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Configuration file

NOTE: This page may refer to new features that have not yet been published. To see the documentation that matches the current released version, take a look at this document in the 'stable' branch.

Brunch uses configuration file ( or brunch-config.js) located in the root directory to control various aspects of your application.

You can see all config default values in the setConfigDefaults function of src/ in the brunch source code.

It is an executable script, so you can also do things like import Node.js modules in your configuration file.


Object: paths contains application paths to key directories. Paths are simple strings.

  • public key: path to build directory that would contain output.
  • watched key: list of all watched paths by brunch. Default: ['app', 'test', 'vendor']


  public: '/user/www/deploy'


Required, object: files configures handling of application files: which compiler would be used on which file, what name should output file have etc. Any paths specified here must be listed in paths.watched as described above, for building.

  • <type>: javascripts, stylesheets or templates
    • joinTo: (required) describes how files will be compiled & joined together. Available formats:
      • 'outputFilePath' in order to have all source files compiled together to one
      • map of ('outputFilePath': anymatch set)
    • order: (optional) defines compilation order. vendor files will be compiled before other ones even if they are not present here.
      • before: anymatch set defining files that will be loaded before other files
      • after: anymatch set defining files that will be loaded after other files
    • pluginHelpers: (optional) specify which output file (or array of files) plugins' include files concatenate into. Defaults to the output file that vendor files are being joined to, the first one with vendor in its name/path, or just the first output file listed in your joinTo object.

All files from vendor directory are by default concatenated before all files from app directory. So, vendor/scripts/jquery.js would be loaded before app/script.js even if order config is empty. Files from Bower packages are included by default before the vendor files.

Overall ordering is [before] -> [bower] -> [vendor] -> [everything else] -> [after]


      'javascripts/app.js': /^app/
      'javascripts/vendor.js': /^vendor/
      before: [
    pluginHelpers: 'javascript/vendor.js'

    joinTo: 'stylesheets/app.css'
      before: ['vendor/styles/normalize.css']
      after: ['vendor/styles/helpers.css']

    joinTo: 'javascripts/app.js'


Object: conventions define tests, against which all file pathnames will be checked.

  • ignored key: anymatch set. Will check against files that should be ignored by brunch compiler, but are still watched by the watcher. For example, when you have common.styl file that you import in every stylus file, common.styl will be compiled on its own too which will result in duplicated code. When prefixing it with underscore (_common.styl) you are still able to import it in dependent files, but it won’t be compiled twice. The feature is very similar to Sass partials. By default, files and directories that start with underscore (_) will be ignored, as well as anything under the vendor/node/, vendor/ruby-*/, vendor/jruby-*/, and vendor/bundle/ directories.
  • assets key: anymatch set. Default value: /assets[\\/]/. If test gives true, file won't be compiled and will be just moved to public directory instead.
  • vendor key: anymatch set. Default value: /(^bower_components|node_modules|vendor)[\\/]/. If test gives true, file won't be wrapped in module, if there are any.

Keep in mind that default brunch regexps, as you see, consider all vendor/ (etc.) directories as vendor (etc.) files. So, app/views/vendor/thing/ will be treated as vendor file.


  ignored: -> false       # override defaults for no ignored files
  assets: /files[\\/]/  # vendor/jquery/files/jq.img


Object: consists of wrapper and definition subsettings.

modules.wrapper: String, Boolean or Function: a wrapper that will be wrapped around compiled-to-javascript code in non-vendor directories. Values:

  • commonjs (Default) — CommonJS wrapper.
  • amd — AMD r.js-like wrapper.
  • false — no wrapping. Files will be compiled as-is.
  • Function that takes path, data, and a boolean set to true if the file is in a vendor directory.

modules.definition: String, Boolean or Function a code that will be added on top of every generated JavaScript file. Values:

  • commonjs (Default) — CommonJS require definition.
  • amd, false — no definition.
  • Function that takes path and data


# To use AMD, just add this and add require.js as
# your first vendor file.
  wrapper: 'amd'
  definition: 'amd'

# Same as 'commonjs'.
  wrapper: (path, data) ->
require.define({#{path}: function(exports, require, module) {

modules.autoRequire: Object specifies requires to be automatically added at the end of joined file. The example below will require both 'app' and 'foo':

# Default behaviour.
    'javascripts/app.js': ['app', 'foo']

modules.nameCleaner: Function Allows you to set filterer function for module names, for example, change all 'app/file' to 'file'. Example:

# Default behaviour.
  nameCleaner: (path) ->
    path.replace /^app\//, ''
# Add namespacing to a project, such as for a component
{name} = require './package' # or './bower'

  nameCleaner: (path) ->
    path.replace /^app/, name


Object: Optional control to modify how plugins are loaded by default, as well as containing plugin-specific configuration.

  • off: Plugins that may be installed, but should not be run.
  • on: Forces listed plugins to be run, such as an optimizer even when the optimize flag is off.
  • only: Explicitly list the plugins to be used, ignoring any others that are installed.
  • Per-Plugin: Refer to each plugin's documentation for usage information.


  on: ['autoprefixer-brunch']
  off: ['jade-brunch', 'static-jade-brunch']
    enabled: true


Boolean: enables or disables Growl / Growl for Windows / terminal-notifier / libnotify for Ubuntu notifications. Default value is true (enabled).

When set to true, only errors trigger notifications. If you want to display success, warning, or informational messages, set this to an array of strings with the levels you want to see, e.g. ['error', 'warn', 'info']. See documentation for the Loggy package for complete details.


String: sets the title used in notifications. Default value is Brunch. The notifications setting must be enabled for this to have any effect.


Boolean: determines if minifiers should be enabled or not. Default value is false (true if you run brunch build --production).


Object: contains params of webserver that runs on brunch watch --server.

If a brunch-server.js or file exists at the root of your project, Brunch will treat this as your custom web server. This can be overriden with the server.path option.

The server script must export a function that starts your custom server, either as the default exported module or under the startServer property. This function should return an instance of http.Server or an object containing a close property assigned to a function that shuts down the server. Examples:

  // javascript example using default export and node http core module
  module.exports = function (port, path, callback) {
    // your custom server code
    // callback doesn't take any parameters and (if provided) should be called after server is started
    // up to you to respect the `port` argument allowing users to change it from the CLI
    var myServer = http.createServer();
    myServer.listen(port, callback);
    myServer.on('request', function(req, res) {/* do stuff */});
    return myServer;
  # coffeescript example using `startServer` property and custom `close` method
  exports.startServer = (port, path, callback) ->

    # custom server code

    close: -> # code for shutting down server
  • path: (optional) custom path to nodejs file that will be loaded to run your custom server.

If a custom server is not present, Brunch will use pushserve. If using your own, only port from the following options can be set from the config.

  • port: port on which server will run. Default: 3333
  • base: base URL from which to serve the app. Default: ''
  • indexPath: path to serve when base URL is requested. Default index.html
  • noPushState: respond with 404 instead of indexPath for unknown paths. Default false
  • noCors: disables CORS headers. Default false
  • stripSlashes: removes trailing slashes from URLs. Default false


  path: ''
  port: 6832
  base: '/myapp'
  stripSlashes: true
  • command: command to launch a non-nodejs server as a child process. Ex: server: command: 'php -S -t public'


Boolean: enables or disables Source Map generation. Default value is true (enabled), false (disabled) if you run brunch build --production. String:

  • set to 'old' to use the old @ control character instead of #.
  • set to 'absoluteUrl' to set the sourceMappingURL to the complete URL path starting from config.paths.public


Integer: Sets an interval in ms which determines how often brunch file list should be checked for new files. Default 65.

On large projects and/or environments with slow disk I/O, the value may need to be increased to ensure a brunch build completes properly in one cycle. However, higher values harm brunch watch performance, so consider changing it in an environment-specific way using overrides.


Object: Alternate config settings to activate via command line switches (--env SETTING). Multiple sets of overrides can be applied at once using a comma-separated list (--env foo,bar).

It is also possible to set an additional environment value using the BRUNCH_ENV environment variable. This can be especially useful when combined with dotenv.


brunch watch --env testing
BRUNCH_ENV="testing" brunch build


    optimize: true
    sourceMaps: false
    plugins: autoReload: enabled: false


  • If both files[<type>].joinTo and overrides[<env>].files[<type>].joinTo are defined, the value of files[<type>].joinTo will be overwritten by, not merged with, overrides.
  • If both files[<type>].order and overrides[<env>].files[<type>].order are defined, the value of files[<type>].order will be overwritten by, not merged with, overrides.

In other words, joinTo and order don't merge if defined under overrides, but you still can override one while inheriting the base setting for the other.


Object: Optional settings for chokidar file watching library used in brunch.

  • usePolling (default: false) Whether to use fs.watchFile (backed by polling), or Polling is slower but can be more reliable.


Object: Optional settings affecting experimental workers feature for multi-threaded compilation. May improve compilation speed of large projects with lots of cpu-bound compile operations on multi-core systems, but do not be surprised if the overhead involved actually slows down your compile times.

  • enabled: Boolean indicating whether to use experimental workers feature. Default value is false (disabled).
  • count: (optional) The number of worker processes to use. Defaults to the number of CPUs/cores on the system minus 1.
  • extensions: (optional) Array of file extensions to compile using worker processes. If not set, compiles all source files using workers.


  enabled: true
  count: 6
  extensions: ['less']


Function: Optional callback to be called every time brunch completes a compilation cycle. It is passed a generatedFiles array. Each member of that array is an object with path (path of the compiled file) and sourceFiles (array of objects representing each source file)


onCompile: (generatedFiles) ->
  console.log (f) -> f.path
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