How do I programmatically shut down an instance of ExpressJS for testing?


I'm trying to figure out how to shut down an instance of Express. Basically, I want the inverse of the .listen(port) call - how do I get an Express server to STOP listening, release the port, and shutdown cleanly?

I know this seems like it might be a strange query, so here's the context; maybe there's another way to approach this and I'm thinking about it the wrong way. I'm trying to setup a testing framework for my app. It's a single-page app, so in my testing scripts (I'm using Mocha, but that doesn't really matter) I want to be able to start up the server, run tests against it, and then shut the server down. I can get around this by assuming that either the server is turned on before the test starts or by having one of the tests start the server and having every subsequent test assume it's up, but that's really messy. I would much prefer to have each test file start a server instance with the appropriate settings and then shut that instance down when the tests are over. That means there's no weird dependencies to running the test and everything is clean. It also means I can do startup/shutdown testing.

So, any advice about how to do this? I've thought about manually triggering exceptions to bring it down, but that seems messy. I've dug through Express docs and source, but can't seem to find any method that will shut down the server. There might also be something in for this, but since the socket server is just attached to the Express server, I think this needs to happen at the express layer.

12/28/2011 5:11:41 PM

Accepted Answer

Things have changed because the express server no longer inherits from the node http server. Fortunately, app.listen returns the server instance.

var server = app.listen(3000);

// listen for an event
var handler = function() {
6/7/2013 4:50:32 PM

Use app.close(). Full example:

var app = require('express').createServer();
app.get('/', function(req, res){
  res.send('hello world');
app.get('/quit', function(req,res) {

Call app.close() inside the callback when tests have ended. But remember that the process is still running(though it is not listening anymore).

If after this, you need to end the process, then call process.exit(0).


app.close: (same applies for)


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