Proxies nodejs require in order to allow overriding dependencies during testing.

npm install proxyquire
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Proxies nodejs's require in order to make overriding dependencies during testing easy while staying totally unobstrusive.

If you want to stub dependencies for your client side modules, try proxyquireify, a proxyquire for browserify v2.


  • no changes to your code are necessary
  • non overriden methods of a module behave like the original
  • mocking framework agnostic, if it can stub a function then it works with proxyquire
  • "use strict" compliant



var path = require('path');

module.exports.extnameAllCaps = function (file) { 
  return path.extname(file).toUpperCase();

module.exports.basenameAllCaps = function (file) { 
  return path.basename(file).toUpperCase();


var proxyquire =  require('proxyquire')
  , assert     =  require('assert')
  , pathStub   =  { };

// when no overrides are specified, path.extname behaves normally
var foo = proxyquire('./foo', { 'path': pathStub });
assert.equal(foo.extnameAllCaps('file.txt'), '.TXT');

// override path.extname
pathStub.extname = function (file) { return 'Exterminate, exterminate the ' + file; };

// path.extname now behaves as we told it to
assert.equal(foo.extnameAllCaps('file.txt'), 'EXTERMINATE, EXTERMINATE THE FILE.TXT');

// path.basename and all other path module methods still function as before
assert.equal(foo.basenameAllCaps('/a/b/file.txt'), 'FILE.TXT');

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Two simple steps to override require in your tests:

  • add var proxyquire = require('proxyquire'); to top level of your test file
  • proxyquire(...) the module you want to test and pass along stubs for modules you want to override


proxyquire({string} request, {Object} stubs)

  • request: path to the module to be tested e.g., ../lib/foo
  • stubs: key/value pairs of the form { modulePath: stub, ... }
    • module paths are relative to the tested module not the test file
    • therefore specify it exactly as in the require statement inside the tested file
    • values themselves are key/value pairs of functions/properties and the appropriate override

Preventing call thru to original dependency

By default proxyquire calls the function defined on the original dependency whenever it is not found on the stub.

If you prefer a more strict behavior you can prevent callThru on a per module or contextual basis.

If callThru is disabled, you can stub out modules that don't even exist on the machine that your tests are running on. While I wouldn't recommend this in general, I have seen cases where it is legitimately useful (e.g., when requiring global environment configs in json format that may not be available on all machines).

Prevent call thru on path stub:

var foo = proxyquire('./foo', {
  path: {
      extname: function (file) { ... }
    , '@noCallThru': true

Prevent call thru for all future stubs resolved by a proxyquire instance

// all stubs resolved by proxyquireStrict will not call through by default
var proxyquireStrict = require('proxyquire').noCallThru();

// all stubs resolved by proxyquireNonStrict will call through by default
var proxyquireNonStrict = require('proxyquire');

Re-enable call thru for all future stubs resolved by a proxyquire instance


Call thru config per module wins:

var foo = proxyquire
    .load('./foo', {

        // no calls to original './bar' methods will be made
        './bar' : { toAtm: function (val) { ... } }

        // for 'path' module they will be made
      , path: { 
          extname: function (file) { ... } 
        , '@noCallThru': false

All together, now

var proxyquire = require('proxyquire').noCallThru();

// all methods for foo's dependencies will have to be stubbed out since proxyquire will not call through
var foo = proxyquire('./foo', stubs);


// only some methods for foo's dependencies will have to be stubbed out here since proxyquire will now call through
var foo2 = proxyquire('./foo', stubs);

Forcing proxyquire to reload modules

In most situations it is fine to have proxyquire behave exactly like nodejs require, i.e. modules that are loaded once get pulled from the cache the next time.

For some tests however you need to ensure that the module gets loaded fresh everytime, i.e. if that causes initializing some dependency or some module state.

For this purpose proxyquire exposes the noPreserveCache function.

// ensure we don't get any module from the cache, but to load it fresh every time
var proxyquire = require('proxyquire').noPreserveCache();

var foo1 = proxyquire('./foo', stubs);
var foo2 = proxyquire('./foo', stubs);
var foo3 = require('./foo');

// foo1, foo2 and foo3 are different instances of the same module
assert.notEqual(foo1, foo2);
assert.notEqual(foo1, foo3);

require.preserveCache allows you to restore the behavior to match nodejs's require again.


var foo1 = proxyquire('./foo', stubs);
var foo2 = proxyquire('./foo', stubs);
var foo3 = require('./foo');

// foo1, foo2 and foo3 are the same instance
ssert.equal(foo1, foo2);
ssert.equal(foo1, foo3);


We are testing foo which depends on bar:

// bar.js module
module.exports = {
    toAtm: function (val) { return  0.986923267 * val; }

// foo.js module
// requires bar which we will stub out in tests
var bar = require('./bar');
[ ... ]


// foo-test.js module which is one folder below foo.js (e.g., in ./tests/)

 *   Option a) Resolve and override in one step:
var foo = proxyquire('../foo', {
  './bar': { toAtm: function (val) { return 0; /* wonder what happens now */ } }

// [ .. run some tests .. ]

 *   Option b) Resolve with empty stub and add overrides later
var barStub = { };

var foo =  proxyquire('../foo', { './bar': barStub });

// Add override
barStub.toAtm = function (val) { return 0; /* wonder what happens now */ };

[ .. run some tests .. ]

// Change override
barStub.toAtm = function (val) { return -1 * val; /* or now */ };

[ .. run some tests .. ]

// Resolve foo and override multiple of its dependencies in one step - oh my!
var foo = proxyquire('./foo', {
    './bar' : { 
      toAtm: function (val) { return 0; /* wonder what happens now */ } 
  , path    : { 
      extname: function (file) { return 'exterminate the name of ' + file; } 

Backwards Compatibility for proxyquire v0.3.x

To upgrade your project from v0.3.x to v0.4.x, a nifty compat function has been included.

Simply do a global find and replace for require('proxyquire') and change them to require('proxyquire').compat().

This returns an object that wraps the result of proxyquire() that provides exactly the same API as v0.3.x.

If your test scripts relied on the fact that v0.3.x stored noCallThru in the module scope, you can use require('proxyquire').compat(true) to use a global compat object, instead.

More Examples

For more examples look inside the examples folder or look through the tests

Specific Examples:

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