Setting up TypeScript with NodeJS



The other day when I was setting up TypeScript with a Node project, I thought that I could write a simple guide that could help you doing this in a hopefully smooth way.

To start do the following:

First make sure that you have TypeScript installed by running or installing:

tsc -- version
npm install -g typescript

Now we need to add a package.json file:

npm init -y

To add TypeScript run the following command:

yarn add -D typescript

Next, we need to initialize our project with TypeScript. The command below will generate a file called tsconfig.json. Make sure to read and understand this file since it contains useful information and is well documented.

npx tsc -- init

Now create a new file in your project and make sure that the file extension is .ts. I will create a file called app.ts inside a src folder. Inside the file create a console.log.

console.log('Hello World');

Now we need to configure so that the TypeScript files is compiled into JavaScript files. Go to the file package.json and replace the content in the scripts block with the following which will execute our TypeScript files and build them into JavaScript files.

"scripts": {
    "build": "tsc"

Now we can build our project and when we do this, we will get a .js file which we can use to run our application.

yarn build // to build
node app.js // to run

But this is kind of annoying to do it this way when we can run our TypeScript files directly by adding a library who handles this. Run the following command:

yarn add -D ts-node

Now go into your package.json file and the the following line in scripts:

"scripts": {
  "start": "ts-node src/app.ts",
  "build": "tsc"

You can delete the previously generated .js file and now directly running your TypeScript files:

yarn start


If you’re developing and want the changes to be updated each time you save, then you can add the following library which will restart the server each time you make a change:

yarn add -D ts-node-dev

Now head into the package.json file and update the scripts.start:

"scripts": {
  "start": "ts-node-dev --respawn src/app.ts",
  "build": "tsc"


That’s it, you have now set up TypeScript with Node.

Any comments, questions or discussions are always welcome!

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