kaytrance kaytrance - 1 year ago 144
Node.js Question

Send text as a download file

Trying to send simple text string as a file, that being downloaded under certain name upon request. Can't seems to figure out why this code fails.

var text_ready = "This is a content of a txt file."
res.setHeader('Content-type', "application/octet-stream");
res.setHeader('Content-disposition', 'attachment; filename=file.txt');
res.send( new Buffer(text_ready) );

When this code executes, I receive only a XHR response (with that string as a content), but no download is being initiated. But I expected that receiveing this response will force browser to download a file with
as a name having content of the string above.

How to fix that? What am I doing wrong?

Maybe it will be important: working under Chrome 41 on Windows.

EDIT: it seems that I have to describe a bit deeper. The workflow is the following:

  • page contains a table cells with angular
    events attached to each of them

  • when clicking a GET request is being sent to "/download" using jQuery's $.get("/download")

  • server have route to handle this GET requests

  • what I need to achieve is that a certain text string is being send to user and saved as a file (so that a download is being initiated upon click, shortly speaking)


  1. It works when I navigate manually to that url by entering this url to address bar and pressing enter

  2. It does not work when I click with mouse on that cell - the request is sent, the response is received but no download is initiated.

Answer Source

Tested on my node.js version 0.12.2, Windows 7, Chrome and Firefox

var http = require('http');

http.createServer(function (req, res) {
var text_ready = "This is a content of a txt file."

res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'application/force-download','Content-disposition':'attachment; filename=file.txt'});

res.end( text_ready );
}).listen(8080, '');
console.log('Server running at');

I think that you're not running the latest version of node.js. Maybe you can change only Content-type header, which might work. Also, you can use res.end( new Buffer(text_ready) );. I've tested it.

EDITED: How to download file from node.js with javascript(jQuery onclick) call:


<script type="text/javascript">
        window.location = '';


<button id="button">Download</button>

I'm sure you know how to rewrite from jQuery to angularJS. :) I think that this is better than using an Ajax call. If you really need Ajax, I'll find out how to do it.

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