Installer & smart package manager for Meteor
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Making Meteor devs happy since 2012

What is it?

A Meteor installer, and smart-package manager wrapped around the meteor command line interface. (Inspired by gem, bundler, rvm and Meteor)

How do I use it?

At the heart of Meteorite is a command line tool is called mrt. It wraps the meteor command and for the most part you use it just like you're using meteor. Let's say I'm building a new app and I'd like to develop against Meteor's development branch:

mrt create cool-app --branch devel

Meteorite assumes master branch in most places so you don't always have to specify this. mrt create also supports specifying meteor by --tag or --ref.

To run an app use mrt run (or simply mrt):

mrt run --port 2222

The charm of mrt run is that it installs the correct version of meteor and your app's smart package dependencies and runs your app in that context. mrt determines the correct version of meteor and smart package dependences by looking for a file called smart.json in the root of your app. A simple app's smart.json might look like this:

  "meteor": {
    "branch": "devel"
  "packages": {
    "moment": "1.7.0",
    "fork-me": {
      "version": "0.0.1"
    "cool-tool": {
      "git": "",
      "tag": "v0.0.2"
    "another-tool": {
      "git": ""
    "test-package": {
      "path": "/path/to/local/package"

Interesting things that might not be obvious

  • The meteor specification is not required. Meteor's public repo checked out to the master branch is the default. You can specify meteor.branch and meteor.git to use alternate branches and forks respectively.

  • moment and fork-me packages are grabbed from the central repo. Notice also that they both specify the version but moment's specification is more terse.

  • The smart package author doesn't have to do anything except make the repo available. mrt will look for package.js in the repo and install it for you in the app specific meteor installation

  • If the smart package has its own dependencies and the author wants to be awesome they can include a smart.json listing the package's own dependencies and everything will get sorted out by mrt (i.e. smart package dependencies will be installed recursively).

  • The first time mrt is run for an app it writes out a file called smart.lock which it uses on subsequent runs to make sure the app is using the correct versions of each dependency even when it's set up in a fresh environment. Generally you'll commit smart.lock into your repo each time it changes so that any developer who clones your app will be running the correct versions. If you change a version in smart.json it takes precedence over smart.lock.

  • test-package is setup to run from a local path. This is useful for developing smart packages for Meteor with Meteorite against a running app.

If you just want to warm up your app you can do the install only without running any underlying meteor command with mrt install.

Additionally you can blow away smart.lock and get everything to update using mrt update (mrt update PACKAGE_NAME coming eventually).


npm install -g meteorite

How does it work?

When you run your app with mrt:

  1. It installs an app specific instance of meteor

  2. Installs the app's smart package dependencies specified in smart.json

  3. If the app's smart packages have dependencies of their own (also defined in smart.json) they're installed, recursively

  4. A smart.lock file is written to the project's root dir

  5. With everything installed the app's meteor instance takes over and runs your app. All of meteor's subcommands are supported (e.g. run, add, deploy, bundle, etc).

Meteorite's add subcommand

Meteorite's mrt add <package-name> subcommand wrap's Meteor's add command but does the additional work of fetching the meta data from the central repo, getting the source code and installing it in the app.

Add the latest version of a package

mrt add moment

Of if you want to specify a specific version

mrt add moment --version 1.6.2

Currently, unlike Meteor's add subcommand, you can only specify one package at a time.


See Contributing