NodeJS: Saving a base64-encoded image to disk


Question

My Express app is receiving a base64-encoded PNG from the browser (generated from canvas with toDataURL() ) and writing it to a file. But the file isn't a valid image file, and the "file" utility simply identifies it as "data".

var body = req.rawBody,
  base64Data = body.replace(/^data:image\/png;base64,/,""),
  binaryData = new Buffer(base64Data, 'base64').toString('binary');

require("fs").writeFile("out.png", binaryData, "binary", function(err) {
  console.log(err); // writes out file without error, but it's not a valid image
});
1
133
8/3/2011 11:53:05 AM

Accepted Answer

I think you are converting the data a bit more than you need to. Once you create the buffer with the proper encoding, you just need to write the buffer to the file.

var base64Data = req.rawBody.replace(/^data:image\/png;base64,/, "");

require("fs").writeFile("out.png", base64Data, 'base64', function(err) {
  console.log(err);
});

new Buffer(..., 'base64') will convert the input string to a Buffer, which is just an array of bytes, by interpreting the input as a base64 encoded string. Then you can just write that byte array to the file.

Update

As mentioned in the comments, req.rawBody is no longer a thing. If you are using express/connect then you should use the bodyParser() middleware and use req.body, and if you are doing this using standard Node then you need to aggregate the incoming data event Buffer objects and do this image data parsing in the end callback.

279
6/17/2014 5:24:10 AM

this is my full solution which would read any base64 image format and save it in the proper format in the database:

    // Save base64 image to disk
    try
    {
        // Decoding base-64 image
        // Source: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/20267939/nodejs-write-base64-image-file
        function decodeBase64Image(dataString) 
        {
          var matches = dataString.match(/^data:([A-Za-z-+\/]+);base64,(.+)$/);
          var response = {};

          if (matches.length !== 3) 
          {
            return new Error('Invalid input string');
          }

          response.type = matches[1];
          response.data = new Buffer(matches[2], 'base64');

          return response;
        }

        // Regular expression for image type:
        // This regular image extracts the "jpeg" from "image/jpeg"
        var imageTypeRegularExpression      = /\/(.*?)$/;      

        // Generate random string
        var crypto                          = require('crypto');
        var seed                            = crypto.randomBytes(20);
        var uniqueSHA1String                = crypto
                                               .createHash('sha1')
                                                .update(seed)
                                                 .digest('hex');

        var base64Data = 'data:image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQEAZABkAAD/4Q3zaHR0cDovL25zLmFkb2JlLmN...';

        var imageBuffer                      = decodeBase64Image(base64Data);
        var userUploadedFeedMessagesLocation = '../img/upload/feed/';

        var uniqueRandomImageName            = 'image-' + uniqueSHA1String;
        // This variable is actually an array which has 5 values,
        // The [1] value is the real image extension
        var imageTypeDetected                = imageBuffer
                                                .type
                                                 .match(imageTypeRegularExpression);

        var userUploadedImagePath            = userUploadedFeedMessagesLocation + 
                                               uniqueRandomImageName +
                                               '.' + 
                                               imageTypeDetected[1];

        // Save decoded binary image to disk
        try
        {
        require('fs').writeFile(userUploadedImagePath, imageBuffer.data,  
                                function() 
                                {
                                  console.log('DEBUG - feed:message: Saved to disk image attached by user:', userUploadedImagePath);
                                });
        }
        catch(error)
        {
            console.log('ERROR:', error);
        }

    }
    catch(error)
    {
        console.log('ERROR:', error);
    }

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