0.14.0 • Public • Published

    Command line tool and developer framework for scaffolding out new GitHub projects. Generate offers the robustness and configurability of Yeoman, the expressiveness and simplicity of Slush, and more powerful flow control and composability than either.


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    Table of contents

    (TOC generated by verb using markdown-toc)

    Why use Generate?

    Why use Generate?

    There are other project scaffolders out there, why should you spend your time learning to use Generate?

    Generate offers the robustness, power and configurability of Yeoman, with the expressiveness and simplicity of slush and gulp. See the following links if you're interested in a more detailed comparison:



    • advanced flow control: through the use of generators (not es2015 generators), sub-generators, and tasks
    • render templates: use templates to create new files, or replace existing files
    • any engine: use any template engine to render templates, including handlebars, lodash, swig and pug, and anything supported by consolidate. This is useful for generating templates from templates.
    • data: automatically gather data from the user's environment for rendering templates, to populate "hints" in user prompts or for rendering templates, etc.
    • prompts: It's easy to create custom prompts and use the answers for: context for rendering templates, settings options, determining file names, directory structure, and anything else that requires user feedback.
    • macros: create a completely custom generator from the command line using macros.
    • front-matter: use yaml front matter in templates to define settings or defaults on a file-by-file basis
    • smart plugins: Update is built on base, so any "smart" plugin from the Base ecosystem can be used
    • config store: persist configuration settings, global defaults, project-specific defaults, answers to prompts, and so on.
    • streams: full support for gulp and assemble plugins
    • vinyl: files and templates are vinyl files.
    • much more!
    Developer toolkit

    Developer toolkit

    Generate is part of a suite of developer tools that share a common foundation. Any of these tools may be used standalone or together:

    • generate: (you are here) scaffold out new projects
    • assemble: build system for web projects
    • verb: documentation system for code projects
    • update: automate updates of any kind in code projects

    All of these applications are built on top of base and templates, which provides a number of benefits, including:

    • similar API/CLI - Learn one, and you will know them all
    • common plugins - create a plugin for one, it will be usable by the others
    • cross-compatible - they can run one another (for example, assemble can run verb to generate markdown documentation, then use that to create an HTML website)

    Command line usage

    Generate may be installed locally or globally. However, if you wish to run any globally installed generators, Generate's CLI must be installed globally as well.

    Install Generate

    Install generate globally using npm:

    $ npm install --global generate

    This adds the gen command to your system path, allowing it to be run from anywhere.

    Install a generator

    If you'd like to see how generators work, install generate-example:

    $ npm install --global generate-example

    Then run the example generator with the following command:

    $ gen example

    Visit the generate-example project for additional steps and guidance.

    Next steps

    Command line arguments

    The syntax for running generators is:

    $ gen generator:task
    • generator one or more space-separated generator names
    • task - (optional) one or more comma-separated task names


    # run generate-project's "default" task 
    $ gen project
    # run generate-project's "license" task 
    $ gen project:license
    # run generate-project's "package" task 
    $ gen project:package


    If a generator.js is in the current working directory, Generate's CLI will attempt to load it and execute any tasks you've specified at the command line.



    generators are plugins that can be run by command line or using Generate's API.

    Discovering generators

    • Find generators to install by searching npm for packages with the keyword generategenerator
    • Visit Generate's GitHub org to see the generators maintained by the core team

    Discovering plugins

    Plugins from any applications built on base should work with Generate (and can be used in your generator):

    • base: find base plugins on npm using the baseplugin keyword
    • assemble: find assemble plugins on npm using the assembleplugin keyword
    • generate: find generate plugins on npm using the generateplugin keyword
    • templates: find templates plugins on npm using the templatesplugin keyword
    • update: find update plugins on npm using the updateplugin keyword
    • verb: find verb plugins on npm using the verbplugin keyword

    Authoring generators

    Visit the documentation for generators to learn how to use, author and publish generators.

    More information


    Related projects

    • assemble: Get the rocks out of your socks! Assemble makes you fast at creating web projects… more | homepage
    • base: Framework for rapidly creating high quality node.js applications, using plugins like building blocks | homepage
    • update: Be scalable! Update is a new, open source developer framework and CLI for automating updates… more | homepage
    • verb: Documentation generator for GitHub projects. Verb is extremely powerful, easy to use, and is used… more | homepage


    Are you using Generate in your project? Have you published a generator and want to share your project with the world?

    Here are some suggestions!

    • If you get like Generate and want to tweet about it, please feel free to mention @generatejs or use the #generatejs hashtag
    • Show your love by starring Generate and generate
    • Get implementation help on StackOverflow (please use the generatejs tag in questions)
    • Gitter Discuss Generate with us on Gitter
    • If you publish an generator, thank you! To make your project as discoverable as possible, please add the keyword generategenerator to package.json.


    Pull requests and stars are always welcome. For bugs and feature requests, please create an issue.

    Please read the contributing guide for advice on opening issues, pull requests, and coding standards.

    Running tests

    Running and reviewing unit tests is a great way to get familiarized with a library and its API. You can install dependencies and run tests with the following command:

    $ npm install && npm test


    Jon Schlinkert


    Copyright © 2017, Jon Schlinkert. Released under the MIT License.

    This file was generated by verb-generate-readme, v0.6.0, on June 02, 2017.


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