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David Dal Busco
David Dal Busco

Posted on • Originally published at daviddalbusco.Medium

How To Download A File With Node.js

Photo by Savannah Wakefield on Unsplash

Over the weekend I made a dependency update of my time tracking app “Tie Tracker” (PWA / GitHub).

In this particular tool, I defer the heavy work to Web Workers so that the UI does not find itself in a blocking state.

Because the app is meant to work offline and, is available in the App Store and Google Play, I did not import the required workers’ dependencies through a CDN but, locally.

The app itself is developed with React but, I implemented the workers with vanilla JavaScript and no package manager to handle their dependencies.

Therefore, I had to come with a solution to update the libs with aNode.js script 😇.

Node Fetch

There is no window.fetch like API in Node.js but, there is a light-weight module that brings such capabilities. That’s why I used node-fetch to implement the download of the file.

npm i node-fetch --save-dev
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The script I developed to update my dependencies is the following:

const {createWriteStream} = require('fs');
const {pipeline} = require('stream');
const {promisify} = require('util');
const fetch = require('node-fetch');

const download = async ({url, path}) => {
  const streamPipeline = promisify(pipeline);

  const response = await fetch(url);

  if (!response.ok) {
    throw new Error(`unexpected response ${response.statusText}`);

  await streamPipeline(response.body, createWriteStream(path));

(async () => {
  try {
    await download({
      url: '',
      path: './public/workers/libs/....min.js',
  } catch (err) {
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The above download function uses a stream pipeline to download a file, as displayed in the node-fetch README, and the built-in fs module to write the output to the file system.

Top Level Await is available as of Node.js v14.8.0 but, I used an immediate function because I integrated it in a chain in which it was not available yet.

That’s it 🥳

Continue Reading

If you want to read more about React and Web Workers, I published back to back three blog posts about it last year 😉.

To infinity and beyond!


You can reach me on Twitter or my website.

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Discussion (4)

pankajpatel profile image
Pankaj Patel • Edited on

Thanks for sharing @daviddalbusco

This is handy function to use in project.

Though I think, promisify is not needed. But, as execution environment is node.js; there is no concern on keeping less packages ;)

daviddalbusco profile image
David Dal Busco Author

My pleasure. Sure you might skip it 👍.

gchartier profile image
Gabriel Chartier

Thanks so much for this! Exactly what I needed. There really isn't much on using async/await with streams online.

daviddalbusco profile image
David Dal Busco Author

Thanks for the feedback Gabriel, really happy to hear it was useful 😃