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JustinBeckwith
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Description

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🐿 linkinator

A super simple site crawler and broken link checker.

npm version Build Status codecov Known Vulnerabilities Code Style: Google semantic-release

Behold my latest inator! The

linkinator
provides an API and CLI for crawling websites and validating links. It's got a ton of sweet features:
  • 🔥 Easily perform scans on remote sites or local files
  • 🔥 Scan any element that includes links, not just
  • 🔥 Supports redirects, absolute links, relative links, all the things
  • 🔥 Configure specific regex patterns to skip
  • 🔥 Scan markdown files without transpilation

Installation

npm install linkinator

Not into the whole node.js or npm thing? You can also download a standalone binary that bundles node, linkinator, and anything else you need. See releases.

Command Usage

You can use this as a library, or as a CLI. Let's see the CLI!

$ linkinator LOCATIONS [ --arguments ]

Positional arguments

LOCATIONS
  Required. Either the URLs or the paths on disk to check for broken links.
  Supports multiple paths, and globs.

Flags

--concurrency
      The number of connections to make simultaneously. Defaults to 100.

--config
    Path to the config file to use. Looks for `linkinator.config.json` by default.

--directory-listing
    Include an automatic directory index file when linking to a directory.
    Defaults to 'false'.

--format, -f
    Return the data in CSV or JSON format.

--help
    Show this command.

--include, -i
    List of urls in regexy form to include.  The opposite of --skip.

--markdown
    Automatically parse and scan markdown if scanning from a location on disk.

--recurse, -r
    Recursively follow links on the same root domain.

--retry,
    Automatically retry requests that return HTTP 429 responses and include
    a 'retry-after' header. Defaults to false.

--server-root
    When scanning a locally directory, customize the location on disk
    where the server is started.  Defaults to the path passed in [LOCATION].

--skip, -s
    List of urls in regexy form to not include in the check.

--timeout
    Request timeout in ms.  Defaults to 0 (no timeout).

--verbosity
    Override the default verbosity for this command. Available options are
    'debug', 'info', 'warning', 'error', and 'none'.  Defaults to 'warning'.

Command Examples

You can run a shallow scan of a website for busted links:

npx linkinator http://jbeckwith.com

That was fun. What about local files? The linkinator will stand up a static web server for yinz:

npx linkinator ./docs

But that only gets the top level of links. Lets go deeper and do a full recursive scan!

npx linkinator ./docs --recurse

Aw, snap. I didn't want that to check those links. Let's skip em:

npx linkinator ./docs --skip www.googleapis.com

The

--skip
parameter will accept any regex! You can do more complex matching, or even tell it to only scan links with a given domain:
linkinator http://jbeckwith.com --skip '^(?!http://jbeckwith.com)'

Maybe you're going to pipe the output to another program. Use the

--format
option to get JSON or CSV!
linkinator ./docs --format CSV

Let's make sure the

README.md
in our repo doesn't have any busted links:
linkinator ./README.md --markdown

You know what, we better check all of the markdown files!

linkinator "**/*.md" --markdown

Configuration file

You can pass options directly to the

linkinator
CLI, or you can define a config file. By default,
linkinator
will look for a
linkinator.config.json
file in the current working directory.

All options are optional. It should look like this:

{
  "format": "json",
  "recurse": true,
  "silent": true,
  "concurrency": 100,
  "timeout": 0,
  "markdown": true,
  "directoryListing": true,
  "skip": "www.googleapis.com"
}

To load config settings outside the CWD, you can pass the

--config
flag to the
linkinator
CLI:
linkinator --config /some/path/your-config.json

GitHub Actions

You can use

linkinator
as a GitHub Action as well, using JustinBeckwith/linkinator-action:
on:
  push:
    branches:
      - main
  pull_request:
name: ci
jobs:
  linkinator:
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    steps:
      - uses: actions/[email protected]
      - uses: JustinBeckwith/[email protected]
        with:
          paths: README.md

To see all options or to learn more, visit JustinBeckwith/linkinator-action.

API Usage

linkinator.check(options)

Asynchronous method that runs a site wide scan. Options come in the form of an object that includes:

  • path
    (string|string[]) - A fully qualified path to the url to be scanned, or the path(s) to the directory on disk that contains files to be scanned. required.
  • concurrency
    (number) - The number of connections to make simultaneously. Defaults to 100.
  • port
    (number) - When the
    path
    is provided as a local path on disk, the
    port
    on which to start the temporary web server. Defaults to a random high range order port.
  • recurse
    (boolean) - By default, all scans are shallow. Only the top level links on the requested page will be scanned. By setting
    recurse
    to
    true
    , the crawler will follow all links on the page, and continue scanning links on the same domain for as long as it can go. Results are cached, so no worries about loops.
  • retry
    (boolean|RetryConfig) - Automatically retry requests that respond with an HTTP 429, and include a
    retry-after
    header. The
    RetryConfig
    option is a placeholder for fine-grained controls to be implemented at a later time, and is only included here to signal forward-compatibility.
  • serverRoot
    (string) - When scanning a locally directory, customize the location on disk where the server is started. Defaults to the path passed in
    path
    .
  • timeout
    (number) - By default, requests made by linkinator do not time out (or follow the settings of the OS). This option (in milliseconds) will fail requests after the configured amount of time.
  • markdown
    (boolean) - Automatically parse and scan markdown if scanning from a location on disk.
  • linksToSkip
    (array | function) - An array of regular expression strings that should be skipped, OR an async function that's called for each link with the link URL as its only argument. Return a Promise that resolves to
    true
    to skip the link or
    false
    to check it.
  • directoryListing
    (boolean) - Automatically serve a static file listing page when serving a directory. Defaults to
    false
    .

linkinator.LinkChecker()

Constructor method that can be used to create a new

LinkChecker
instance. This is particularly useful if you want to receive events as the crawler crawls. Exposes the following events:
  • pagestart
    (string) - Provides the url that the crawler has just started to scan.
  • link
    (object) - Provides an object with
    • url
      (string) - The url that was scanned
    • state
      (string) - The result of the scan. Potential values include
      BROKEN
      ,
      OK
      , or
      SKIPPED
      .
    • status
      (number) - The HTTP status code of the request.

Examples

Simple example

const link = require('linkinator');

async function simple() { const results = await link.check({ path: 'http://example.com' });

// To see if all the links passed, you can check passed console.log(Passed: ${results.passed});

// Show the list of scanned links and their results console.log(results);

// Example output: // { // passed: true, // links: [ // { // url: 'http://example.com', // status: 200, // state: 'OK' // }, // { // url: 'http://www.iana.org/domains/example', // status: 200, // state: 'OK' // } // ] // } } simple();

Complete example

In most cases you're going to want to respond to events, as running the check command can kinda take a long time.

const link = require('linkinator');

async function complex() { // create a new LinkChecker that we'll use to run the scan. const checker = new link.LinkChecker();

// Respond to the beginning of a new page being scanned checker.on('pagestart', url => { console.log(Scanning ${url}); });

// After a page is scanned, check out the results! checker.on('link', result => {

// check the specific url that was scanned
console.log(`  ${result.url}`);

// How did the scan go?  Potential states are `BROKEN`, `OK`, and `SKIPPED`
console.log(`  ${result.state}`);

// What was the status code of the response?
console.log(`  ${result.status}`);

// What page linked here?
console.log(`  ${result.parent}`);

});

// Go ahead and start the scan! As events occur, we will see them above. const result = await checker.check({ path: 'http://example.com', // port: 8673, // recurse: true, // linksToSkip: [ // 'https://jbeckwith.com/some/link', // 'http://example.com' // ] });

// Check to see if the scan passed! console.log(result.passed ? 'PASSED :D' : 'FAILED :(');

// How many links did we scan? console.log(Scanned total of ${result.links.length} links!);

// The final result will contain the list of checked links, and the pass/fail const brokeLinksCount = result.links.filter(x => x.state === 'BROKEN'); console.log(Detected ${brokeLinksCount.length} broken links.); }

complex();

Tips & Tricks

Using a proxy

This library supports proxies via the

HTTP_PROXY
and
HTTPS_PROXY
environment variables. This guide provides a nice overview of how to format and set these variables.

Globbing

You may have noticed in the example, when using a glob the pattern is encapsulated in quotes:

linkinator "**/*.md" --markdown

Without the quotes, some shells will attempt to expand the glob paths on their own. Various shells (bash, zsh) have different, somewhat unpredictable behaviors when left to their own devices. Using the quotes ensures consistent, predictable behavior by letting the library expand the pattern.

Debugging

Oftentimes when a link fails, it's an easy to spot typo, or a clear 404. Other times ... you may need more details on exactly what went wrong. To see a full call stack for the HTTP request failure, use

--verbosity DEBUG
:
linkinator https://jbeckwith.com --verbosity DEBUG

Controlling Output

The

--verbosity
flag offers preset options for controlling the output, but you may want more control. Using
jq
and
--format JSON
- you can do just that!
linkinator https://jbeckwith.com --verbosity DEBUG --format JSON | jq '.links | .[] | select(.state | contains("BROKEN"))'

License

MIT

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