Node EADDRINUSE (Address Already in Use) Error

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Every once in a while my MacBook Pro freaks out and a process goes rogue.  This oftentimes happens when I'm working on the excellent debugger.html project; I attempt to start the server side of the debugger and suddenly I'm hit with an error that resembles the following, leading to the process not starting from that time forward:

Error: listen EADDRINUSE
    at Object._errnoException (util.js:1026:11)
    at _exceptionWithHostPort (util.js:1049:20)
    at Server.setupListenHandle [as _listen2] (net.js:1343:14)
    at listenInCluster (net.js:1391:12)
    at doListen (net.js:1500:7)
    at _combinedTickCallback (internal/process/next_tick.js:141:11)
    at process._tickCallback (internal/process/next_tick.js:180:9)
    at Function.Module.runMain (module.js:667:11)
    at startup (bootstrap_node.js:201:16)
    at bootstrap_node.js:626:3  

The best way to fix this issue is by killing the Node.js process that's running for the rogue task.  Start by finding a listing of all of the node processes:

ps aux | grep node

You'll see a listing similar to this:

davidwalsh       12413   0.0  0.0  2592088   3888   ??  S     7:38PM   0:20.45 /Users/davidwalsh/Projects/debugger.html/node_modules/flow-bin/flow-osx-v0.52.0/flow
davidwalsh       12412   0.0  0.0 29739356   2372   ??  S     7:38PM   0:00.12 /Users/davidwalsh/Projects/debugger.html/node_modules/flow-bin/flow-osx-v0.52.0/flow
davidwalsh       12411   0.0  0.0 29732188   2372   ??  S     7:38PM   0:00.07 /Users/davidwalsh/Projects/debugger.html/node_modules/flow-bin/flow-osx-v0.52.0/flow
davidwalsh       12410   0.0  0.0 29732188   2372   ??  S     7:38PM   0:00.07 /Users/davidwalsh/Projects/debugger.html/node_modules/flow-bin/flow-osx-v0.52.0/flow
davidwalsh       12409   0.0  0.0 29731164   2372   ??  S     7:38PM   0:00.06 /Users/davidwalsh/Projects/debugger.html/node_modules/flow-bin/flow-osx-v0.52.0/flow

When you identify the rogue process, use the kill command along with the process number to remove it:

#kill -9 {process_number}
kill -9 12413

With the process killed you can now start up the server as normal!

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  1. There’s a trick I use for this in my watch scripts. Substitute ‘bin/www’ for whatever script Node is running:

    kill -3 (ps aux | grep 'bin/www' | awk '{print $2}')
  2. Felix

    And when you don’t know what process grabbed your port, you can find out via

    lsof -n -i:[port-number]
    • Amish

      You could further narrow down the list to only the processes listening on that port, by doing the following:

      lsof -n -i4TCP:[port-number] | grep LISTEN

      Then kill that process.

  3. Oleg Mihailik

    Much better solution, implemented internally at my employer:

    Hash-derive port number from full path.

    Rather than stick to localhost:9000 you’re getting a pseudo-random port unlikely to collide with any other session you’re running. You can debug two branches of the same codebase at once.

    Being derived from the path, the port is sticky: you can restart as much as you wish.

  4. taskkill /f /im node.exe

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