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What are .mjs, .cjs, .mts, and .cts extensions?

Quick Explanation

  • .mjs and .cjs are a way to tell Node.js explicitly how to interpret your JavaScript files.

  • If you're using CommonJS modules with require, you should use .cjs.

  • If you're using ES modules with import, you should use .mjs.

  • .mts and .cts are TypeScript-specific extensions that tell TypeScript what to compile that specific file down to.

  • There are also versions of these extensions that are designed to contain jsx: .mjsx, .cjsx, .mtsx, and .ctsx.

  • By default, .js files will be considered as CommonJS modules. This changes if you set "type": "module" in your package.json file.

  • When using TypeScript, you'll need to import code using the JAVASCRIPT version of the file extension.

// importing from foo.mts
import { foo } from "./foo.mjs";

// importing from bar.cts
import { bar } from "./bar.cjs";

// importing from baz.js
import { baz } from "./baz.js";
  • If you're planning to make use of this, you should set module: "NodeNext" and moduleResolution: "NodeNext" in your tsconfig.json file. This will make TypeScript respect the .mts and .cts extensions.
"compilerOptions": {
"module": "NodeNext",
"moduleResolution": "NodeNext"
  • If you want TypeScript to ensure you use the correct module syntax, you can set verbatimModuleSyntax: true in your tsconfig.json file. This will make TypeScript throw an error if you use the wrong module syntax.
"compilerOptions": {
"verbatimModuleSyntax": true
  • When verbatimModuleSyntax is set to true, you'll need to use TypeScript's version of CommonJS imports and exports in your .cts files:
import { foo } = require("./foo.cjs");

const example = 123;

export = example;

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