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grunt-develop Build Status

Run a Node.js application for development, with support for auto-reload.


  • Requires Grunt >= 0.4.1 && Node.js >= 0.10.0
  • Does not provide a file-watch, grunt-contrib-watch is helpful here
  • No need to modify/export your server or alter your applications code
  • Non-blocking (the task completes immediately and the application will un in the background); Run as last task
  • Reloads cleanly the application when the task is called again, allowing for auto-reload.


This project has a lot of active contributors and users. Please submit a test along with any changes made. Thanks!


$ npm install grunt-develop

Basic Gruntfile.js Example

module.exports = function(grunt) {
    develop: {
      server: {
        file: 'app.js',
        nodeArgs: ['--debug'],            // optional 
        args: ['appArg1', 'appArg2']      // optional 
        env: { NODE_ENV: 'development'}      // optional 
  grunt.registerTask('default', ['develop']);

Coffeescript App Example

You may also have develop automatically restart coffeescript based node applications by using the cmd option. This option allows the user to specify which command/executable to use when restarting the server.

module.exports = (grunt) ->
        file: ''
        cmd: 'coffee'
  grunt.loadNpmTasks 'grunt-develop'
  grunt.registerTask 'default'['develop']

A more complex Gruntfile.js

To support auto-reload on changes, for example:

module.exports = function(grunt) {
    watch: {
      js: {
        files: [
        tasks: ['develop'],
        options: { nospawn: true }
    develop: {
      server: {
        file: 'app.js'
  grunt.registerTask('default', ['develop']);

The nospawn is required to keep the grunt context in which grunt-develop is running your application.

Then you can run grunt as the following and get automatic restart of the application on file changes:

$ grunt

You may add any other task in the watch, like JS linting, asset compiling, etc. and customize the watch to your needs. See grunt-contrib-watch.

License (MIT)

Copyright (c) 2013, Edward Hotchkiss.

Author: Edward Hotchkiss

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