Create a Node.js app in the App Engine flexible environment

Region ID

The REGION_ID is an abbreviated code that Google assigns based on the region you select when you create your app. The code does not correspond to a country or province, even though some region IDs may appear similar to commonly used country and province codes. For apps created after February 2020, REGION_ID.r is included in App Engine URLs. For existing apps created before this date, the region ID is optional in the URL.

Learn more about region IDs.

This quickstart demonstrates how to create and deploy an app that displays a short message. You can use the sample application in this quickstart for any supported version of Node.js, by specifying the runtime version and operating system in your app.yaml file.

Before you begin

  1. Sign in to your Google Cloud account. If you're new to Google Cloud, create an account to evaluate how our products perform in real-world scenarios. New customers also get $300 in free credits to run, test, and deploy workloads.
  2. In the Google Cloud console, on the project selector page, select or create a Google Cloud project.

    Go to project selector

  3. Make sure that billing is enabled for your Google Cloud project.

  4. Enable the Cloud Build API.

    Enable the API

  5. Install the Google Cloud CLI.
  6. To initialize the gcloud CLI, run the following command:

    gcloud init
  7. In the Google Cloud console, on the project selector page, select or create a Google Cloud project.

    Go to project selector

  8. Make sure that billing is enabled for your Google Cloud project.

  9. Enable the Cloud Build API.

    Enable the API

  10. Install the Google Cloud CLI.
  11. To initialize the gcloud CLI, run the following command:

    gcloud init

Additional prerequisites

  1. Initialize your App Engine app with your project and choose its region:

    gcloud app create --project=[YOUR_PROJECT_ID]

    When prompted, select the region where you want to locate your App Engine application.

  2. Install the following prerequisites:

App Engine locations

App Engine is regional, which means the infrastructure that runs your apps is located in a specific region, and Google manages it so that it is available redundantly across all of the zones within that region.

Meeting your latency, availability, or durability requirements are primary factors for selecting the region where your apps are run. You can generally select the region nearest to your app's users, but you should consider the locations where App Engine is available as well as the locations of the other Google Cloud products and services that your app uses. Using services across multiple locations can affect your app's latency as well as its pricing.

You cannot change an app's region after you set it.

If you already created an App Engine application, you can view its region by doing one of the following:

This quickstart demonstrates a simple Node.js application written with the Express.js framework.

Download the Hello World app

We've created a Hello World app for App Engine so you can quickly get a feel for deploying an app to the Google Cloud.

  1. Clone the Hello World sample app repository to your local machine.

    git clone

    Alternatively, you can download the sample as a zip file and extract it.

  2. Change to the directory that contains the sample code.

       cd nodejs-docs-samples/appengine/hello-world/flexible/

Run Hello World on your local machine

  1. Install dependencies for this project.

    npm install

    Or if you are using Yarn.

    yarn install
  2. Run the start script.

    npm start

    Or if you are using Yarn.

    yarn start
  3. View your app in your web browser.

    • If you are using Cloud Shell, in the toolbar, click Web Preview and select Preview on port 8080 instead.

    • If you are not using Cloud Shell, enter the following address:


The Hello World message from the sample app displays on the page. In your terminal window, press Ctrl+C to exit the web server.

Deploy and run Hello World on App Engine

To deploy your app to the App Engine flexible environment:

  1. Deploy the Hello World app by running the following command from the hello-world/flexible/ directory:

    gcloud app deploy

    Learn about the optional flags.

    Common gcloud command flags

    • Include the --version flag to specify an ID that uniquely identifies that version of your app, otherwise one is generated for you. Example: --version [YOUR_VERSION_ID]
    • Include the --project flag to specify an alternate Google Cloud project ID to what you initialized as the default in the gcloud tool. Example: --project [YOUR_PROJECT_ID]


    gcloud app deploy --version pre-prod-5 --project my-sample-app

    To learn more about deploying your app from the command line, see Testing and Deploying Your App . For a list of all the command flags, see the gcloud app deploy reference.

  2. Launch your browser to view the app at

    gcloud app browse
    where PROJECT_ID represents your Google Cloud project ID.

This time, the page that displays the Hello World message is delivered by a web server running on an App Engine instance.

Congratulations! You've deployed your first App Engine app to the App Engine flexible environment!

If you encountered any errors deploying your application, check the troubleshooting tips.

See the following sections for information about cleaning up as well as links to possible next steps that you can take.

Clean up

To avoid incurring charges, you can delete your Google Cloud project to stop billing for all the resources used within that project.

  1. In the Google Cloud console, go to the Manage resources page.

    Go to Manage resources

  2. In the project list, select the project that you want to delete, and then click Delete.
  3. In the dialog, type the project ID, and then click Shut down to delete the project.

What's next

Learn the whole platform

Now that you know what it's like to develop and deploy App Engine apps, you can explore the rest of Google Cloud. You already have the Google Cloud CLI installed which gives you the tools to interact with products like Cloud SQL, Cloud Storage, Firestore, and more.

Learn about the App Engine flexible environment

Here are some topics to help continue your learning about App Engine:

Hello World code review

Hello World is the simplest possible App Engine app, as it contains only one service, has only one version, and all of the code is located within the app's root directory. This section describes each of the app files in detail.


The app.js file contains the JavaScript code to start a server and respond to requests.

The following code responds to requests from web clients by displaying the 'Hello World' message, via a server that runs on port 8080.

const express = require('express');

const app = express();

app.get('/', (req, res) => {
  res.status(200).send('Hello, world!').end();

// Start the server
const PORT = parseInt(process.env.PORT) || 8080;
app.listen(PORT, () => {
  console.log(`App listening on port ${PORT}`);
  console.log('Press Ctrl+C to quit.');


The app.yaml file describes the following configuration for your app:

  • Sets env: flex, indicating your app uses the App Engine flexible environment.
  • Specifies the runtime used by the app.

    runtime: nodejs
    env: flex
      operating_system: ubuntu22
    # This sample incurs costs to run on the App Engine flexible environment.
    # The settings below are to reduce costs during testing and are not appropriate
    # for production use. For more information, see:
      instances: 1
      cpu: 1
      memory_gb: 0.5
      disk_size_gb: 10


    package.json is used to specify app dependencies, node version, and app startup.

      "name": "appengine-hello-world",
      "description": "Simple Hello World Node.js sample for Google App Engine Flexible Environment.",
      "version": "0.0.2",
      "private": true,
      "license": "Apache-2.0",
      "author": "Google Inc.",
      "repository": {
        "type": "git",
        "url": ""
      "engines": {
        "node": ">=16.0.0"
      "scripts": {
        "start": "node app.js",
        "test": "c8 mocha -p -j 2 --exit test/*.test.js"
      "dependencies": {
        "express": "^4.17.1"
      "devDependencies": {
        "c8": "^8.0.0",
        "mocha": "^10.0.0",
        "supertest": "^6.0.0"

    In the preceding example, the package.json file specifies that the app uses Node.js version 18 and later, and depends on express. For more details about how to install and run your app, see the Node.js runtime documentation.