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Resolve URL Loader


Webpack loader that resolves relative paths in url() statements based on the original source file.

Use in conjunction with the sass-loader and specify your asset url() relative to the .scss file in question.

This loader will use the source-map from the SASS compiler to locate the original .scss source file and write a more Webpack-friendly path for your asset. The CSS loader can then locate your asset for individual processing.


Plain CSS works fine:

var css = require('!css-loader!resolve-url-loader!./file.css');

or using sass-loader:

var css = require('!css-loader!resolve-url-loader!sass-loader?sourceMap!./file.scss');

Use in tandem with the style-loader to compile sass and to add the css rules to your document:




Apply via webpack config

It is preferable to adjust your webpack.config so to avoid having to prefix every require() statement:

module.exports = {
  module: {
    loaders: [
        test   : /\.css$/,
        loaders: ['style-loader', 'css-loader', 'resolve-url-loader']
      }, {
        test   : /\.scss$/,
        loaders: ['style-loader', 'css-loader', 'resolve-url-loader', 'sass-loader?sourceMap']


Source maps required

Note that source maps must be enabled on any preceding loader. In the above example we use sass?sourceMap.

In some use cases (no preceding transpiler) there will be no incoming source map. Therefore we do not warn if the source-map is missing.

However if there is an incoming source-map then it must imply source information at each CSS url() statement.

Don't omit -loader

Your Webpack.config.js should always use the long-form of the loader name (i.e. the -loader suffix).

There is another package called resolve-url which Webpack can confuse with resolve-url-loader.

There are other common examples. Such as jshint and jshint-loader packages being confused.

These conflicts are very hard to debug and will send you crazy. Your Webpack.config.js should always use the long-form of the loader name (i.e. the -loader suffix)


Options may be set using query parameters or by using programmatic parameters. Programmatic means the following in your webpack.config.

module.exports = {
   resolveUrlLoader: {

Where ... is a hash of any of the following options.

  • absolute Forces the url() to be resolved to an absolute path. This is considered bad practice so only do it if you know what you are doing.

  • sourceMap Generate a source-map.

  • silent Do not display warnings on CSS syntax or source-map error.

  • fail Syntax or source-map errors will result in an error.

  • keepQuery Keep query string and hash within url. I.e. url('./MyFont.eot?#iefix'), url('./MyFont.svg#oldiosfix').

  • root An optional directory within which search may be performed. Relative paths are permitted. Where omitted process.cwd() is used and should be sufficient for most use cases.

Note that query parameters take precedence over programmatic parameters.

How it works

A rework process is run on incoming CSS.

Each url() statement that implies an asset triggers a file search using node fs operations. The asset should be relative to the original source file that was transpiled. This file is determined by consulting the incoming source-map at the point of the url() statement.

Usually the asset is found relative to the original source file. However in some cases there is no immediate match (cough bootstrap cough) and we so we start searching both deeper and shallower from the starting directory.

Shallower paths must be limited to avoid the whole file system from being considered. Progressively shallower paths within the root will be considered. Paths featuring a package.json or bower.json file will not be considered.

If the asset is not found then the url() statement will not be updated with a Webpack module-relative path. However if the url() statement has no source-map source information the loader will fail.

The loader will also fail when input source-map sources cannot all be resolved relative to some consistent path within root.



Where url() statements are created in a SASS mixin the file may be expected to be relative to the mixin. Obviously this is not the desired behaviour.

This may be beacuse rework is limited in how it works with the sass-loader source maps.

Unfortunately you need to work around this until we can investigate other solutions.

Getting help

Webpack is difficult to configure but extremely rewarding.

I am happy for you to raise an issue to ask a question regarding this package. However ensure you follow the check-list first.

Currently I am not dogfooding this loader in my own work. I may rely on you being able to isolate the problem in a simple example project and to help debug.

I am happy this loader helps so many people. Open-source is provided as-is so please try not project your frustrations. There are some really great people who follow this project who can help.


Before raising a new issue:

  • remove this loader and make sure it is not a problem with a different loader in your config (most often the case)
  • check stack overflow for an answer
  • review previous issues that may be similar
  • be prepared to create a simple open-source project that exhibits your problem, should the solution not be immediately obvious to me
  • (ideally) debug some code and let me know where the problem sits

Pull requests

I am happy to take pull requests, however:

  • Ensure your change is backwards compatible - not all users will be using the same version of Webpack or SASS that you do.
  • Follow the existing code style.
  • Do not overwrite existing variables with new values. I would prefer your change variable names elsewhere if necessary.
  • Add comments that describe why the code is necessary - i.e. what edge case are we solving. Otherwise we may rewrite later and break your use-case.