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Version: v4.3.x



Error Handling In Node.js

Uncaught Errors

In Node.js, uncaught errors are likely to cause memory leaks, file descriptor leaks, and other major production issues. Domains were a failed attempt to fix this.

Given that it is not possible to process all uncaught errors sensibly, the best way to deal with them is to crash.

Catching Errors In Promises

If you are using promises, you should attach a .catch() handler synchronously.

Errors In Fastify

Fastify follows an all-or-nothing approach and aims to be lean and optimal as much as possible. The developer is responsible for making sure that the errors are handled properly.

Errors In Input Data

Most errors are a result of unexpected input data, so we recommend validating your input data against a JSON schema.

Catching Uncaught Errors In Fastify

Fastify tries to catch as many uncaught errors as it can without hindering performance. This includes:

  1. synchronous routes, e.g. app.get('/', () => { throw new Error('kaboom') })
  2. async routes, e.g. app.get('/', async () => { throw new Error('kaboom') })

The error in both cases will be caught safely and routed to Fastify's default error handler for a generic 500 Internal Server Error response.

To customize this behavior you should use setErrorHandler.

Errors In Fastify Lifecycle Hooks And A Custom Error Handler

From the Hooks documentation:

If you get an error during the execution of your hook, just pass it to done() and Fastify will automatically close the request and send the appropriate error code to the user.

When a custom error handler has been defined through setErrorHandler, the custom error handler will receive the error passed to the done() callback (or through other supported automatic error handling mechanisms). If setErrorHandler has been used multiple times to define multiple handlers, the error will be routed to the most precedent handler defined within the error encapsulation context. Error handlers are fully encapsulated, so a setErrorHandler call within a plugin will limit the error handler to that plugin's context.

The root error handler is Fastify's generic error handler. This error handler will use the headers and status code in the Error object, if they exist. The headers and status code will not be automatically set if a custom error handler is provided.

Some things to consider in your custom error handler:

  • you can reply.send(data), which will behave as it would in regular route handlers

    • objects are serialized, triggering the preSerialization lifecycle hook if you have one defined
    • strings, buffers, and streams are sent to the client, with appropriate headers (no serialization)
  • You can throw a new error in your custom error handler - errors (new error or the received error parameter re-thrown) - will call the parent errorHandler.

    • onError hook will be triggered once only for the first error being thrown.
    • an error will not be triggered twice from a lifecycle hook - Fastify internally monitors the error invocation to avoid infinite loops for errors thrown in the reply phases of the lifecycle. (those after the route handler)

Fastify Error Codes


The router received an invalid url.


The HTTP method already has a registered controller for that URL


The parser for this content type was already registered.


The request body is larger than the provided limit.

This setting can be defined in the Fastify server instance: bodyLimit


The content type cannot be an empty string.


Request body size did not match Content-Length.


An invalid handler was passed for the content type.


The received media type is not supported (i.e. there is no suitable Content-Type parser for it).


The provided parse type is not supported. Accepted values are string or buffer.


The Content-Type should be a string.


A decorator with the same name is already registered.


The decorator cannot be registered due to a missing dependency.


The hook callback must be a function.


The hook name must be a string.


The logger accepts either a 'stream' or a 'file' as the destination.


A promise may not be fulfilled with 'undefined' when statusCode is not 204.


A response was already sent.


Reply payload can be either a string or a Buffer.


A schema with the same $id already exists.


The schema provided does not have $id property.


The JSON schema provided for serialization of a route response is not valid.


The JSON schema provided for validation to a route is not valid.


You cannot use send inside the onError hook.


Undefined error has occurred.


Plugin must be a function or a promise.


Plugin did not start in time. Default timeout (in millis): 10000


A callback for a hook timed out


Root plugin has already booted (mapped directly from avvio)


Impossible to load plugin because the parent (mapped directly from avvio)


Callback for a hook is not a function (mapped directly from avvio)