Node.js: How to read a stream into a buffer?


I wrote a pretty simple function that downloads an image from a given URL, resize it and upload to S3 (using 'gm' and 'knox'), I have no idea if I'm doing the reading of a stream to a buffer correctly. (everything is working, but is it the correct way?)

also, I want to understand something about the event loop, how do I know that one invocation of the function won't leak anything or change the 'buf' variable to another already running invocation (or this scenario is impossible because the callbacks are anonymous functions?)

var http = require('http');
var https = require('https');
var s3 = require('./s3');
var gm = require('gm');

module.exports.processImageUrl = function(imageUrl, filename, callback) {
var client = http;
if (imageUrl.substr(0, 5) == 'https') { client = https; }

client.get(imageUrl, function(res) {
    if (res.statusCode != 200) {
        return callback(new Error('HTTP Response code ' + res.statusCode));

        .geometry(1024, 768, '>')
        .stream('jpg', function(err, stdout, stderr) {
            if (!err) {
                var buf = new Buffer(0);
                stdout.on('data', function(d) {
                    buf = Buffer.concat([buf, d]);

                stdout.on('end', function() {
                    var headers = {
                        'Content-Length': buf.length
                        , 'Content-Type': 'Image/jpeg'
                        , 'x-amz-acl': 'public-read'

                    s3.putBuffer(buf, '/img/d/' + filename + '.jpg', headers, function(err, res) {
                        if(err) {
                            return callback(err);
                        } else {
                            return callback(null, res.client._httpMessage.url);
            } else {
    }).on('error', function(err) {
1/10/2013 11:34:48 PM

Accepted Answer

Overall I don't see anything that would break in your code.

Two suggestions:

The way you are combining Buffer objects is a suboptimal because it has to copy all the pre-existing data on every 'data' event. It would be better to put the chunks in an array and concat them all at the end.

var bufs = [];
stdout.on('data', function(d){ bufs.push(d); });
stdout.on('end', function(){
  var buf = Buffer.concat(bufs);

For performance, I would look into if the S3 library you are using supports streams. Ideally you wouldn't need to create one large buffer at all, and instead just pass the stdout stream directly to the S3 library.

As for the second part of your question, that isn't possible. When a function is called, it is allocated its own private context, and everything defined inside of that will only be accessible from other items defined inside that function.


Dumping the file to the filesystem would probably mean less memory usage per request, but file IO can be pretty slow so it might not be worth it. I'd say that you shouldn't optimize too much until you can profile and stress-test this function. If the garbage collector is doing its job you may be overoptimizing.

With all that said, there are better ways anyway, so don't use files. Since all you want is the length, you can calculate that without needing to append all of the buffers together, so then you don't need to allocate a new Buffer at all.

var pause_stream = require('pause-stream');

// Your other code.

var bufs = [];
stdout.on('data', function(d){ bufs.push(d); });
stdout.on('end', function(){
  var contentLength = bufs.reduce(function(sum, buf){
    return sum + buf.length;
  }, 0);

  // Create a stream that will emit your chunks when resumed.
  var stream = pause_stream();
  while (bufs.length) stream.write(bufs.shift());

  var headers = {
      'Content-Length': contentLength,
      // ...

  s3.putStream(stream, ....);
3/29/2018 11:43:33 PM

You can easily do this using node-fetch if you are pulling from http(s) URIs.

From the readme:

    .then(res => res.buffer())
    .then(buffer => console.log)

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