How to read NodeJS child-process.exec stdout/stderr using async/await Promises

You want to run a command like file my.pdf using NodeJS child-process.exec and get its stdout after it’s finished.


TL;DR: (await exec('file my.pdf')).stdout

We’re using child-process-promise here in order to simplify our implementation. Install it using npm i --save child-process-promise !

const { exec } = require('child-process-promise');

async function run () {
    const ret = await exec(`file my.pdf`);
    return ret.stdout;


You can also use .stderr instead of .stdout to get the stderr output as a string