An alternative to symlinks that actually copies changed files from source to destination folders
Latest commit 115bc60 Dec 22, 2016 @dutzi dutzi committed on GitHub Update

Tangible symlinks

Wml listens to changes in some folder (using Watchman) and copies changed files into another folder.


Let's face it, sometimes symbolic links just aren't enough. Github has more than 10K issues with the words "support for symlinks" in them.

Two examples I've encountered so far were: React Native's packager lack of support for them and Webpack's inability to find linked modules dependencies (working around this has issues of its own). A lot of people resolve to working directly from the node_modules folder in these cases, but a. if your package is required by two projects on which you are working simultaneously, you're screwed, and b. it just feels wrong.

Wml makes use of Facebook's ultra-fast Watchman to watch for changes in your source folder and copy them (and only them) into your destination folder.

Wml is a CLI tool that works pretty much like ln -s. You first set up your links by using the wml add command and then run the wml service (wml start) to start listening. That's it!

Note that since Wml is based on Watchman it does not support symlinks. lol.


npm install -g wml


# add the link to wml using `wml add <src> <dest>`
wml add ~/my-package ~/main-project/node_modules/my-package
# start watching all links added
wml start



wml add <src> <dest> (or wml a)

Adds a link.

wml will not start listening to changes until you start it by running wml start.

Each link is given an unique id, you can see all links and their ids by running wml list. Links are saved to src/links.json in your wml install directory, meaning that your configuration is specific to that wml install.


wml rm <linkId>

Removes a link. Passing all as linkId removes all links.


wml start (or wml s)

Starts wml.

It first copies all watched files from source to destination folder and then waits for new changes to happen.


wml list (or wml ls)

Lists all links.

Shows each link's id, state and source/destination folders.


wml enable [linkId] (or wml en)

Enables a link. Passing all as linkId enables all links.

If you don't specify a linkId wml will open in interactive mode.


wml disable [linkId] (or wml d)

Disables a link. Passing all as linkId disabled all links.

If you don't specify a linkId wml will open in interactive mode.

Great for re-using old links without having to type them over and over again.


Ignored folders

When adding a new link Wml will try to detect if your source folder is a git repository or an npm package, it will then offer to ignore the ".git" and "node_modules" folders for you.

If you want to add more folders to your ignored folders first create a file named .watchmanconfig in your source folder, this file should contain Watchman's configuration for this folder. See example below to learn how populate it or check out the Watchman docs to learn more about Watchman configurations.

In the following example we are ignoring the ".git" and "node_modules" folders:

    "ignore_dirs": [


See the Contributing page.


Copyright (c) 2016 Wix. Licensed under the MIT license.