Usage with Node.js

Although remoteStorage.js was initially written for being used in browsers, we do support using it in a Node.js environment as well. See this section for getting started.


Node 18 includes fetch natively, but earlier versions do not, and so it may be necessary to set global.fetch with a polyfill such as node-fetch.

The main difference between rs.js in a browser and using it on a server or in a CLI program is how to connect a storage. The RS protocol uses the OAuth Implicit Grant flow for clients to receive a bearer token, which they can use in HTTP requests. This works by redirecting back to the Web application with the token attached to the redirect URI as a URI fragment.

Now, with rs.js in a browser, calling remoteStorage.connect('') will take care of the entire OAuth process, including the parsing of the URI after the redirect, saving the token to localStorage and changing the library’s state to connected. But in a node.js program, that’s obviously not possible, because there’s no browser that will open the OAuth dialog and receive the redirect with the token attached to the redirect URI.

connect() with a token

For this reason, among others, you can call the connect function with a token that you acquired beforehand:

remoteStorage.connect('', 'abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz')

This will skip the entire OAuth process, because you did that before in some other way, of course.

Obtaining a token

For some programs, like e.g. a server daemon, you can usually acquire the token from your server manually, and then just configure it for example as environment variable, when running your program.

For CLI programs, and if you actually want to integrate the OAuth flow in your program, one possible solution is the following:

  1. Set up a simple Web site/app, which you publish under a fitting domain/URI that you can use as the OAuth redirect URI.

  2. Have the user enter their user address and do a Webfinger lookup for auth URL etc., e.g. using webfinger.js.

  3. Create the OAuth request URI with the correct scope etc., and open a browser window with that URI from your program (or prompt the user to open it).

  4. Have the Web app, which the user is being redirected to, show the token to the user, in order for them to copy and enter in your program

  5. Connect with that token.

You can find a complete example for this process in rs-backup, a remoteStorage backup CLI program. In particular its code for connecting a storage and the simple Web page its using for the redirect.


rs-backup is not using remoteStorage.js at all, which you might also want to consider as an option when writing non-browser applications.


  • IndexedDB and localStorage are not supported by default in Node.js, so the library will fall back to in-memory storage for caching data locally. This means that unsynchronized data will be lost between sessions and program executions.