Deep Dive

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Commands (Gatsby CLI)

The Gatsby command line interface (CLI) is the main tool you use to initialize, build and develop Gatsby sites.

How to use gatsby-cli

To use the Gatsby CLI you must either:

  • Install it globally with npm install -g gatsby-cli, where you execute commands with the syntax gatsby new, or
  • Run commands directly with npx, where you execute commands with the syntax npx gatsby new

Useful Gatsby CLI commands are also pre-defined in starters as run scripts.

API commands

All the following documentation is available in the tool by running gatsby --help.

new

Runs an interactive shell with a prompt that helps you set up a CMS, styling system and plugins if you wish.

To create a new site with the prompt, execute:

You can also skip the prompt and clone a starter directly from GitHub. For example, to clone a new gatsby-starter-blog, execute:

The first argument (e.g. my-new-blog) is the name of your site, and the second argument is the GitHub URL of the starter you want to clone.

Note: The site name should only consist of letters and numbers. If you specify a ., ./ or a <space> in the name, gatsby new will throw an error.

develop

Compiles and serves a development build of your site that reflects your source code changes in the browser in real time. Should be run from the root of your project.

Options include:

OptionDescription
-H, --hostSet host. Defaults to localhost
-p, --portSet port. Defaults to env.PORT or 8000
-o, --openOpen the site in your (default) browser for you
-S, --httpsUse HTTPS
--inspectOpens a port for debugging

To set up HTTPS, follow the Local HTTPS guide.

To include a URL you can access from other devices on the same network, execute:

You will see this output:

You can use the “On Your Network” URL to access your site within your network.

build

Compiles your site for production so it can be deployed. Should be run from the root of your project.

Options include:

OptionDescription
--prefix-pathsBuild site with link paths prefixed (set pathPrefix in your config)
--no-uglifyBuild site without uglifying JS bundles (for debugging)
--profileBuild site with react profiling. See Profiling Site Performance with React Profiler
--open-tracing-config-fileTracer configuration file (OpenTracing compatible). See Performance Tracing
--graphql-tracingTrace (see above) every graphql resolver, may have performance implications.
--no-color, --no-colorsDisables colored terminal output

In addition to these build options, there are some optional build environment variables for more advanced configurations that can adjust how a build runs. For example, setting CI=true as an environment variable will tailor output for dumb terminals.

serve

Serves the production build of your site for testing prior to deployment. Should be run from the root of your project.

Options include:

OptionDescription
-H, --hostSet host. Defaults to localhost
-p, --portSet port. Defaults to 9000
-o, --openOpen the site in your default browser for you
--prefix-pathsServe site with link paths prefixed (if built with pathPrefix in your gatsby-config file).

info

Show helpful environment information which is required in bug reports. Should be run from the root of your project.

Options include:

OptionDescription
-C, --clipboardCopy environment information to your clipboard

clean

Delete the .cache and public directories. Should be run from the root of your project.

This is useful as a last resort when your local project seems to have issues or content does not seem to be refreshing. Issues this may fix commonly include:

  • Stale data, e.g. this file/resource/etc. isn’t appearing
  • GraphQL error, e.g. this GraphQL resource should be present but is not
  • Dependency issues, e.g. invalid version, cryptic errors in console, etc.
  • Plugin issues, e.g. developing a local plugin and changes don’t seem to be taking effect

repl

Open a Node.js REPL (interactive shell) with context of your Gatsby environment. Should be run from the root of your project.

Gatsby will prompt you to type in commands and explore. When it shows this: gatsby >, you can type in one of these commands to see their values in real time:

  • babelrc
  • components
  • dataPaths
  • getNodes()
  • nodes
  • pages
  • schema
  • siteConfig
  • staticQueries

To exit the REPL:

  • Press Ctrl+C or Ctrl+D twice, or
  • Type .exit and press Enter

When combined with the GraphQL explorer, these REPL commands could be very helpful for understanding your Gatsby site’s data.

Disabling colored output

In addition to the explicit --no-color option, the CLI respects the presence of the NO_COLOR environment variable (see no-color.org).

How to change your default package manager for your next project?

When you use gatsby new for the first time to create a new project, you are asked to choose your default package manager between yarn and npm.

Once you’ve made your choice, the CLI won’t ask for your preference again for any subsequent project. If you want to change the preference, there are two ways to change the default package manager for your next project:

  1. Using options command from CLI
  2. Editing the config file

Using options command from CLI

You can use the gatsby options command to change the default package manager.

ArgumentDescription
keySet the package manager gatsby new is using. choices: pm, package-manager
valueSet the package manager as npm or yarn.

To set the default package manager as yarn you’d run:

Editing the config file

You can also manually change the default package manager by editing the config file created automatically by the CLI. This file is available on your system at: ~/.config/gatsby/config.json

In it you’re going to see something like this.

Edit your packageManager value, save and you’re good to go for your next project using gatsby new.

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