This page explains how to use webdev to compile your app and build_runner to test your app.


Follow these instructions to get started using webdev.

Before you can use webdev, Add dependencies to the build_runner and build_web_compilers packages to your app. The build_runner package adds scripting capabilities to webdev.

$ dart pub add build_runner build_web_compilers --dev

Installing and updating webdev

Use dart pub to install webdev for all users.

$ dart pub global activate webdev

Use the same command to update webdev. Update webdev when you update your Dart SDK or when webdev commands fail in a way you can’t explain.

Depending on build_* packages

To use webdev, you must be in the root directory of a package that depends on the build_runner and build_web_compilers packages. If you’re testing the app, it must also depend on build_test.

To depend on these packages, add the following dev_dependencies to your app’s pubspec.yaml file:

    # ···
    build_runner: ^2.1.0
    build_test: ^2.1.0
    build_web_compilers: ^3.0.0

As usual after pubspec.yaml changes, run dart pub get or dart pub upgrade:

$ dart pub get

Using commands from Dart packages to compile and test

This tool can compile in two ways: one that makes debugging easier (serve) and one that makes for small, fast code (build).

The development compiler supports incremental updates and produces Asynchronous Module Definition (AMD) modules.. With [webdev serve][serve], you can edit your Dart files, refresh in Chrome, and see your edits in short order. This speed comes from compiling updated modules, not all the packages that your app requires.

The first compilation takes the longest as it compiles the entire app. While [serve][serve] command runs, successive builds should compile faster.

The production compiler generates a single, minified JavaScript file.

This section describes how to use the following commands:

webdev serve
Runs a development server that continuously builds a JavaScript app.
webdev build
Builds a deployable version of a JavaScript app.
build_runner test
Runs tests.

You can customize your build using build configuration files. To learn more about build configuration files, see the build_web_compilers package.

webdev serve

To serve a development version of your web app, run the following command.

$ webdev serve [--debug | --release] [ [<directory>[:<port>]] ... ]

This command launches a development server that serves your app and watches for source code changes. By default, this command serves the app at localhost:8080:

$ webdev serve

The first webdev serve compiles slow. After the first compile, it caches assets on disk. This makes later builds compile faster.

To enable Dart DevTools, add the --debug flag:

$ webdev serve --debug  # enables Dart DevTools

To use production compiler instead of development compiler, add the --release flag:

$ webdev serve --release  # uses production compiler

You can specify different directory-port configurations.

For example, the following command changes the test port from the default (8081) to 8083:

$ webdev serve web test:8083 # App: 8080; tests: 8083

webdev build

Use the following command to build your app:

$ webdev build [--no-release] --output [<dirname>:]<dirname>

By default, the build command uses the production JavaScript compiler to create a production version of your app. Add --no-release to compile with the development JavaScript compiler. Use the --output option to control where Dart compiles top-level project folders and writes its output.

The following command shows how to compile the project’s top-level web folder into the build directory. This command uses the production JavaScript compiler by default.

$ webdev build --output web:build

build_runner test

Use the build_runner test command to run your app’s component tests:

$ dart run build_runner test [build_runner options] -- -p <platform> [test options]

For example, here’s how to run all Chrome platform tests:

$ dart run build_runner test -- -p chrome

To see all available build_runner options, use the --help or -h option:

$ dart run build_runner test -h

Dart passes arguments after the empty -- argument directly to the test package runner. To see all command-line options for the test package runner, use this command:

$ dart test -h

More information

For a complete list of webdev options, run webdev --help or see the webdev package.

Also see the following pages: