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A Grunt task to luanch an Express server for project testing

Getting Started

This plugin requires Grunt ~0.4.1

If you haven't used Grunt before, be sure to check out the Getting Started guide, as it explains how to create a Gruntfile as well as install and use Grunt plugins. Once you're familiar with that process, you may install this plugin with this command:

npm install grunt-edge-express --save-dev

Once the plugin has been installed, it may be enabled inside your Gruntfile with this line of JavaScript:


The "express" task


In your project's Gruntfile, add a section named express to the data object passed into grunt.initConfig().

  express: {
    options: {
      // Task-specific options go here. 
    your_target: {
      // Target-specific file lists and/or options go here. 



Type: Integer Default value: 3000

The port on which the express server will respond. The task will fail if the specified port is already in use. You can use the special values 0 or '?' to use a system-assigned port.


Type: String Default value: 'localhost'

The hostname the express server will use.


Type: String Default value: '/'

String appended to the end of the hostname:port URL, must start with a leading slash.


Type: String Default: path.resolve('express/server.js')

Location of the server.js file used to include project specific express configuration rules.


Type: Boolean Default: true

Flag to determine if stdout of server process will be displayed.

IMPORTANT: Option Usage in Express Configuration

Please note that port, hostname, and baseURL are passed as options to your server configuration file defined at configPath. Failing to provide option parsing and implementing injection of these options into your server configuration may result in issues or errors with your Express server.

It is recommended using modules such as nopt for option parsing within your server configuration file.

// include the nopt module 
var nopt = require('nopt');
// get options based on a specific configuration 
// plase see for 
// additional usage examples 
var options = nopt({
    hostname: String,
    port: Number,
    baseURL: String
    port: ['--port'],
    hostname: ['--hostname'],
    baseURL: ['--baseurl']
}, process.argv, 2);
// supply default values if option values are not present 
var port = options.port || 3000,
    hostname = options.hostname || 'localhost',
    baseURL = options.baseURL || '/';
// use in your server configuraiton 
server.listen(port, hostname, function () {
    console.log('Express server started on port ' + port);

Usage Examples

Default Options

In this example, an Express server instance will be setup based on the default configuraiton parameters.

    express: {
        server: {}

Custom Options

In this example, custom options are used to configure the Express server with port 9000 and a base url of /plugin. This produces a destination of http://localhost:9000/plugin.

    express: {
        server: {
            port: 9000,
            baseURL: '/plugin'


In lieu of a formal styleguide, take care to maintain the existing coding style. Add unit tests for any new or changed functionality. Lint and test your code using Grunt.

Release History

  • 2013-06-24   v0.1.0   Initial release