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CLI tool for Angular


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Prototype of a CLI for Angular applications based on the ember-cli project.


This project is very much still a work in progress.

The CLI is now in beta. If you wish to collaborate while the project is still young, check out our issue list.

Before submitting new issues, have a look at issues marked with the type: faq label.

Webpack update

We changed the build system between beta.10 and beta.14, from SystemJS to Webpack. And with it comes a lot of benefits. To take advantage of these, your app built with the old beta will need to migrate.

You can update your beta.10 projects to beta.14 by following these instructions.


Both the CLI and generated project have dependencies that require Node 4 or higher, together with NPM 3 or higher.

Table of Contents


BEFORE YOU INSTALL: please read the prerequisites

npm install -g angular-cli


ng help

Generating and serving an Angular2 project via a development server

ng serve

Navigate to http://localhost:4200/. The app will automatically reload if you change any of the source files.

You can configure the default HTTP port and the one used by the LiveReload server with two command-line options :

ng serve --host --port 4201 --live-reload-port 49153

Generating Components, Directives, Pipes and Services

You can use the ng generate (or just ng g) command to generate Angular components:

ng generate component my-new-component
ng g component my-new-component # using the alias
# components support relative path generation
# if in the directory src/app/feature/ and you run
ng g component new-cmp
# your component will be generated in src/app/feature/new-cmp
# but if you were to run
ng g component ../newer-cmp
# your component will be generated in src/app/newer-cmp

You can find all possible blueprints in the table below:

Scaffold Usage
Component ng g component my-new-component
Directive ng g directive my-new-directive
Pipe ng g pipe my-new-pipe
Service ng g service my-new-service
Class ng g class my-new-class
Interface ng g interface my-new-interface
Enum ng g enum my-new-enum
Module ng g module my-module

Generating a route

The CLI supports routing in several ways:

  • We include the @angular/router NPM package when creating or initializing a project.

  • When you generate a module, you can use the --routing option like ng g module my-module --routing to create a separate file my-module-routing.module.ts to store the module routes.

    The file includes an empty Routes object that you can fill with routes to different components and/or modules.

    The --routing option also generates a default component with the same name as the module.

  • You can use the --routing option with ng new to create a app-routing.module.ts file when you create or initialize a project.

Creating a build

ng build

The build artifacts will be stored in the dist/ directory.

Build Targets and Environment Files

ng build can specify both a build target (--target=production or --target=development) and an environment file to be used with that build (--environment=dev or --environment=prod). By default, the development build target and environment are used.

The mapping used to determine which environment file is used can be found in angular-cli.json:

  "source": "environments/environment.ts",
  "dev": "environments/environment.ts",
  "prod": "environments/"

These options also apply to the serve command. If you do not pass a value for environment, it will default to dev for development and prod for production.

# these are equivalent
ng build --target=production --environment=prod
ng build --prod --env=prod
ng build --prod
# and so are these
ng build --target=development --environment=dev
ng build --dev --e=dev
ng build --dev
ng build

You can also add your own env files other than dev and prod by doing the following:

  • create a src/environments/environment.NAME.ts
  • add { "NAME": 'src/environments/environment.NAME.ts' } to the apps[0].environments object in angular-cli.json
  • use them via the --env=NAME flag on the build/serve commands.

Base tag handling in index.html

When building you can modify base tag (<base href="/">) in your index.html with --base-href your-url option.

# Sets base tag href to /myUrl/ in your index.html
ng build --base-href /myUrl/
ng build --bh /myUrl/


All builds make use of bundling, and using the --prod flag in ng build --prod or ng serve --prod will also make use of uglifying and tree-shaking functionality.

Running unit tests

ng test

Tests will execute after a build is executed via Karma, and it will automatically watch your files for changes. You can run tests a single time via --watch=false or --single-run.

You can run tests with coverage via --code-coverage. The coverage report will be in the coverage/ directory.

Linting during tests is also available via the --lint flag. See Linting code chapter for more information.

Running end-to-end tests

ng e2e

Before running the tests make sure you are serving the app via ng serve.

End-to-end tests are run via Protractor.

Proxy To Backend

Using the proxying support in webpack's dev server we can highjack certain urls and send them to a backend server. We do this by passing a file to --proxy-config

Say we have a server running on http://localhost:3000/api and we want all calls to http://localhost:4200/api to go to that server.

We create a file next to projects package.json called proxy.conf.json with the content

  "/api": {
    "target": "http://localhost:3000",
    "secure": false

You can read more about what options are available here webpack-dev-server proxy settings

and then we edit the package.json file's start script to be

"start""ng serve --proxy-config proxy.conf.json",

now run it with npm start

Deploying the app via GitHub Pages

You can deploy your apps quickly via:

ng github-pages:deploy --message "Optional commit message"

This will do the following:

  • creates GitHub repo for the current project if one doesn't exist
  • rebuilds the app in production mode at the current HEAD
  • creates a local gh-pages branch if one doesn't exist
  • moves your app to the gh-pages branch and creates a commit
  • edit the base tag in index.html to support GitHub Pages
  • pushes the gh-pages branch to GitHub
  • returns back to the original HEAD

Creating the repo requires a token from GitHub, and the remaining functionality relies on ssh authentication for all git operations that communicate with To simplify the authentication, be sure to setup your ssh keys.

If you are deploying a user or organization page, you can instead use the following command:

ng github-pages:deploy --user-page --message "Optional commit message"

This command pushes the app to the master branch on the GitHub repo instead of pushing to gh-pages, since user and organization pages require this.

Linting code

You can lint your app code by running ng lint. This will use the lint npm script that in generated projects uses tslint.

You can modify the these scripts in package.json to run whatever tool you prefer.

Commands autocompletion

To turn on auto completion use the following commands:

For bash:

ng completion 1>> ~/.bashrc 2>>&1
source ~/.bashrc

For zsh:

ng completion 1>> ~/.zshrc 2>>&1
source ~/.zshrc

Windows users using gitbash:

ng completion 1>> ~/.bash_profile 2>>&1
source ~/.bash_profile

Project assets

You use the assets array in angular-cli.json to list files or folders you want to copy as-is when building your project:


Global styles

The styles.css file allows users to add global styles and supports CSS imports.

If the project is created with the --style=sass option, this will be a .sass file instead, and the same applies to scss/less/styl.

You can add more global styles via the apps[0].styles property in angular-cli.json.

CSS Preprocessor integration

Angular-CLI supports all major CSS preprocessors:

To use these preprocessors simply add the file to your component's styleUrls:

  selector: 'app-root',
  templateUrl: './app.component.html',
  styleUrls: ['./app.component.scss']
export class AppComponent {
  title = 'app works!';

When generating a new project you can also define which extension you want for style files:

ng new sassy-project --style=sass

Or set the default style on an existing project:

ng set defaults.styleExt scss

3rd Party Library Installation

Simply install your library via npm install lib-name --save and import it in your code.

If the library does not include typings, you can install them using npm:

npm install d3 --save
npm install @types/d3 --save-dev

If the library doesn't have typings available at @types/, you can still use it by manually adding typings for it:

  1. First, create a typings.d.ts file in your src/ folder. This file will be automatically included as global type definition.

  2. Then, in src/typings.d.ts, add the following code:

declare module 'typeless-package';
  1. Finally, in the component or file that uses the library, add the following code:
import * as typelessPackage from 'typeless-package';

Done. Note: you might need or find useful to define more typings for the library that you're trying to use.

Global Library Installation

Some javascript libraries need to be added to the global scope, and loaded as if they were in a script tag. We can do this using the apps[0].scripts and apps[0].styles properties of angular-cli.json.

As an example, to use Bootstrap 4 this is what you need to do:

First install Bootstrap from npm:

npm install bootstrap@next

Then add the needed script files to apps[0].scripts:


Finally add the Bootstrap CSS to the apps[0].styles array:


Restart ng serve if you're running it, and Bootstrap 4 should be working on your app.

Updating angular-cli

To update angular-cli to a new version, you must update both the global package and your project's local package.

Global package:

npm uninstall -g angular-cli
npm cache clean
npm install -g angular-cli@latest

Local project package:

rm -rf node_modules dist # use rmdir on Windows
npm install --save-dev angular-cli@latest
npm install
ng update

Running ng update will check for changes in all the auto-generated files created by ng new and allow you to update yours. You are offered four choices for each changed file: y (overwrite), n (don't overwrite), d (show diff between your file and the updated file) and h (help).

Carefully read the diffs for each code file, and either accept the changes or incorporate them manually after ng update finishes.

The main cause of errors after an update is failing to incorporate these updates into your code.

You can find more details about changes between versions in

Development Hints for hacking on angular-cli

Working with master

git clone
cd angular-cli
npm link

npm link is very similar to npm install -g except that instead of downloading the package from the repo, the just cloned angular-cli/ folder becomes the global package. Any changes to the files in the angular-cli/ folder will immediately affect the global angular-cli package, allowing you to quickly test any changes you make to the cli project.

Now you can use angular-cli via the command line:

ng new foo
cd foo
npm link angular-cli
ng serve

npm link angular-cli is needed because by default the globally installed angular-cli just loads the local angular-cli from the project which was fetched remotely from npm. npm link angular-cli symlinks the global angular-cli package to the local angular-cli package. Now the angular-cli you cloned before is in three places: The folder you cloned it into, npm's folder where it stores global packages and the angular-cli project you just created.

You can also use ng new foo --link-cli to automatically link the angular-cli package.

Please read the official npm-link documentation and the npm-link cheatsheet for more information.