travelboy travelboy - 2 years ago 201
JSON Question

node-restify: how to indent JSON output?

What is the proper way to make node-restify output JSON more nicely (i.e. with line-breaks and indentation)?

I basically want it to output something like

JSON.stringify(object, null, 2)
would do, but I see no way to configure restify to do that.

What is the best way to achieve it without patching restify?

Answer Source

You should be able to achieve this using formatters (see Content Negotiation), just specify custom one for application/json:

var server = restify.createServer({
  formatters: {
    'application/json': myCustomFormatJSON

You can just use a slightly modified version of original formatter:

function myCustomFormatJSON(req, res, body) {
  if (!body) {
    if (res.getHeader('Content-Length') === undefined &&
        res.contentLength === undefined) {
      res.setHeader('Content-Length', 0);
    return null;

  if (body instanceof Error) {
    // snoop for RestError or HttpError, but don't rely on instanceof
    if ((body.restCode || body.httpCode) && body.body) {
      body = body.body;
    } else {
      body = {
        message: body.message

  if (Buffer.isBuffer(body))
    body = body.toString('base64');

  var data = JSON.stringify(body, null, 2);

  if (res.getHeader('Content-Length') === undefined &&
      res.contentLength === undefined) {
    res.setHeader('Content-Length', Buffer.byteLength(data));

  return data;
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