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What is Ionic?

Ionic is the open source HTML5 Mobile Framework for building amazing, cross-platform hybrid native apps and mobile websites with HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. If you know how to build or design websites, you will be able to build a real mobile app with Ionic!

We built Ionic because we wanted a framework that focused on building high quality hybrid native apps and mobile web apps using open web technologies we loved. The same technology the world has been using for decades to build websites, desktop applications, and now mobile and tablet apps. We wanted this framework to be obsessive about great design and performance, and work on multiple platforms without changing a thing.

We rejected the idea that web mobile apps had to be clunky, slow, and non-native. We believed that we could bring the best of the web together with the best of the native platforms without sacricificing the power, accessibility, and portability of the open web.

Above all, we built Ionic to be the easiest way for the next generation of developers to get into mobile and start building apps that compete with the best on the app store, and do it affordably.

Today, Ionic powers over 1.5 million mobile apps and websites (and even some desktop apps!), built by small startups up to Fortune 50 companies. Ionic developers come from hundreds of countries around the world, and have helped build a community that boasts hundreds of monthly meetings, conference talks, and workshops; an incredibly active forum and Theme and Plugin Marketplace; and some pretty amazing apps.

Quick Start

To start using ionic, you have two options: copy over the built JS and CSS files, or use the ionic tool (ionic-cli) which can be installed through npm (recommended): (You may need to prefix the command with sudo depending on your OS and setup.)

Additionally, we have a desktop GUI tool that we recently released called Ionic Lab. If you try it, let us know what you think!

To get started with the CLI flow, fire up your terminal and run:

npm install -g ionic

Then, you can start a new ionic project by running:

ionic start myproject

Manual Start

If you'd rather do everything by hand, you can grab all the files for Ionic below:

  • Download the latest stable release from:
    • The release folder of this repository
    • Ionic CDN: Latest Release
    • Using bower: bower install ionic
    • For Meteor applications: meteor add driftyco:ionic
  • Download the bleeding edge just-from-master release from:
    • Ionic CDN: Nightly Build
    • Using bower: bower install driftyco/ionic-bower#master

Once you have a release, use js/ionic.js, js/ionic-angular.js, and css/ionic.css.

For most cases, you'll need AngularJS as well. This is bundled in js/angular/ and js/angular-ui-router/.




Originally created by Adam Bradley, Ben Sperry, and Max Lynch, Ionic has seen hundreds of great contributors from around the world, including Ionic Team Members Perry Govier, Mike Hartington, and Tim Lancina.


  • npm install && npm install -g gulp protractor to setup
  • (if you wish to run end-to-end tests): webdriver-manager update --chrome to install the webdriver.
  • gulp or gulp build to build
  • gulp docs to generate docs (read Documentation below for how to test docs locally).
  • gulp build --release to build with minification & strip debugs
  • gulp watch to watch and rebuild on change
  • gulp karma to test one-time
  • gulp karma-watch to test and re-run on source change
  • gulp snapshot to test e2e tests locally (run gulp demos first to generate e2e tests). Be sure to run ./node_modules/.bin/webdriver-manager update --chrome to first install the chrome webdriver dependency.


  • Documentation is generated into ./../ionic-site. To test documentation properly, follow these steps:
    1. Clone ionic-site into ./../ionic-site
    • git clone ./../ionic-site
    1. Start jekyll, telling it to rebuild whenever the site changes
    • cd ./../ionic-site && jekyll serve -w
    1. Go back to project root and build the docs
    • gulp docs [--doc-version=(versionName|nightly)]
    1. Open localhost:4000 and see your changes! Re-run gulp docs again whenever you change something, and jekyll will update the site

Demos / Kitchen Sink

  • The demo site is generated into dist/ionic-demo. To test the demos, follow these steps:
    1. Run gulp demos [--demo-version=(versionName|nightly)]
    2. Start an http server from dist/ionic-demo:
    • cd dist/ionic-demo && python -m SimpleHTTPServer
    1. Navigate to http://localhost:8000/{versionName|nightly} and use the demos
    2. Run gulp demos again whenever you change the demos

Commit Conventions

Pushing New Release of Ionic

  • Almost all of the logic for releasing Ionic is done on the Travis server
  • To push a new release:
    1. Update package.json version to new version
    2. Generate changelog with gulp changelog
    3. Go through the changelog, and fix any mistakes or clarify any unclear commit messages
    4. Commit package.json and and push to master
  • Travis will detect that this commit changed the version in package.json and push out all necessary for this new release (tags, release files, site config, ...)


Ionic is licensed under the MIT Open Source license. For more information, see the LICENSE file in this repository.




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