Ionică Bizău

Upload files using NodeJS

In this article I will describe how to upload files using Lien and Formidable, after creating a NodeJS HTTP server.

Lien is a tiny high-level framework for creating HTTP servers, being one of the libraries which power Bloggify.

Formidable is a NodeJS module for parsing form data and file uploads. We will use it to create a file upload interface in a Lien server.

First of all, create the directory structure:

# Create the project directory
$ mkdir file-upload

# Enter in the project directory
$ cd file-upload

# Create the public and uploads directories
$ mkdir -p public/uploads

Next, we have to install the dependencies:

$ npm i formidable@1.0.17 lien@0.0.8

Create the index.html file into the public directory:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
        <meta charset="UTF-8">
        <title>File upload</title>
        <form action="/upload" method="post" enctype="multipart/form-data">
            <input name="file" type="file">
        <iframe src="/upload/list" frameborder="0"></iframe>

This is a HTML page containing a file upload form and an <iframe> element which will list the uploaded files (/upload/list).

And now the server side: index.js

// Dependencies
var Lien = require("lien")
  , Fs = require("fs")
  , Formidable = require("formidable")

// Constants
const DIR_UPLOADS = __dirname + "/public/uploads/";

// Init lien server
var server = new Lien({
    host: "localhost"
  , port: 9000

// Add page"/", function (lien) {

// Upload"/upload$", function (lien) {
    var form = new Formidable.IncomingForm(
        { uploadDir: DIR_UPLOADS }
    form.parse(lien.req, function (err, fields, files) {

        if (!files.file) {
            return lien.end("File is missing.", 400);

        Fs.rename(files.file.path, DIR_UPLOADS +, function (err) {
            if (err) {
                return lien.end(err, 400);

// List"/upload/list", function (lien) {
    Fs.readdir(DIR_UPLOADS, function (err, files) {
        if (err) { return lien.end(err, 500); }
        files = files.filter(function (c) {
            return c !== ".gitignore";

        var list = ["<ul>", (c) {
            return ["<li>", "<a target='blank' href='/uploads/", c, "'>", c, "</a></li>"].join("");
        }).join(""), "</ul>"].join("");


And that's it. The server will run on localhost:9000:

$ node index.js

Open localhost:9000 and there you can upload files and see a list with the previous uploads:

Browse the code here.

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