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Pub Package Layout Conventions
Learn more about the directory structure used by Dart's package management tool, pub.
/tools/pub/package-layout

When you build a pub package, we encourage you to follow the conventions that this page describes. They describe how you organize the files and directories within your package, and how to name things.

[Flutter]
**Note:** Flutter apps can use custom directories for their assets. For details, see [Adding Assets and Images in Flutter]({{site.flutter}}/assets-and-images/) on the [Flutter website.]({{site.flutter}})

Here's what a complete package (named enchilada) that uses every corner of these guidelines might look like:

{% prettify none %} enchilada/ .dart_tool/ * .packages * pubspec.yaml pubspec.lock ** README.md CHANGELOG.md LICENSE benchmark/ make_lunch.dart bin/ enchilada doc/ api/ *** getting_started.md example/ main.dart lib/ enchilada.dart tortilla.dart guacamole.css src/ beans.dart queso.dart test/ enchilada_test.dart tortilla_test.dart tool/ generate_docs.dart web/ index.html main.dart style.css {% endprettify %}

* The .dart_tool directory and .packages file exist after you've run pub get. Don't check them into source control.

** The pubspec.lock file exists after you've run pub get. Leave it out of source control unless your package is an application package.

*** The doc/api directory exists locally after you've run dartdoc. Don't check the api directory into source control.

{% include packages-dir.html %}

The basics

{% prettify none %} enchilada/ pubspec.yaml pubspec.lock {% endprettify %}

Every package has a pubspec, a file named pubspec.yaml, in the root directory of the package. That's what makes it a package.

Once you've run pub get, pub upgrade, or pub downgrade on the package, you will also have a lockfile, named pubspec.lock. If your package is an application package, check the lockfile into source control. Otherwise, don't.

{% prettify none %} enchilada/ .packages {% endprettify %}

Running pub also generates a .packages file. Don't check this into source control.

The open source community has a few other files that commonly appear at the top level of a project: LICENSE, AUTHORS, etc. If you use any of those, they can go in the top level of the package too.

For more information, see Pubspec Format.

README

{% prettify none %} enchilada/ README.md {% endprettify %}

One file that's very common in open source is a README file that describes the project. This is especially important in pub. When you upload to pub.dartlang.org, your README is shown on the page for your package. This is the perfect place to introduce people to your code.

If your README ends in .md, .markdown, or .mdown, it is parsed as Markdown.

CHANGELOG

{% prettify none %} enchilada/ CHANGELOG.md {% endprettify %}

To show users the latest changes to your package, you can include a changelog file where you can write a short note about the changes in your latest release. When you upload your package to pub.dartlang.org, your package's changelog file (if any) appears in the changelog tab.

If your CHANGELOG ends in .md, .markdown, or .mdown, it is parsed as Markdown.

Public directories

Two directories in your package are public to other packages: lib and bin. You place public libraries in lib and public tools in bin.

Public libraries {#public-libraries}

The following directory structure shows the lib portion of enchilada:

{% prettify none %} enchilada/ lib/ enchilada.dart tortilla.dart {% endprettify %}

Many packages are library packages: they define Dart libraries that other packages can import and use. These public Dart library files go inside a directory called lib.

Most packages define a single library that users can import. In that case, its name should usually be the same as the name of the package, like enchilada.dart in the example here. But you can also define other libraries with whatever names make sense for your package.

When you do, users can import these libraries using the name of the package and the library file, like so:

{% prettify dart %} import 'package:enchilada/enchilada.dart'; import 'package:enchilada/tortilla.dart'; {% endprettify %}

If you want to organize your public libraries, you can also create subdirectories inside lib. If you do that, users will specify that path when they import it. Say you have the following file hierarchy:

{% prettify none %} enchilada/ lib/ some/ path/ olives.dart {% endprettify %}

Users import olives.dart as follows:

{% prettify dart %} import 'package:enchilada/some/path/olives.dart'; {% endprettify %}

Note that only libraries should be in lib. Entrypoints—Dart scripts with a main() function—cannot go in lib. If you place a Dart script inside lib, you will discover that any package: imports it contains don't resolve. Instead, your entrypoints should go in the appropriate entrypoint directory.

**Tip for web apps:** For the best performance when developing with [dartdevc,]({{site.webdev}}/tools/dartdevc) put [implementation files](#implementation-files) under `/lib/src`, instead of elsewhere under `/lib`. Also, avoid imports of package:package_name/src/....

For more information on library packages, see Create Library Packages.

Public tools {#public-tools}

Dart scripts placed inside of the bin directory are public. Any package that depends on your package can run scripts from your package's bin directory using pub run. Any package can run scripts from your package's bin directory using pub global.

If you intend for your package to be depended on, and you want your scripts to be private to your package, place them in the top-level tool directory. If you do not intend for your package to be depended on, you can leave your scripts in bin.

Public assets

{% prettify none %} enchilada/ lib/ guacamole.css {% endprettify %}

While most library packages exist to let you reuse Dart code, you can also reuse other kinds of content. For example, a package for Bootstrap might include a number of CSS files for consumers of the package to use.

These go in the top-level lib directory. You can put any kind of file in there and organize it with subdirectories however you like.

You can reference another package's assets using the resource package.

**Warning:** Old code might refer to assets using `/packages//` URLs.

Implementation files

{% prettify none %} enchilada/ lib/ src/ beans.dart queso.dart {% endprettify %}

The libraries inside lib are publicly visible: other packages are free to import them. But much of a package's code is internal implementation libraries that should only be imported and used by the package itself. Those go inside a subdirectory of lib called src. You can create subdirectories in there if it helps you organize things.

You are free to import libraries that live in lib/src from within other Dart code in the same package (like other libraries in lib, scripts in bin, and tests) but you should never import from another package's lib/src directory. Those files are not part of the package's public API, and they might change in ways that could break your code.

When you use libraries from within your own package, even code in src, you can (and should) still use package: to import them. For example:

{% prettify dart %} import 'package:enchilada/src/beans.dart'; {% endprettify %}

The name you use here (in this case enchilada) is the name you specify for your package in its pubspec.

Web files

{% prettify none %} enchilada/ web/ index.html main.dart style.css {% endprettify %}

For web packages, place entrypoint code—Dart scripts that include main() and supporting files, such as CSS or HTML—under web. You can organize the web directory into subdirectories if you like.

Put library code under lib. If the library isn't imported directly by code under web, or by another package, put it under lib/src. Put web-based examples under example. See Public assets for tips on where to put assets, such as images.

Command-line apps

{% prettify none %} enchilada/ bin/ enchilada {% endprettify %}

Some packages define programs that can be run directly from the command line. These can be shell scripts or any other scripting language, including Dart. The pub application itself is one example: it's a simple shell script that invokes pub.dart.

If your package defines code like this, put it in a directory named bin. You can run that script from anywhere on the command line, if you set it up using pub global.

Tests and benchmarks

{% prettify none %} enchilada/ test/ enchilada_test.dart tortilla_test.dart {% endprettify %}

Every package should have tests. With pub, the convention is that these go in a test directory (or some directory inside it if you like) and have _test at the end of their file names.

Typically, these use the test package.

{% prettify none %} enchilada/ benchmark/ make_lunch.dart {% endprettify %}

Packages that have performance critical code may also include benchmarks. These test the API not for correctness but for speed (or memory use, or maybe other empirical metrics).

Documentation

{% prettify none %} enchilada/ doc/ api/ getting_started.md {% endprettify %}

If you've got code and tests, the next piece you might want is good documentation. That goes inside a directory named doc.

When you run the dartdoc tool, it places the API documentation, by default, under doc/api. Since the API documentation is generated from the source code, you should not place it under source control.

Other than the generated api, we don't have any guidelines about format or organization of the documentation that you author. Use whatever markup format that you prefer.

Examples

{% prettify none %} enchilada/ example/ main.dart {% endprettify %}

Code, tests, docs, what else could your users want? Standalone example programs that use your package, of course! Those go inside the example directory. If the examples are complex and use multiple files, consider making a directory for each example. Otherwise, you can place each one right inside example.

In your examples, use package: to import files from your own package. That ensures the example code in your package looks exactly like code outside of your package would look.

If you might publish your package, consider creating an example file with one of the following names:

  • example[/lib]/main.dart
  • example[/lib]/package_name.dart
  • example[/lib]/package_name_example.dart
  • example[/lib]/example.dart

When you publish a package that contains one of the above files, the pub site creates an Example tab to display that file. For example, the json_serializable package contains a file named example/example.dart, which appears in the json_serializable Example tab. {% comment %} To see how the example file is chosen, search the dart-lang repos for exampleFileCandidates: https://github.com/search?q=org%3Adart-lang+exampleFileCandidates&type=Code {% endcomment %}

Internal tools and scripts

{% prettify none %} enchilada/ tool/ generate_docs.dart {% endprettify %}

Mature packages often have little helper scripts and programs that people run while developing the package itself. Think things like test runners, documentation generators, or other bits of automation.

Unlike the scripts in bin, these are not for external users of the package. If you have any of these, place them in a directory called tool.