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Embed Node.js inside a Java Virtual Machine

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This is a set of libraries for running node.js scripts inside Java.

What is Trireme?

Trireme runs Node.js scripts inside the JVM. This is important because there is a lot of software out there (including our own) that is built in Java and isn't going to get rewritten in JavaScript now or in the future.

Trireme is specifically designed to be embeddable within any Java program. There is a lot of support inside Trireme for this specific case:

  • Many Node.js scripts can run inside a single JVM, subject to memory constraints.
  • Each script is totally isolated from the others -- there is no way for one script to affect the heap of the others.
  • A sandbox is provided that lets the container control how, or if, the script gains access to the filesystem and to the network.
  • The HTTP server implementation is pluggable. An "HTTP Adapter" is supported that allows a container to embed a Node.js script inside an existing HTTP container like a web server or other product. (A sample adapter, built using Netty 4.0, is included.)
  • The sandbox supports a Rhino feature that makes it possible to limit the execution time for a script. With this feature enabled, a script that runs an infinite loop can be terminated after some time.

For a more detailed introduction, see our intro presentation:

So, again, why would I use Trireme?

  • To embed Node.js apps inside an existing Java application
  • To run Node.js apps that take advantage of Java libraries you can't live without, like JDBC drivers and XML parsers

If neither of those reasons apply to you, then stick with "regular node!"

How do I get it?

From NPM

sudo npm install -g trireme
trireme -h

The NPM package for Trireme lets you run it on the command line just like "node".

Unfortunately, Trireme does not support the "repl" yet (and it's hard since Java gives us limited control over the TTY) so just running "trireme" with no arguments produces an error right now.

From Maven Central

The best reason to use Trireme is because it's important to embed Node.js code inside an existing Java application. In that case you will use the modules under "io.apigee.trireme" on Maven Central:


The "module map" later in this document shows which modules to use in which cases.

From GitHub

See the releases page to download the latest release files.

"trireme-x.y.z.jar" is always a stand-alone jar that you can run just like "node":

java -jar trireme-x.y.z.jar script.js

What version of Node.js does Trireme Support?

Trireme supports two versions of Node.js:

  • 0.10.32. This is the default, fully-supported version.
  • 0.12.7. This version is still a work in progress.

Support for Node.js 4.0 depends on more complete ES6 code in Rhino. The Rhino community is making progress on this but it will be quite some time before we are ready to support 4.0.

Running Trireme

Using NPM

If you installed Trireme using NPM, just run:


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