Dead simple worker child processes for Node.js with a modern Promise API and a binary IPC.

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import workerProcess from '';



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Dead simple worker child processes for Node.js with a modern Promise API and a binary IPC.

For people who don't want to use external servers for binary IPC, don't want to mess with child_process, and want to use something that "just works".


import {createWorker} from 'worker-process'
import msgpack from 'msgpack-lite'

async function main () {
  // Create a worker.
  const worker = await createWorker('./worker.js')

  let gotMessage = false
  await Promise.race([
    // Wait for the worker to complete (resolve) or fail (reject).

    // Do what you want to do with the worker.
    (async () => {
      // Handle messages from worker process
      worker.onmessage = message => {
        console.log('master:message', msgpack.decode(message))
        gotMessage = true

      // Send a message to the worker
      const data = 'hello, worker!'
      await worker.send(msgpack.encode(data))

      // Wait until the worker stops
      await worker.lifetime
      // or optionally stop the worker yourself if you're no longer waiting
      // for more messages from it

  // If the worker exits successfully but you didn't finish what you wanted to
  // do, you can handle it
  if (!gotMessage) {
    throw new Error('Worker did not say hello :(')

main().catch(err => {


import {connect} from 'worker-process'
import msgpack from 'msgpack-lite'
import exit from 'exit'

async function main () {
  // Connect to the IPC socket.
  // All nuances and errors from here on will be handled by worker-process
  // by logging the error and exiting the process with exit code 1 to
  // guarantee safety and consistency
  const workerConnection = await connect()

  // Handle messages from the parent process
  workerConnection.onmessage = message => {
    console.log('worker:message', msgpack.decode(message))

  // Send messages to the parent process
  const data = ['hello', 'world!']
  await workerConnection.send(msgpack.encode(data))

  // Wait for the message to complete sending, and then close the connection
  await workerConnection.finish()

main().then(() => {
}).catch(err => {

I recommend using MessagePack as the IPC message format.

How it works

The "worker" process is created via child_process.spawn(). At spawn, a fourth stdio is created (fd = 3), which is a node.js duplex stream because node.js creates a duplex socket, rather than a pipe for communication. When the child process is connected, connectivity is assured by sending the handshake message, 0x00, and waiting for the worker process to send 0x01 back. From there, data is passed back and forth using the binary protocol.