AssetGraph-based build system for web apps and web pages.
JavaScript HTML Other
Latest commit d85c049 Feb 22, 2017 @papandreou papandreou 5.0.0-30


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AssetGraph-based build system (mostly) for single-page web applications.

Looking for a Grunt integration? Try grunt-reduce

Quick start


npm install -g assetgraph-builder
buildProduction path/to/your/index.html --outroot path/to/output/directory


docker run --rm -it  -v "$(pwd)":/app/ -w /app/ assetgraph/assetgraph-builder path/to/your/index.html --outroot path/to/output/directory

Congratulations, you just optimized your web page!


  • Requires no build manifest. All information about your project is gathered from the HTML/CSS/JavaScript itself. Just tell it where to find your HTML file(s), and it will find the referenced JavaScript, CSS, etc.
  • Reads your web application from one directory, manipulates and optimizes it, then writes the resulting build to a separate directory with everything included.
  • Supports a multitude of asset/relation types, even shortcut icons, AlphaImageLoader images, conditional comments, fonts linked via @font-face { src: url(...) }, .htc files linked via CSS behavior properties.
  • Bundles JavaScript and CSS.
  • Removes duplicate images, JavaScript, CSS, etc.
  • Supports automatic optimization and custom processing of images using pngquant, pngcrush, optipng, jpegtran, and GraphicsMagick.
  • Minifies/packs JavaScript, CSS, and HTML (uses UglifyJS and cssmin, and jsdom).
  • Supports the the require.js optimizer and systemjs-builder.
  • Sprites background images (see assetgraph-sprite).
  • Inlines CSS background-images less than 8192 bytes and provides an alternative stylesheet for older IE versions via conditional comments.
  • Inlines CSS and Javascript with total size less than 4096 bytes to reduce HTTP requests.
  • Adds a cache manifest to each HTML page if --manifest is specified.
  • Compiles less to CSS and strips out the in-browser less compiler.
  • Compiles Sass to CSS
  • Renames JavaScript, CSS, images etc. to a 10-char MD5 prefix + the original extension so they can be served with a far-future expiry time.
  • Helps getting your static assets on a CDN by rewriting the references to them (controlled by the --cdnroot switch).
  • Updates an existing Content-Security-Policy meta tag to reflect the changes that happened during the build procedure, including hashing of inline scripts and stylesheets.
  • Very customizable, the entire build script is only around 100 lines of code due to the reliance on high level AssetGraph transforms.
  • Automatically adds rel="noopener" to cross domain anchors opening in new windows (The performance benefits of rel=noopener)


Optional first step: To take full advantage of the image processing and optimization features, you need several libraries and command line utilities installed. On Ubuntu you can grab them all by running:

sudo apt-get install -y libcairo2-dev libjpeg8-dev libgif-dev optipng pngcrush pngquant libpango1.0-dev graphicsmagick libjpeg-progs inkscape

Or on OS X, with homebrew:

brew install cairo jpeg giflib optipng pngcrush pngquant pango graphicsmagick jpeg-turbo homebrew/gui/inkscape
brew install homebrew/science/vips --with-webp --with-graphicsmagick
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/opt/X11/lib/pkgconfig

Then make sure you have node.js and npm installed, then run:

$ npm install -g assetgraph-builder

Now you'll have the buildProduction script in your PATH.


$ buildProduction --outroot outputPath [--root webrootPath] [startingAssets]

Assetgraph needs a web root to resolve URLs correctly. If you pass in the --root option assetgraph will use it, otherwise it will take a best guess based on your startingAssets.

The --outroot option tells assetgraph-builder where to write the built files to. If the directory does not exist it will be created for you.

Your startingAssets can be one or more file paths or minimatch patterns, which will be used as the starting point of assetgraphs automatic discovery process. The default is index.html, but you might also want to add any file here that is not linked to by your website, but still has to be a part of the build, for example robots.txt, .htaccess or 404.html. If one or more files are missing from your build, check that you are actually linking to them. If you are not, and it is by design, then you should add these files as input paths in startingAssets.

There are many more options to assetgraph-builder. We suggest you consult the help with buildProduction -h.

Example usage

Build a single page application:

buildProduction --outroot path/to/production --root path/to/dev path/to/dev/index.html

This will load path/to/dev/index.html, follow all local relations to JavaScript, CSS, etc., perform the above mentioned optimizations, then output the result to the directory path/to/production.

Create a CDN-enabled build:

buildProduction --outroot path/to/production --root path/to/dev path/to/dev/index.html \
                --cdnroot \
                --cdnoutroot path/to/production/static/cdn

This will produce a build that assumes that the contents of path/to/production/static/cdn are available at We recommend putting the entire contents of path/to/production online and pointing your CloudFront (or other CDN provider) distribution at the root of your origin server. As long as you serve /static and everything below it with a far-future expires, you won't need to touch your CDN config or manually upload anything to your CDN provider.

Specifying which browsers to support

It's highly recommended that you tell buildProduction which browsers you need to support via the --browsers switch. It draws its syntax from the browserslist module and governs a wide range of tweaks and hacks, for example:

  • Whether the screw IE8 option is passed to UglifyJS.
  • The set of browsers autoprefixer is instructed to support, if autoprefixer is available.
  • Whether to add fallback stylesheets referenced via conditional comments when images are inlined in CSS (due to IE7 not supporting data: urls and IE8's 32 KB data: url limit).

The default is to support all browsers, which will cause a heavier build, especially when IE8 and below are included and inlining of CSS images is active (which it is by default). If you're lucky enough that you don't need to support those browsers, you can add --browsers ">0%, not ie <= 8" and avoid those hacks.

Replacing require.js with almond.js on build

Simply add a data-almond-attribute to the script tag that has require.js as its source. The value should be the path to almond.js like so:

<script data-main="app/main" data-almond="path/to/almond.js" src="path/to/require.js"></script>

When you do this you should not use require as an external script loader, since almond does not support this.

Working with a Content Security Policy

If you add the --contentsecuritypolicy switch and one or more of your HTML files contain a CSP in a meta tag such as:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Security-Policy" content="default-src 'self'; script-src">

it will be read and updated to reflect the changes that were made during the build. This includes whitelisting your CDN, adding image-src data: if images are inlined, and generating hashes for inline scripts and stylesheets if your policy does not allow 'unsafe-inline'.

You can extract the resulting CSPs from the build and add it to your web server's config, or use something like express-extractheaders to also send the CSP as a response header.

We encourage a workflow like this so that the CSPs of your project are also in effect in your development setup, as that will help catch bugs early.

Tip: If you want to use inline scripts and stylesheets in your development setup, yet don't want to allow 'unsafe-inline' in your policy, you can use a nonce in development:

<!DOCTYPE html>
        <meta http-equiv="Content-Security-Policy"
              content="script-src 'nonce-yeah', style-src 'nonce-yeah'">
        <style rel="stylesheet" nonce="yeah">
            body { color: red; }
        <script nonce="yeah">

buildProduction --contentsecuritypolicy will upgrade the nonce to a hash token if the scripts and stylesheets are still inline when the bundling/externalization steps have been carried out.

Sub resource integrity

The --subresourceintegrity switch will make buildProduction add an integrity attribute to every <script src=...> and <link rel="stylesheet" href=...> that points at an asset that is part of the build. Note that this excludes references to assets that are already located on a CDN, or indeed any http:// url. If you want to lock down such dependencies, please use the bundled addIntegrityToForeignRelations tool or compute the hash yourself and add it to your development HTML manually, for instance:

<script src=""

The reason why this isn't automated is that buildProduction cannot know if a given external resource might change in the future, thus breaking your production build.

Excluding assets from your build

If you want buildProduction to avoid including specific assets, paths or entire parts of your page, you can use the --exclude option.

This could come in handy if you have multiple different sections on your site, where assetgraph-builder only handles a subset of them. If the assetgraph-builder covered section of site links to sections that it shouldn't handle, this is where you use --exclude

--exclude can be used multiple times in the same command line to specify more than one pattern.

Exclude patterns are always prefixed with process.cwd(), making the path addressable in the same manner as the entry point arguments.

You may use * for wildcards.

Image optimization and processing

The buildProduction switch --optimizeimages turns on automatic lossless optimization of all images of the relevant type in the graph.

Additionally, you can specify individual processing instructions for each image using custom GET parameters. For example you might want to reduce the palette of an image to a specific number of colors or apply a specific compression level:

<img src="myImage.png?pngquant=37">
<img src="myOtherImage.png?optipng=-o7&amp;pngcrush=-rem+tEXT">

The image processing is supported everywhere you can refer to an image, including background-image properties in CSS, shortcut icon links etc.

Additionally, all GraphicsMagick operations (as exposed by the gm module) are supported:

body {
    background-image: url(foo.png?resize=500+300&flip&magnify&pngcrush);

These are especially useful for responsive images:

<img srcset="bar.jpg 1024w,
             bar.jpg?resize=600 600w,
             bar.jpg?resize=500&amp;gravity=Center&amp;crop=300+300 300w"
     sizes="(min-width: 768px) 50vw, 100vw">

They work in JavaScript too:

var img = document.querySelector('.responsive-image');
  'baz.gif'.toString('url') + ' 500w, ' +
  'baz.gif?resize=300'.toString('url') + ' 300w');
picturefill({ elements: [img] }); // reload if you're using Picturefill

This allows you to only check your original images into version control and have your build system create the scaled/processed/derived ones dynamically.

The processing instructions are executed using the same engine that powers express-processimage and livestyle with the --processimage switch. You can use one of those to have the image processing instructions applied on your development setup.


AssetGraph-builder is licensed under a standard 3-clause BSD license -- see the LICENSE-file for details.