Getting Started With Node – Course

How Node Works

Node.js runs on top of V8—Chrome runtime engine—that compiles the JavaScript code in the native machine code (one of the reasons why Google Chrome runs fast and consumes a lot of memory), followed by the custom C++ code.

The original version has 8,000 lines of code (LOC)—and then, the standard libraries for programmers. The following is the figure of Node.js architecture:

How node works


The V8 JavaScript engine is an open source JavaScript engine developed for the Chrome project. The innovation behind V8 is that it compiles the JavaScript code in native machine code and executes it.

The developers used the just-in-time (JIT) compiler methodology to improve the code compilation time. It is open source and is used in the Node.js and MongoDB project.

Event driven I/O – libuv

The libuv library is a cross-platform library that provides an asynchronous I/O facility by enabling an event-driven I/O operation. The libuv library creates a thread for the I/O operation (file, DNS, HTTP, and so on) and returns callback.

Upon completion of the particular I/O operation, it returns the events so that the callee program does not have to wait for the completion of I/O operation. We will see more about libuv in the upcoming sections.

Working of libuv – core of Node.js

As we mentioned above, libuv assigns threads for the I/O operation and returns the callback to the callee program.

Therefore, Node.js internally creates threads for I/O operation; however, it gives the programmer access to a single runtime thread. In this way, things are simple and sweet:

how libuv works

When you make an HTTP request to the web server running over Node.js. It creates the libuv thread and is ready to accept another request. As soon as the events are triggered by libuv, it returns the response to the user.

The libuv library provides the following important core features:

  • Fully featured event loop
  • Asynchronous filesystem operations
  • Thread pool
  • Thread and synchronization primitives
  • Asynchronous TCP and UDP sockets
  • Child process
  • Signal handling

The libuv library internally uses another famous library called libeio, which is designed for threading and asynchronous I/O events and libev, which is a high-performance event loop. Therefore, you can treat libuv as a package wrapper for both of them.

In the next lesson, we will learn about the single threading programming model.

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