Vue-cli basics

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@vue -


The CLI (@vue/cli) is a globally installed npm package and provides the,

  • vue command in your terminal,
  • vue create to quickly scaffold a new project,
  • vue serve to instantly prototype new ideas, or
  • vue ui to manage your projects using a graphical user interface.

CLI Service

The CLI Service (@vue/cli-service) is a development dependency. It's an npm package installed locally into every project created by @vue/cli.

The CLI Service is built on top of webpack and webpack-dev-server. It contains:

  • The core service that loads other CLI Plugins;

  • An internal webpack config that is optimized for most apps;

  • The vue-cli-service binary inside the project, which comes with the basic serve, build and inspect commands.

    Using the CLI Service by,

  • accessing the binary directly as vue-cli-service in npm scripts, or

  • running ./node_modules/.bin/vue-cli-service from the terminal.

    Common commands:

  • vue-cli-service serve starts a dev server (based on webpack-dev-server) that comes with Hot-Module-Replacement (HMR) working out of the box

  • vue-cli-service build produces a production-ready bundle in the dist/ directory, with minification for JS/CSS/HTML and auto vendor chunk splitting for better caching. The chunk manifest is inlined into the HTML. There are a few useful flags:

    • --modern builds your app using Modern Mode, shipping native ES2015 code to modern browsers that support it, with auto fallback to a legacy bundle.

    • --target allows you to build any component(s) inside your project as a library or as web components.

    • --report and --report-json will generate reports based on your build stats that can help you analyze the size of the modules included in your bundle

      • vue-cli-service inspect inspects the webpack config inside the Vue project.

CLI Plugins

CLI Plugins are npm packages that provide optional features to your Vue CLI projects, such as Babel/TypeScript transpilation, ESLint integration, unit testing, and end-to-end testing. Plugins can modify the internal webpack configuration and inject commands to vue-cli-service.

Plugin naming conventions:

  • @vue/cli-plugin- for built-in plugins, or
  • vue-cli-plugin- for community plugins.

When you run the vue-cli-service binary inside your project, it automatically resolves and loads all CLI Plugins listed in your project's package.json.

Plugins can be included as part of your project creation process or added into the project later. They can also be grouped into reusable presets.

Run vue add <plugin-name> to,

  • resolve <plugin-name> to full package name,
  • installs it from npm, and
  • invokes its generator.