Frontend Tooling

Most modern frontend tooling relies upon the NPM package manager. In this tutorial we'll show you how to add Node to your app, download tools like Gulp/Grunt/Webpack, and run them in your Lando app.

When you're done, you should be able to distribute your Lando app with a full set of frontend tools that are standardized to work the same on every team member's computer.

Add Node Service

Assuming you're starting with a "Lando-ized" app, open the .lando.yml file in the root of your app directory. In this example we'll assume you're using a very basic LAMP recipe.

To install our frontend tooling we need to be able to run Node. Fortunately it's very easy for us to add a basic Node service to our app:

name: myapp
recipe: lamp

services:
  node:
    type: node:6.10
    run:
      - "cd $LANDO_MOUNT && npm install"

Note the build section. This bash command will automatically run when we start our app, installing any Node packages specified in our package.json file.

Adding Grunt/Gulp/Etc.

While we're now able to install Node packages for our project, we still need to be able to install global tooling like Grunt, Gulp, or other task runners that form the backbone of our frontend tooling. Fortunately, Lando makes this easy through the globals tag:

services:
  node:
    type: node:6.10
    run:
      - "cd $LANDO_MOUNT && npm install"
      - "cd $LANDO_MOUNT && gulp"
    globals:
      gulp-cli: "latest"

You can do the same thing for any NPM project; for example Grunt would be grunt-cli: "latest". This is the equivalent to installing a package with npm -g project-name.

Note we've now added a further bash command to build to automatically run gulp every time we start the app.

Package Versions Are Fully Armed and Customizable

You can lock your app tooling to whatever package version you like. Don't use node:6.10? Change to one of the other available versions in the service documentation. And you're free to download whatever version of a global service your heart desires. For example, if you want to lock your team to something more stable than the latest gulp-cli, change that entry in globals to gulp-cli:1.3.0.

Making Tooling Available on the CLI

Almost there! All our services are installed, but how do we run a command on the fly, say starting a watch task or running lando npm install hot-new-thing to start experimenting with a new package? We could SSH into our node container, but that's SO 2016. Instead, we'll expose our new tooling via the CLI by adding this tooling section to our .lando.yml file:

tooling:
  npm:
    service: node
  node:
    service: node
  gulp:
    service: node

After restarting your app, you should be able to run lando node, lando gulp or lando npm and have the corresponding commands run. This is particularly useful if you want to kickoff a watch task you might have configured, say lando gulp watch.

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