DEV Community

Cover image for How to Build Your Own CLI with Nodejs (and Push it to npm)
OpenSourcee
OpenSourcee

Posted on • Updated on

How to Build Your Own CLI with Nodejs (and Push it to npm)

GitHub Repo: https://github.com/webcrumbs-community/webcrumbs

Creating a command-line interface (CLI) application in Node.js and publishing it to npm (Node Package Manager) and Yarn can be a rewarding way to share your tools with the world.

Here's a step-by-step guide to get you started.

Arrow


Support us! πŸ™β­οΈ

By the way, I'm part of the WebCrumbs team, and it would mean a lot if you could check out our no-code solution for Node.js that simplifies web development. Giving us a star would be fantastic.

We're putting in a ton of effort to help devs take their ideas to a live website as quickly and easily as possible (think: effortless plugin and theme integration), and every bit of support is truly appreciated!

⭐️ Give WebCrumbs a Star! ⭐️

Ok. Now, let's dive back into writing your own CLI.


Step 1: Set Up Your Node.js Project

Initialize a new Node.js project: Create a new directory for your project and initialize it with npm init. This step will create a package.json file for your project.

Install necessary packages: Depending on the functionality of your CLI, you might need various packages. A popular one for CLI development is commander, which simplifies command-line interfaces.

npm install commander
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Write your CLI application: Create a index.js file (or any entry file) and start scripting your CLI. Utilize the packages you've installed to handle command line arguments, execute functionality, etc.


Step 2: Prepare Your CLI for Execution

Add a shebang line: At the top of your entry file (index.js), add the shebang line:

#!/usr/bin/env node
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

This line tells the system that this script should be run with Node.

Update package.json: In your package.json, add a bin field that maps commands to files.

"bin": {
    "your-cli-command": "./index.js"
}
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Make your script executable: Run chmod +x index.js to make your script executable.


Step 3: Test Your CLI Locally

Link your package: Before publishing, you can test your CLI locally by running npm link in your project directory. This makes your CLI command available system-wide.

Test the CLI: Try running your CLI command in the terminal to ensure it works as expected.


Step 4: Publish Your CLI to npm

Create an npm account: If you don’t have one, create an npm account at npmjs.com.

Login to npm: In your terminal, run npm login and enter your npm credentials.

Publish your package: Once logged in, publish your CLI with:

npm publish
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Verify: Check your package on the npm website to ensure it's published.


Step 5: Add Your Package to Yarn

Yarn Integration: Yarn uses the same package registry as npm, so once your package is on npm, it is automatically available for installation through Yarn.


Step 6: Updating Your CLI

To update your CLI, make changes to your code, update the version in your package.json, and then run npm publish again.

Step 7: Engage with the Community

Open Source Contributions: Since your project is on npm, you can host its source code on GitHub. Don't forget to add a README.md with usage and contribution guidelines.

Feedback and Improvements: Encourage users and developers to contribute and provide feedback to improve the CLI.

We are building a CLI for WebCrumbs!


Congratulations!

You've just learned how to create and publish a CLI using Node.js. Keep iterating based on user feedback and community contributions.

Join us at WebCrumbs.org!

Feel free to reach out with any questions or suggestions! Your journey in open-source development and sharing tools is just beginning, and the community is here to support you. πŸš€πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»


Follow me for more!
I usually write about JavaScript, WebDev and Webcrumbs ❀️.

Top comments (1)

Collapse
 
opensourcee profile image
OpenSourcee

Thanks for reading!