Zip it and ship it
Last updated 3 days ago by ehmicky .
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Creates Zip archives from Node.js or Go source files. Those archives are ready to be uploaded to AWS Lambda.

This library is used under the hood by several Netlify features, including production CI builds, Netlify CLI and the JavaScript client.

Check Netlify documentation for:


npm install @netlify/zip-it-and-ship-it

Usage (Node.js)

zipFunctions(srcFolder, destFolder, options?)

srcFolder: string
destFolder: string
options: object?
Return value: Promise<object[]>

const { zipFunctions } = require('@netlify/zip-it-and-ship-it')

const archives = await zipFunctions('functions', 'functions-dist')

Creates Zip archives from Node.js or Go source files. Those archives are ready to be uploaded to AWS Lambda.

srcFolder is the source files directory. It must exist. In Netlify, this is the "Functions folder".

srcFolder can contain:

  • Sub-directories with a main file called either index.js or {dir}.js where {dir} is the sub-directory name.
  • .js files (Node.js)
  • .zip archives with Node.js already ready to upload to AWS Lambda.
  • Go files, already built. If the options.zipGo is true, those are zipped. Otherwise, those are copied as is.

When using Node.js files, only the dependencies required by the main file are bundled, in order to keep the archive as small as possible, which improves the Function runtime performance:

  • All files/directories within the same directory (except node_modules) are included
  • All the require()'d files are included
  • All the require()'d node_modules are included, recursively
  • The following modules are never included:
    • @types/* TypeScript definitions
    • aws-sdk
  • Temporary files like *~, *.swp, etc. are not included

This is done by parsing the JavaScript source in each Function file, and reading the package.json of each Node module.

destFolder is the directory where each .zip archive should be output. It is created if it does not exist. In Netlify CI, this is an unspecified temporary directory inside the CI machine. In Netlify CLI, this is a .netlify/functions directory in your build directory.



Type: boolean
Default value: false

Whether to zip Go files. If false, the Go files are copied as is and the filename remains the same.


Type: number
Default value: 5

Maximum number of Functions to bundle at the same time.

Return value

This returns a Promise resolving to an array of objects describing each archive. Each object has the following properties.


Type: string

Absolute file path to the archive file.


Type: string

Either "js" or "go".

zipFunction(srcPath, destFolder, options?)

srcPath: string
destFolder: string
options: object?
Return value: object | undefined

const { zipFunction } = require('@netlify/zip-it-and-ship-it')

const archive = await zipFunctions('functions/function.js', 'functions-dist')

This is like zipFunctions() except it bundles a single Function.

The return value is undefined if the Function is invalid.


srcFolder: string
Return value: Promise<object[]>

Returns the list of Functions to bundle.

const { listFunctions } = require('@netlify/zip-it-and-ship-it')

const functions = await listFunctions('functions/function.js')

Return value

Each object has the following properties.


Type: string

Absolute path to the Function's main file. If the Function is a Node.js directory, this is its index.js or {dir}.js file.


Type: string

Either "js" or "go".


Type: string

Source file extension. For Node.js, this is either .js or .zip. For Go, this can be anything.


srcFolder: string
Return value: Promise<object[]>

Like listFunctions(), except it returns not only the Functions main files, but also all their required files. This is much slower.

const { listFunctionsFiles } = require('@netlify/zip-it-and-ship-it')

const functions = await listFunctionsFiles('functions/function.js')

Return value

The return value is the same as listFunctions() but with the following additional properties.


Type: string

Absolute file to the source file.

Usage (CLI)

$ zip-it-and-ship-it srcFolder destFolder

The CLI performs the same logic as zipFunctions(). The archives are printed on stdout as a JSON array.

The following options are available:

  • --zip-go: see the zipGo option


Build step

zip-it-and-ship-it does not build, transpile nor install the dependencies of the Functions. This needs to be done before calling zip-it-and-ship-it.

Missing dependencies

If a Node module require() another Node module but does not list it in its package.json (dependencies, peerDependencies or optionalDependencies), it is not bundled, which might make the Function fail.

More information in this issue.

Conditional require

Files required with a require() statement inside an if or try/catch block are always bundled.

More information in this issue.

Dynamic require

Files required with a require() statement whose argument is not a string literal, e.g. require(variable), are never bundled.

More information in this issue.

Node.js native modules

If your Function or one of its dependencies uses Node.js native modules, the Node.js version used in AWS Lambda might need to be the same as the one used when installing those native modules.

In Netlify, this is done by ensuring that the following Node.js versions are the same:

Note that this problem might not apply for Node.js native modules using the N-API.

More information in this issue.

File Serving

As of v0.3.0 the serveFunctions capability has been extracted out to Netlify Dev.

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