Bootstrap ClojureScript React Native apps
CoffeeScript Clojure JavaScript
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Latest commit 487d622 Jan 9, 2017 @drapanjanas committed on GitHub Merge pull request #91 from jarradh/patch-1
add Status re-frame app example


Bootstrap ClojureScript-based React Native apps with Reagent and re-frame

Artur Girenko, MIT License @drapanjanas

This project is a fork of dmotz/natal by Dan Motzenbecker with the goal of generating skeleton of native app for iOS and Android based on Reagent + re-frame, Om.Next or Rum.

The support of Figwheel is based on brilliant solution developed by Will Decker decker405/figwheel-react-native which works in both platforms.

Re-Natal is a simple command-line utility that automates most of the process of setting up a React Native app running on ClojureScript with Reagent and re-frame.

Generated project works in iOS and Android devices.

For more ClojureScript React Native resources visit

Contributions are welcome.


  • Uses React Native v0.39
  • Same codebase for iOS and Android
  • Figwheel used for REPL and live coding.
    • Works in iOS (real device and simulator).
    • Works in real Android device
    • Works in Android simulator Genymotion (with re-natal use-android-device genymotion)
    • Works in stock Android emulator (with re-natal use-android-device avd)
    • Figwheel REPL can be started within nREPL
    • Simultaneous development of iOS and Android apps is supported
    • You can reload app any time, no problem.
    • Custom react-native components are supported (with re-natal use-component )
    • Source maps are available when you "Debug in Chrome" (with re-natal enable-source-maps)
  • Supported React wrappers: Reagent Om.Next Rum
  • Optimizations :simple is used to compile "production" index.ios.js and
  • Unified way of using static images of rn 0.14+ works
  • Works on Linux and Windows (Android only)

Creating new project

Before getting started, make sure you have the required dependencies installed.

Then, install the CLI using npm:

$ npm install -g re-natal

To bootstrap a new app, run re-natal init with your app's name as an argument:

$ re-natal init FutureApp

Or, specify -i option to generate Om.Next, Reagent v0.6 or Rum project:

$ re-natal init FutureApp -i [om-next | reagent6 | rum]

If your app's name is more than a single word, be sure to type it in CamelCase. A corresponding hyphenated Clojure namespace will be created.

The init process will take a few minutes — coffee break! If all goes well you should see printed out basic instructions how to run in iOS simulator.

$ cd future-app

To run in iOS:

$ react-native run-ios

To run in Android, connect your device and:

$ adb reverse tcp:8081 tcp:8081
$ react-native run-android

Development with Figwheel

Initially the ClojureScript is compiled in "prod" profile, meaning index.*.js files are compiled with optimizations :simple. Development in such mode is not fun because of slow compilation and long reload time.

Luckily, this can be improved by compiling with optimizations :none and using Figwheel.

Start your app from Xcode and pick a simulator target, or just run react-native run-ios

Then, to start development mode execute commands:

$ re-natal use-figwheel
$ lein figwheel ios

This will generate index.ios.js and which works with compiler modeoptimizations :none.

NOTE: you might need to restart react native packager and reload your app in simulator.

If all went well you should see REPL prompt and changes in source files should be hot-loaded by Figwheel.

To disable Figwheel run lein prod-build

Using external React Native Components

Lets say you have installed an external library from npm like this:

$ npm i some-library --save

And you want to use a component called 'some-library/Component':

(def Component (js/require "some-library/Component"))

This would work when you do lein prod-build and run your app, but will fail when you run with figwheel. React Native packager statically scans for all calls to require function and prepares the required code to be available at runtime. But, dynamically loaded (by figwheel) code bypass this scan and therefore require of custom component fails.

To overcome this execute use-component command:

$ re-natal use-component some-library/Component

or for platform-specific lib use optional platform parameter:

$ re-natal use-component some-library/ComponentIOS ios"

Then, regenerate index.*.js files:

$ re-natal use-figwheel

And last thing, probably, you will have to restart the packager and reload your app.

NOTE: if you mistyped something, or no longer use the component and would like to remove it, please, manually open .re-natal file and fix it there (its just a list of names in json format, so should be straight forward)

Using real iOS device

Switch to using your iOS device: re-natal use-ios-device real. If this doesn't correctly detect your computer's IP you can pass your IP address explicitly: re-natal use-ios-device IP

Then follow the remaining directions above for the iOS simulator except pick your connected device in Xcode

Using real Android device

To run figwheel with real Android device please read Running on Device. To make it work on USB connected device I had also to do the following:

$ adb reverse tcp:8081 tcp:8081
$ adb reverse tcp:3449 tcp:3449


$ re-natal use-figwheel
$ lein figwheel android

And deploy your app:

$ react-native run-android

Using Genymotion simulator

With genymotion Android simulator you have to use IP "" in urls to refer to your local machine. To specify this use:

$ re-natal use-android-device genymotion
$ re-natal use-figwheel
$ lein figwheel android

Start your simulator and deploy your app:

$ react-native run-android

Using stock Android emulator (AVD)

With stock Android emulator you have to use IP "" in urls to refer to your local machine. To specify this use:

$ re-natal use-android-device avd
$ re-natal use-figwheel
$ lein figwheel android

Start your simulator and deploy your app:

$ react-native run-android

Switching between Android devices

Run use-android-device to configure device type you want to use in development:

$ re-natal use-android-device <real|genymotion|avd>
$ re-natal use-figwheel
$ lein figwheel android

Developing iOS and Android apps simultaneously

$ re-natal use-figwheel
$ lein figwheel ios android

Then start iOS app from xcode, and Android by executing react-native run-android

Faster Figwheel hot reloading

Since version 0.22 React Native supports Hot Module Reload. But at least for now, this feature is useless as Figwheel is doing that as good.

It looks like Figwheel reloads are faster if Hot Moduler Reload is OFF. Also, no need packager to watch for changed files - Figwheel does that.

Two things you can do:

  1. Turn off HMR from the development menu.
  2. Start packager with option --nonPersistent. You can use npm start for that.

Starting Figwheel REPL from nREPL

To start Figwheel within nREPL session:

$ lein repl

Then in the nREPL prompt type:

user=> (start-figwheel "ios")

Or, for Android build type:

user=> (start-figwheel "android")

Or, for both type:

user=> (start-figwheel "ios" "android")


You have to reload your app, and should see the REPL coming up with the prompt.

At the REPL prompt, try loading your app's namespace:

(in-ns 'future-app.ios.core)

Changes you make via the REPL or by changing your .cljs files should appear live in the simulator.

Try this command as an example:

(dispatch [:set-greeting "Hello Native World!"])

Running on Linux

In addition to the instructions above on Linux you might need to start React Native packager manually with command react-native start. This was reported in #3

See this tutorial on how to set up and run re-natal on a clean install of Ubuntu.

See also Linux and Windows support in React Native docs.

"Prod" build

Do this with command:

$ lein prod-build

It will clean and rebuild index.ios.js and with optimizations :simple

Having index.ios.js and build this way, you should be able to follow the RN docs to proceed with the release.

Static Images

Since version 0.14 React Native supports a unified way of referencing static images

In Re-Natal skeleton images are stored in "images" directory. Place your images there and reference them from cljs code:

(def my-img (js/require "./images/my-img.png"))

Adding an image during development

When you have dropped a new image to "images" dir, you need to restart RN packager and re-run command:

$ re-natal use-figwheel

This is needed to regenerate index.*.js files which includes require calls to all local images. After this you can use a new image in your cljs code.

Upgrading existing Re-Natal project

Upgrading React Native version

To upgrade React Native to newer version please follow the official Upgrading guide of React Native. Re-Natal makes almost no changes to the files generated by react-native so the official guide should be valid.

Upgrading Re-Natal CLI version

Do this if you want to use newer version of re-natal.

Commit or backup your current project, so that you can restore it in case of any problem ;)

Upgrade re-natal npm package

$ npm upgrade -g re-natal

In root directory of your project run

$ re-natal upgrade

This will overwrite only some files which usually contain fixes in newer versions of re-natal, and are unlikely to be changed by the user. No checks are done, these files are just overwritten:

  • files in /env directory
  • figwheel-bridge.js

Then to continue development using figwheel

$ re-natal use-figwheel

Enabling source maps when debugging in chrome

To make source maps available in "Debug in Chrome" mode re-natal patches the react native packager to serve *.map files from file system and generate only index.*.map file. To achieve this this line of file "node_modules/react-native/packager/react-packager/src/Server/index.js" is modified to match only index.*.map

To do this run: re-natal enable-source-maps and restart packager.

You can undo this any time by deleting node_modules and running re-natal deps

Example Apps


  • Having rlwrap installed is optional but highly recommended since it makes the REPL a much nicer experience with arrow keys.

  • Running multiple React Native apps at once can cause problems with the React Packager so try to avoid doing so.

  • You can launch your app on the simulator without opening Xcode by running react-native run-ios in your app's root directory (since RN 0.19.0).

  • To change advanced settings run re-natal xcode to quickly open the Xcode project.

  • If you have customized project layout and re-natal upgrade does not fit you well, then these commands might be useful for you:

    • re-natal copy-figwheel-bridge - just copies figwheel-bridge.js from current re-natal


As Re-Natal is the orchestration of many individual tools, there are quite a few dependencies. If you've previously done React Native or Clojure development, you should hopefully have most installed already. Platform dependencies are listed under their respective tools.

Local Development

If you would like to run any of this on your local environment first clone the code to an appropriate place on your machine and install dependencies

$ git clone
$ cd re-natal
$ npm install

To test any changes made to re-natal, cd to an already existing project or a brand new dummy project:

$ cd ../already-existing

and run the re-natal command line like so

$ node ../re-natal/index.js

  Usage: re-natal [options] [command]


    init [options] <name>      create a new ClojureScript React Native project
    upgrade                    upgrades project files to current installed version of re-natal (the upgrade of re-natal itself is done via npm)
    xcode                      open Xcode project
    deps                       install all dependencies for the project
    use-figwheel               generate index.ios.js and for development with figwheel
    use-android-device <type>  sets up the host for android device type: 'real' - localhost, 'avd' -, 'genymotion' -
    use-ios-device <type>      sets up the host for ios device type: 'simulator' - localhost, 'device' - auto detect IP on eth0, IP
    use-component <name>       configures a custom component to work with figwheel. name is the value you pass to (js/require) function.
    enable-source-maps         patches RN packager to server *.map files from filesystem, so that chrome can download them.
    copy-figwheel-bridge       copy figwheel-bridge.js into project


    -h, --help     output usage information
    -V, --version  output the version number

You can then run any of the commands manually.