Creating files with a generator

Generators provide an API for managing files within your workspace. You can use generators to do things such as create, update, move, and delete files. Files with static or dynamic content can also be created.

The generator below shows you how to generate a library, and then scaffold out additional files with the newly created library.

First, you define a folder to store your static or dynamic templates used to generated files. This is commonly done in a files folder.

happynrwl/ ├── apps/ ├── libs/ ├── tools/ │ ├── generators │ | └── my-generator/ | | └── files | | └── | | ├── index.ts | | └── schema.json ├── nx.json ├── package.json └── tsconfig.base.json

The files can use EJS syntax to substitute variables and logic. See the EJS Docs to see more information about how to write these template files.


Hello, my name is <%= name %>!

Next, update the index.ts file for the generator, and generate the new files.

import { Tree, formatFiles, installPackagesTask, generateFiles, joinPathFragments, readProjectConfiguration, } from '@nrwl/devkit'; import { libraryGenerator } from '@nrwl/workspace/generators'; export default async function (tree: Tree, schema: any) { await libraryGenerator(tree, { name: }); const libraryRoot = readProjectConfiguration(tree,; generateFiles( tree, // the virtual file system joinPathFragments(__dirname, './files'), // path to the file templates libraryRoot, // destination path of the files schema // config object to replace variable in file templates ); await formatFiles(tree); return () => { installPackagesTask(tree); }; }

The exported function first creates the library, then creates the additional files in the new library's folder.

Next, run the generator:

Always do a dry-run

Use the -d or --dry-run flag to see your changes without applying them. This will let you see what the command will do to your workspace.

nx generate my-generator mylib

The following information will be displayed.

CREATE libs/mylib/ CREATE libs/mylib/.babelrc CREATE libs/mylib/src/index.ts CREATE libs/mylib/src/lib/mylib.spec.ts CREATE libs/mylib/src/lib/mylib.ts CREATE libs/mylib/tsconfig.json CREATE libs/mylib/tsconfig.lib.json UPDATE tsconfig.base.json UPDATE nx.json CREATE libs/mylib/.eslintrc.json CREATE libs/mylib/jest.config.ts CREATE libs/mylib/tsconfig.spec.json UPDATE jest.config.ts CREATE libs/mylib/

libs/mylib/ will contain the content with substituted variables:

Hello, my name is mylib!

Dynamic File Names

If you want the generated file or folder name to contain variable values, use __variable__. So would be resolved to in the above example.

EJS Syntax Quickstart

The EJS syntax can do much more than replace variable names with values. Here are some common techniques.

  1. Pass a function into the template:
// template file This is my <%= uppercase(name) %>
// typescript file function uppercase(val: string) { return val.toUpperCase(); } // later generateFiles(tree, joinPathFragments(__dirname, './files'), libraryRoot, { uppercase, name:, });
  1. Use javascript for control flow in the template:
<% if(shortVersion) { %> This is the short version. <% } else { for(let x=0; x<numRepetitions; x++) { %> This text will be repeated <%= numRepetitions %> times. <% } // end for loop } // end else block %>
// typescript file generateFiles(tree, joinPathFragments(__dirname, './files'), libraryRoot, { shortVersion: false, numRepetitions: 3, });