What’s New in Node.JS 20: Features and Updates

Pramesh Jain
~ 8 min read
What’s New in Node.JS 20: Features and Updates

Javascript has been all around the online world. It has changed the way we make web apps. Its inventive backend and frontend tech has given us significant advances. In this blog, we will talk about Node.js 20, a recent upgrade in the Node bandwidth. Let’s dive in and look at what it has for us!

It’s that time of the year when the Node.js community launches a new version. This time, it is a line of release to promote long-term support in Oct 2023 and get support until April 2026. 

Node.js 20 has new features, like a permission model, a stable test runner, and an updated V8 JS engine. The changelog only gives a small portion of the work that has been released. Node.js 20 will be the “Current” release for 6 months before long-term support in October.


Nodejs is here to make the world of web apps more robust. With every tech trend, it is raising the bar high for app development. So, now let’s look at what it has brought in store for us.

The recent Node js 20 aims to make the expert’s work easy. It builds stable and secure Node.js apps in a set time. It also improves runtime with URL, fetch(), and EventTarget.

Tips: WebMob Technologies is a renowned IT firm, that has the best Nodejs development services for your project. Invade the space with the best tech brains! Now, please have a look at what our experts have discovered about Nodejs.

Some of the Notable Changes in Node 20:-

Notable Changes in Node 20

Let’s dive into the latest changes and learn about them in detail.

Node.js v20.0.0: Latest Version Offerings 

Permission Model

Node.js 20 now has a built-in permission model that allows experts to restrict access to precise resources. Right now, it is behind a command-line flag –experimental-permission. It helps guard and write secure apps. Such apps are built with low suscept risk. 

This feature comes with many benefits like:-

  • Restrictive access to the file system (read and write)
  • Use -allow-fs-read and -allow-fs-write
  • Restrict access to `child_process.`
  • Use -allow-child-process
  • Restrict access to worker_threads.
  • Use -allow-worker
  • Restrict access to native addons (same as the `-no-addons` flag)

The available permissions are documented by the ‘–experimental-permission’ flag.

For example, 

The below command allows read and write access to the whole file system.

$ node --experimental-permission --allow-fs-read=* --allow-fs-write=* index.js

Experts can set exact paths for file system access. You can do it by comma-separated values to the flags. For instance, a user can allow write access to the /tmp/ folder with this command:

$ node --experimental-permission --allow-fs-write=/tmp/ --allow-fs-read=/home/index.js index.js

To enable access to exact files or folders, a user can use wildcard patterns with the new file system access control. For example, to allow read access to all files and folders in the /home/ directory that start with “test,” experts can code:-

$ node --experimental-permission --allow-fs-read=/home/test* index.js

When the Model is enabled, the new `permission` property of the `process` object checks if specific permission is there in the runtime.

process.permission.has('fs.write'); // true
process.permission.has('fs.write', '/home/nodejs/protected-folder'); // true

Note: This feature is still on a test base. It is likely to change in future releases of Node.js.

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Stable Test Runner

Node.js 20 is here to improve the testing skills of experts. The update gives the best environment for running tests and, thus, makes writing and maintaining an app accessible. It also helps to resolve bugs for excellent and timely app progress.

This feature is not invented to replace test frameworks like Jest or Mocha. Now, with this, anyone can find easy and quick ways to write and test suits without reliances. 

  • `describe,` `it`/`test,` and hooks to structure test files
  • Mocking
  • Watch mode
  • `node –test` for running multiple test files in parallel

The test runner also has some parts that are not yet stable, like reporters and code coverage.

Example Test:

import { test, mock } from 'node:test';
import assert from 'node: assert';
import fs from 'node: fs';

mock.method(fs, 'readFile', async () => "Hello World");
test('synchronous passing test', async (t) => {
  // The test does not show an exception.
  assert.strictEqual(await fs.readFile('a.txt'), "Hello World");

Updated V8 Javascript Engine

The updated engine brings new features for an expert to remotely debug the Node.js app in real-time. It, thus, makes it easier to find and fix bugs. Also, there are optional chaining and nullish coalescing that improves code readability. So it does reduce the risk of errors.

List of Features:

  • String.prototype.isWellFormed and toWellFormed
  • Methods that change Array and TypedArray by copy
  • Resizable ArrayBuffer and growable SharedArrayBuffer
  • RegExp v flag with set notation + properties of strings
  • WebAssembly Tail Call


This feature allows experts to fix the URL of a module synchronously. It makes it easier to load dependencies and app performance. One can also resolve URLs without other codes or workarounds.

Web Crypto API

The Web Crypto API allows experts to do cryptographic functions like encryption and decryption with native code. It is for apps that need secure communication or storage of sensitive data. One can also achieve the same with external libraries.

Official support for ARM64 Windows

It officially supports ARM64 Windows. Thus, a Node.js developer can deploy the app on Windows devices with the architecture. Such support does benefit the app’s overall online progress.

Progress on Web Assembly System Interface (WASI)

The Nodejs community has been working on WASI making it a better version to use. The Node 20 release has planned the future possibility for the new WASI(). 

The version is required and has no default value, ensuring that apps do not default to an outdated version. Any code that relies on the default version will need to be updated. In other words, you will get an error if ‘version’ is left out instead of ‘preview1’.

Inject a Blob for Single Executable Applications (SEA) 

The Node.js project has been after Single Executable Applications (SEA) over the past year, with just added initial support. While this feature is still Experimental, the team continues to refine the approach. 

The latest release, Node.js 20, ensures to build such an app by injecting a blob. It is done in JSON config. Thus, it is a change from the previous method of injecting the raw JS file.



  "main": "hello.js,"
  "output": "sea-prep.blob"

// This writes the blob to the `sea-prep.blob` file.

$ node --experimental-sea-config sea-config.json

There are some more updates to the version.

Nodejs 20 also comes with some small but effective changes.

  • Performance bootups with faster startup times
  • Greater Typescript support
  • Great debugging facility
  • Better error handling
  • ECMA module loader hooks on a dedicated thread to distinguish between loaders and app code.

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Which Version of Node.js Should I Use?

There are two kinds of versions: LTS and current. It would be best to decide which is suitable for your project. Choose a version that has better growth scope for your firm. If you ask our opinion, you should constantly upgrade to new versions as there is a lot of exposure and opportunities to explore.


With the onset of new inventions, there is always hope for a better online future. Nodejs 20 has undoubtedly given us a high stake in deploying the best app. These advances will make the progress of new ventures and result in tremendous online goodwill for the business.

However, if you already have a Nodejs web app or just a regular web app; and cannot decide, should I move to the updated version? Should I migrate my web app to Nodejs? and if you are looking for a Nodejs expert? Want to know your app budget? Consult our Node.js developers & get a free quote for your idea.

Node 20

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