How to exit in Node.js

Better Stack Team
Updated on March 11, 2024

Exiting a Node.js application is simple and can be done using the process.exit() method. This method exits from the current Node.js process and takes an exit code, which is an integer. The exit code can be either 0 or 1. 0 means end the process without any kind of failure and 1 means end the process with some failure.

Here’s how you can use the process.exit() method:

if (someConditionNotMet()) {
  console.log('Usage: node <filename>');

In the above example, if someConditionNotMet() returns true, the message Usage: node <filename> is printed to the console and the process exits with an exit code of 1.

It’s important to note that calling process.exit() will force the process to exit as quickly as possible even if there are still asynchronous operations pending that have not yet completed fully, including I/O operations to process.stdout and process.stderr In most situations, it is not actually necessary to call process.exit() explicitly. The Node.js process will exit on its own if there is no additional work pending in the event loop.

Here are some other ways to exit a Node.js application:

  1. Throwing an Error: You can throw an error to exit a Node.js application. This method is useful when you want to exit the application with a specific error message.
throw new Error('Something went wrong');
  1. Using the process.kill() Method: You can use the process.kill() method to terminate a Node.js process. This method sends a signal to the process to terminate it. The signal can be either SIGTERM or SIGKILL.
process.kill(, 'SIGTERM');
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