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First Steps

This page contains some examples to teach you about the fundamentals of Deno.

This document assumes that you have some prior knowledge of JavaScript, especially about async/await. If you have no prior knowledge of JavaScript, you might want to follow a guide on the basics of JavaScript before attempting to start with Deno.

Hello World

Deno is a runtime for JavaScript/TypeScript which tries to be web compatible and use modern features wherever possible.

Browser compatibility means a Hello World program in Deno is the same as the one you can run in the browser.

Create a file locally called first_steps.ts and copy and paste the code line below:

console.log("Welcome to Deno!");

Running Deno programs

Now to run the program from the terminal:

deno run first_steps.ts

Deno also has the ability to execute scripts from URLs. Deno hosts a library of example code, one of which is a Hello World program. To run that hosted code, do:

deno run

Making an HTTP request

Many programs use HTTP requests to fetch data from a web server. Let's write a small program that fetches a file and prints its contents out to the terminal. Just like in the browser you can use the web standard fetch API to make HTTP calls.

In the first_steps.ts file you created above, paste the code below:

const res = await fetch("");
const body = await res.text();

Let's walk through what this application does:

  1. We make a request to the, await the response, and store it in the res constant.
  2. We parse the response body as a text and store in the body constant.
  3. We write the contents of the body constant to the console.

Try it out:

deno run first_steps.ts

Or, try this script hosted at

deno run

The program will display a prompt like this:

┌ ⚠️  Deno requests net access to "".
├ Requested by `fetch()` API.
├ Run again with --allow-net to bypass this prompt.
└ Allow? [y/n/A] (y = yes, allow; n = no, deny; A = allow all net permissions) >

You might remember from the introduction that Deno is a runtime that is secure by default. This means you need to explicitly give programs permission to do certain 'privileged' actions, such as access the network.

You can answer 'y' to the prompt, or try it out again with the correct permission flag:

deno run first_steps.ts

Or, using the curl script:

deno run

Reading a file

Deno also provides APIs that do not come from the web. These are all contained in the Deno global. You can find documentation for these built-in APIs here at /api.

Filesystem APIs for example do not have a web standard form, so Deno provides its own API.

In this program, each command-line argument is assumed to be a filename, the file is opened, and printed to stdout.

const filenames = Deno.args;
for (const filename of filenames) {
const file = await;
await file.readable.pipeTo(Deno.stdout.writable, { preventClose: true });

The ReadableStream.pipeTo(writable) method here actually makes no more than the necessary kernel→userspace→kernel copies. That is, the same memory from which data is read from the file is written to stdout. This illustrates a general design goal for I/O streams in Deno.

Again, here, we need to give --allow-read access to the program.

Try the program:

# macOS / Linux
deno run --allow-read /etc/hosts

# Windows
deno run --allow-read "C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts"

Putting it all together in an HTTP server

One of the most common use cases for Deno is building an HTTP Server.

Create a new file called http_server.ts and copy and paste the code below:

import { serve } from "";

const handler = async (_request: Request): Promise<Response> => {
const resp = await fetch("", {
// The init object here has a headers object containing a
// header that indicates what type of response we accept.
// We're not specifying the method field since by default
// fetch makes a GET request.
headers: {
accept: "application/json",

return new Response(resp.body, {
status: resp.status,
headers: {
"content-type": "application/json",


Let's walk through what this program does.

  1. Import the http server from std/http (standard library)
  2. HTTP servers need a handler function. This function is called for every request that comes in. It must return a Response. The handler function can be asynchronous (it may return a Promise).
  3. Use fetch to fetch the url.
  4. Return the GitHub response as a response to the handler.
  5. Finally, to start the server on the default port, call serve with the handler.

Now run the server. Note that you need to give network permissions.

deno run --allow-net http_server.ts

With the server listening on port 8000, make a GET request to that endpoint.

curl http://localhost:8000

You will see a JSON response from the Deno GitHub page.

More examples

You can find more examples in the Tutorials section and at Deno by Example.