Development log of a life-long coder

Can you use CommonJS modules from within an ES module?


Is it possible to import a CommonJS module from within an ES module (using import syntax)?

I thought a quick web search would answer this question, but instead most of the resources I found were about trying to require() ES modules (which you definitely can't do--use a dynamic import instead).


JavaScript didn't originally have a module system, so various groups have created their own systems, e.g. CommonJS, Asynchronous Module Definition (AMD), and the ironically named Universal Module Definition (UMD).

Predictably, there's now an official ECMAScript Modules format that everyone uses everyone should use some people have started using (because it's incompatible and they have no choice because it's part of the official JavaScript/ECMAScript specification). And I won't even dig into the ES module file extension dumpster fire.

Anyway, back to the question: can I import a CommonJS module into my ES module?

Let's just try it...

Here's a CommonJS module:

exports.test = "works!";

Proof that it works from CommonJS (in Node) ✔

const { test } = require("./test.js");

Output: works!

How about from an ES module in Node? ✔

import { test } from "./test.js";

Output: works!

How about from an ES module in a web page? ✖

        <p>Output: <span id="result">?</span></p>
        <script type="module">
            import { test } from "./test.js";
            document.getElementById("result").innerText = test;

Doesn't work (error: "The requested module './test.js' does not provide an export named 'test'").

Final answer

You can use import to include a CommonJS module when running in Node, but not when running in a web page.