Testing node.js functions locally


node test.js ./path-to-function.js parameter=value parameter2=value2

Will invoke the main function of path-to-function.js with following params:


Alternatively, input can be passed on stdin, this allows the creation of more complex input objects that would be inconvenient to edit on the command line or passing non-string values.

echo '{"boolean": true}' | node test.js ./path-to-function.js
cat input.json | node test.js ./path-to-function.js

If you intend to post-process the result, for instance with jq, add the parameter --json, which will make sure test.js returns well-formed JSON. The default is off, which means you will get a slightly more readable output.

using npm libraries

If your action uses npm libraries, you may have trouble running it locally without creating a special environment just for it to run.

In this case you can run the docker image that open whisk uses to launch your action, along with its preinstalled libraries:

./runtest.sh --debug --action ./path-to-function.js --param name=value --param othername=othervalue


  • --debug : enable request debugging (by adding NODE_DEBUG=request)
  • --action : action js file you are trying to test
  • --param : parameter to pass to main (multiple allowed)
  • --image : the action image used to run node (default is openwhisk/nodejs6action:latest)