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Data Storage (Redux)

During Gatsby’s bootstrap & build phases, the state is stored and manipulated using the Redux library. The key purpose of using Redux in Gatsby internals is to centralize all of the state logic. Reviewing the Gatsby reducers and actions folders gives a comprehensive picture of what state manipulations are possible.


The namespaces in Gatsby’s Redux store are a great overview of the Gatsby internals, here are a few:

  • Nodes - All data that’s added to Gatsby is modeled using nodes. Nodes are most commonly added by Source plugins such as gatsby-source-filesystem.
  • Schema - GraphQL schema inferred from Nodes, available for querying by page and static queries.
  • Pages - A Map of page paths to page objects. Objects made via Page Creation contain information needed to render a page such as component file path, page query and context.
  • Components - A Map of component file paths to page objects.
  • Static Query Components - A Map of any components detected with a static query.
  • Jobs - Long-running and CPU-intensive processes, generally started as a side effect to a GraphQL query. Gatsby doesn’t finish its process until all jobs are ended.
  • webpack - Config for the webpack bundler which handles code optimization and splitting of delivered JavaScript bundles.

The Gatsby Redux index file has two key exports, store and emitter. Throughout the bootstrap and build phases, store is used to get the current state and dispatch actions, while emitter is used to register listeners for particular actions. The store is also made available to Gatsby users through the Node APIs.


Actions dispatched in the store cause state changes through the reducers and also trigger listeners registered for that action on a mitt emitter. While the subscribe Redux store method is typically used to connect a web framework like React, Gatsby only uses the subscribe method to connect the emitter.

The Gatsby actions are all either internal, public or restricted. The public actions, and a context relevant subset of the restricted actions, are available to users through the Node APIs.

Example action journey for createRedirect

Gatsby actions have a similar journey through defining, exposing and dispatching. This section follows the createRedirect public action:

  • Reducer case - The redirects reducer will catch actions with a type CREATE_REDIRECT and make the necessary state manipulation.

  • Side effect - An emitter listener is registered for the CREATE_REDIRECT action type.

  • Action creator - An action creator, createRedirect, is defined in the public actions file. The action has a payload, the information needed to complete the action, and a type, the string that identifies this particular action.

  • Expose bound action creator - createRedirect is one of the public actions made available to all of the Node APIs. A collection of public actions and the restricted actions available to the called API are bound to the Redux store dispatch. The bound action collection is then passed when calling the user’s API function.

  • Dispatch - Here is an example of the createRedirect call that a Gatsby user could make with the createPages API in their project’s gatsby-node.js file:

By walking through an action scenario in detail, you can hopefully understand more about Gatsby’s internals using Redux.

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