3.0.1 • Public • Published

    Snap: Node Build & Release Tool

    A tool that makes building, testing, starting, deploying and releasing multi-package NodeJS projects a snap!

    Snap is an opinionated tool for managing a NodeJS project tree. It assumes your development environment uses:

    • npm as the NodeJS package manager
    • git to manage your source code
    • If on macOS, iTerm2 as a scriptable replacement for the macOS Terminal app
    • stampver to manage your semantic versioning
    • Optionally, an actor model for sub-processes.

    If you don't use all of the above, then snap-tool is probably not going to be that helpful too you. Told you it was opinionated!

    I am aware that this tool has the same name as the Linux snap tool. I don't use that, so it's not an issue for me.


    Install the package globally or use npx to run the latest version:

    npm install -g snap-tool
    snap help


    npx snap-tool help


    To build all projects recursively use:

    snap build

    You can also specify --install and --clean with this command.


    To install all npm packages recursively use:

    snap install

    If you specify --clean it will perform the clean command before installation.


    To recursively clean out all node_modules, dist, build and package-lock.json files use:

    snap clean


    To run all tests recursively use:

    snap test

    Each command will search recursively through your project tree looking for package.json files to process. They each ignore node_modules directories.


    It's common to have a NodeJS based product comprised of a website, a server and perhaps mobile apps. snap will run all the start scripts recursively with:

    snap start

    Snap is also intended to be used with NodeJS servers consisting of multiple actor services (or node sub-processes.) These actors processes have script names that start with actor:.

    snap start --actors

    If snap finds actor: entries, it will start each actor process using a new iTerm2 tab in the same window so that you can shut down your entire product with one click. For that package.json it will not run the start script. Very handy for local testing.


    The release command is used to create a new tested and tagged release in Git.

    The tool uses stampver to update version information for the build. Just tell it which part of the version to update with patch, minor or major.

    If you add the --deploy it will run npm run deploy to run the deploy script. This can be whatever you want. For example, publishing to npm it would be done with npm publish. For provisioning using Ansible, it might run ansible-playbook.


    The deploy command just runs npm run deploy. Simple.


    npm i snap-tool

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    • jlyonsmith