string value.

The optional options argument can be a string specifying an encoding, or an object with an encoding property specifying the character encoding to use for the link path returned. If the encoding is set to 'buffer', the link path returned will be passed as a Buffer object.

fs.readSync(fd, buffer, offset, length, position)#

Returns the number of bytesRead.

For detailed information, see the documentation of the asynchronous version of this API: fs.read().

fs.realpath(path[, options], callback)#

Asynchronously computes the canonical pathname by resolving ., .. and symbolic links.

A canonical pathname is not necessarily unique. Hard links and bind mounts can expose a file system entity through many pathnames.

This function behaves like realpath(3), with some exceptions:

  1. No case conversion is performed on case-insensitive file systems.

  2. The maximum number of symbolic links is platform-independent and generally (much) higher than what the native realpath(3) implementation supports.

The callback gets two arguments (err, resolvedPath). May use process.cwd to resolve relative paths.

Only paths that can be converted to UTF8 strings are supported.

The optional options argument can be a string specifying an encoding, or an object with an encoding property specifying the character encoding to use for the path passed to the callback. If the encoding is set to 'buffer', the path returned will be passed as a Buffer object.

If path resolves to a socket or a pipe, the function will return a system dependent name for that object.

fs.realpath.native(path[, options], callback)#

Asynchronous realpath(3).

The callback gets two arguments (err, resolvedPath).

Only paths that can be converted to UTF8 strings are supported.

The optional options argument can be a string specifying an encoding, or an object with an encoding property specifying the character encoding to use for the path passed to the callback. If the encoding is set to 'buffer', the path returned will be passed as a Buffer object.

On Linux, when Node.js is linked against musl libc, the procfs file system must be mounted on /proc in order for this function to work. Glibc does not have this restriction.

fs.realpathSync(path[, options])#

Returns the resolved pathname.

For detailed information, see the documentation of the asynchronous version of this API: fs.realpath().

fs.realpathSync.native(path[, options])#

Synchronous realpath(3).

Only paths that can be converted to UTF8 strings are supported.

The optional options argument can be a string specifying an encoding, or an object with an encoding property specifying the character encoding to use for the path returned. If the encoding is set to 'buffer', the path returned will be passed as a Buffer object.

On Linux, when Node.js is linked against musl libc, the procfs file system must be mounted on /proc in order for this function to work. Glibc does not have this restriction.

fs.rename(oldPath, newPath, callback)#

Asynchronously rename file at oldPath to the pathname provided as newPath. In the case that newPath already exists, it will be overwritten. No arguments other than a possible exception are given to the completion callback.

See also: rename(2).

fs.rename('oldFile.txt', 'newFile.txt', (err) => {
  if (err) throw err;
  console.log('Rename complete!');
});

fs.renameSync(oldPath, newPath)#

Synchronous rename(2). Returns undefined.

fs.rmdir(path, callback)#

Asynchronous rmdir(2). No arguments other than a possible exception are given to the completion callback.

Using fs.rmdir() on a file (not a directory) results in an ENOENT error on Windows and an ENOTDIR error on POSIX.

fs.rmdirSync(path)#

Synchronous rmdir(2). Returns undefined.

Using fs.rmdirSync() on a file (not a directory) results in an ENOENT error on Windows and an ENOTDIR error on POSIX.

fs.stat(path[, options], callback)#

Asynchronous stat(2). The callback gets two arguments (err, stats) where stats is an fs.Stats object.

In case of an error, the err.code will be one of Common System Errors.

Using fs.stat() to check for the existence of a file before calling fs.open(), fs.readFile() or fs.writeFile() is not recommended. Instead, user code should open/read/write the file directly and handle the error raised if the file is not available.

To check if a file exists without manipulating it afterwards, fs.access() is recommended.

fs.statSync(path[, options])#

Synchronous stat(2).

fs.symlink(target, path[, type], callback)#

Asynchronous symlink(2). No arguments other than a possible exception are given to the completion callback. The type argument can be set to 'dir', 'file', or 'junction' and is only available on Windows (ignored on other platforms). Windows junction points require the destination path to be absolute. When using 'junction', the target argument will automatically be normalized to absolute path.

Here is an example below:

fs.symlink('./foo', './new-port', callback);

It creates a symbolic link named "new-port" that points to "foo".

fs.symlinkSync(target, path[, type])#

Returns undefined.

For detailed information, see the documentation of the asynchronous version of this API: fs.symlink().

fs.truncate(path[, len], callback)#

Asynchronous truncate(2). No arguments other than a possible exception are given to the completion callback. A file descriptor can also be passed as the first argument. In this case, fs.ftruncate() is called.

Passing a file descriptor is deprecated and may result in an error being thrown in the future.

fs.truncateSync(path[, len])#

Synchronous truncate(2). Returns undefined. A file descriptor can also be passed as the first argument. In this case, fs.ftruncateSync() is called.

Passing a file descriptor is deprecated and may result in an error being thrown in the future.

fs.unlink(path, callback)#

Asynchronously removes a file or symbolic link. No arguments other than a possible exception are given to the completion callback.

// Assuming that 'path/file.txt' is a regular file.
fs.unlink('path/file.txt', (err) => {
  if (err) throw err;
  console.log('path/file.txt was deleted');
});

fs.unlink() will not work on a directory, empty or otherwise. To remove a directory, use fs.rmdir().

See also: unlink(2).

fs.unlinkSync(path)#

Synchronous unlink(2). Returns undefined.

fs.unwatchFile(filename[, listener])#

Stop watching for changes on filename. If listener is specified, only that particular listener is removed. Otherwise, all listeners are removed, effectively stopping watching of filename.

Calling fs.unwatchFile() with a filename that is not being watched is a no-op, not an error.

Using fs.watch() is more efficient than fs.watchFile() and fs.unwatchFile(). fs.watch() should be used instead of fs.watchFile() and fs.unwatchFile() when possible.

fs.utimes(path, atime, mtime, callback)#

Change the file system timestamps of the object referenced by path.

The atime and mtime arguments follow these rules:

  • Values can be either numbers representing Unix epoch time, Dates, or a numeric string like '123456789.0'.
  • If the value can not be converted to a number, or is NaN, Infinity or -Infinity, an Error will be thrown.

fs.utimesSync(path, atime, mtime)#

Returns undefined.

For detailed information, see the documentation of the asynchronous version of this API: fs.utimes().

fs.watch(filename[, options][, listener])#

  • filename <string> | <Buffer> | <URL>
  • options <string> | <Object>

    • persistent <boolean> Indicates whether the process should continue to run as long as files are being watched. Default: true.
    • recursive <boolean> Indicates whether all subdirectories should be watched, or only the current directory. This applies when a directory is specified, and only on supported platforms (See Caveats). Default: false.
    • encoding <string> Specifies the character encoding to be used for the filename passed to the listener. Default: 'utf8'.
  • listener <Function> | <undefined> Default: undefined

  • Returns: <fs.FSWatcher>

Watch for changes on filename, where filename is either a file or a directory.

The second argument is optional. If options is provided as a string, it specifies the encoding. Otherwise options should be passed as an object.

The listener callback gets two arguments (eventType, filename). eventType is either 'rename' or 'change', and filename is the name of the file which triggered the event.

On most platforms, 'rename' is emitted whenever a filename appears or disappears in the directory.

The listener callback is attached to the 'change' event fired by fs.FSWatcher, but it is not the same thing as the 'change' value of eventType.

Caveats#

The fs.watch API is not 100% consistent across platforms, and is unavailable in some situations.

The recursive option is only supported on macOS and Windows.

Availability#

This feature depends on the underlying operating system providing a way to be notified of filesystem changes.

If the underlying functionality is not available for some reason, then fs.watch will not be able to function. For example, watching files or directories can be unreliable, and in some cases impossible, on network file systems (NFS, SMB, etc), or host file systems when using virtualization software such as Vagrant, Docker, etc.

It is still possible to use fs.watchFile(), which uses stat polling, but this method is slower and less reliable.

Inodes#

On Linux and macOS systems, fs.watch() resolves the path to an inode and watches the inode. If the watched path is deleted and recreated, it is assigned a new inode. The watch will emit an event for the delete but will continue watching the original inode. Events for the new inode will not be emitted. This is expected behavior.

AIX files retain the same inode for the lifetime of a file. Saving and closing a watched file on AIX will result in two notifications (one for adding new content, and one for truncation).

Filename Argument#

Providing filename argument in the callback is only supported on Linux, macOS, Windows, and AIX. Even on supported platforms, filename is not always guaranteed to be provided. Therefore, don't assume that filename argument is always provided in the callback, and have some fallback logic if it is null.

fs.watch('somedir', (eventType, filename) => {
  console.log(`event type is: ${eventType}`);
  if (filename) {
    console.log(`filename provided: ${filename}`);
  } else {
    console.log('filename not provided');
  }
});

fs.watchFile(filename[, options], listener)#

Watch for changes on filename. The callback listener will be called each time the file is accessed.

The options argument may be omitted. If provided, it should be an object. The options object may contain a boolean named persistent that indicates whether the process should continue to run as long as files are being watched. The options object may specify an interval property indicating how often the target should be polled in milliseconds.

The listener gets two arguments the current stat object and the previous stat object:

fs.watchFile('message.text', (curr, prev) => {
  console.log(`the current mtime is: ${curr.mtime}`);
  console.log(`the previous mtime was: ${prev.mtime}`);
});

These stat objects are instances of fs.Stat.

To be notified when the file was modified, not just accessed, it is necessary to compare curr.mtime and prev.mtime.

When an fs.watchFile operation results in an ENOENT error, it will invoke the listener once, with all the fields zeroed (or, for dates, the Unix Epoch). In Windows, blksize and blocks fields will be undefined, instead of zero. If the file is created later on, the listener will be called again, with the latest stat objects. This is a change in functionality since v0.10.

Using fs.watch() is more efficient than fs.watchFile and fs.unwatchFile. fs.watch should be used instead of fs.watchFile and fs.unwatchFile when possible.

When a file being watched by fs.watchFile() disappears and reappears, then the previousStat reported in the second callback event (the file's reappearance) will be the same as the previousStat of the first callback event (its disappearance).

This happens when:

  • the file is deleted, followed by a restore
  • the file is renamed twice - the second time back to its original name

fs.write(fd, buffer[, offset[, length[, position]]], callback)#

Write buffer to the file specified by fd.

offset determines the part of the buffer to be written, and length is an integer specifying the number of bytes to write.

position refers to the offset from the beginning of the file where this data should be written. If typeof position !== 'number', the data will be written at the current position. See pwrite(2).

The callback will be given three arguments (err, bytesWritten, buffer) where bytesWritten specifies how many bytes were written from buffer.

If this method is invoked as its util.promisify()ed version, it returns a Promise for an Object with bytesWritten and buffer properties.

It is unsafe to use fs.write() multiple times on the same file without waiting for the callback. For this scenario, fs.createWriteStream() is recommended.

On Linux, positional writes don't work when the file is opened in append mode. The kernel ignores the position argument and always appends the data to the end of the file.

fs.write(fd, string[, position[, encoding]], callback)#

Write string to the file specified by fd. If string is not a string, then the value will be coerced to one.

position refers to the offset from the beginning of the file where this data should be written. If typeof position !== 'number' the data will be written at the current position. See pwrite(2).

encoding is the expected string encoding.

The callback will receive the arguments (err, written, string) where written specifies how many bytes the passed string required to be written. Bytes written is not necessarily the same as string characters written. See Buffer.byteLength.

It is unsafe to use fs.write() multiple times on the same file without waiting for the callback. For this scenario, fs.createWriteStream() is recommended.

On Linux, positional writes don't work when the file is opened in append mode. The kernel ignores the position argument and always appends the data to the end of the file.

fs.writeFile(file, data[, options], callback)#

Asynchronously writes data to a file, replacing the file if it already exists. data can be a string or a buffer.

The encoding option is ignored if data is a buffer.

const data = new Uint8Array(Buffer.from('Hello Node.js'));
fs.writeFile('message.txt', data, (err) => {
  if (err) throw err;
  console.log('The file has been saved!');
});

If options is a string, then it specifies the encoding:

fs.writeFile('message.txt', 'Hello Node.js', 'utf8', callback);

Any specified file descriptor has to support writing.

It is unsafe to use fs.writeFile() multiple times on the same file without waiting for the callback. For this scenario, fs.createWriteStream() is recommended.

If a file descriptor is specified as the file, it will not be closed automatically.

fs.writeFileSync(file, data[, options])#

Returns undefined.

For detailed information, see the documentation of the asynchronous version of this API: fs.writeFile().

fs.writeSync(fd, buffer[, offset[, length[, position]]])#

For detailed information, see the documentation of the asynchronous version of this API: fs.write(fd, buffer...).

fs.writeSync(fd, string[, position[, encoding]])#

For detailed information, see the documentation of the asynchronous version of this API: fs.write(fd, string...).

fs Promises API#

Stability: 1 - Experimental

The fs.promises API provides an alternative set of asynchronous file system methods that return Promise objects rather than using callbacks. The API is accessible via require('fs').promises.

class: FileHandle#

A FileHandle object is a wrapper for a numeric file descriptor. Instances of FileHandle are distinct from numeric file descriptors in that, if the FileHandle is not explicitly closed using the filehandle.close() method, they will automatically close the file descriptor and will emit a process warning, thereby helping to prevent memory leaks.

Instances of the FileHandle object are created internally by the fsPromises.open() method.

Unlike the callback-based API (fs.fstat(), fs.fchown(), fs.fchmod(), and so on), a numeric file descriptor is not used by the promise-based API. Instead, the promise-based API uses the FileHandle class in order to help avoid accidental leaking of unclosed file descriptors after a Promise is resolved or rejected.

filehandle.appendFile(data, options)#

Asynchronously append data to this file, creating the file if it does not yet exist. data can be a string or a Buffer. The Promise will be resolved with no arguments upon success.

If options is a string, then it specifies the encoding.

The FileHandle must have been opened for appending.

filehandle.chmod(mode)#

Modifies the permissions on the file. The Promise is resolved with no arguments upon success.

filehandle.chown(uid, gid)#

Changes the ownership of the file then resolves the Promise with no arguments upon success.

filehandle.close()#

  • Returns: <Promise> A Promise that will be resolved once the underlying file descriptor is closed, or will be rejected if an error occurs while closing.

Closes the file descriptor.

const fsPromises = require('fs').promises;
async function openAndClose() {
  let filehandle;
  try {
    filehandle = await fsPromises.open('thefile.txt', 'r');
  } finally {
    if (filehandle !== undefined)
      await filehandle.close();
  }
}

filehandle.datasync()#

Asynchronous fdatasync(2). The Promise is resolved with no arguments upon success.

filehandle.fd#

  • <number> The numeric file descriptor managed by the FileHandle object.

filehandle.read(buffer, offset, length, position)#

Read data from the file.

buffer is the buffer that the data will be written to.

offset is the offset in the buffer to start writing at.

length is an integer specifying the number of bytes to read.

position is an argument specifying where to begin reading from in the file. If position is null, data will be read from the current file position, and the file position will be updated. If position is an integer, the file position will remain unchanged.

Following successful read, the Promise is resolved with an object with a bytesRead property specifying the number of bytes read, and a buffer property that is a reference to the passed in buffer argument.

filehandle.readFile(options)#

Asynchronously reads the entire contents of a file.

The Promise is resolved with the contents of the file. If no encoding is specified (using options.encoding), the data is returned as a Buffer object. Otherwise, the data will be a string.

If options is a string, then it specifies the encoding.

When the path is a directory, the behavior of fsPromises.readFile() is platform-specific. On macOS, Linux, and Windows, the promise will be rejected with an error. On FreeBSD, a representation of the directory's contents will be returned.

The FileHandle has to support reading.

filehandle.stat([options])#

Retrieves the fs.Stats for the file.

filehandle.sync()#

Asynchronous fsync(2). The Promise is resolved with no arguments upon success.

filehandle.truncate(len)#

Truncates the file then resolves the Promise with no arguments upon success.

If the file was larger than len bytes, only the first len bytes will be retained in the file.

For example, the following program retains only the first four bytes of the file:

const fs = require('fs');
const fsPromises = fs.promises;

console.log(fs.readFileSync('temp.txt', 'utf8'));
// Prints: Node.js

async function doTruncate() {
  let filehandle = null;
  try {
    filehandle = await fsPromises.open('temp.txt', 'r+');
    await filehandle.truncate(4);
  } finally {
    if (filehandle) {
      // close the file if it is opened.
      await filehandle.close();
    }
  }
  console.log(fs.readFileSync('temp.txt', 'utf8'));  // Prints: Node
}

doTruncate().catch(console.error);

If the file previously was shorter than len bytes, it is extended, and the extended part is filled with null bytes ('\0'):

const fs = require('fs');
const fsPromises = fs.promises;

console.log(fs.readFileSync('temp.txt', 'utf8'));
// Prints: Node.js

async function doTruncate() {
  let filehandle = null;
  try {
    filehandle = await fsPromises.open('temp.txt', 'r+');
    await filehandle.truncate(10);
  } finally {
    if (filehandle) {
      // close the file if it is opened.
      await filehandle.close();
    }
  }
  console.log(fs.readFileSync('temp.txt', 'utf8'));  // Prints Node.js\0\0\0
}

doTruncate().catch(console.error);

The last three bytes are null bytes ('\0'), to compensate the over-truncation.

filehandle.utimes(atime, mtime)#

Change the file system timestamps of the object referenced by the FileHandle then resolves the Promise with no arguments upon success.

This function does not work on AIX versions before 7.1, it will resolve the Promise with an error using code UV_ENOSYS.

filehandle.write(buffer, offset, length, position)#

Write buffer to the file.

The Promise is resolved with an object containing a bytesWritten property identifying the number of bytes written, and a buffer property containing a reference to the buffer written.

offset determines the part of the buffer to be written, and length is an integer specifying the number of bytes to write.

position refers to the offset from the beginning of the file where this data should be written. If typeof position !== 'number', the data will be written at the current position. See pwrite(2).

It is unsafe to use filehandle.write() multiple times on the same file without waiting for the Promise to be resolved (or rejected). For this scenario, fs.createWriteStream() is strongly recommended.

On Linux, positional writes do not work when the file is opened in append mode. The kernel ignores the position argument and always appends the data to the end of the file.

filehandle.writeFile(data, options)#

Asynchronously writes data to a file, replacing the file if it already exists. data can be a string or a buffer. The Promise will be resolved with no arguments upon success.

The encoding option is ignored if data is a buffer.

If options is a string, then it specifies the encoding.

The FileHandle has to support writing.

It is unsafe to use filehandle.writeFile() multiple times on the same file without waiting for the Promise to be resolved (or rejected).

fsPromises.access(path[, mode])#

Tests a user's permissions for the file or directory specified by path. The mode argument is an optional integer that specifies the accessibility checks to be performed. Check File Access Constants for possible values of mode. It is possible to create a mask consisting of the bitwise OR of two or more values (e.g. fs.constants.W_OK | fs.constants.R_OK).

If the accessibility check is successful, the Promise is resolved with no value. If any of the accessibility checks fail, the Promise is rejected with an Error object. The following example checks if the file /etc/passwd can be read and written by the current process.

const fs = require('fs');
const fsPromises = fs.promises;

fsPromises.access('/etc/passwd', fs.constants.R_OK | fs.constants.W_OK)
  .then(() => console.log('can access'))
  .catch(() => console.error('cannot access'));

Using fsPromises.access() to check for the accessibility of a file before calling fsPromises.open() is not recommended. Doing so introduces a race condition, since other processes may change the file's state between the two calls. Instead, user code should open/read/write the file directly and handle the error raised if the file is not accessible.

fsPromises.appendFile(path, data[, options])#

Asynchronously append data to a file, creating the file if it does not yet exist. data can be a string or a Buffer. The Promise will be resolved with no arguments upon success.

If options is a string, then it specifies the encoding.

The path may be specified as a FileHandle that has been opened for appending (using fsPromises.open()).

fsPromises.chmod(path, mode)#

Changes the permissions of a file then resolves the Promise with no arguments upon succces.

fsPromises.chown(path, uid, gid)#

Changes the ownership of a file then resolves the Promise with no arguments upon success.

fsPromises.copyFile(src, dest[, flags])#

Asynchronously copies src to dest. By default, dest is overwritten if it already exists. The Promise will be resolved with no arguments upon success.

Node.js makes no guarantees about the atomicity of the copy operation. If an error occurs after the destination file has been opened for writing, Node.js will attempt to remove the destination.

flags is an optional integer that specifies the behavior of the copy operation. It is possible to create a mask consisting of the bitwise OR of two or more values (e.g. fs.constants.COPYFILE_EXCL | fs.constants.COPYFILE_FICLONE).

  • fs.constants.COPYFILE_EXCL - The copy operation will fail if dest already exists.
  • fs.constants.COPYFILE_FICLONE - The copy operation will attempt to create a copy-on-write reflink. If the platform does not support copy-on-write, then a fallback copy mechanism is used.
  • fs.constants.COPYFILE_FICLONE_FORCE - The copy operation will attempt to create a copy-on-write reflink. If the platform does not support copy-on-write, then the operation will fail.
const fsPromises = require('fs').promises;

// destination.txt will be created or overwritten by default.
fsPromises.copyFile('source.txt', 'destination.txt')
  .then(() => console.log('source.txt was copied to destination.txt'))
  .catch(() => console.log('The file could not be copied'));

If the third argument is a number, then it specifies flags:

const fs = require('fs');
const fsPromises = fs.promises;
const { COPYFILE_EXCL } = fs.constants;

// By using COPYFILE_EXCL, the operation will fail if destination.txt exists.
fsPromises.copyFile('source.txt', 'destination.txt', COPYFILE_EXCL)
  .then(() => console.log('source.txt was copied to destination.txt'))
  .catch(() => console.log('The file could not be copied'));

fsPromises.lchmod(path, mode)#

Changes the permissions on a symbolic link then resolves the Promise with no arguments upon success. This method is only implemented on macOS.

fsPromises.lchown(path, uid, gid)#

Changes the ownership on a symbolic link then resolves the Promise with no arguments upon success.

fsPromises.link(existingPath, newPath)#

Asynchronous link(2). The Promise is resolved with no arguments upon success.

fsPromises.lstat(path[, options])#

Asynchronous lstat(2). The Promise is resolved with the fs.Stats object for the given symbolic link path.

fsPromises.mkdir(path[, options])#

Asynchronously creates a directory then resolves the Promise with no arguments upon success.

The optional options argument can be an integer specifying mode (permission and sticky bits), or an object with a mode property and a recursive property indicating whether parent folders should be created.

fsPromises.mkdtemp(prefix[, options])#

Creates a unique temporary directory and resolves the Promise with the created folder path. A unique directory name is generated by appending six random characters to the end of the provided prefix.

The optional options argument can be a string specifying an encoding, or an object with an encoding property specifying the character encoding to use.

fsPromises.mkdtemp(path.join(os.tmpdir(), 'foo-'))
  .catch(console.error);

The fsPromises.mkdtemp() method will append the six randomly selected characters directly to the prefix string. For instance, given a directory /tmp, if the intention is to create a temporary directory within /tmp, the prefix must end with a trailing platform-specific path separator (require('path').sep).

fsPromises.open(path, flags[, mode])#

Asynchronous file open that returns a Promise that, when resolved, yields a FileHandle object. See open(2).

mode sets the file mode (permission and sticky bits), but only if the file was created.

Some characters (< > : " / \ | ? *) are reserved under Windows as documented by Naming Files, Paths, and Namespaces. Under NTFS, if the filename contains a colon, Node.js will open a file system stream, as described by this MSDN page.

fsPromises.readdir(path[, options])#

Reads the contents of a directory then resolves the Promise with an array of the names of the files in the directory excluding '.' and '..'.

The optional options argument can be a string specifying an encoding, or an object with an encoding property specifying the character encoding to use for the filenames. If the encoding is set to 'buffer', the filenames returned will be passed as Buffer objects.

If options.withFileTypes is set to true, the resolved array will contain fs.Dirent objects.

fsPromises.readFile(path[, options])#

Asynchronously reads the entire contents of a file.

The Promise is resolved with the contents of the file. If no encoding is specified (using options.encoding), the data is returned as a Buffer object. Otherwise, the data will be a string.

If options is a string, then it specifies the encoding.

When the path is a directory, the behavior of fsPromises.readFile() is platform-specific. On macOS, Linux, and Windows, the promise will be rejected with an error. On FreeBSD, a representation of the directory's contents will be returned.

Any specified FileHandle has to support reading.

fsPromises.readlink(path[, options])#

Asynchronous readlink(2). The Promise is resolved with the linkString upon success.

The optional options argument can be a string specifying an encoding, or an object with an encoding property specifying the character encoding to use for the link path returned. If the encoding is set to 'buffer', the link path returned will be passed as a Buffer object.

fsPromises.realpath(path[, options])#

Determines the actual location of path using the same semantics as the fs.realpath.native() function then resolves the Promise with the resolved path.

Only paths that can be converted to UTF8 strings are supported.

The optional options argument can be a string specifying an encoding, or an object with an encoding property specifying the character encoding to use for the path. If the encoding is set to 'buffer', the path returned will be passed as a Buffer object.

On Linux, when Node.js is linked against musl libc, the procfs file system must be mounted on /proc in order for this function to work. Glibc does not have this restriction.

fsPromises.rename(oldPath, newPath)#

Renames oldPath to newPath and resolves the Promise with no arguments upon success.

fsPromises.rmdir(path)#

Removes the directory identified by path then resolves the Promise with no arguments upon success.

Using fsPromises.rmdir() on a file (not a directory) results in the Promise being rejected with an ENOENT error on Windows and an ENOTDIR error on POSIX.

fsPromises.stat(path[, options])#

The Promise is resolved with the fs.Stats object for the given path.

fsPromises.symlink(target, path[, type])#

Creates a symbolic link then resolves the Promise with no arguments upon success.

The type argument is only used on Windows platforms and can be one of 'dir', 'file', or 'junction'. Windows junction points require the destination path to be absolute. When using 'junction', the target argument will automatically be normalized to absolute path.

fsPromises.truncate(path[, len])#

Truncates the path then resolves the Promise with no arguments upon success. The path must be a string or Buffer.

fsPromises.unlink(path)#

Asynchronous unlink(2). The Promise is resolved with no arguments upon success.

fsPromises.utimes(path, atime, mtime)#

Change the file system timestamps of the object referenced by path then resolves the Promise with no arguments upon success.

The atime and mtime arguments follow these rules:

  • Values can be either numbers representing Unix epoch time, Dates, or a numeric string like '123456789.0'.
  • If the value can not be converted to a number, or is NaN, Infinity or -Infinity, an Error will be thrown.

fsPromises.writeFile(file, data[, options])#

Asynchronously writes data to a file, replacing the file if it already exists. data can be a string or a buffer. The Promise will be resolved with no arguments upon success.

The encoding option is ignored if data is a buffer.

If options is a string, then it specifies the encoding.

Any specified FileHandle has to support writing.

It is unsafe to use fsPromises.writeFile() multiple times on the same file without waiting for the Promise to be resolved (or rejected).

FS Constants#

The following constants are exported by fs.constants.

Not every constant will be available on every operating system.

File Access Constants#

The following constants are meant for use with fs.access().

Constant Description
F_OK Flag indicating that the file is visible to the calling process. This is useful for determining if a file exists, but says nothing about rwx permissions. Default if no mode is specified.
R_OK Flag indicating that the file can be read by the calling process.
W_OK Flag indicating that the file can be written by the calling process.
X_OK Flag indicating that the file can be executed by the calling process. This has no effect on Windows (will behave like fs.constants.F_OK).

File Copy Constants#

The following constants are meant for use with fs.copyFile().

Constant Description
COPYFILE_EXCL If present, the copy operation will fail with an error if the destination path already exists.
COPYFILE_FICLONE If present, the copy operation will attempt to create a copy-on-write reflink. If the underlying platform does not support copy-on-write, then a fallback copy mechanism is used.
COPYFILE_FICLONE_FORCE If present, the copy operation will attempt to create a copy-on-write reflink. If the underlying platform does not support copy-on-write, then the operation will fail with an error.

File Open Constants#

The following constants are meant for use with fs.open().

Constant Description
O_RDONLY Flag indicating to open a file for read-only access.
O_WRONLY Flag indicating to open a file for write-only access.
O_RDWR Flag indicating to open a file for read-write access.
O_CREAT Flag indicating to create the file if it does not already exist.
O_EXCL Flag indicating that opening a file should fail if the O_CREAT flag is set and the file already exists.
O_NOCTTY Flag indicating that if path identifies a terminal device, opening the path shall not cause that terminal to become the controlling terminal for the process (if the process does not already have one).
O_TRUNC Flag indicating that if the file exists and is a regular file, and the file is opened successfully for write access, its length shall be truncated to zero.
O_APPEND Flag indicating that data will be appended to the end of the file.
O_DIRECTORY Flag indicating that the open should fail if the path is not a directory.
O_NOATIME Flag indicating reading accesses to the file system will no longer result in an update to the atime information associated with the file. This flag is available on Linux operating systems only.
O_NOFOLLOW Flag indicating that the open should fail if the path is a symbolic link.
O_SYNC Flag indicating that the file is opened for synchronized I/O with write operations waiting for file integrity.
O_DSYNC Flag indicating that the file is opened for synchronized I/O with write operations waiting for data integrity.
O_SYMLINK Flag indicating to open the symbolic link itself rather than the resource it is pointing to.
O_DIRECT When set, an attempt will be made to minimize caching effects of file I/O.
O_NONBLOCK Flag indicating to open the file in nonblocking mode when possible.

File Type Constants#

The following constants are meant for use with the fs.Stats object's mode property for determining a file's type.

Constant Description
S_IFMT Bit mask used to extract the file type code.
S_IFREG File type constant for a regular file.
S_IFDIR File type constant for a directory.
S_IFCHR File type constant for a character-oriented device file.
S_IFBLK File type constant for a block-oriented device file.
S_IFIFO File type constant for a FIFO/pipe.
S_IFLNK File type constant for a symbolic link.
S_IFSOCK File type constant for a socket.

File Mode Constants#

The following constants are meant for use with the fs.Stats object's mode property for determining the access permissions for a file.

Constant Description
S_IRWXU File mode indicating readable, writable, and executable by owner.
S_IRUSR File mode indicating readable by owner.
S_IWUSR File mode indicating writable by owner.
S_IXUSR File mode indicating executable by owner.
S_IRWXG File mode indicating readable, writable, and executable by group.
S_IRGRP File mode indicating readable by group.
S_IWGRP File mode indicating writable by group.
S_IXGRP File mode indicating executable by group.
S_IRWXO File mode indicating readable, writable, and executable by others.
S_IROTH File mode indicating readable by others.
S_IWOTH File mode indicating writable by others.
S_IXOTH File mode indicating executable by others.

File System Flags#

The following flags are available wherever the flag option takes a string:

  • 'a' - Open file for appending. The file is created if it does not exist.

  • 'ax' - Like 'a' but fails if the path exists.

  • 'a+' - Open file for reading and appending. The file is created if it does not exist.

  • 'ax+' - Like 'a+' but fails if the path exists.

  • 'as' - Open file for appending in synchronous mode. The file is created if it does not exist.

  • 'as+' - Open file for reading and appending in synchronous mode. The file is created if it does not exist.

  • 'r' - Open file for reading. An exception occurs if the file does not exist.

  • 'r+' - Open file for reading and writing. An exception occurs if the file does not exist.

  • 'rs+' - Open file for reading and writing in synchronous mode. Instructs the operating system to bypass the local file system cache.

    This is primarily useful for opening files on NFS mounts as it allows skipping the potentially stale local cache. It has a very real impact on I/O performance so using this flag is not recommended unless it is needed.

    This doesn't turn fs.open() or fsPromises.open() into a synchronous blocking call. If synchronous operation is desired, something like fs.openSync() should be used.

  • 'w' - Open file for writing. The file is created (if it does not exist) or truncated (if it exists).

  • 'wx' - Like 'w' but fails if the path exists.

  • 'w+' - Open file for reading and writing. The file is created (if it does not exist) or truncated (if it exists).

  • 'wx+' - Like 'w+' but fails if the path exists.

flag can also be a number as documented by open(2); commonly used constants are available from fs.constants. On Windows, flags are translated to their equivalent ones where applicable, e.g. O_WRONLY to FILE_GENERIC_WRITE, or O_EXCL|O_CREAT to CREATE_NEW, as accepted by CreateFileW.

The exclusive flag 'x' (O_EXCL flag in open(2)) ensures that path is newly created. On POSIX systems, path is considered to exist even if it is a symlink to a non-existent file. The exclusive flag may or may not work with network file systems.

On Linux, positional writes don't work when the file is opened in append mode. The kernel ignores the position argument and always appends the data to the end of the file.

Modifying a file rather than replacing it may require a flags mode of 'r+' rather than the default mode 'w'.

The behavior of some flags are platform-specific. As such, opening a directory on macOS and Linux with the 'a+' flag - see example below - will return an error. In contrast, on Windows and FreeBSD, a file descriptor or a FileHandle will be returned.

// macOS and Linux
fs.open('<directory>', 'a+', (err, fd) => {
  // => [Error: EISDIR: illegal operation on a directory, open <directory>]
});

// Windows and FreeBSD
fs.open('<directory>', 'a+', (err, fd) => {
  // => null, <fd>
});

On Windows, opening an existing hidden file using the 'w' flag (either through fs.open() or fs.writeFile() or fsPromises.open()) will fail with EPERM. Existing hidden files can be opened for writing with the 'r+' flag.

A call to fs.ftruncate() or filehandle.truncate() can be used to reset the file contents.