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A Comprehensive Guide to Node.js Process Module

In Node.js, the process module provides a wealth of functionalities to interact with the current Node.js process. From accessing environment variables to managing child processes, the process module is indispensable for Node.js developers. This tutorial will explore the various features of the process module with code examples to demonstrate its usage.

Table of Contents:

  1. Accessing Environment Variables
  2. Managing Process Lifecycle Events
  3. Interacting with Standard Streams
  4. Controlling Child Processes
  5. Handling Uncaught Exceptions

1. Accessing Environment Variables:

Node.js allows access to environment variables through the process.env object. These variables hold crucial information about the environment in which the Node.js application is running. Let’s see an example:

console.log(process.env.NODE_ENV); // Accessing NODE_ENV variable
console.log(process.env.PORT); // Accessing PORT variable

2. Managing Process Lifecycle Events:

Node.js provides various events to monitor the lifecycle of a process. These events include exit, uncaughtException, SIGINT, etc. Here’s how you can use them:

process.on('exit', (code) => {
  console.log(`Process exited with code ${code}`);

process.on('uncaughtException', (err) => {
  console.error('Uncaught Exception:', err);
  process.exit(1); // Exit with failure

3. Interacting with Standard Streams:

Node.js process has three standard streams: stdin, stdout, and stderr. These streams facilitate communication with the process. Example:

process.stdin.on('data', (data) => {
  console.log(`Received input: ${data}`);

process.stdout.write('Hello World!\n');
process.stderr.write('Error occurred!\n');

4. Controlling Child Processes:

Node.js allows spawning child processes using child_process module. Here’s a basic example:

const { spawn } = require('child_process');

const child = spawn('ls', ['-lh', '/usr']);

child.stdout.on('data', (data) => {
  console.log(`stdout: ${data}`);

child.stderr.on('data', (data) => {
  console.error(`stderr: ${data}`);

5. Handling Uncaught Exceptions:

It’s crucial to handle uncaught exceptions gracefully. Node.js provides the uncaughtException event for this purpose, as shown earlier.


The process module in Node.js offers powerful tools for managing the Node.js process, from accessing environment variables to controlling child processes. Understanding and utilizing these features effectively can enhance the stability and functionality of your Node.js applications. Experiment with the provided code examples to deepen your understanding.

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