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1.0.1 • Public • Published

Node.js Typescript Modern Starter

While developing with Typescript and Node.js is awesome, setting up a new project is painful. This minimal and modern starter repo is here to help you get started with Node.js and Typecript without the pain.


This starter uses a bare-bones and minimal approach to get anyone up and running with a new project in no time. It provides:

  • Typescript 5 with a strict tsconfig.
  • Yarn/Npm scripts ready to do everything you commonly need. Supporting build, clean, test, bundle, dev and start. These scripts are created to be compatible with the operating systems linux, macos and windows.
  • Github Actions in place runnung with current node version (18,20) on linux, macos and windows to automatically (for each PR):
    • build and test the code
    • check for formatting issues
    • lint the codebase
  • Testing via the new Node.js test runner instead of something like mocha or jest.
  • Formatting via prettier.
  • Linting via eslint and typescript-eslint
  • Bundling via esbuild, a fast bundler that "just works" and is nowadays even used in the typescript codebase.
  • Debugging set up with examples for vscode and vim.
  • Automated dependency updates via renovate.
  • Using the current LTS, Node.js 20

Project Goals

  • Help you to just get started with a Node.js Typescript setup and not worry about configuration.
  • All scripts compatible with linux, macos and windows.
  • No magic. Everything kept as simple as possible while configuring anything you might need.
  • Advocate for testing your code. The common approaches of tests and code side by side as well as all tests in a seperate folder already working and set up for you.
  • Advocate for using CI/CD (in this case Github Actions). Automatically check formatting, linting and build and test the code base. Everything running on each PR.
  • Advocate establishing best practices via linting rules using eslint and typescript-eslint. However, still giving a documented way to quickly and easily disable them, if that is preferred.
  • Use modern tools like esbuild, typescript 5 and the nodejs test runner.
  • Be open for any framework or library that you prefer. This setup should be useful to everyone. You can easily add your preferred packages in to time.



  • Clone the repo git clone git@github.com:xddq/nodejs-typescript-modern-starter
  • Remove the .git folder cd nodejs-typescript-modern-starter && rm -rf .git
  • (optional) Update the package.json name, author, keywords, etc..
  • Set up your own git folder and create your first commit. Run git init && git add . && git commit -am "initial commit"
  • (optional) Set up the git hook for formatting your code. cp .git-hooks/pre-commit .git/hooks/pre-commit. For windows you need to use WSL to use this.
  • Use the node version specified in .nvmrc nvm install && nvm use
  • Install dependencies npm i -g yarn && yarn
  • You're done🎉 What about you try running the tests? Run yarn test. See the section below for all available commands together with their explanation.

Scripts and their explanation

All scripts can be found inside the package.json file under the "scripts" attribute. They simply invoke the tasks.mjs file which handles the logic behind these scripts. The tasks.mjs file was created in order to be able to easily implement operating system dependant code and leverage comments. You can just take a look inside the tasks.mjs file in order to understand what is going on behind the scenes. It contains comments for every script.

  • yarn build -> Builds the project. It transpiles the typescript code to javascript and stores the output inside the dist folder. Deletes any files from previous builds beforehand to become repeatable/idempotent.
  • yarn bundle -> Bundles the whole code into a single javascript file which will be stored inside the bundle folder.
  • yarn clean -> Removes built files. Deletes the dist and bundle directory and the files inside of them. Normally there is no need to invoke this manually.
  • yarn dev -> This should be used for running the code while developing. It watches all changes you make to your typescript codebase and automatically rebuilds the project. It does also watch all changes made to the built project and restarts the code whenever changes are detected. This enables a quick feedback loop.
  • yarn format -> Formats the code using prettier.
  • yarn format-check -> Checks for formatting errors using prettier. This is typically only invoked by the CI/CD pipeline.
  • yarn lint -> Lints the code using eslint. Fixes problems that are auto-fixable and reports the rest of them to you.
  • yarn lint-check -> Checks for linting errors using eslint. This is typically only invoked by the CI/CD pipeline.
  • yarn start -> Runs the code. This only works if the code was built before ;).
  • yarn test -> Tests your codebase. Basic tests are created for both major approaches of putting tests beside the source code as well as putting tests in a seperate folder.


An enourmous amount of people default to console log debugging since understanding the setup for debugging typescript can be somewhat awful and painful. This repo provides a debug config and guide ready to use for vscode and for vim using vimspector. Both use the mostly DAP compliant debugger vscode-js-debug.

Debugging Code


  • Start the node process with inspect-brk yarn build && node --inspect-brk ./dist/src/index.js in one terminal.
  • Open src/main.ts vim ./src/main.ts in another terminal.
  • Set breakpoint in line 6 (F9 is the default mapping)
  • Start vimspector by pressing F5
  • Press F5 again, should see the console.log output
  • Done🎉


  • Open code, set a breakpoint in src/main.ts and just start debugging with F5.

Debugging Tests


  • Start the node process with inspect-brk yarn build && node --inspect-brk --test --test-reporter spec in one terminal.
  • Open src/main.ts vim ./src/hello.test.ts in another terminal.
  • Set breakpoint in line 8 (F9 is the default mapping)
  • Start vimspector by pressing F5
  • You should see the first console log already "testing returnHelloWorld()"
  • Press F5 again, should see the second console.log "Done"
  • Done🎉


  • Open code and set a breakpoint in /src/hello.test.ts.
  • Go to the package.json in the 'scripts' sections, click on 'debug' and select 'test'.


This repo has eslint and typescript-eslint as well as an automated Github Action to check for linting set up and ready to go.

The rules in this project are my personal preference and reflect a subset of the recommended options. They also include a lot of the more strict options (NOT included in the recommended ones). My goal is to simplify having a consistent code base/code style, to avoid catchable bugs early and advocate for usage of newer features of the language.

However, I made it dead simple to enable the default/recommended eslint rules, if you want to use them instead. Everything is documented, just browse to ./.eslintrc.cjs and adapt the code.

Automated Dependency Updates

After using this repo (either via the github template or by simply cloning it) you have to set up a renovate bot. For github this can easily be done via the Github Apps renovate as well as renovate-approve. To be able to the mimic the approach used in this repo, you should set up:

  • the repo setting to allow auto-merge
  • a branch protection rule for the main branch to require approval (will be handled via renovate-approve)

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