Node.js v0.8.17 Manual & Documentation


Stability: 4 - API Frozen

Many objects in Node emit events: a net.Server emits an event each time a peer connects to it, a fs.readStream emits an event when the file is opened. All objects which emit events are instances of events.EventEmitter. You can access this module by doing: require("events");

Typically, event names are represented by a camel-cased string, however, there aren't any strict restrictions on that, as any string will be accepted.

Functions can then be attached to objects, to be executed when an event is emitted. These functions are called listeners.

Class: events.EventEmitter#

To access the EventEmitter class, require('events').EventEmitter.

When an EventEmitter instance experiences an error, the typical action is to emit an 'error' event. Error events are treated as a special case in node. If there is no listener for it, then the default action is to print a stack trace and exit the program.

All EventEmitters emit the event 'newListener' when new listeners are added.

emitter.addListener(event, listener)#

emitter.on(event, listener)#

Adds a listener to the end of the listeners array for the specified event.

server.on('connection', function (stream) {
  console.log('someone connected!');

emitter.once(event, listener)#

Adds a one time listener for the event. This listener is invoked only the next time the event is fired, after which it is removed.

server.once('connection', function (stream) {
  console.log('Ah, we have our first user!');

emitter.removeListener(event, listener)#

Remove a listener from the listener array for the specified event. Caution: changes array indices in the listener array behind the listener.

var callback = function(stream) {
  console.log('someone connected!');
server.on('connection', callback);
// ...
server.removeListener('connection', callback);


Removes all listeners, or those of the specified event.

Note that this will invalidate any arrays that have previously been returned by emitter.listeners(event).


By default EventEmitters will print a warning if more than 10 listeners are added for a particular event. This is a useful default which helps finding memory leaks. Obviously not all Emitters should be limited to 10. This function allows that to be increased. Set to zero for unlimited.


Returns an array of listeners for the specified event.

server.on('connection', function (stream) {
  console.log('someone connected!');
console.log(util.inspect(server.listeners('connection'))); // [ [Function] ]

This array may be a mutable reference to the same underlying list of listeners that is used by the event subsystem. However, certain actions (specifically, removeAllListeners) will invalidate this reference.

If you would like to get a copy of the listeners at a specific point in time that is guaranteed not to change, make a copy, for example by doing emitter.listeners(event).slice(0).

In a future release of node, this behavior may change to always return a copy, for consistency. In your programs, please do not rely on being able to modify the EventEmitter listeners using array methods. Always use the 'on' method to add new listeners.

emitter.emit(event, [arg1], [arg2], [...])#

Execute each of the listeners in order with the supplied arguments.

Event: 'newListener'#

  • event String The event name
  • listener Function The event handler function

This event is emitted any time someone adds a new listener.