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var madokoLocal = require("madoko-local")

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madoko-local v0.9.4

Madoko-Local provides local disk access to

Madoko Local

This program provides local disk access to the environment. This can be convenient if you do not want to use standard cloud storage (like Dropbox) or are already using a particular Git repository but still want to have the rich editing experience provided by

It is also useful to render all LaTeX on a local machine.


Ensure you have Node.js installed on your system. When that is done, you can use the 'node package manager' (npm) to install the madoko-local program:

> npm install -g madoko-local

and that's it :-)


Simply run the madoko-local program with the directory that you would like to access as an argument. Everything in that directory, and all its sub-directories will be accessible to Madoko. Here we run it with access to the current directory:

> madoko-local -r -l .
listening on           : http://localhost:8080
connecting securely to :
serving files under    : C:\Users\dknuth\docs
running madoko using   : madoko  (concurrency: 4)

access server at       : http://localhost#secret=OsuwK3HbMoI7

This starts a local server that only listens on the local host and does not accept connections from outside. It also shows that it connects using secure https with the Madoko website, and which local directory is accessible within Madoko.

The -r flag also runs Madoko on the local machine to render math or PDF using LaTeX (without -r this is done on the server which may be slower).

The -l flag will launch the browser and go to the listed url, i.e. http://localhost:8080#secret=OsuwK3HbMoI7 in our example. The 'secret' in the url is unique on each computer and used as an extra level of security.

The url will directly open up the standard Madoko website and all features are usable as normal, including cooperation with multiple authors through cloud storage like Dropbox. However, in the Open dialog you can now also open files from your local disk and edit them as usual.

** Note.** With Internet Explorer, you will be unable to log into remote services (like Onedrive) under the localhost. If you use another browser or just access the local disk this is no problem of course. Otherwise, you must add to both the trusted websites (under the security tab), and to the websites that can always add cookies (under the privacy tab).

Command line options


> madoko-local [options] [mount-directory]


  • mount-directory : The server only provides access to files and subdirectories under the mount directory but not outside of it. If not given, the last specified directory is used (which is stored in the local configuration file). If this is the first run the current working directory is used.


  • -h, --help : Show help on the command line options.
  • -v, --version : Show the current version of the program.
  • -l, --launch : After starting the local server, launch the default browser at the correct localhost address.
  • -r,--run, : Run Madoko locally to generate PDF's, render mathematics and to generate bibliographies. This means you are no longer dependent on the server to run LaTeX for you. This flag requires that you have installed both Madoko (npm install -g madoko) and LaTeX -- it is recommended to use the latest TexLive simple (or full) installation which is also used on the Madoko server.
  • --verbose[=<n>] : Emit more tracing messages. Set n to 2 to be the most verbose.
  • --secret[=secret] : If no secret is provided, a new random secret is generated. Otherwise, the provided secret is used. A secret is usually stored in the configuration file such that you have a stable url for Madoko. Using the --secret flag you can generate a new secret every once in a while.
  • --homedir=<dir> : Specify the user home directory. In this directory madoko-local will create a .madoko directory that contains log files and the local configuration file (config.json).
  • -c<n>, --concurrency=<n> : Run madoko with the specified concurrency to speed up svg rendering for mathematics.
  • --origin=<url> : Instead of serving use the specified url. Only specify trusted websites here since that website can obtain local disk access!
  • --port=<n> : Use the specified port to serve madoko-local. This can be useful if you have other servers running that already use port 8080.
  • --rundir=<dir>, : The directory under which Madoko stores temporary files when running Madoko (if the --run flag is present). Defaults to <homedir>/.madoko/run.
  • --runcmd=<cmd>, : The command to use when running Madoko locally. By default this is madoko.
  • --runflags=<flags>, : Extra flags to pass to the Madoko program when running locally. These flags are appended to the standard flags, namely: -vv -mmath-embed:512 --odir=out --sandbox.

madoko-local stores the last generated secret and last used mount-directory in the local configuration file at $HOME/.madoko/config.json.

Running LaTeX locally

When you pass the --run flag, the madoko-local program will not only serve files, but also run the local Madoko installation to generate PDF's, render mathematics, or generate the bibliography. This means that the Madoko web server is only used for the editing environment and updates -- all document processing will be done locally.

When running locally, madoko-local will store files temporarily under the <rundir>/<temp-name> directory where it runs Madoko with the --sandbox flag to restrict access to files under that directory only.

When running Madoko locally, you need to have both Madoko and LaTeX installed. Madoko can be installed through the Node package manager as:

> npm install -g madoko

For LaTeX, the latest TexLive full installation is recommended since it is also used on the Madoko server and it respects the openin_any and openout_any settings which are needed to run LaTeX safely in a sandboxed mode. Also, for rendering of mathematics, you need to ensure you have dvisvgm version 1.14 or higher installed. Instructions on how to upgrade dvisvgm can be found in the reference manual.


The server is designed with multiple security layers:

  • The server only listens on the localhost itself and does not accept outside connections. All files are only sent and received inside the localhost (and even the server cannot connect directly to madoko-local).
  • The JavaScript API only accepts messages from the embedded frame and specified origin (
  • The above is already enough if using a secure browser that prevents cross-site scripting requests, but as an extra security layer, the server is started with a particular secret and only accepts requests that match the secret.
  • The server only gives access to files and directories under the specified mount directory.
  • When running Madoko locally, it runs it also in a sandbox restricting access to files and directories under a specific run directory.
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