Deploying Node.js App

Zeabur supports various types of Node.js projects:

Disabling Cache Functionality

By default, Zeabur adjusts the installation process by caching the steps to install dependencies, speeding up subsequent CI/CD processes. Most Node.js projects should not be affected, but if your project uses tools like pnpm-workspace to manage a monorepo and the default settings cause compilation failures, you may need to disable the cache functionality to use it properly.

To disable this feature, create a zbpack.json file in the root directory of your project and add the following content:

    "cache_dependencies": false

Modifying Build and Start Commands

If your project has a special type (such as a Monorepo implemented with tools), you may need to specify the build and start commands for your services. For example, you may want to change the start command for the frontend service to pnpm run start:frontend, or change the build command for the api service to pnpm run start:api.

Here are two ways to modify these commands.

Modifying in the Web Interface

After deploying your project to the Zeabur service, expand the "Settings" section to modify the "Custom Build Command" and "Custom Start Command". After making the changes, click "Redeploy" to deploy the project again.

Node.js: Custom Command

Modifying via Files

Add the following two settings to zbpack.json:

    "build_command": "<custom build command>",
    "start_command": "<custom start command>"

The default settings in zbpack.json will be applied to all deployed services. If you want to specify different commands for different services (e.g., use a specific command for a service named api and another command for a service named frontend), you need to create a file named zbpack.[service name].json:

// zbpack.api.json
    "build_command": "pnpm run build:api",
    "start_command": "pnpm run start:api"
// zbpack.frontend.json
    "build_command": "pnpm run build:frontend",
    "start_command": "pnpm run start:frontend"

The priority of applying the settings is zbpack.[service name].json > zbpack.json.

Configure Node.js Version and Package Manager Version

Node.js Version

By default, Zeabur uses the latest LTS version of Node.js to build your project.

If you want to use a different version, you can specify it in your package.json:

    "engines": {
        "node": "18.1.0"

Package Manager Version

By default, Zeabur uses yarn to install dependencies for your project. If you want to use a different package manager, you can specify it in your package.json:

    "packageManager": "pnpm@8.0.0"

Deploying in Serverless Mode

If your Node.js project meets the following criteria, you can deploy it in Serverless mode on Zeabur:

  1. Project is built with frameworks designed for Serverless deployment, such as Next.js (opens in a new tab), Nuxt.js (opens in a new tab), Remix (opens in a new tab), etc.
  2. The Project does not use the above frameworks, but the service itself meets the concept of Serverless: the state of each request is independent of each other, and can automatically sleep when there is no request.

Enable Serverless

If your project is written using Next.js, Nuxt.js, Waku, Angular, and Remix (a complete list can be found in the getServerless function of zeabur/zbpack repository (opens in a new tab)), Zeabur will automatically deploy the project in serverless form. If you need to disable this, please refer to the Enable Serverless chapter.

For projects written in other frameworks (or you build your serverless function manually), opting in is currently required. Please refer to the Enable Serverless page to enable serverless support. If there are no issues during testing, feel free to submit a Pull Request to the zbpack code repository (opens in a new tab) for supporting your framework.

Building Project in Serverless Format

If your project uses frameworks such as Next.js, Nuxt.js, Remix, etc., you can skip this step because zbpack (opens in a new tab) will automatically convert it to Serverless format.

However, if your project does not use the above frameworks, you need to build your project into Serverless format yourself. Here is an example of a basic Express.js application:

// app.js
const express = require('express')
const app = express()
app.get('/', (req, res) => {
    res.send('Hello World!')
module.exports = app

In the above example, you can see that the app.js module has already exported the app object, which is an object that conforms to the Serverless processing function format of Zeabur. Therefore, all we have to do is to output it to the index.func directory under .zeabur/output/functions during the build phase.

To achieve this, we can add the following script to the code:

// scripts/build.js
const esbuild = require('esbuild');
const fs = require('fs');
// dynamic-required files
const dynamicRequiredDirs = ['views']
// static files
const staticFileDirs = ['public']
// Remove old output
if (fs.existsSync('.zeabur/output')) {'Removing old .zeabur/output')
    fs.rmSync('.zeabur/output', {recursive: true})
function getModuleEntries() {
    function getModuleEntriesRecursive(dir) {
        let entries = []
        fs.readdirSync(dir).forEach(file => {
            const path = `${dir}/${file}`
            if (fs.statSync(path).isDirectory()) {
                if(file === 'node_modules') return
                entries = entries.concat(getModuleEntriesRecursive(path))
            } else if (file.endsWith('.js')) {
        return entries
    return getModuleEntriesRecursive('.')
// build with esbuild
try {{
        entryPoints: getModuleEntries(),
        bundle: false,
        minify: false,
        outdir: '.zeabur/output/functions/index.func',
        platform: 'node',
        target: 'node20',
        plugins: [{
            name: 'make-all-packages-external',
            setup(build) {
                let filter = /^[^.\/]|^\.[^.\/]|^\.\.[^\/]/ // Must not start with "/" or "./" or "../"
                build.onResolve({filter}, args => ({path: args.path, external: true}))
    }).then(res => {
        if (res.errors.length > 0) {
        }'Successfully built app.js into .zeabur/output/functions/index.func')
        fs.copyFileSync('.zeabur/output/functions/index.func/app.js', '.zeabur/output/functions/index.func/index.js')
} catch (error) {
// copy node_modules into function output directory'Copying node_modules into .zeabur/output/functions/index.func/node_modules')
fs.cpSync('node_modules', '.zeabur/output/functions/index.func/node_modules', {recursive: true, verbatimSymlinks: true})
// copy package.json into function output directory'Copying package.json into .zeabur/output/functions/index.func')
fs.cpSync('package.json', '.zeabur/output/functions/index.func/package.json')
// copy dynamic-required files into function output directory, so they can be required during runtime
dynamicRequiredDirs.forEach(dir => {
    copyIfDirExists(dir, `.zeabur/output/functions/index.func/${dir}`)
// copy static files into function output directory, so they can be served by the web server directly
staticFileDirs.forEach(dir => {
    copyIfDirExists(dir, `.zeabur/output/static`)
function copyIfDirExists(src, dest) {
    if (fs.statSync(src).isDirectory()) {`Copying ${src} to ${dest}`)
        fs.cp(src, dest, {recursive: true}, (err) => {
            if (err) throw err;
    console.warn(`${src} is not a directory`)

This script does a straightforward thing, it uses esbuild (opens in a new tab) to build your project, then puts all .js files into the .zeabur/output/functions/index.func directory according to the original relative path, and copies node_modules and package.json to the .zeabur/output/functions/index.func directory, so that the project is built.

Note in particular that we have retained two special configurable fields in this script:

// dynamic-required files
const dynamicRequiredDirs = ['views']
// static files
const staticFileDirs = ['public']

These two fields allow us to put things other than .js into the output, where dynamicRequiredDirs is a file that is only required at runtime, such as a template file in the views directory; staticFileDirs is a static file, such as a static resource in the public directory, which is placed in the .zeabur/output/static directory so that they can be distributed to users around the world by the Zeabur Edge Network at a faster speed.

Don't forget to install esbuild in your project after adding this script, and add the build command to the scripts in package.json:

    "scripts": {
        "build": "node scripts/build.js"

You can find the complete sample code at zeabur/expressjs-template (opens in a new tab) or modify the scripts/build.js script according to your needs.

Additional Notes

  1. The port to listen to should use process.env.PORT

For example:

const port = process.env.PORT || 3000
// instead of const port = 3000
  1. Avoid using nodemon as runtime. Execute your command with general node command in production.

For example, in package.json:

"scripts": {
    "start": "node server.js"
    // instead of "start": "nodemon server.js"