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This method is used to send a 500 ("Server Error") response back down to the client indicating that some kind of server error occurred.


return res.serverError();


  • return res.serverError(data);
  • return res.serverError(data, pathToView);


Like the other built-in custom response modules, the behavior of this method is customizable.

By default, it works as follows:

  • If the request "wants JSON" (e.g. the request originated from AJAX, WebSockets, or a REST client like cURL), Sails will send the provided error data as JSON. If no data is provided a default response body will be sent (the string "Server Error").
  • If the request does not "want JSON" (e.g. a URL typed into a web browser), Sails will attempt to serve one of your views.
    • If a specific pathToView was provided, Sails will attempt to use that view.
    • Alternatively if pathToView was not provided, Sails will serve a default error page (the view located at views/500.ejs). If that view does not exist, Sails will just send JSON.
    • If Sails serves a view, the data argument will be accessible as a view local: data.


Using the default error view:

return res.serverError('Salesforce could not be reached');

With a custom view:

return res.serverError(
  'Salesforce could not be reached',


  • This method is terminal, meaning it is generally the last line of code your app should run for a given request (hence the advisory usage of return throughout these docs).
  • res.serverError() (like other userland response methods) can be overridden or modified. It runs the response method defined in /responses/serverError.js, which is bundled automatically in newly generated Sails apps. If a serverError.js response method does not exist in your app, Sails will implicitly use the default behavior.
  • If pathToView refers to a missing view, this method will respond as if the request "wants JSON". +By default, the specified error (err) will be excluded if the app is running in the "production" environment (i.e. process.env.NODE_ENV === 'production').

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