Sep '19

NPM Configuration for Laravel

I recently decided that (after far too long) I needed to get up-to-date with how I manage my package dependencies for one of my bigger projects. I’d been using gulp with bower components hooked into Laravel Elixir basically since I first ported the project to Laravel, and the deprecation was getting beyond a joke.

Despite there being tons of information out there on how to do achieve individual parts of the configuration, nowhere could I find a single example that would show me how to configure NPM for compiling assets to work with Laravel Mix (the version of elixir) and give me a ‘watch’ option to auto-compile new asset changes.

The first job was to rename my gulpfile.js to webpack.mix.js, and then convert the syntax to use Laravel Mix, rather than Elixir. I’m not going to go into the details of that as it’s extremely straightforward.

Removing bower was simply a case of finding the relevant packages in npm, and amending the paths in the webpack.mix.js accordingly.

The hardest part was getting NPM’s package.json setup with everything I needed. All references to gulp and laravel-elixir came out, webpack and webpack-cli went in along with npm-watch and laravel-mix. My full package.json is below:

  "private": true,
  "devDependencies": {
    "resolve-url-loader": "^3.1.0",
    "sass-loader": "^7.3.1",
    "webpack": "^4.39.3",
    "webpack-cli": "^3.3.8"
  "dependencies": {
    "@fortawesome/fontawesome-free": "^5.10.2",
    "@storyous/responsive-bootstrap-toolkit": "^2.6.1",
    "babel-core": "^6.26.3",
    "bootstrap": "^3.4.1",
    "bootstrap-datepicker": "^1.6.4",
    "bootstrap-sass": "^3.3.7",
    "clipboard": "^2.0.1",
    "datatables": "^1.10.18",
    "datatables-responsive": "^1.0.7",
    "datatables.net": "^1.10.19",
    "datatables.net-bs": "^1.10.19",
    "datatables.net-plugins": "^1.10.19",
    "graceful-fs": "^4.0.0",
    "jquery": "^3.4.1",
    "jquery-ui": "^1.12.1",
    "jquery-ui-dist": "^1.12.1",
    "jquery-validation": "^1.19.1",
    "laravel-mix": "^4.1.4",
    "node-sass": "^4.12.0",
    "npm-watch": "^0.6.0",
    "pnotify": "^4.0.0",
    "requirejs": "^2.3.6",
    "select2": "^4.0.10"
  "watch": {
    "dev": {
      "patterns": [
      "extensions": "js,css",
      "quiet": false,
      "delay": 1000,
      "runOnChangeOnly": true
  "scripts": {
    "dev": "node_modules/.bin/webpack --config=node_modules/laravel-mix/setup/webpack.config.js",
    "start": "npm run dev",
    "watch": "node_modules/.bin/npm-watch"

With packages in place the last part was to set up the script definitions to compile my assets. The definitions shown will allow the following commands:

npm run dev – Compiles all assets following the script in webpack.min.js

npm run watch dev – Launches an active task that watches all CSS and JS files in resources/assets for changes, and recompiles whenever changes are detected.

So that’s a working overview start to finish. Hopefully it helps to see the setup in its entirety. It’s a really slick system once it’s all configured, but good grief it takes some effort to get there!

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