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Package Your Node.js Application for Deployment in an Offline Environment

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Package Your Node.js Application for Deployment in an Offline Environment

See how to create a simple ''Hello World'' Node.js application and deploy it to an environment that may not have an internet connection.

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Personally speaking, I prefer to have a self-contained bundle with all of the artifacts and modules that might be required in order to deploy an application (not just the Node.js application) in production. In that way, I am able to know exactly the bits that were installed. I will know nothing more and nothing less. It also eliminates the availability of the NPM modules, network connectivity issues, and so on. The following procedure shows you how to create a simple “Hello World” Node.js application with one dependency, Express.js (which has a dependency on other modules), and how to bundle (pack) it and deploy it to an environment that may or may not have an internet connection.

Brief Summary

The “bundledDependencies”: [“package-name1”] in the package.js does the trick in combination with “npm pack” and “npm install <Project>.tar.gz.

Below is the step-by-step walk-through, so let’s get started.

In Your Development Computer

Make sure you have Node.js installed and that you can verify the installation by running:

$node -v

Now, let’s get started on a simple “Hello World” – Node.js project.

Follow the steps that have been outlined here for setting up a simple Hello World using Node.js and Express. In my case, running npm install express –save created additional module dependencies on the following:

$npm install express --save
└─┬ express@4.14.0
├─┬ accepts@1.3.3
│ ├─┬ mime-types@2.1.12
│ │ └── mime-db@1.24.0
│ └── negotiator@0.6.1
├── array-flatten@1.1.1
├── content-disposition@0.5.1
├── content-type@1.0.2
├── cookie@0.3.1
├── cookie-signature@1.0.6
├─┬ debug@2.2.0
│ └── ms@0.7.1
├── depd@1.1.0
├── encodeurl@1.0.1
├── escape-html@1.0.3
├── etag@1.7.0
├─┬ finalhandler@0.5.0
│ ├── statuses@1.3.0
│ └── unpipe@1.0.0
├── fresh@0.3.0
├── merge-descriptors@1.0.1
├── methods@1.1.2
├─┬ on-finished@2.3.0
│ └── ee-first@1.1.1
├── parseurl@1.3.1
├── path-to-regexp@0.1.7
├─┬ proxy-addr@1.1.2
│ ├── forwarded@0.1.0
│ └── ipaddr.js@1.1.1
├── qs@6.2.0
├── range-parser@1.2.0
├─┬ send@0.14.1
│ ├── destroy@1.0.4
│ ├─┬ http-errors@1.5.0
│ │ ├── inherits@2.0.1
│ │ └── setprototypeof@1.0.1
│ └── mime@1.3.4
├── serve-static@1.11.1
├─┬ type-is@1.6.13
│ └── media-typer@0.3.0
├── utils-merge@1.0.0
└── vary@1.1.0

Now edit, package.js and add define the bundleDependencies section like the following:

  "name": "guhelloproject",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "",
  "main": "index.js",
  "scripts": {
    "test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1"
  "author": "",
  "license": "ISC",
  "dependencies": {
    "express": "^4.14.0"
  "bundledDependencies": ["express"]

Next, we will create index.js:

var express = require('express');
var app = express();

app.get('/', function (req, res) {
  res.send('Hello World!');

app.listen(3000, function () {
  console.log('Example app listening on port 3000!');

You are able to test the code locally while still in development to ensure that it works like this:

$node index.js
Example app listening on port 3000!
# You should see "Hello World", if you point your browser to http://localhost:3000/

Now, for the bundling magic:

$npm pack

In Your Production Server (When You Have No Internet Connection):

Make sure that you install Node.js. This is so that the Node executable is available. You should verify this once again by running “node -v” (as shown above).

Next, let's move the “guhelloproject-1.0.0.tgz” file to the Production server like the following:

$npm install guhelloproject-1.0.0.tgz
# This unzips the bundle into a 'node_modules' directory 
$cd cd node_modules/guhelloproject/
$node index.js
Example app listening on port 3000!

Now, when you point your browser to http://:3000/, then you should see “Hello World”!

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bundling ,express ,integration ,node

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