Just a few days ago, Bun was released - Bun v1.0 - the first stable version.
The JS community has been really active these last few days. People are playing around with Bun, testing, and doing benchmarks.
Bun goal is to replace Node.js, and it claims that it's better, faster, and simpler to use. It reduces complexity by having a lot of tools built-in.
In this post, I'll compare the two and outline their pros and cons.
First of all, what is Bun?
For an in-depth Bun introduction, you can read my post - What is Bun and why it's here to stay.
First, let's start with the obvious one - stability. Bun reached a significant milestone a few days ago - its first stable release.
Node.js has been around for quite some time - its release date was back in 2009, and it's been 14 years since its release.
This definitely gives Node.js an advantage. Node.js reached maturity quite some time ago, and it's definitely production ready.
Bun, on the other hand, was released a few days ago, and you can be sure that bugs are yet to be discovered. I would not recommend using Bun in production for now. I would wait a few months before jumping on board.
Node.js wins the stability category
In terms of ECMAScript API support, we can say that both support the latest specs.
ECMAScript category is a tie
And since Bun aims to be a drop-in replacement for Node.js - it has excellent support for Node.js APIs - most of which are already implemented or are work in progress. Visit the Node.js compatibility page for more information.
Here, I would give a slight advantage to Bun
Bun comes with these tools baked in the binary itself:
- npx - Bun has
bunx, which is also 5x faster
- nodemon - Bun has a built-in watch mode
- tsc, babel, ts-node, tsx - Bun can run .js, .ts, .cjs, .mjs, .jsx, and .tsx
esbuiltcompatible plugin API
- npm, yarn, .npmrc, yarn.lock, package-lock.json - Bun has a npm compatible package manager that reads your
package.jsonand writes to
node_modules, just like any other js package manager
- jest, ts-jest, vitest, jest-extended - Bun is a Jest-compatible test runner with support for mocking, snapshot testing, and code coverage
Node.js comes with the runtime only.
Bun is the clear winner here with a substantial margin.
Most people these days like to use TypeScript in their JS projects, and I totally understand them. Bun features a built-in TypeScript transpiler. Which makes using TypeScript a lot easier.
Bun is the clear winner here, as it offers out-of-the-box support for TypeScript
Bun claims to be faster than Node.js in pretty much everything - from building, installing packages, testing, and handling a lot of HTTP traffic.
While I haven't personally tested the performance, people on the internet already did, and the results are promising (favoring Bun).
- Native HTTP Hello World test - Bun vs Node.js vs Deno
- YouTube Video: Bun is better than I hoped - performance test
I'll keep this post updated with more performance comparisons once they come out.
I would say Bun is the winner in the performance category
Having competition is always a good thing. It challenges people to push themselves to create something better.
The programming world is no different than the physical world.
Node.js made a splash when it came out, but a few years later, it started to move slowly.
Bun comes with a new energy, and it's already making an impact.