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GlueStick is a command line interface for quickly developing universal web applications using React

GlueStick - Beyond the Boilerplate

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GlueStick is a command line interface for quickly developing universal web applications using React and Redux.

Create and deploy enterprise-grade React and Redux application right from your command line. Gluestick is a combination of create-react-app and next.js that is backed and used in production by TrueCar.

Why your project or boilerplate isn't enough?

  1. You need integrated updates. Without integrated updates, you are forced to manually merge in new features/fixes.
  2. Isomorphic rendering. Server-side and client-side rendering are identical. No more worries about SEO, pesky “loading” spinners, or users with javascript disabled
  3. Integrated dockerization. Go from development to production as simple as gluestick dockerize MyApp
  4. Automatic babel and webpack loader support. Cause writing ES5 is so boring
  5. Automatic test framework setup. Preloaded with Mocha, Chai, Sinon, Enzyme, and React.TestUtils right out of the box
  6. Built in common practices. Things like code splitting, hot module replacement, react-router, etc
  7. Rails like generators for common needs like components/reducers/containers/etc, with all necessary hooks and tests

Why GlueStick?

GlueStick allows users to quickly create new applications with its bootstrap generator, along with generators for components, containers, and reducers. In addition, GlueStick contains a fully functional test environment, server-side rendering, and an asset bundler. However, GlueStick sidesteps the hassle of any configuration files.

The goal is not to be another boilerplate for building universal web applications. Instead, the goal is to abstract all of the boilerplate code into one location that the developer doesn't have to worry about. Not only does this make your application code cleaner but it makes it easier to update the boilerplate code as new improvements are discovered.

Is actively being worked on and supported by TrueCar.


GlueStick works best with v6.x.x of node. Versions prior to v6 are not currently supported and node v7 has known issues:


npm install gluestick -g

Getting Started

You can view a complete getting started guide on our blog


GlueStick comes with several generators to help you get started. To create a new GlueStick project, run the following command:

gluestick new newapp

This will create the boilerplate code needed for a GlueStick application as well as install all of the initial npm dependencies.

Change directories into your projects folder and start your app and tests with:

gluestick start


To help speed up development, GlueStick includes generators for common types of files.

Container Generator

The container generator will create a basic React component in the containers folder that is already hooked up to redux using the @connect middlware.


gluestick generate container MyContainer

Component Generator

The component generator will create a basic React component and a starting test file for that component.


gluestick generate component MyComponent

Reducer Generator

The reducer generator will create a new base redux reducer for you and automatically export it from the reducers/index.js file.


gluestick generate reducer todos


GlueStick sets up a testing environment using Karma, Mocha, Chai and Sinon and enzyme. React's TestUtils are also available globally in your test files. You simply need to create files in the test folder with the extension .test.js and they will be executed through the test runner.


The preferred way to style components in the GlueStick environment is to use Radium, but we also actively use and support css and sass.


If you want to include a base stylesheet (like bootstrap css), you can import your stylesheet at the top of any file and it will be included when the page loads. Any updates to your styles will also be hot loaded. You can use plain css or sass.

Example: Edit /Index.js

import React, { Component } from "react";
import "assets/css/my-custom-css.css";

The code above will automatically extract the css from the referenced file and include it in a base css file that is included on new page loads. References to images and font files will automatically be handled as well.

If you would like to see better css support, please submit a pull request :)


Caching support has been added for server side rendering. This lets you cache entire page responses on pages where it makes sense like a home or landing page.


<Route path="/" component={HomeApp} cache={true} />

Route property: cache - boolean

Additional optional cache properties: cacheTTL - number of seconds to store the cache for a particular route

Hot Loading

GlueStick's development environment utilizing hotloading so your changes will show up in the browser as you go. This is sort of experimental but it works great most of the time. However, sometimes you will still need to refresh the browser for certain changes.

Deployment & Production

To run a gluestick application in production mode, simple set NODE_ENV envrionment variable to production. For example: NODE_ENV=production gluestick start

GlueStick will serve assets for you in production mode but it is recommended you serve assets from a Content Delivery Network. To do that, simply run gluestick build and it will generate a folder named build in your project root. This folder will contain all of the assets needed to run your app.

Finally, you need to update your application config file (src/config/application.js) to define the asset path for production. You can hardcode the value or you can just use the ASSET_URL environment variable to specify the base uri of your production assets.

Port Overriding

If you need to override the port in production, just set the environment variable PORT to whatever you need it to be.