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.


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)Edit

emitter.on(event, listener)Edit

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)Edit

Adds a one time listener for the event. The listener is invoked only the first 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)Edit

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 from the listener array for the specified event.


By default EventEmitters will print a warning if more than 10 listeners are added to it. 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. This array can be manipulated, e.g. to remove listeners.

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

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

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

Event: 'newListener'Edit

function (event, listener) { }

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