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Ionic App Scripts

Helper scripts to get Ionic apps up and running quickly (minus the config overload).

To get the latest @ionic/app-scripts, please run:

npm install @ionic/app-scripts@latest --save-dev

Config Defaults

Out of the box, Ionic starters have been preconfigured with great defaults for building fast apps, including:

  • Multi-core processing tasks in parallel for faster builds
  • In-memory file transpiling and bundling
  • Transpiling source code to ES5 JavaScript
  • Ahead of Time (AoT) template compiling
  • Just in Time (JiT) template compiling
  • Template inlining for JiT builds
  • Bundling modules for faster runtime execution
  • Treeshaking unused components and dead-code removal
  • Generating CSS from bundled component Sass files
  • Autoprefixing vendor CSS prefixes
  • Minifying JavaScript files
  • Compressing CSS files
  • Copying src static assets to www
  • Linting source files
  • Watching source files for live-reloading

Just the bullet list above is a little overwhelming, and each task requires quite a bit of development time just to get started. Ionic App Script's intention is to make it easier to complete common tasks so developers can focus on building their app, rather than building build scripts.

Note that the Ionic Framework's source is made up of modules and can be packaged by any bundler or build process. However, this project's goal is provide simple scripts to make building Ionic apps easier, while also allowing developers to further configure their build process.

npm Scripts

Instead of depending on external task runners, Ionic App Scripts now prefers being executed from npm scripts. Ionic's npm scripts come preconfigured in the project's package.json file. For example, this is the default setup for npm scripts in each starter:

  "scripts": {
    "ionic:build": "ionic-app-scripts build",
    "ionic:serve": "ionic-app-scripts serve"

To run the build script found in the package.json scripts property, execute:

npm run build


You can use Node style process.env.MY_VAR syntax directly in your typescript and when the application is bundled it'll be replaced with the following order of precedence:

  • If the variable exists in the process environment it will be replaced with that value.
  • If the variable is not defined in the process environment it will be read from a .env.dev file for dev builds or .env.prod file for prod builds which are located in the root of the app
  • If the variable is not defined in either place it will be undefined

In order to take advantage of this apps will need a src/declarations.d.ts file with the following declaration:

declare var process: { env: { [key: string]: string | undefined; } };

Note: This declaration may conflict if @types/node is installed in your project. See #3541.

Custom Configuration

In many cases, the defaults which Ionic provides cover most of the scenarios required by developers; however, Ionic App Scripts does provide multiple ways to configure and override the defaults for each of the various tasks. Note that Ionic will always apply its defaults for any property that was not provided by custom configuration.

Default Config Files

package.json Config

Ionic projects use the package.json file for configuration. There's a handy config property which can be used. Below is an example of setting a custom config file using the config property in a project's package.json.

  "config": {
    "ionic_cleancss": "./config/cleancss.config.js"

Command-line Flags

Remember how we're actually running ionic-app-scripts from the scripts property of a project's package.json file? Well we can also add command-line flags to each script, or make new scripts with these custom flags. For example:

  "scripts": {
    "build": "ionic-app-scripts build --webpack ./config/webpack.dev.config.js",
    "minify": "ionic-app-scripts minify --cleancss ./config/cleancss.config.js",

The same command-line flags can be also applied to npm run commands too, such as:

npm run build --webpack ./config/webpack.dev.config.js

Overriding Config Files

Config File package.json Config Cmd-line Flag
CleanCss ionic_cleancss --cleancss or -e
Copy ionic_copy --copy or -y
Generator ionic_generator --generator or -g
NGC ionic_ngc --ngc or -n
Sass ionic_sass --sass or -s
TSLint ionic_tslint --tslint or -i
UglifyJS ionic_uglifyjs --uglifyjs or -u
Watch ionic_watch --watch
Webpack ionic_webpack --webpack or -w

Overriding Config Values

Config Values package.json Config Cmd-line Flag Defaults Details
root directory ionic_root_dir --rootDir process.cwd() The directory path of the Ionic app
src directory ionic_src_dir --srcDir src The directory holding the Ionic src code
www directory ionic_www_dir --wwwDir www The deployable directory containing everything needed to run the app
build directory ionic_build_dir --buildDir build The build process uses this directory to store generated files, etc
temp directory ionic_tmp_dir --tmpDir .tmp Temporary directory for writing files for debugging and various build tasks
ionic-angular directory ionic_angular_dir --ionicAngularDir ionic-angular ionic-angular directory
ionic-angular entry point ionic_angular_entry_point --ionicAngularEntryPoint index.js entry point file for ionic-angular
source map type ionic_source_map_type --sourceMapType source-map Chooses the webpack devtool option. eval and source-map are supported
generate source map ionic_generate_source_map --generateSourceMap true Determines whether to generate a source map or not
tsconfig path ionic_ts_config --tsconfig {{rootDir}}/tsconfig.json absolute path to tsconfig.json
app entry point ionic_app_entry_point --appEntryPoint {{srcDir}}/app/main.ts absolute path to app's entrypoint bootstrap file
app ng module path ionic_app_ng_module_path --appNgModulePath {{srcDir}}/app/app.module.ts absolute path to app's primary NgModule
app ng module class ionic_app_ng_module_class --appNgModuleClass AppModule Exported class name for app's primary NgModule
clean before copy ionic_clean_before_copy --cleanBeforeCopy false clean out existing files before copy task runs
output js file ionic_output_js_file_name --outputJsFileName main.js name of js file generated in buildDir
output css file ionic_output_css_file_name --outputCssFileName main.css name of css file generated in buildDir
bail on lint error ionic_bail_on_lint_error --bailOnLintError null Set to true to make stand-alone lint commands fail with non-zero status code
enable type checking during lint ionic_type_check_on_lint --typeCheckOnLint null Set to true to enable type checking during lint
write AoT files to disk ionic_aot_write_to_disk --aotWriteToDisk null Set to true to write files to disk for debugging
print webpack dependency tree ionic_print_webpack_dependency_tree --printWebpackDependencyTree null Set to true to print out a dependency tree after running Webpack
parse deeplink config ionic_parse_deeplinks --parseDeepLinks true Parses and extracts data from the @IonicPage decorator
convert bundle to ES5 ionic_build_to_es5 --buildToEs5 true Convert bundle to ES5 for production deployments
default watch timeout ionic_start_watch_timeout --startWatchTimeout 3000 Milliseconds controlling the default watch timeout
choose the polyfill ionic_polyfill_name --polyfillName polyfills Change with polyfills.modern or polyfills.ng (all options)[https://github.com/driftyco/ionic/tree/master/scripts/polyfill]
enable linting ionic_enable_lint --enableLint true Set to false for skipping the linting after the build

Ionic Environment Variables

These environment variables are automatically set to Node's process.env property. These variables can be useful from within custom configuration files, such as custom webpack.config.js file.

Environment Variable Description
IONIC_ENV Value can be either prod or dev.
IONIC_ROOT_DIR The absolute path to the project's root directory.
IONIC_SRC_DIR The absolute path to the app's source directory.
IONIC_WWW_DIR The absolute path to the app's public distribution directory.
IONIC_BUILD_DIR The absolute path to the app's bundled js and css files.
IONIC_TMP_DIR Temp directory for debugging generated/optimized code and various build tasks
IONIC_NODE_MODULES_DIR The absolute path to the node_modules directory.
IONIC_ANGULAR_DIR The absolute path to the ionic-angular node_module directory.
IONIC_APP_SCRIPTS_DIR The absolute path to the @ionic/app-scripts node_module directory.
IONIC_SOURCE_MAP_TYPE The Webpack devtool setting. eval and source-map are supported.
IONIC_GENERATE_SOURCE_MAP Determines whether to generate a sourcemap or not.
IONIC_TS_CONFIG The absolute path to the project's tsconfig.json file
IONIC_APP_ENTRY_POINT The absolute path to the project's main.ts entry point file
IONIC_APP_NG_MODULE_PATH The absolute path to app's primary NgModule
IONIC_APP_NG_MODULE_CLASS The exported class name for app's primary NgModule
IONIC_GLOB_UTIL The path to Ionic's glob-util script. Used within configs.
IONIC_CLEAN_BEFORE_COPY Attempt to clean existing directories before copying files.
IONIC_CLOSURE_JAR The absolute path ot the closure compiler jar file
IONIC_OUTPUT_JS_FILE_NAME The file name of the generated javascript file
IONIC_OUTPUT_CSS_FILE_NAME The file name of the generated css file
IONIC_WEBPACK_FACTORY The absolute path to Ionic's webpack-factory script
IONIC_WEBPACK_LOADER The absolute path to Ionic's custom webpack loader
IONIC_BAIL_ON_LINT_ERROR Boolean determining whether to exit with a non-zero status code on error
IONIC_TYPE_CHECK_ON_LINT Boolean determining whether to type check code during lint or not
IONIC_PRINT_WEBPACK_DEPENDENCY_TREE boolean to print out a dependency tree after running Webpack
IONIC_PARSE_DEEPLINKS boolean to enable parsing the Ionic 3.x deep links API for lazy loading
IONIC_BUILD_TO_ES5 boolean to enable converting bundle to ES5 for production deployments
IONIC_START_WATCH_TIMEOUT Milliseconds controlling the default watch timeout

The process.env.IONIC_ENV environment variable can be used to test whether it is a prod or dev build, which automatically gets set by any command. By default the build and serve tasks produce dev builds (a build that does not include Ahead of Time (AoT) compilation or minification). To force a prod build you should use the --prod command line flag.

process.env.IONIC_ENV environment variable is set to prod for --prod builds, otherwise dev for all other builds.

All Available Tasks

These tasks are available within ionic-app-scripts and can be added to npm scripts or any Node command.

Task Description
build A complete build of the application. It uses development settings by default. Use --prod to create an optimized build
clean Empty the www/build directory.
cleancss Compress the output CSS with CleanCss
copy Run the copy tasks, which by defaults copies the src/assets/ and src/index.html files to www.
lint Run the linter against the source .ts files, using the tslint.json config file at the root.
minify Minifies the output JS bundle and compresses the compiled CSS.
sass Sass compilation of used modules. Bundling must have at least ran once before Sass compilation.
watch Runs watch for dev builds.

Example NPM Script:

  "scripts": {
    "minify": "ionic-app-scripts minify"


  1. The Webpack devtool setting is driven by the ionic_source_map_type variable. It defaults to source-map for the best quality source map. Developers can enable significantly faster builds by setting ionic_source_map_type to eval.
  2. By default, the lint command does not exit with a non-zero status code on error. To enable this, pass --bailOnLintError true to the command.
"scripts" : {
  "lint": "ionic-app-scripts lint"
npm run lint --bailOnLintError true

The Stack


We welcome any PRs, issues, and feedback! Please be respectful and follow the Code of Conduct.

We use Node 6, and NPM 5 for contributing.

Publish a Nightly Build

  1. Run npm run build to generate the dist directory
  2. Run npm run test to validate the dist works
  3. Tick the package.json version
  4. Run npm run nightly to generate a nightly build on npm

Publish a release

Execute the following steps to publish a release:

  1. Ensure your branch has been merged into master
  2. Run npm run build to generate the dist directory
  3. Run npm run test to validate the dist works
  4. Temporarily tick the package.json version
  5. Run npm run changelog to append the latest additions to the changelog
  6. Manually verify and commit the changelog changes. Often times you'll want to manually add content/instructions
  7. Revert the package.json version to the original version
  8. Run npm version patch to tick the version and generate a git tag
  9. Run npm run github-release to create the github release entry
  10. Run npm publish to publish the package to npm
  11. git push origin master - push changes to master




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