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Scripts for Ionic Projects

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

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_bundler": "rollup",
    "ionic_source_map_type": "source-map",
    "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 --rollup ./config/rollup.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 --rollup ./config/rollup.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
Closure ionic_closure --closure or -l
Generator ionic_generator --generator or -g
NGC ionic_ngc --ngc or -n
Rollup ionic_rollup --rollup or -r
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
bundler ionic_bundler --bundler webpack Chooses which bundler to use: webpack or rollup
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
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 js map file ionic_output_js_map_file_name --outputJsMapFileName name of js source map file generated in buildDir
output css file ionic_output_css_file_name --outputCssFileName main.css name of css file generated in buildDir
output css map file ionic_output_css_map_file_name --outputCssMapFileName name of css source map file generated in buildDir

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_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_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_JS_MAP_FILE_NAME The file name of the generated javascript source map file
IONIC_OUTPUT_CSS_FILE_NAME The file name of the generated css file
IONIC_OUTPUT_CSS_MAP_FILE_NAME The file name of the generated css source map 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

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.

Please take a look at the bottom of the default Rollup config file to see how the IONIC_ENV environment variable is being used to conditionally change config values for production 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 as 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.

The Stack


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

Publish a release

Execute the following steps to publish a release:

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