Create a new express app similar to express-generator but with TypeScript

pushedAt 3 months ago



Express with TypeScript's application generator.

NPM Version Package License NPM Downloads

What is it?

Creates a new express application similar to the express-generator module. Except this new application is configured to use TypeScript instead of plain JavaScript.

Why express-generator-typescript?

NodeJS is great for the rapid development of web-projects, but is often neglected because of the lack of type safety. TypeScript solves this issue and (along with its linter file) can even make your code more robust than some other static languages like Java.

There are some other tools out there to generate express apps with TypeScript such as express-generator-ts, but these either haven't been updated in a while or install a lot of junk in your project (such as an ORM).

Due to the heavy use of single-page-applications, no view-engine is configured by default. Express is only setup with the minimal settings for calling APIs and serving an index.html file. All the tools you need to run for development (while restarting on changes), building, testing, and running for production are packaged with this library.

In addition, relative paths are also setup, so you don't have to go through the trouble of installing and configuring tsconfig-paths and module-alias. Just make sure to update paths in tsconfig.json and _moduleAliases in package.json if you want to add/edit the relative paths.


When you run express-generator-typescript, it sets up a very simple application with routes for adding, updating, deleting, and fetching user objects. This is just to demonstrate how routing is done with express.

If you want a fully-secure application, you can pass the --with-auth option and you will have an application which requires you to login before calling APIs on user objects. The app is configured with production quality client-side security and uses signed-cookies and jsonwebtokens to store user-session data. If you're new to web-development and still learning about securing websites, I highly encourage to use this option.

To have a chat app within your application, use the --socket-io option. This option will include everything from the --with-auth option, plus will create a mini-chat app which displays the sender name for the message of whoever the logged in user is. Without a login user we can't display a sender name, that's why the --socket-io option must used in conjunction with --with-auth. To create a socket-io sample app, you can pass --socket-io or --with-auth --socket-io; it won't make a difference.



$ Just use 'npx'
$ npm install -g express-generator-typescript

Quick Start

The quickest way to get started is use npx and pass in the name of the project you want to create. If you don't specify a project name, the default express-gen-ts will be used instead. If you want to use yarn instead of npm, pass the option --use-yarn.

Create the app:

$ npx express-generator-typescript "project name (default is express-gen-ts)"
with all options
$ npx express-generator-typescript --with-auth --socket-io --use-yarn "project name (default is express-gen-ts)"

Start your express-generator-typescript app in development mode at http://localhost:3000/:

$ cd "project name" && npm run start:dev

Available commands for the server.

  • Run the server in development mode: npm run start:dev.
  • Run all unit-tests with hot-reloading: npm test.
  • Run a single unit-test: npm test -- --testFile="name of test file" (i.e. --testFile=Users).
  • Run all unit-tests without hot-reloading: npm run test:no-reloading
  • Check for linting errors: npm run lint.
  • Build the project for production: npm run build.
  • Run the production build: npm start.
  • Run production build with a different env file npm start -- --env="name of env file" (default is production).


During development, express-generator-typescript uses nodemon to restart the server when changes are detected. If you want to enable debugging for node, you'll need to modify the nodemon configurations. This is located under nodemonConfig: in package.json for the server and ./spec/nodemon.json for unit-testing. For the exec property, replace ts-node with node --inspect -r ts-node/register.

Note for VS-Code users

A lot of users have asked about launch.json configurations for running this in VS-Code, so here's a snippet of the launch.json configuration you need to bypass nodemon and run directly with VS-Code.

        "type": "pwa-node",
        "request": "launch",
        "name": "Debug Dev Env",
        "runtimeArgs": [
        "args": [
        "resolveSourceMapLocations": [

Note for windows users

If you use the --with-auth option and are on Windows, the bcrypt module tends to be fussy. To use this module on Windows you need to make sure you have the node Windows build tools installed. I don't want to post instructions because they might change frequently. I would search the Microsoft docs on how to setup Node for Windows. To be able to debug in VSCODE on windows I also had to install the node-gyp module globally as well.

Happy web-deving :)



ucloud ads