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Angular CLI

Migrating to the new build system

In v17 and higher, the new build system provides an improved way to build Angular applications. This new build system includes:

  • A modern output format using ESM, with dynamic import expressions to support lazy module loading.
  • Faster build-time performance for both initial builds and incremental rebuilds.
  • Newer JavaScript ecosystem tools such as esbuild and Vite.
  • Integrated SSR and prerendering capabilities.

This new build system is stable and fully supported for use with Angular applications. You can migrate to the new build system with applications that use the browser builder. If using a custom builder, please refer to the documentation for that builder on possible migration options.

IMPORTANT: The existing Webpack-based build system is still considered stable and fully supported. Applications can continue to use the browser builder and will not be automatically migrated when updating.

For new applications

New applications will use this new build system by default via the application builder.

For existing applications

Both automated and manual procedures are available dependening on the requirements of the project. Starting with v18, the update process will ask if you would like to migrate existing applications to use the new build system via the automated migration.

HELPFUL: Remember to remove any CommonJS assumptions in the application server code if using SSR such as require, __filename, __dirname, or other constructs from the CommonJS module scope. All application code should be ESM compatible. This does not apply to third-party dependencies.

The automated migration will adjust both the application configuration within angular.json as well as code and stylesheets to remove previous Webpack-specific feature usage. While many changes can be automated and most applications will not require any further changes, each application is unique and there may be some manual changes required. After the migration, please attempt a build of the application as there could be new errors that will require adjustments within the code. The errors will attempt to provide solutions to the problem when possible and the later sections of this guide describe some of the more common situations that you may encounter. When updating to Angular v18 via ng update, you will be asked to execute the migration. This migration is entirely optional for v18 and can also be run manually at anytime after an update via the following command:

ng update @angular/cli --name use-application-builder

The migration does the following:

  • Converts existing browser or browser-esbuild target to application
  • Removes any previous SSR builders (because application does that now).
  • Updates configuration accordingly.
  • Merges tsconfig.server.json with and adds the TypeScript option "esModuleInterop": true to ensure express imports are ESM compliant.
  • Updates application server code to use new bootstrapping and output directory structure.
  • Removes any Webpack-specific builder stylesheet usage such as the tilde or caret in @import/url() and updates the configuration to provide equivalent behavior
  • Converts to use the new lower dependency @angular/build Node.js package if no other @angular-devkit/build-angular usage is found.

Manual migration

Additionally for existing projects, you can manually opt-in to use the new builder on a per-application basis with two different options. Both options are considered stable and fully supported by the Angular team. The choice of which option to use is a factor of how many changes you will need to make to migrate and what new features you would like to use in the project.

  • The browser-esbuild builder builds only the client-side bundle of an application designed to be compatible with the existing browser builder that provides the preexisting build system. It serves as a drop-in replacement for existing browser applications.
  • The application builder covers an entire application, such as the client-side bundle, as well as optionally building a server for server-side rendering and performing build-time prerendering of static pages.

The application builder is generally preferred as it improves server-side rendered (SSR) builds, and makes it easier for client-side rendered projects to adopt SSR in the future. However it requires a little more migration effort, particularly for existing SSR applications if performed manually. If the application builder is difficult for your project to adopt, browser-esbuild can be an easier solution which gives most of the build performance benefits with fewer breaking changes.

Manual migration to the compatibility builder

A builder named browser-esbuild is available within the @angular-devkit/build-angular package that is present in an Angular CLI generated application. You can try out the new build system for applications that use the browser builder. If using a custom builder, please refer to the documentation for that builder on possible migration options.

The compatibility option was implemented to minimize the amount of changes necessary to initially migrate your applications. This is provided via an alternate builder (browser-esbuild). You can update the build target for any application target to migrate to the new build system.

The following is what you would typically find in angular.json for an application:

"architect": {
"build": {
"builder": "@angular-devkit/build-angular:browser",

Changing the builder field is the only change you will need to make.

"architect": {
"build": {
"builder": "@angular-devkit/build-angular:browser-esbuild",

Manual migration to the new application builder

A builder named application is also available within the @angular-devkit/build-angular package that is present in an Angular CLI generated application. This builder is the default for all new applications created via ng new.

The following is what you would typically find in angular.json for an application:

"architect": {
"build": {
"builder": "@angular-devkit/build-angular:browser",

Changing the builder field is the first change you will need to make.

"architect": {
"build": {
"builder": "@angular-devkit/build-angular:application",

Once the builder name has been changed, options within the build target will need to be updated. The following list discusses all the browser builder options that will need to be adjusted.

  • main should be renamed to browser.
  • polyfills should be an array, rather than a single file.
  • buildOptimizer should be removed, as this is covered by the optimization option.
  • resourcesOutputPath should be removed, this is now always media.
  • vendorChunk should be removed, as this was a performance optimization which is no longer needed.
  • commonChunk should be removed, as this was a performance optimization which is no longer needed.
  • deployUrl should be removed and is not supported. Prefer <base href> instead. See deployment documentation for more information.
  • ngswConfigPath should be renamed to serviceWorker.

If the application is not using SSR currently, this should be the final step to allow ng build to function. After executing ng build for the first time, there may be new warnings or errors based on behavioral differences or application usage of Webpack-specific features. Many of the warnings will provide suggestions on how to remedy that problem. If it appears that a warning is incorrect or the solution is not apparent, please open an issue on GitHub. Also, the later sections of this guide provide additional information on several specific cases as well as current known issues.

For applications new to SSR, the Angular SSR Guide provides additional information regarding the setup process for adding SSR to an application.

For applications that are already using SSR, additional adjustments will be needed to update the application server to support the new integrated SSR capabilities. The application builder now provides the integrated functionality for all of the following preexisting builders:

  • app-shell
  • prerender
  • server
  • ssr-dev-server

The ng update process will automatically remove usages of the @nguniversal scope packages where some of these builders were previously located. The new @angular/ssr package will also be automatically added and used with configuration and code being adjusted during the update. The @angular/ssr package supports the browser builder as well as the application builder.

Executing a build

Once you have updated the application configuration, builds can be performed using ng build as was previously done. Depending on the choice of builder migration, some of the command line options may be different. If the build command is contained in any npm or other scripts, ensure they are reviewed and updated. For applications that have migrated to the application builder and that use SSR and/or prererending, you also may be able to remove extra ng run commands from scripts now that ng build has integrated SSR support.

ng build

Starting the development server

The development server will automatically detect the new build system and use it to build the application. To start the development server no changes are necessary to the dev-server builder configuration or command line.

ng serve

You can continue to use the command line options you have used in the past with the development server.

Hot module replacement

JavaScript-based hot module replacement (HMR) is currently not supported. However, global stylesheet (styles build option) HMR is available and enabled by default. Angular focused HMR capabilities are currently planned and will be introduced in a future version.

Unimplemented options and behavior

Several build options are not yet implemented but will be added in the future as the build system moves towards a stable status. If your application uses these options, you can still try out the build system without removing them. Warnings will be issued for any unimplemented options but they will otherwise be ignored. However, if your application relies on any of these options to function, you may want to wait to try.

ESM default imports vs. namespace imports

TypeScript by default allows default exports to be imported as namespace imports and then used in call expressions. This is unfortunately a divergence from the ECMAScript specification. The underlying bundler (esbuild) within the new build system expects ESM code that conforms to the specification. The build system will now generate a warning if your application uses an incorrect type of import of a package. However, to allow TypeScript to accept the correct usage, a TypeScript option must be enabled within the application's tsconfig file. When enabled, the esModuleInterop option provides better alignment with the ECMAScript specification and is also recommended by the TypeScript team. Once enabled, you can update package imports where applicable to an ECMAScript conformant form.

Using the moment package as an example, the following application code will cause runtime errors:

import * as moment from 'moment';

The build will generate a warning to notify you that there is a potential problem. The warning will be similar to:

▲ [WARNING] Calling "moment" will crash at run-time because it's an import namespace object, not a function [call-import-namespace]
2 │ console.log(moment().format());
╵ ~~~~~~
Consider changing "moment" to a default import instead:
1 │ import * as moment from 'moment';
│ ~~~~~~~~~~~
╵ moment

However, you can avoid the runtime errors and the warning by enabling the esModuleInterop TypeScript option for the application and changing the import to the following:

import moment from 'moment';

Vite as a development server

The usage of Vite in the Angular CLI is currently only within a development server capacity only. Even without using the underlying Vite build system, Vite provides a full-featured development server with client side support that has been bundled into a low dependency npm package. This makes it an ideal candidate to provide comprehensive development server functionality. The current development server process uses the new build system to generate a development build of the application in memory and passes the results to Vite to serve the application. The usage of Vite, much like the Webpack-based development server, is encapsulated within the Angular CLI dev-server builder and currently cannot be directly configured.

Known Issues

There are currently several known issues that you may encounter when trying the new build system. This list will be updated to stay current. If any of these issues are currently blocking you from trying out the new build system, please check back in the future as it may have been solved.

Type-checking of Web Worker code and processing of nested Web Workers

Web Workers can be used within application code using the same syntax (new Worker(new URL('<workerfile>', import.meta.url))) that is supported with the browser builder. However, the code within the Worker will not currently be type-checked by the TypeScript compiler. TypeScript code is supported just not type-checked. Additionally, any nested workers will not be processed by the build system. A nested worker is a Worker instantiation within another Worker file.

Order-dependent side-effectful imports in lazy modules

Import statements that are dependent on a specific ordering and are also used in multiple lazy modules can cause top-level statements to be executed out of order. This is not common as it depends on the usage of side-effectful modules and does not apply to the polyfills option. This is caused by a defect in the underlying bundler but will be addressed in a future update.

IMPORTANT: Avoiding the use of modules with non-local side effects (outside of polyfills) is recommended whenever possible regardless of the build system being used and avoids this particular issue. Modules with non-local side effects can have a negative effect on both application size and runtime performance as well.

Bug reports

Report issues and feature requests on GitHub.

Please provide a minimal reproduction where possible to aid the team in addressing issues.