Vite JS – The Installation Guide

Vite (pronounced “veet”) is a build tool for modern web applications that aims to provide an extremely fast development experience. Created by Evan You, author of popular Vue framework, Vite leverages native JavaScript module support and ES module imports to enable lightning-fast hot module replacement (HMR). In this article, you will get step-by-step guide on how to install Vite.js on your system.

In contrast to traditional bundlers like Webpack that bundle all source code into a single output file before changes can be reflected, Vite serves modules over native ESM. This allows changes to be updated instantly in the browser without requiring full reloads or rebuilds of the application.

Overview of the Key Benefits of Using Vite.Js Instead of Alternatives Like Webpack

  • Lightning Fast HMR: Updates reflect in real time in browser with no full refresh needed due to native ESM. Saves significant development time over the course of a project.
  • Instant Server Start: Get a dev server running from terminal by just running npm run dev. No need for extra configuration beforehand.
  • On Demand Compilation: Only code related to the files actively being worked on is compiled behind the scenes. Keeping things lean.
  • Framework Agnostic: First-class support for Vue, React, Preact and other libraries out of the box.
  • Production Optimization: Built-in features like minification, cache busting, tree shaking without extra config.

This guide aims to walk through the entire process of installing Vite into a project from scratch and configuring it for an optimal development workflow. Both the dev server and production build configurations will be covered.

By the end, you should feel empowered to leverage Vite’s speed improvements in your own applications to ship higher quality results in less time compared to traditional bundling solutions. The exponentially growing community behind Vite provides ample learning resources as well so the exploration never ends from here!

Prerequisites Before Installing Vite JS

  • Node.js Runtime
  • JavaScript Knowledge
  • Text Editor
  • Command Line Access

1. Node.js Runtime

Have the latest LTS version of Node.js (16.x recommended) installed on your development machine prior to using Vite. Node.js contains the NPM package manager used as well as the required JavaScript runtime environment that Vite and your application code will run on.

2. JavaScript Knowledge

Some basic familiarity with JavaScript syntax and concepts will be helpful when working with Vite codebases. An understanding of DOM manipulation, events, asynchronous principles and ES6+ features go a long way.

3. Text Editor

Install a code editor like Visual Studio Code to edit your Vite-powered web project files, including frameworks like React or Vue. Take advantage of editor benefits like syntax highlighting/autocomplete to write code more efficiently.

4. Command Line Access

Have access to a terminal console like Bash, PowerShell, Command Prompt or other CLI shells to run installation commands such as NPM as well as start up the Vite development server. Comfort on the command line is key for any modern JavaScript developer.

Ensuring these prerequisites are in place upfront will provide the foundation for a smooth experience installing and using Vite to build high-performance sites. The only thing missing is your imagination to create something amazing!

Vite.js Home

How to Install Vite.js with NPM: A Step-by-Step Guide

npm is the standard package manager included with all Node.js installations. It can be leveraged to bring Vite into both new and existing front-end projects.

Here is a step-by-step guide to scaffolding a new Vite + Vue powered app using npm:

1. Create New Project Folder

  • Make a project directory on your local system – name it whatever you wish.

2. Open Terminal in Folder

  • Launch a terminal shell and navigate into this new directory.

3. Initialize Vite App

  • Run npm init @vitejs/app.
  • When prompted select “vue” for framework integration.

4. Install Dependencies

  • npm will automatically install Vite along with other required packages.
  • These include:
  • vite – The core dev server and build runner.
  • @vitejs/plugin-vue – 1st class Vue support.
  • vue – Latest version of Vue framework.
  • esbuild – Blazing fast bundler for production builds.
  • postcss – For handling stylesheets/css.

5. Scaffolding Created

  • Project structure with index.html, main.js, App.vue.
  • Placeholder components and assets.
  • Configuration files like package.json and vite.config.js.

6. Start Development Server

  • Run npm run dev from terminal.
  • Starts server on localhost:5173 by default.

7. Visit in Browser

  • Open browser and navigate to localhost:5173.
  • Vite app with Vue framework should load.
  • Edit files and see changes hot reload live.

From here you have a fully functional Vite + Vue project configured. You can begin adding application code and taking advantage of native ESM based hot reloading.

How to Install Vite on macOS: A Step-by-Step Guide

Vite provides a lightning-fast front-end development experience thanks to its leveraging of native ES modules in the browser. Getting it set up on macOS unlocks access to features like Hot Module Replacement across various frameworks.

Benefits of Vite on macOS

Some reasons running Vite on macOS leads to better experiences:

  • HMR updates reflected instantly without full refresh.
  • Faster servers start than Node.js or Webpack.
  • Lean browser downloads with on-demand compilation.
  • Debugging integration with Chrome DevTools.
  • Tapping macOS native speed via Unix environment.

Prerequisites Before installing Vite ensure:

  • Latest macOS version installed.
  • Command line tools like Homebrew package manager.
  • Active internet connection.
  • A code editor like VS Code.

Installation via Homebrew

Homebrew helps install developer tools on macOS. Follow these step-by-step guide on how to install Vite.js vis Homebrew.

1. Tap Vite Formula

brew tap vitejs/vite

Adds Homebrew formula linking to Vite’s release pipeline.

2. Install Vite

brew install vite

Downloads latest Vite version onto your Mac.

3. Overview of Installed Files

The above commands link the vite binary to your system PATH making it globally accessible.

Other core files placed in:

/usr/local/lib/node_modules/vite

4. Executable Paths

With Homebrew install, vite can be run from anywhere. Other related binaries found in:

/usr/local/Cellar/vite/x.x.x/bin

Replace x.x.x with your version string.

Installation via NPM

An alternative to Homebrew involves direct Node.js based install, follow below steps on how to install Vite.js via NPM.

1. Install Node.js Runtime

Download and run the macOS Node.js .pkg installer from nodejs.org if you haven’t already. This provides the npm CLI.

2. Scaffold Vite App

Terminal command to create Vite powered app:

npm init vite@latest

3. Dependencies Installed

npm will install dev dependencies including:

  • vite
  • @vitejs/plugin-vue
  • esbuild
  • postcss

4. Project Folder Structure

NPM install provides starter files like:

  • json
  • html
  • js entry

Using Vite on macOS

However, installed, Vite can now be leveraged:

1. Start Dev Server

  • vite or npm run dev

2. Develop components & pages

  • Add .vue SFCs
  • Code with Hot Module Reloading

3. Production build

  • vite build.
  • Optimized assets output.

4. Deploy

  • Publish /dist folder contents.
  • Integrate with solutions like Vercel.

How to Install Vite.js Vue Router: A Step-by-Step Guide

Vue Router is the official routing library for Vue.js applications. Integrating it into Vite powered apps unlocks page navigation, animated transitions, lazy loading and more.

Benefits of Vue Router

  • Page level routing system
  • Navigation transitions
  • Nested & dynamic routing
  • Lazy load components
  • Navigation guards
  • Scroll behaviors

Install Vite.js Vue Router Guide

Here’re step-by-step guide on how to install Vite.js Vue Router.

1. Install Package

npm install vue-router@4

2. Import Plugin

// main.js
import {createRouter, createWebHistory} from 'vue-router'

3. Create Router

const router = VueRouter({
// options
})

4. Attach to Vue App

app.use(router)

5. Add Routes

const routes = [
{
path: '/',
name: 'Home',
component: Home
},
{
path: '/about',
name: 'About',
component: About
}
]

Page and View Components

1. Create Route Components

Make .vue files for each route:

<!-- Home.vue -->
<template>
<h1>Home</h1>
</template>

2. Render Routes

Use in App.vue:

<router-view/>

Linking between routes

<router-link to="/">Home</router-link>
<router-link to="/about">About</router-link>

Advanced Usage

  • Dynamic route segments
  • Async components
  • Navigation guards
  • Scroll behavior
  • Lazy loading chunks

Building & Deployment App with Vue Router

Vue Router integrates seamlessly into Vite’s build process:

vite build

The router enabled app can be deployed as any normal Vite project.

Troubleshooting issues

  • Ensure Vue Router version matches Vue.
  • Check for router link/view naming errors.
  • Enable production sourcemaps.

How to Install Vite with Yarn: A Step-by-Step Guide

Yarn is an alternative to npm focused on speed, reliability, and reproducibility. Many developers choose Yarn for faster install times as well as version locking features.

Here is an step-by-step guide to scaffold a new Vite powered app using Yarn instead of npm:

1. Create New Project Folder

  • Make folder on local system for your Vite project.

2. Launch Terminal

  • Open command line interface and navigate into new folder.

3. Initialize Vite App

  • Run yarn create @vitejs/app.
  • When prompted, select “vue” for framework.

4. Install Dependencies

  • Yarn will install latest versions of Vite along with:
  • @vitejs/plugin-vue – Vue integration
  • vue – Vue framework
  • esbuild – Production bundler
  • postcss – CSS processing

5. Project Scaffolding Created

  • html – main layout
  • js – entry point
  • vue – root component
  • assets folder
  • json – dependencies

6. Start Dev Server

  • From terminal run:
  • yarn dev
  • Starts server on localhost:5173

7. Preview Locally

  • Open browser and navigate to localhost url.
  • Vite + Vue starter app will load.
  • Edit and save files to see HMR.

The project now has Vite fully configured for handling Vue framework integrations. Yarn would be used in place of npm for installs, running development server and handling dependencies moving forward.

The optimized performance of yarn combined with Vite’s design provides a lightning-fast modern web development experience right out of the box!

How to Install Vite.js in an Existing Project: A Step-by-Step Guide

One of the most powerful features Vite provides is the ability to quickly integrate itself into existing applications rather than only serving as a project scaffolding tool.

For example, Vite can be added to a project created with Create React App’s CLI to replace the default Webpack bundling:

1. Navigate into Existing Project

  • From terminal, cd into root folder of existing React codebase.

2. Install Vite

  • Run npm install vite @vitejs/plugin-react –save-dev.
  • This installs Vite and official React plugins.

3. Update Package Scripts

  • In package.json, update all react-scripts commands to use vite instead.
  • Example: replace react-scripts build with vite build.

4. Create Vite Config File

  • Make a vite.config.js file to specify at minimum the react plugin:
import react from '@vitejs/plugin-react'
export default {
plugins: [react()]
}

5. REMOVE react-scripts

  • Delete react-scripts package from package.json and run npm install.
  • This avoids clashes between tooling.

6. Run Vite Server

  • From terminal run npm run dev to spin up local dev server.
  • App should now run on Vite instead of Webpack/CRA tooling.

Now the React app can take full advantage of Vite’s lightning fast HMR and enhanced development experience while requiring only minor integration work to an existing codebase.

The same process could apply for adding Vite to any project created from another CLI too!

Configuring Vite for Production Builds

When developing a Vite application, npm run dev is used to spin up a development server focused on features like hot module replacement, sourcemaps, and localhost tunneling.

Production builds optimize code for deployment to live websites:

Development vs Production Builds

Development builds prioritize developer experience with features like Hot Module Replacement and full sourcemaps support. Production builds focus on optimized assets for end users emphasizing minification, caching, tree shaking.

Generating Production Build

Run npm run build to kick off a production optimizing compilation. This will output bundled files ready for deployment under the dist folder.

What npm run build does:

  • Minifies code to reduce bundle size using Terser.
  • Appropriately hashes asset filenames so browser caches contents.
  • Tree shaking to automatically eliminate dead code.
  • Extraxts CSS out into external .css files.
  • Replaces environment variables.

Customizing Build Output

The vite.config.js file handles customizing production builds:

// vite.config.js
export default {
build: {
// options
}
}

Examples include modifying asset hashing algorithms, changing outpath directory, toggling gzip compression, and more.

Deployment

Once build command completes, the contents of dist folder can be directly deployed to any static hosting server or CDN. No Node.js environment required externally.

Try running npm run preview locally before pushing live to validate everything looks and functions as expected for end users. This avoids discovering issues only after publicly deploying.

Advanced Vite Configuration Guide

One aspect that makes Vite stand out from other build tools is the finely tuned control it gives developers to customize its behavior through config options.

vite.config.js

The main file used to configure Vite application is the root vite.config.js file. This export-default JavaScript module exposes flexible options for customizing dev serve and build output.

Customizing Vite’s Behavior

Using vite.config.js, developers can fine tune:

  • How source code is resolved and imported.
  • Development server settings.
  • Build optimizations.
  • Framework options.
  • Asset handling.
  • Plugins to enable features.

Common Areas of Configuration

  • Alias Imports: Map explicit module aliasing rules rather than relative path imports. Helpful for clean import statements.
  • Global CSS Variables: Inject CSS variables globally available to all files. Useful for theme colors.
  • API Proxying: Proxy API calls during development to avoid CORS issues.
  • Build Options: Full control over production build processing like minification algorithms.
  • Framework Settings: Pass options for how Vite handles React, Vue and other libraries.
  • Plugins: Enable community extensions like SVG support or legacy browser compatibility.

Brief Configuration Example

// vite.config.js
export default {
plugins: [
// plugins
],
server: {
host: 'localhost',
port: 3000
},
css: {
preprocessorOptions: {
scss: {
additionalData: `$injectedColor: orange;`
}
}
}
}

Documentation Reference

For more examples of what advanced configuration unlocks, consult Vite’s documentation.

The extensive customization available makes Vite a powerful tool scaling from simple to extremely complex use cases.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

While Vite aims to provide a seamless development experience out of the box, issues inevitably come up requiring some debugging and troubleshooting chops. Some common problems along with potential solutions:

npm install Errors

The first step in any Vite project is installing dependencies using npm. Getting this initial install right is key for avoiding downstream problems:

  • Permission Errors – Use sudo/admin rights to initially install packages globally without access issues.
  • Space Errors – Free up disk space and retry if out of storage.
  • Network Errors – Double check internet connectivity and retry if npm registries are unreachable.

Dev Server Not Starting

Another common early-stage issue is getting the dev server to run properly:

  • Review Terminal Error Output – Verbose logs explain most startup failures.
  • Check Supported Node.Js Versions – Ensure installed runtime matches Vite requirements.
  • Delete Lockfiles – Removing package-lock.json and retrying install often fixes problems.
  • Compare Against Working Example Config – Spot differences compared to boilerplate.

Build Failures

Later when preparing production bundles, build failures can happen:

  • Ensure Vite Version Matches Plugins – Upgrading everything together avoids incompatibilities.
  • Double Check Config File Validity – Many build errors come down to invalid vite.config.js.
  • Delete node_modules and Reinstall – Stale modules can cause strange errors.

Blank Page on Dev Server Start

If dev server starts but browser shows a blank page:

  • Check Browser Console Output – Network tab for failed module imports.
  • Verify index.html, main.js Exists – Entry files missing would cause this.
  • Compare Fresh Project Scaffolding – Ensure files match boilerplate.

Beyond these tips, feel empowered to leverage the open-source community on Discord, GitHub discussions and Stack Overflow by providing traces to get unblocked. With over 65 thousand stars and widespread adoption, chances are someone else has faced the same problem and can provide help!

Final Thoughts on Guide to Install Vite.js

Installing Vite takes just minutes while providing a vastly faster and leaner build tool than legacy options. This guide showed you how to install Vite.js and get set up quickly. We walked through integration methods, configuring builds, customization, and troubleshooting key issues. With upcoming Vite 3.0 improvements on the horizon, the future looks bright for faster web development cycles enabling higher quality user experiences. Try Vite’s speed benefits in your next JavaScript project and leverage the passionate open-source community for continued learning. The next big web innovation awaits!

Amelie Lamb

Amelie Lamb

Amelie Lamb is an experienced technical content writer at SoftwareStack.co who specializes in distilling complex software topics into clear, concise explanations. She has a talent for taking dense technical jargon and making it engaging and understandable for readers through her informative, lively writing style.

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