Node.js 18 was released on the 19th of April this year. You can read more in the official blog post release or in the OpenJS Blog announcement. The community couldn’t be more excited!
Here at NodeSource,releases are a big deal. As a team of experts, enthusiasts, and core contributors to the open-source project, we love seeing the progress of Node! We are also one of the primary distributors of the runtime and have been since version 0.x (2014).
Developers download and use our binaries worldwide for their production environments (over 100m a year and growing!). We are incredibly proud to support this important piece of the Node ecosystem in addition to building and supporting customers on our Node.js platform – N|Solid.
“If you use Linux, we recommend using a NodeSource installer.” – From the NPM Documentation
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Overall, the community is looking forward to this release with many new features and other benefits in addition to the official release earlier this year that included:
If you are interested in thinking about the future of Node, we recommend checking out The next-10 group. They are doing some great work thinking about the strategic direction for the next 10 years of Node.js. Their technical priorities are:
But now I’m sure you want to get into the changes in v18. What has improved, and what are the new features? That’s what you’re here for 😉. So let us explain 👇
The codename for this release is ‘Hydrogen’. Support for Node.js 18 will last until April 2025. The name comes from the periodic table, and they have been used in alphabetical order (Argon, Boron, Carbon, Dubnium, Erbium…) 🤓 Read more in StackOverflow.
According to the Node.js blog, the “LTS version guarantees that the critical bugs will be fixed for a total of 30 months and Production applications should only use Active LTS, or Maintenance LTS releases”. – https://nodejs.dev/en/about/releases/
In short, it focuses on stability and being a more reliable application after allowing a reasonable time to receive feedback from the community and testing its implementation at any scale.
You can easily do it by typing in your console:
$ node --version
Run the following to retrieve the name of the LTS release you are using:
$ node -p process.release.lts
Note: The previous property only exists if the release is an LTS. Otherwise, it returns nothing.
If you want to be aware of the release planning in the Node.js community, you can check here: Node.js Release Schedule.
Contributors are constantly working to improve the runtime, introduce more features, and improve developer experience and usability. Today as the worldwide community uses JS for developing API-driven web applications and serverless cloud development, the changes in this new LTS version are important to understand.
In honor of the number 11 (#funfact Undici means ‘eleven’ in Italian), we decided to make our top 11 Node.js 18 features:
The idea of this blog post is to relevel the functionalities one by one, so let’s start:
--watch, your application will automatically restart when an imported file is changed. Just like
nodemon. And you can use
--watch-path to specify which path should be observed.
Also, these flags cannot be combined with
--interactive, or when used in REPL (
read–eval–print loop) mode. It just won’t work.
You can now use Node Watch index on your file name to start watching your files without having to install anything.
OpenSSL is an open-source implementation of, among other things, SSL and TLS protocols for securing communication.
One key feature of OpenSSL 3.0 is the new FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standards) module. FIPS is a set of US government requirements for governing cryptographic usage in the public sector.
More information is available in the OpenSSL3 blog post.
import test from
This module is only available under the
node:scheme. Read more in Node.js Docs
This test runner is still in development and is not meant to replace other complete alternatives such as Jest or Mocha, but it provides a quick way to execute a test suite without additional third-party libraries. The test runner supports features like subtests, test skipping, callback tests, etc.
The following is an example of how to use the new test runner.
More information may be found in the Node.js API docs.
A new way to ‘import’ modules that leverages a ‘node:’ prefix, which makes it immediately evident that the modules are from Node.js core
To learn more about this functionality, we invite you to read Colin Ihrig‘s article Node.js 18 Introduces Prefix-Only Core Modules.
Methods available are as follows,
The following APIs in the Node v18 upgrade are exposed on the global scope: Blob and BroadcastChannel.
Node.js runs with the V8 engine from the Chromium open-source browser. This engine has been upgraded to version 10.1, which is part of the recent update in Chromium 101.
findLastIndexare now available.
private class methods.
Keep an eye out here.
Node.js always provides pre-built binaries for various platforms. For every latest release, toolchains are evaluated and elevated whenever required. Node.js provides pre-built binaries for several different platforms. For each major release, the minimum toolchains are assessed and raised where appropriate.
Build-time user-land snapshot(Experimental)
Users can build a Node.js binary with a custom V8 startup using the
–-node-snapshot-main flag of the configure script.
The http.server timeouts have changed:
headersTimeout(the time allowed for an HTTP request header to be parsed) is set to 60000 milliseconds (60 seconds).
requestTimeout(the timeout used for an HTTP request) is set to 300000 milliseconds (5 minutes) by default.
Undici is an official Node team library, although it’s more like an HTTP 1.1 full-fledged client designed from the ground up in Node.js.
Of note, we support and love Lizz‘s work, so we recommend you check out her fantastic talk in Nodeconf.EU about New and Exciting features in Node.js to understand more about this feature.
The project undoubtedly has some great challenges in the near future to continue growing and maintaining its leading position in the ecosystem. These are some of the upcoming features. Most of them are experimental; without being the only ones to discuss, there is much work and proposals from an active community such as the Node.js Community.
You can check the full changelog here.
Moving to the LTS version is the best decision for you to include the following improvements in your development workflow:
To migrate your version of Node, follow these steps:
For Linux and Mac users, follow these commands to upgrade to the latest version of Node. The module
n makes version management easy:
npm install n -g
For the latest stable version:
For the latest version:
Windows Users Visit the Node.js download page to install the new version of Node.js.