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Kendo UI Bootstrapper


Kendo UI Labs projects are experimental and largely built and supported by the community. As such Telerik does not provide official support for any of the Kendo UI Labs projects via Telerik support agreements. We do encourage you to open an issue or visit Stack Overflow.

About the Kendo UI Bootstrapper

The Kendo UI Bootstrapper is a free and open source tool designed to enhance your development workflow with Kendo UI by taking care of code linting, static analysis, minification, bundling and easy access to documentation. It is not an IDE. It is not intended for you to use to edit code. It exists to augment your current IDE by taking care of many of the more advanced and manual tasks of application development that your IDE may not handle out of the box.

Compatibility and Requirements

The Kendo UI Bootstrapper is a client-based NodeJS application, with the following dependencies:

Note: If you are running Linux you might need to install the image optimization tools (see below in section "Image optimization").

Running npm install once you clone the repository should install the required project dependencies. If you run into any problems installing or running the bootstrapper, be sure to check your node and npm versions by running node -v and npm -v and ensuring your current version is equal to or greater than the versions listed above.

The Kendo UI Bootstrapper has not been tested against any other versions of these libraries. You may find that versions other than these are compatible with The Kendo UI Bootstrapper, but we make no claims to support those version, nor can we troubleshoot issues that arise when using those versions.

Getting Started

Note: a complete getting started guide can be found in the Kendo UI Docs

1. Install from ZIP

To download the latest code you can use this URL:

Unpack somewhere, then enter the kendo-bootstrapper directory and run:

npm install
node bin/start.js

1. Install from Git

Additionally, you can install the bootstrapper by cloning the git repo:

git clone
cd kendo-bootstrapper
npm install
node bin/start.js

Pass -n flag to start.js to prevent it from starting the browser:

node bin/start.js -n

In this case you can use an existing Chrome instance and point it to http://localhost:7569/.

2. Select Kendo UI directory

On first startup, the bootstrapper will ask you for the path to your commerical or trial Kendo UI sources. If you don't already have Kendo UI you can download it from here: Once downloaded, unpack it somewhere and navigate to the appropriate folder in the bootstrapper dialog.

3. Get to Bootstrappin'

That's it! Once you've pointed the bootstrapper to your Kendo UI bits, you're ready to go. Click the 'New Project' button to get started, or read on for more information.

Bootstrapper Overview

The bootstrapper layout is split into a list of projects (top left), a pane for quick access to Kendo UI documentation (bottom left) and a content area which allows you to work with, add and manage all of the assets and resources in your Kendo UI apps.

Clicking on New in the Projects section will bring up a dialog to bootstrap a new project. You have to specify a project name, the target directory (default base dir is wherever kendo-bootstrapper is installed + "PROJECTS/", but you can put projects you have write permissions to on your OS). The project ID is only used internally.

When you select a project from the left side, the main area is filled with information about that project's files, and you can use the buttons in the toolbar to preview, lint, build, create a bundle of that project, etc.


You can add new files using the "add file" button (top-right of the main content area). There are two types of files in a project:

  • project files are those files that you are working on;
  • library files are any third-party libraries you might need to use.

Libraries are usually already built (for example jquery.min.js and kendo-web.min.js). You don't normally need to rebuild them or edit them, so there is no such option directly exposed in the bootstrapper.

Project files are the files that implement your application. Supported types are:

  • html (no build action available)
  • css (build action through cssmin)
  • less (built through less | cssmin)
  • js (built through uglify-js)
  • coffee (builds with CoffeeScript, minifies with UglifyJS)


Click the "preview" icon on the top left of the project pane to open your project in a new window. A special handler inside the bootstrapper will serve files from the directory of the specific project that is selected. This is useful for static projects.

In case your application uses some server-side code as well (such as Rails, ASP.NET etc.), just paste the URL to your project in the preview window. As long as the bootstrapper is running, any assets needed by the page are seamlessly included and the page will automatically refresh as you update the files. Additional server-side support will be coming in the bootstrapper before RTM.

"Transpilers" (LESS and CoffeeScript)

Two kinds of files are treated specially during preview: LESS and CoffeeScript. In development, when such files are needed in the page the server will automatically load less.js and coffeescript.js, so you can develop and test directly in these languages, instead of recompiling after each change.

When a production build is requested, these files will be compiled and minified into plain CSS or JS, and their interpreters (less.js / coffeescript.js) will not be loaded.

File dependencies

The bootstrapper's dependency system facilitates auto-loading the files that your pages need. Dependencies are extended to any kind of files, not just JS. For example, in the default project template we the following dependencies are defined:

  • index.htmlkendo.default.min.css, app.js
  • app.jskendo.web.min.js, app.less
  • kendo.web.min.jsjquery.min.js
  • kendo.default.min.csskendo.common.min.css

The above dependency list is telling the server to auto-load kendo.default.min.css and app.js when serving index.html. However, app.js depends on kendo.web.min.js and app.less. kendo.web.min.js in turn depends on jquery, and kendo.default.min.css depends on kendo.common.min.css. The server will manage and load all of these dependencies.

During development, Web pages (i.e. index.html) contain a single <script> tag, included in a special section, that will take care of loading the dependencies (stylesheets and scripts) that the page depends on. That section is replaced when the bundle is built with the actual HTML to load the dependencies.

Ordering dependencies

A correct configuration of dependencies defines the ordering too. For example, if you have foo.js and bar.js and need to load them in the page in this specific order, the proper way to configure it would be like this:

  • index.htmlbar.js
  • bar.jsfoo.js

However, if you prefer it you can list both under index.html and define the ordering manually.

Editing dependencies

There are two ways to configure dependencies.

  • click the "Dependencies" button in the toolbar to get a dialog which lists all files and their dependencies. Select a file on the left, and on the right you get a list of checkboxes where you can mark which other files it depends on.

  • click the "file dependencies" icon next to any file to edit the dependencies of that file alone.

Build and Deploy Tools

The bottom section of the main bootstrapper content window contains a series of build and deploy options that you can use for your projects.

JSHint, Kendo Lint

Use these buttons to find potential errors in your code. If there are any warnings, a dialog box will popup and you can click the links to quickly open files at the location of the warnings. As you save the files, the list of warnings will be automatically updated.

Build Kendo

When you click "Build Kendo" in the toolbar, the server will analyze the JS and HTML project files trying to auto-detect what Kendo widgets are in use. For example on the default project template it will detect that the Window widget is in use, and therefore auto-select that one in the dialog that pops up.

For the case when the server fails to detect some components, you can manually select them in the "Build Kendo" dialog. The manual selection will be remembered and used next time you need to build Kendo (although it will still re-scan files and add any new widgets that have appeared since last time). One example for this case is the "Effects framework"—the server cannot detect that it's used, because it's never mentioned directly. So if you want animation effects in the build, you'd just select that manually and it shall be remembered.

Image optimization

On Windows and Mac platforms, the Kendo Bootstrapper includes binaries for optipng and jpegtran — two neat tools that can seriously reduce the size of PNG and JPG images. If you're on Linux, chances are that these tools are already installed, or easily accessible in your Linux distribution. For example to install them on Ubuntu Linux:

apt-get install optipng libjpeg-turbo-progs

You don't need to explicitly include image files in the project file list. When you click "Optimize images", the bootstrapper will scan your project folder and each and every image found is optimized in place (both jpegtran and optipng do lossless optimization, hence there is no point in storing the original images). Normally you only need to do this once, but just in case you added new images this step is automatically done when you request a project bundle.

Getting Help

The Kendo UI Bootstrapper is currently in BETA and, is not an official part of any Kendo UI SKU (Web, DataViz, Mobile or Complete). As such, this project is not a supported part of Kendo UI, and is not covered under the support agreements for Kendo UI license holders. Please do not create support requests for this project, as these will be immediately closed and you'll be directed to post your question on a community forum.

The Kendo UI Bootstrapper will enter into the standard Kendo UI Licenses upon it's RTM release in the fall of 2013. Until that time, please enter feedback and requests as Issues in the Kendo UI Bootstrapper repo.

Release Notes

For change logs and release notes, see the changelog file.


The Kendo UI Bootstrapper is available under a GPLv3 License