For reading user input from stdin.

Similar to the readline builtin's question() method, but with a few more features.


var read = require("read")
read(options, callback)

The callback gets called with either the user input, or the default specified, or an error, as callback(error, result, isDefault) node style.


Every option is optional.

  • prompt What to write to stdout before reading input.
  • silent Don't echo the output as the user types it.
  • replace Replace silenced characters with the supplied character value.
  • timeout Number of ms to wait for user input before giving up.
  • default The default value if the user enters nothing.
  • edit Allow the user to edit the default value.
  • terminal Treat the output as a TTY, whether it is or not.
  • stdin Readable stream to get input data from. (default process.stdin)
  • stdout Writeable stream to write prompts to. (default: process.stdout)

If silent is true, and the input is a TTY, then read will set raw mode, and read character by character.


This module works sort of with node 0.6. It does not work with node versions less than 0.6. It is best on node 0.8.

On node version 0.6, it will remove all listeners on the input stream's data and keypress events, because the readline module did not fully clean up after itself in that version of node, and did not make it possible to clean up after it in a way that has no potential for side effects.

Additionally, some of the readline options (like terminal) will not function in versions of node before 0.8, because they were not implemented in the builtin readline module.


Patches welcome.