PhpStorm 2018.2 Help

Run/Debug Configuration: Grunt.js

Run | Edit Configurations | icons general add svg | Grunt.js

In this dialog box, create configurations for running Grunt.js tasks.

Getting access to the Run/Debug Configuration: Grunt dialog

  1. Install and enable the Node.js plugin. The plugin is not bundled with PhpStorm, but it can be installed from the JetBrains plugin repository as described in Managing Plugins.
  2. Download and install Node.js that contains the Node Package Manager(npm).
  3. Install Grunt as described in Installing Grunt.

Grunt-specific configuration settings

Gruntfile In this field, specify the location of the Gruntfile.js file to retrieve the definitions of the tasks from. Select the path from the drop-down list or click the browseButton button and choose the file from the dialog box that opens.
Tasks In this field, specify the tasks to run. Do one of the following:
  • To run one task, select it from the drop-down list.
  • To run several tasks, type their names in the text box using blank spaces as separators.
Arguments In this text box, specify the arguments for tasks to be executed with. Use the format --<parameter_name> <parameter_value>, or example: --env development.
Node interpreter In this field, specify the Node.js interpreter to use. This can be a local Node.js interpreter or a Node.js on WSL, see Configuring a local Node.js interpreter and Using Node.js on Windows Subsystem for Linux for details.
Node options In this text box, type the Node.js-specific command line options to be passed to the Node.js executable file. See Node Parameters for details.
Package grunt-cli In this field, specify the path to the globally installed Grunt-cli package. See Installing Grunt.js for details.
Environment In this field, specify the environment variables for the Node.js executable file, if applicable. Click Browse browseButton.png to the right of the field and configure a list of variables in the Environment Variables dialog box, that opens:
  • To define a new variable, click Add icons general add svg and specify the variable name and value.
  • To discard a variable definition, select it in the list and click Delete icons general remove svg.
  • Click OK, when ready

The definitions of variables are displayed in the Environment variables read-only field with semicolons as separators. The acceptable variables are:

  • NODE_PATH: A :-separated list of directories prefixed to the module search path.
  • NODE_MODULE_CONTEXTS: Set to 1 to load modules in their own global contexts.
  • NODE_DISABLE_COLORS: Set to 1 to disable colors in the REPL.

Common options

When you edit a run configuration (but not a run configuration template), you can specify the following options for it:

Name In this text box, specify the name for the run/debug configuration. The name will help you identify the created configuration when you choose to edit it later, or when you invoke it, for example. from the Run popup (Shift+Alt+F10).
Share Select this check box to make the run/debug configuration available to other team members.

The shared run/debug configurations are kept in separate xml files under .idea\runConfigurations folder, while the local run/debug configurations are kept in the .idea\workspace.xml.

Single instance only


The tree view of run/debug configurations has a toolbar that helps you manage configurations available in your project as well as adjust default configurations templates.

icons general add svgAlt+InsertCreate a run/debug configuration.
icons general remove svgAlt+Delete Delete the selected run/debug configuration. Note that you cannot delete default configurations.
icons actions copy svg Ctrl+D Create a copy of the selected run/debug configuration. Note that you create copies of default configurations.
icons general settings svg Edit Templates View and edit the default template for the selected run/debug configuration. The templates are used for newly created configurations.
icons actions moveUp svg/icons actions moveDown svgAlt+Up/Alt+Down

Move the selected run/debug configuration up and down in the list.

The order of configurations in the list defines the order, in which the configurations appear when you choose a run/debug configuration.

Default templates of run/debug configurations are always sorted alphabetically.

icons actions newFolder svg Move into new folder / Create new folder

You can group run/debug configurations by placing them into folders.

To create a folder, select the configurations within a category, click folder, and specify folder name. If only a category is in focus, an empty folder is created.

Then, to move a configuration into a folder, between the folders or out of a folder, use drag-and-drop or icons actions moveUp svg and icons actions moveDown svg buttons.

To remove grouping, select a folder and click icons general remove svg.

icons objectBrowser sorted svg Sort configurations Click this button to sort configurations in the alphabetical order.


Under the Templates node in the tree view of run configurations, you can select a run configuration template and edit its default settings. This will not affect the configurations that are already created, but will be used as defaults when creating new configurations of the corresponding type.

When you select the Templates node itself, you will be able to adjust general settings that apply to all run/debug configurations:

Configurations available in Run Dashboard

In this section you can create a list of run configurations available in the Run Dashboard — a tool window that helps you execute and manage multiple run/debug configurations.

Note that the dashboard will only display the configuration types for which you have created one ore more configurations.
Thus, if you add a configuration type for which no configurations exist in the project, this type will not be displayed on the dashboard until you create a configuration of this type.

Confirm rerun with process terminationThe behavior of this checkbox depends on whether the Single instance only option is selected for a particular run/debug configuration.
  • If this checkbox is selected, in case of a single instance, launching a new process (for example, by clicking icons toolwindows toolWindowRun on the main toolbar) while another process is still running, results in showing a dialog box prompting to terminate the current process before launching a new one.
  • If this checkbox is not selected (or in case of multiple instances), PhpStorm starts the new process silently.
Temporary configurations limit Specify the maximum number of temporary configurations to be stored and shown in the Select Run/Debug Configuration drop-down list.

Before Launch options

In this area you can specify tasks that must be be performed before starting the selected run/debug configuration. The tasks are performed in the order they appear in the list.

icons general add svgAlt+Insert Click this icon to add one of the following available tasks:
  • Run External tool: select to run an external application. In the dialog that opens, select one or multiple applications you want to run. If it is not defined in PhpStorm yet, add its definition. For more information, see Configuring Third-Party Tools and External Tools.
  • Run Another Configuration: select to execute another run/debug configuration. In the dialog that opens, select the configuration to be run.
  • Run File Watchers: select this option to have PhpStorm apply all the currently active file watchers.
  • Run Grunt task: select this option to run a Grunt task. In the Grunt task dialog box that opens, specify the Gruntfile.js where the required task is defined, select the task to execute, and specify the arguments to pass to the Grunt tool.

    Specify the location of the Node.js interpreter, the parameters to pass to it, and the path to the grunt-cli package.

  • Run Gulp task: select this option to run a Gulp task. In the Gulp task dialog box that opens, specify the Gulpfile.js where the required task is defined, select the task to execute, and specify the arguments to pass to the Gulp tool.

    Specify the location of the Node.js interpreter, the parameters to pass to it, and the path to the gulp package.

  • Run npm Script: select this option to execute an npm script. In the NPM Script dialog box that opens, specify the npm run/debug configuration settings.
  • Run Phing target: add this task to execute the specified Phing target prior to running or debugging. To appoint a Phing target, click Browse browse and select the desired target in the dialog that opens.
  • Start React Native Bundler: select this option to run the bundler automatically, as part of a running or debugging session. by default, this is done through react-native start. If your application uses Expo, you need to run the development server via the start npm task. To do that, click icons actions edit svg, then in the Configure React Native dialog, choose npm script and select start from the list.
  • Compile TypeScript: select to run the built-in TypeScript compiler and thus make sure that all the changes you made to your TypeScript code are reflected in the generated JavaScript files. In the TypeScript Compile Settings dialog that opens, select or clear the Check errors checkbox to configure the behaviour of the compiler in case any errors are detected:
    • If the Check errors checkbox is selected, the compiler will show all the errors and the run configuration will not start.
    • If the Check errors checkbox is cleared, the compiler will show all the detected errors but the run configuration still will be launched.
  • Generate CoffeeScript Source Maps: select this option to generate the source maps for your CoffeeScript sources. In the dialog that opens, specify where your CoffeeScript source files are located.
  • Upload files to Remote Host: select this option to have the application files automatically uploaded to the server according to the default server access configuration.
  • Run Remote External tool: adds a remote SSH external tool.
icons general remove svgAlt+Delete Click this icon to remove the selected task from the list.
icons actions edit svg Enter Click this icon to edit the selected task. Make the necessary changes in the dialog that opens.
icons actions moveUp svg/icons actions moveDown svgAlt+Up/Alt+DownClick these icons to move the selected task one line up or down in the list. (The tasks are performed in the order that they appear in the list.)
Show this pageSelect this checkbox to show the run/debug configuration settings prior to actually starting the run/debug configuration.
Activate tool window

If this checkbox is selected, which it is by default, the Run or the Debug tool window opens when you start the run/debug configuration.

Otherwise, the tool window isn't shown. However, when the configuration is running, you can open the corresponding tool window for it yourself by pressing Alt+4 or Alt+5.

Last modified: 19 July 2018

See Also