JavaScript in your Terminal

I’ve noticed recently that, while working heavily in NodeJS, I often want to evaluate a snippet of JavaScript without having to run it in my app and verify its output via a log. Usually this wouldn’t impede my workflow because I’d have my browser DevTools open and could just run it there. Working in Node, though, I don’t usually have DevTools, or even a browser, open.

Terminal to the rescue! You have two options here, both exceptionally easy.

  1. With NodeJS:


    Running NodeJS without the optional argument for a filename drops you into a Node shell, and any JavaScript you type and run here will be executed.

  2. Without NodeJS (using JSC):

    If you’re running OSX, there’s a JavaScript command-line interpreter included by default: JSC. Run it from the command line like this:


    To make this a bit easier like in the NodeJS example above, create an alias in your ~/.bash_profile:

    alias js="/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaScriptCore.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/jsc"