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Programming language: JavaScript
License: MIT License
Tags: Text    
Latest version: v3.1.29

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README

Nano ID

English | [–†—É—Ā—Ā–ļ–ł–Ļ](./README.ru.md) | [ÁģÄšĹďšł≠śĖá](./README.zh-CN.md)

A tiny, secure, URL-friendly, unique string ID generator for JavaScript.

‚ÄúAn amazing level of senseless perfectionism, which is simply impossible not to respect.‚ÄĚ

  • Small. 130 bytes (minified and gzipped). No¬†dependencies. Size Limit controls the size.
  • Fast. It is 2 times faster than UUID.
  • Safe. It uses hardware random generator. Can be used in clusters.
  • Short IDs. It uses a¬†larger alphabet than UUID (A-Za-z0-9_-). So ID size was reduced from¬†36¬†to¬†21¬†symbols.
  • Portable. Nano ID was ported to 19 programming languages.
import { nanoid } from 'nanoid'
model.id = nanoid() //=> "V1StGXR8_Z5jdHi6B-myT"

Supports modern browsers, IE with Babel, Node.js and React Native.

Table of Contents

Comparison with UUID

Nano ID is quite comparable to UUID v4 (random-based). It has a similar number of random bits in the ID (126 in Nano ID and 122 in UUID), so it has a similar collision probability:

For there to be a one in a billion chance of duplication, 103 trillion version 4 IDs must be generated.

There are three main differences between Nano ID and UUID v4:

  1. Nano ID uses a bigger alphabet, so a similar number of random bits are packed in just 21 symbols instead of 36.
  2. Nano ID code is 4 times less than uuid/v4 package: 130 bytes instead of 483.
  3. Because of memory allocation tricks, Nano ID is 2 times faster than UUID.

Benchmark

$ node ./test/benchmark.js
crypto.randomUUID         28,387,114 ops/sec
uid/secure                 8,633,795 ops/sec
@lukeed/uuid               6,888,704 ops/sec
nanoid                     6,166,399 ops/sec
customAlphabet             3,290,342 ops/sec
uuid v4                    1,662,373 ops/sec
secure-random-string         415,340 ops/sec
uid-safe.sync                400,875 ops/sec
cuid                         212,669 ops/sec
shortid                       53,453 ops/sec

Async:
nanoid/async                 102,823 ops/sec
async customAlphabet         101,574 ops/sec
async secure-random-string    96,540 ops/sec
uid-safe                      93,395 ops/sec

Non-secure:
uid                       70,055,975 ops/sec
nanoid/non-secure          2,985,368 ops/sec
rndm                       2,800,961 ops/sec

Test configuration: ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9, Fedora 34, Node.js 16.10.

Security

See a good article about random generators theory: Secure random values (in Node.js)

  • Unpredictability. Instead of using the unsafe Math.random(), Nano ID uses the crypto module in Node.js and¬†the¬†Web¬†Crypto¬†API¬†in¬†browsers. These modules use unpredictable hardware random generator.
  • Uniformity. random % alphabet is a popular mistake to make when coding an ID generator. The distribution will not be even; there¬†will be¬†a¬†lower chance for some symbols to appear compared to others. So, it will reduce the number of tries when¬†brute-forcing. Nano ID uses a better algorithm and is tested for uniformity.
  • Well-documented: all Nano ID hacks are documented. See comments in the source.
  • Vulnerabilities: to report a security vulnerability, please use the Tidelift security contact. Tidelift¬†will¬†coordinate¬†the¬†fix¬†and¬†disclosure.

Install

npm install --save nanoid

For quick hacks, you can load Nano ID from CDN. Though, it is not recommended to be used in production because of the lower loading performance.

import { nanoid } from 'https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/nanoid/nanoid.js'

Nano ID provides ES modules. You do not need to do anything to use Nano ID as ESM in webpack, Rollup, Parcel, or Node.js.

import { nanoid } from 'nanoid'

In Node.js you can use CommonJS import:

const { nanoid } = require('nanoid')

API

Nano ID has 3 APIs: normal (blocking), asynchronous, and non-secure.

By default, Nano ID uses URL-friendly symbols (A-Za-z0-9_-) and returns an ID with 21 characters (to have a collision probability similar to UUID v4).

Blocking

The safe and easiest way to use Nano ID.

In rare cases could block CPU from other work while noise collection for hardware random generator.

import { nanoid } from 'nanoid'
model.id = nanoid() //=> "V1StGXR8_Z5jdHi6B-myT"

If you want to reduce the ID size (and increase collisions probability), you can pass the size as an argument.

nanoid(10) //=> "IRFa-VaY2b"

Don’t forget to check the safety of your ID size in our ID collision probability calculator.

You can also use a custom alphabet or a random generator.

Async

To generate hardware random bytes, CPU collects electromagnetic noise. For most cases, entropy will be already collected.

In the synchronous API during the noise collection, the CPU is busy and cannot do anything useful (for instance, process another HTTP request).

Using the asynchronous API of Nano ID, another code can run during the entropy collection.

import { nanoid } from 'nanoid/async'

async function createUser () {
  user.id = await nanoid()
}

Read more about entropy collection in crypto.randomBytes docs.

Unfortunately, you will lose Web Crypto API advantages in a browser if you use the asynchronous API. So, currently, in the browser, you are limited with either security or asynchronous behavior.

Non-Secure

By default, Nano ID uses hardware random bytes generation for security and low collision probability. If you are not so concerned with security and more concerned with performance, you can use the faster non-secure generator.

import { nanoid } from 'nanoid/non-secure'
const id = nanoid() //=> "Uakgb_J5m9g-0JDMbcJqLJ"

Custom Alphabet or Size

customAlphabet allows you to create nanoid with your own alphabet and ID size.

import { customAlphabet } from 'nanoid'
const nanoid = customAlphabet('1234567890abcdef', 10)
model.id = nanoid() //=> "4f90d13a42"

Check the safety of your custom alphabet and ID size in our ID collision probability calculator. For more alphabets, check out the options in nanoid-dictionary.

Alphabet must contain 256 symbols or less. Otherwise, the security of the internal generator algorithm is not guaranteed.

Customizable asynchronous and non-secure APIs are also available:

import { customAlphabet } from 'nanoid/async'
const nanoid = customAlphabet('1234567890abcdef', 10)
async function createUser () {
  user.id = await nanoid()
}
import { customAlphabet } from 'nanoid/non-secure'
const nanoid = customAlphabet('1234567890abcdef', 10)
user.id = nanoid()

Custom Random Bytes Generator

customRandom allows you to create a nanoid and replace alphabet and the default random bytes generator.

In this example, a seed-based generator is used:

import { customRandom } from 'nanoid'

const rng = seedrandom(seed)
const nanoid = customRandom('abcdef', 10, size => {
  return (new Uint8Array(size)).map(() => 256 * rng())
})

nanoid() //=> "fbaefaadeb"

random callback must accept the array size and return an array with random numbers.

If you want to use the same URL-friendly symbols with customRandom, you can get the default alphabet using the urlAlphabet.

const { customRandom, urlAlphabet } = require('nanoid')
const nanoid = customRandom(urlAlphabet, 10, random)

Asynchronous and non-secure APIs are not available for customRandom.

Usage

IE

If you support IE, you need to transpile node_modules by Babel and add crypto alias:

// polyfills.js
if (!window.crypto) {
  window.crypto = window.msCrypto
}
import './polyfills.js'
import { nanoid } from 'nanoid'

React

There’s no correct way to use Nano ID for React key prop since it should be consistent among renders.

function Todos({todos}) {
  return (
    <ul>
      {todos.map(todo => (
        <li key={nanoid()}> /* DON’T DO IT */
          {todo.text}
        </li>
      ))}
    </ul>
  )
}

You should rather try to reach for stable ID inside your list item.

const todoItems = todos.map((todo) =>
  <li key={todo.id}>
    {todo.text}
  </li>
)

In case you don’t have stable IDs you'd rather use index as key instead of nanoid():

const todoItems = todos.map((text, index) =>
  <li key={index}> /* Still not recommended but preferred over nanoid().
                      Only do this if items have no stable IDs. */
    {text}
  </li>
)

HTML ID

If you want to use Nano ID in the id prop, you must set some string prefix (it is invalid for the HTML ID to start with a number).

<input id={'id' + this.id} type="text"/>

React Native

React Native does not have built-in random generator. The following polyfill works for plain React Native and Expo starting with 39.x.

  1. Check react-native-get-random-values docs and install it.
  2. Import it before Nano ID.
import 'react-native-get-random-values'
import { nanoid } from 'nanoid'

Rollup

For Rollup you will need @rollup/plugin-node-resolve to bundle browser version of this library and @rollup/plugin-replace to replace process.env.NODE_ENV:

  plugins: [
    nodeResolve({
      browser: true
    }),
    replace({
      'process.env.NODE_ENV': JSON.stringify(process.env.NODE_ENV)
    })
  ]

PouchDB and CouchDB

In PouchDB and CouchDB, IDs can’t start with an underscore _. A prefix is required to prevent this issue, as Nano ID might use a _ at the start of the ID by default.

Override the default ID with the following option:

db.put({
  _id: 'id' + nanoid(),
  …
})

Mongoose

const mySchema = new Schema({
  _id: {
    type: String,
    default: () => nanoid()
  }
})

Web Workers

Web Workers do not have access to a secure random generator.

Security is important in IDs when IDs should be unpredictable. For instance, in "access by URL" link generation. If you do not need unpredictable IDs, but you need to use Web Workers, you¬†can use the non‚ÄĎsecure¬†ID¬†generator.

import { nanoid } from 'nanoid/non-secure'
nanoid() //=> "Uakgb_J5m9g-0JDMbcJqLJ"

Note: non-secure IDs are more prone to collision attacks.

CLI

You can get unique ID in terminal by calling npx nanoid. You need only Node.js in the system. You do not need Nano ID to be installed anywhere.

$ npx nanoid
npx: installed 1 in 0.63s
LZfXLFzPPR4NNrgjlWDxn

If you want to change alphabet or ID size, you should use nanoid-cli.

Other Programming Languages

Nano ID was ported to many languages. You can use these ports to have the same ID generator on the client and server side.

For other environments, CLI is available to generate IDs from a command line.

Tools