Meteor Build Client

Since more to than 2 years I’ve build Meteor applications. Interestingly I’ve build most of them only using the client part. Working with TunedIn we used a LAMPP stack API, and in my current work I use Meteor to build Ðapps, which don’t have a server in the traditional sense, instead they only talk to the blockchain and get delivered over swarm, a decentralised filesystem.

I wrote a while back about using Meteor as frontend library and wrote a little grunt script, which did this. My blog post got more than 3000 hits in just two days, so there seems to be a great interest in that use case.

A few months later i started to ask this question in the Meteor-Core google group, but didn’t got to much response from MDG, though a lot of people still seemed to need that too.

Later a few people created the MeteorCommunity github repository to discuss community wishes, where they put my request as one of the first ones.

Now that I need to be able to simply deploy Meteor Ðapps for the ethereum platform I created a simple CLI tool, which does what I always needed 🙂

$ meteor-build-client

This tool builds and bundles the client part of a Meteor app with a simple index.html, so it can be hosted on any server or even loaded via the file:// protocol.

You can check the source here:

Note: The meteor package frozeman:build-client is only a placeholder package for now, don’t install it.


$ [sudo] npm install -g meteor-build-client


// cd into your meteor app
$ cd myApp

// run meteor-build-client
$ meteor-build-client ../myOutputFolder


The content of the output folder could look as follows:

  • index.html
  • a28817fe16898311635fa73b959979157e830a31.css
  • aeca2a21c383327235a08d55994243a9f478ed57.js
  • ... (other files from your “public” folder)

For a list of options see:

$ meteor-build-client --help

Passing a settings.json

You can pass an additional settings file using the --settings or -s option:

$ meteor-build-client ../myOutputFolder -s ../settings.json

Note Only the public property of that JSON file will be add to the Meteor.settings property.


Additionally you can set the ROOT_URL of your app using the --url or -u option:

$ meteor-build-client ../myOutputFolder -u

Absolute or relative paths

If you want to be able to start you app by simply opening the index.html (using the file:// protocol), you need to link your files relative. You can do this by setting the --path or -p option:

$ meteor-build-client ../myOutputFolder -p ""

The default path value is "/".

Note When set a path value, it will also replace this path in you Meteor CSS file, so that fonts etc link correctly.

Using custom templates

If you want to provide a custom template for the initial HTML provide an HTML file with the --template or -t option:

$ meteor-build-client ../myOutputFolder -t ../myTemplate.html

The template file need to contain the following placholders: {{> head}}, {{> css}} and {{> scripts}}. The following example adds a simple loading text to the initial HTML file (Your app should later take care of removing the loading text):

<!DOCTYPE html>
        {{> head}}
        <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/loadingScreen.css">

        {{> css}}
        {{> scripts}}

By linking a file from your public folder (e.g. loadingScreen.css) and moving the {{> css}} and {{> scripts}} placeholder to the end of the <body> tag, you can simply style your loading screen. Because the small CSS file (loadingScreen.css) and the body content will be loaded before the Meteor app script, the the user sees the nice Loading text.

Connecting to a Meteor server

In order to connect to a Meteor servers, create DDP connection by using DDP.connect(), as seen in the following example:

DDPConnection = (Meteor.isClient) ? DDP.connect('http://localhost:3000/') : {};

if(Meteor.isClient) {
    // set the new DDP connection to all internal packages, which require one
    Meteor.connection = DDPConnection;
    Accounts.connection = Meteor.connection;
    Meteor.users = new Mongo.Collection('users');

// When creating a collection use:
posts = new Mongo.Collection("posts", DDPConnection);
// And to subscribe use the DDP connection
  • Răzvan Andrei Ionescu

    Hi, Ich bin nicht soweit aber Ich werde das schon bald brauchen. Danke.
    PS Die kombination meteor/blockchain ist echt interesant. Nice blog!