Express application generator

Use the application generator tool, express-generator, to quickly create an application skeleton.

You can run the application generator with the npx command (available in Node.js 8.2.0).

$ npx express-generator

For earlier Node versions, install the application generator as a global npm package and then launch it:

$ npm install -g express-generator
$ express

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 Command Prompt, use this command:

> set DEBUG=myapp:* & npm start

On Windows PowerShell, use this command:

PS> $env: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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