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Example of Node.js file upload with Ajax and JavaScript

The art of file uploading is not one that has been gracefully approached in languages ​​like Java and Python. But a file upload in Node is a relatively simple undertaking, especially if you have the right NPM libraries at hand.

In this quick tutorial, I’ll show you how to upload a file from a web browser, with a server-side Node.js file upload handler and a pure Ajax-based JavaScript process on the client.

Step-by-step Node.js file download example

The basic steps followed in this example to upload a file with Node.js and JavaScript follow this order:

  1. Make sure Node.js is installed locally
  2. Create a file named upload.js
  3. Add dependencies of FileSystem (fs) and Formidable library
  4. Have Node.js parse the incoming file and move it to a preferred folder
  5. Create an HTML upload form in a file named index.js
  6. Run the JavaScript file and use the HTML form to upload the files
  7. Optionally configure the HTML page to download with Ajax and JavaScript

Node web service

The first step is to make sure that Node is installed on your computer. A quick version query will tell you whether you do or not. I will do this tutorial on version 16.13.2 of the product.

[email protected] /c/upload-example
$ node --version
v16.13.2

We want to walk before we run, so let’s first create a simple Node.js example that just spits out a status message in a browser.

Create a file named upload.js and fill it with the following code:

let http = require('http');

http.createServer(function (req, res) {
  res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/html'});
  res.write('Node JS File Uploader Checkpoint');
}).listen(80);

Open a command prompt in the same folder as the upload.js file and run the following command:

[email protected] /c/download-example
$ node upload.js

While the command is running, open a browser and navigate to localhost: 80/download

The first step in uploading files with Node is to get a simple web service running.

The text ‘Node JS File Downloader Checkpoint’ will be displayed in the browser window.

HTML 5 file downloader

In the same folder as update.jscreate another file named index.html and code an HTML 5 file uploader:


Sample NodeJS file upload

action=”http://localhost:80/upload” method=”post” enctype=”multipart/form-data”>

type=”file” name=”fileupload“>

type=”submit”>