It can be hard to set up a complex webpack configuration for the first time. Writing advanced configurations to optimize performance could be even more difficult. The init feature allows creating a webpack configuration by using customizable third-party initialization packages.

Creating a scaffold

Before writing a webpack-cli scaffold, think about what you're trying to achieve and who is going to use it:

  • Do you want a generic scaffold that could be used by a wide variety of applications and projects?
  • Do you want something specific, like a scaffold that writes both your webpack.config.js and your framework code?
  • Who are the potential users and what user experience will look like for the users of your scaffold?

webpack-cli offers an interactive experience to customize the output accordingly. For example asking questions like: "What is your entry point?".

Writing a scaffold

There are various resources where you can learn how to write a scaffold, you can start by reading Writing a Scaffold tutorial.

webpack-scaffold is a utility suite for creating scaffolds. It contains functions that could be used to create a scaffold.

Running a scaffold

A scaffold can be executed using webpack-cli init:

webpack-cli init <your-scaffold>

Running a scaffold locally

When the scaffold package is in your local file system you should point init to its path:

webpack-cli init path/to/your/scaffold

Or you can create a global module and symlink to the local one:

  • Using npm
cd path/to/my-scaffold
npm link
webpack-cli init my-scaffold
  • Using yarn
cd path/to/my-scaffold
yarn link
webpack-cli init my-scaffold

Running a scaffold from npm

If the package is available from npm, its name must begin with webpack-scaffold and can be used by running:

webpack-cli init webpack-scaffold-yourpackage


To create a scaffold, you must create a yeoman-generator. Thanks to it, you can optionally extend your generator to include methods from the Yeoman API. It's worth noting that we support all the properties of a regular webpack configuration. In order for us to do this, there's a thing you need to remember:

Objects are made using strings, while strings are made using double strings. This means that in order for you to create a string, you have to wrap it inside another string for us to validate it correctly.





This is the entry point your configuration, initialize it inside the constructor of your generator in order for the CLI to work:

class MyScaffold extends Generator {
  constructor(args, opts) {
    super(args, opts);
    opts.env.configuration = {};

opts.env.configuration.myObj (required)


This is your scaffold, you add the options that the CLI will transform into a webpack configuration here. You can have many different scaffolds named as you prefer, representing different configurations like dev.config or prod.config:

class MyScaffold extends Generator {
  constructor(args, opts) {
    super(args, opts);
    opts.env.configuration = {
      dev: {},
      prod: {},

myObj.webpackOptions (required)


This object has the same format as a regular webpack configuration. Declare the properties that you want to scaffold here, e.g. entry, output and context. You can initialize this inside a yeoman method: = {
  entry: '\'app.js\'',
  output: {},

writing (required)


For the scaffolding instance to run, you need to write your configuration to a .yo-rc.json file. This could be done using one of the lifecycles in the yeoman generator, such as the writing method:

class MyScaffold extends Generator {
  writing() {
    this.config.set('configuration', myObj);

myObj.merge (optional)


If you want to use webpack-merge, you can set the merge property of myObj to the name of the configuration you want to merge it with: = 'myConfig';



The topScope property is where you write all the code needed by your configuration, like module imports and functions/variables declarations: = [
  'const webpack = require("webpack");',
  'const path = require("path");',



configName allows you to customize the name of your configuration file. For example you can name it webpack.base.js instead of the default webpack.config.js: = 'base';