Express Application Generator

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Use the application generator tool, express-generator, to quickly create an application skeleton. The express-generator package installs the express command-line tool. Use the following command to do so:

$ npm install express-generator -g

Display the command options with the -h option:

$ express -h

Usage: express [options] [dir]


-h, –help          output usage information

–version       output the version number

-e, –ejs           add ejs engine support

–hbs           add handlebars engine support

–pug           add pug engine support

-H, –hogan         add hogan.js engine support

–no-view       generate without view engine

-v, –view <engine> add view <engine> support (ejs|hbs|hjs|jade|pug|twig|vash) (defaults to jade)

-c, –css <engine>  add stylesheet <engine> support (less|stylus|compass|sass) (defaults to plain css)

–git           add .gitignore

-f, –force         force on non-empty directory

For example, the following creates an Express app named myapp. The app will be created in a folder named myapp in the current working directory and the view engine will be set to Pug:

$ express –view=pug myapp

create : myapp

create : myapp/package.json

create : myapp/app.js

create : myapp/public

create : myapp/public/javascripts

create : myapp/public/images

create : myapp/routes

create : myapp/routes/index.js

create : myapp/routes/users.js

create : myapp/public/stylesheets

create : myapp/public/stylesheets/style.css

create : myapp/views

create : myapp/views/index.pug

create : myapp/views/layout.pug

create : myapp/views/error.pug

create : myapp/bin

create : myapp/bin/www

Then install dependencies:

$ cd myapp

$ npm install

On MacOS or Linux, run the app with this command:

$ DEBUG=myapp:* npm start

On Windows, use this command:

> set DEBUG=myapp:* & npm start

Then load http://localhost:3000/ in your browser to access the app. The generated app has the following directory structure:

├── app.js

├── bin

│   └── www

├── package.json

├── public

│   ├── images

│   ├── javascripts

│   └── stylesheets

│       └── style.css

├── routes

│   ├── index.js

│   └── users.js

└── views

├── error.pug

├── index.pug

└── layout.pug

7 directories, 9 files

The app structure created by the generator is just one of many ways to structure Express apps. Feel free to use this structure or modify it to best suit your needs.

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