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Ionic Gulp Seed

An ionic starter project with a gulp toolchain

Heads-up: There is now also a Yeoman Generator available for this seed.


  • Gulp jobs for development, building, unit testing, emulating and running your app
  • Compiles and concatenates your Sass
  • Local development server with live reload, even inside ios emulator
  • Automatically inject all your JS sources into index.html
  • Auto min-safe all Angular DI through ng-annotate, no need to use weird bracket notation
  • Comes already with ng-cordova and lodash
  • generate icon font from svg files
  • Blazing fast
  • E2E(End-to-End) testing with Protractor


gulp command shortcut what it does
gulp run local development server, start watchers, auto reload browser on change, targetfolder /tmp
gulp --build gulp -b create a build from current /app folder, minify assets, targetfolder /www
gulp --emulate <platform> gulp -e <platform> run a build first, then ionic emulate . defaults to ios
gulp --run <platform> gulp -r <platform> run a build first, then ionic run . defaults to ios
gulp test-unit none run all the test cases under test/unit folder using Karma runner
gulp test-e2e none run all the test cases under test/e2e folder using Protractor


I recommend using the available Yeoman Generator.

npm install -g yo generator-ionic-gulp
yo ionic-gulp

OR you can clone the repo manually:

  1. Clone this project git clone <YOUR-PROJECT-NAME>
  2. Change remote to your repo git remote set-url origin<YOUR-USERNAME>/<YOUR-PROJECT-NAME>.git
  3. run npm install and bower install to install dependencies


The source code lives inside the app folder.

Source Files Location
Javascript app/scripts
Styles (scss) app/styles
Templates app/templates
Images app/images
Fonts app/fonts
Icons app/icons

A lot of starter kits and tutorials encourage you to work directly inside the www folder, but I chose app instead, as it conforms better with most Angular.js projects. Note that www is gitignored and will be created dynamically during our build process.

All 3rd party Javascript sources have to be manually added into .vendor.json and will be concatenated into a single vendor.js file. I know there is wiredep but I prefer to explicitly control which files get injected and also wiredep ends up adding lots of <script> tags in your index.html instead of building a single vendor.js file.

All test cases are located under test folder. E2E testing specs are inside test/e2e folder. Unit Testing with Karma runner is in test/unit folder. They both use MochaJS as the main framework.


This doc assumes you have gulp globally installed (npm install -g gulp). If you do not have / want gulp globally installed, you can run npm run gulp instead.

Secondly, you need to have cordova and ionic cli installed (npm install -g cordova and npm install -g ionic. Note: when you run cordova platform add android for the first time, it will give an error Error: Current working directory is not a Cordova-based project.. The reason is that you are not having the www folder. All you have to do is to run gulp --build to generate the folder.

Development mode

By running just gulp, we start our development build process, consisting of:

  • compiling, concatenating, auto-prefixing of all .scss files required by app/styles/main.scss
  • creating vendor.js file from external sources defined in ./vendor.json
  • linting all *.js files app/scripts, see .jshintrc for ruleset
  • automatically inject sources into index.html so we don't have to add / remove sources manually
  • build everything into .tmp folder (also gitignored)
  • start local development server and serve from .tmp
  • start watchers to automatically lint javascript source files, compile scss and reload browser on changes

Build mode

By running just gulp --build or short gulp -b, we start gulp in build mode

  • concat all .js sources into single app.js file
  • version main.css and app.js
  • build everything into www folder
  • remove debugs messages such as console.log or alert with passing --release


By running gulp -e <platform>, we can run our app in the simulator

  • can be either ios or android, defaults to ios
  • make sure to have iOS Simulator installed in XCode, as well as ios-sim package globally installed (npm install -g ios-sim)
  • for Android, Ripple or Genymotion seem to be the emulators of choice
  • It will run the gulp --build before, so we have a fresh version to test
  • In iOS, it will livereload any code changes in iOS simulator

Emulate a specific iOS device

By running gulp select you will se a prompt where you can choose which ios device to emulate. This works only when you have the gulp -e task running in one terminal window and run gulp select in another terminal window.

Ripple Emulator

Run gulp ripple to open your app in a browser using ripple. This is useful for emuating a bunch of different Android devices and settings, such as geolocation, battery status, globalization and more. Note that ripple is still in beta and will show weird debug messages from time to time.


By running gulp -r <platform>, we can run our app on a connected device

  • can be either ios or android, defaults to ios
  • It will run the gulp --build before, so we have a fresh version to test

splash screens and icons

Replace splash.png and icon.png inside /resources. Then run ionic resources. If you only want to regenerate icons or splashs, you can run gulp icon or gulp splash shorthand.

more info

There is also a blog post with more detailed information about this gulp workflow


Unit Testing

Unit Testing is done using Karma runner. The main configuration file is karma.conf.js under root folder. You can change the frameworks to be used by changing the frameworks key in karma.conf.js file. Currently MochaJS, Chai(BDD testing style) and Sinon are being used.

All the html files app/templates/**/*.html are converted to angular module AppTemplate using html2js when you run gulp test-unit. Hence, you need to write beforeEach(module('AppTemplate')) in your test files so that angular will not give you a GET error when looking for the template files.

E2E testing

Protractor is used in this project to run E2E testing. protractor.conf.js is the main configuration file. If you change the port for the running server, you will need to change the baseUrl in the protractor.conf.js file. To make it generic, MochaJS is also used as the main framework. You need to suffix your files with 'spec.js'. It's actually only a convention and I'm trying to follow that.

When you run gulp test-e2e, it brings up the server by running gulp default task with all the preprocessing for javascript and css files. Then it tries to update WebDriver. When that's finished, it starts WebDriver process and runs all the test cases.


A starting point for Ionic Apps



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