Let's start by clearing up a common misconception. Webpack is a module bundler like Browserify or Brunch. It is not a task runner like Make, Grunt, or Gulp. Task runners handle automation of common development tasks such as linting, building, or testing your project. Compared to bundlers, task runners have a higher level focus. You can still benefit from their higher level tooling while leaving the problem of bundling to webpack.

Bundlers help you get your JavaScript and stylesheets ready for deployment, transforming them into a format that's suitable for the browser. For example, JavaScript can be minified or split into chunks and lazy-loaded to improve performance. Bundling is one of the most important challenges in web development, and solving it well can remove a lot of pain from the process.

The good news is that, while there is some overlap, task runners and bundlers can play well together if approached in the right way. This guide provides a high-level overview of how webpack can be integrated into some of the more popular task runners.

NPM Scripts

Often webpack users use npm scripts as their task runner. This is a good starting point. Cross-platform support can become a problem, but there are several workarounds for that. Many, if not most users, get by with npm scripts and various levels of webpack configuration and tooling.

So while webpack's core focus is bundling, there are a variety of extensions that can enable you to use it for jobs typical of a task runner. Integrating a separate tool adds complexity, so be sure to weigh the pros and cons before going forward.


For those using Grunt, we recommend the grunt-webpack package. With grunt-webpack you can run webpack or webpack-dev-server as a task, get access to stats within template tags, split development and production configurations and more. Start by installing grunt-webpack as well as webpack itself if you haven't already:

npm install --save-dev grunt-webpack webpack

Then register a configuration and load the task:


const webpackConfig = require('./webpack.config.js');

module.exports = function (grunt) {
    webpack: {
      options: {
        stats: !process.env.NODE_ENV || process.env.NODE_ENV === 'development',
      prod: webpackConfig,
      dev: Object.assign({ watch: true }, webpackConfig),


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Gulp is also a fairly straightforward integration with the help of the webpack-stream package (a.k.a. gulp-webpack). In this case, it is unnecessary to install webpack separately as it is a direct dependency of webpack-stream:

npm install --save-dev webpack-stream

You can require('webpack-stream') instead of webpack and optionally pass it an configuration:


const gulp = require('gulp');
const webpack = require('webpack-stream');
gulp.task('default', function () {
  return gulp
        // Any configuration options...

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The mocha-webpack utility can be used for a clean integration with Mocha. The repository offers more details on the pros and cons but essentially mocha-webpack is a simple wrapper that provides almost the same CLI as Mocha itself and provides various webpack functionality like an improved watch mode and improved path resolution. Here is a small example of how you would install it and use it to run a test suite (found within ./test):

npm install --save-dev webpack mocha mocha-webpack
mocha-webpack 'test/**/*.js'

For more information, please visit the repository.


The karma-webpack package allows you to use webpack to pre-process files in Karma.

npm install --save-dev webpack karma karma-webpack


module.exports = function (config) {
    frameworks: ['webpack'],
    files: [
      { pattern: 'test/*_test.js', watched: false },
      { pattern: 'test/**/*_test.js', watched: false },
    preprocessors: {
      'test/*_test.js': ['webpack'],
      'test/**/*_test.js': ['webpack'],
    webpack: {
      // Any custom webpack configuration...
    plugins: ['karma-webpack'],

For more information, please visit the repository.

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