CLI Overview and Command Reference

The Angular CLI is a command-line interface tool that you use to initialize, develop, scaffold, and maintain Angular applications directly from a command shell.

Installing Angular CLI

Major versions of Angular CLI follow the supported major version of Angular, but minor versions can be released separately.

Install the CLI using the npm package manager:

npm install -g @angular/cli

For details about changes between versions, and information about updating from previous releases, see the Releases tab on GitHub: https://github.com/angular/angular-cli/releases

Basic workflow

Invoke the tool on the command line through the ng executable. Online help is available on the command line. Enter the following to list commands or options for a given command (such as generate) with a short description.

ng help
ng generate --help

To create, build, and serve a new, basic Angular project on a development server, go to the parent directory of your new workspace use the following commands:

ng new my-first-project
cd my-first-project
ng serve

In your browser, open http://localhost:4200/ to see the new application run. When you use the ng serve command to build an application and serve it locally, the server automatically rebuilds the application and reloads the page when you change any of the source files.

When you run ng new my-first-project a new folder, named my-first-project, will be created in the current working directory. Since you want to be able to create files inside that folder, make sure you have sufficient rights in the current working directory before running the command.

If the current working directory is not the right place for your project, you can change to a more appropriate directory by running cd <path-to-other-directory>.

Workspaces and project files

The ng new command creates an Angular workspace folder and generates a new application skeleton. A workspace can contain multiple applications and libraries. The initial application created by the ng new command is at the top level of the workspace. When you generate an additional application or library in a workspace, it goes into a projects/ subfolder.

A newly generated application contains the source files for a root module, with a root component and template. Each application has a src folder that contains the logic, data, and assets.

You can edit the generated files directly, or add to and modify them using CLI commands. Use the ng generate command to add new files for additional components and services, and code for new pipes, directives, and so on. Commands such as add and generate, which create or operate on applications and libraries, must be executed from within a workspace or project folder.

Workspace and project configuration

A single workspace configuration file, angular.json, is created at the top level of the workspace. This is where you can set per-project defaults for CLI command options, and specify configurations to use when the CLI builds a project for different targets.

The ng config command lets you set and retrieve configuration values from the command line, or you can edit the angular.json file directly.

NOTE: Option names in the configuration file must use camelCase, while option names supplied to commands must be dash-case.

CLI command-language syntax

Command syntax is shown as follows:

ng [optional-arg] [options]

  • Most commands, and some options, have aliases. Aliases are shown in the syntax statement for each command.

  • Option names are prefixed with a double dash (--) characters. Option aliases are prefixed with a single dash (-) character. Arguments are not prefixed. For example:

    ng build my-app -c production
  • Typically, the name of a generated artifact can be given as an argument to the command or specified with the --name option.

  • Arguments and option names must be given in dash-case. For example: --my-option-name

Boolean options

Boolean options have two forms: --this-option sets the flag to true, --no-this-option sets it to false. If neither option is supplied, the flag remains in its default state, as listed in the reference documentation.

Array options

Array options can be provided in two forms: --option value1 value2 or --option value1 --option value2.

Relative paths

Options that specify files can be given as absolute paths, or as paths relative to the current working directory, which is generally either the workspace or project root.


The ng generate and ng add commands take, as an argument, the artifact or library to be generated or added to the current project. In addition to any general options, each artifact or library defines its own options in a schematic. Schematic options are supplied to the command in the same format as immediate command options.

Command Overview

Command Alias Description

Adds support for an external library to your project.


Configures the gathering of Angular CLI usage metrics. See https://angular.io/cli/usage-analytics-gathering

build b

Compiles an Angular application or library into an output directory named dist/ at the given output path.


Configure persistent disk cache and retrieve cache statistics.


Set up Angular CLI autocompletion for your terminal.


Retrieves or sets Angular configuration values in the angular.json file for the workspace.


Invokes the deploy builder for a specified project or for the default project in the workspace.

doc d

Opens the official Angular documentation (angular.io) in a browser, and searches for a given keyword.

e2e e

Builds and serves an Angular application, then runs end-to-end tests.


Extracts i18n messages from source code.

generate g

Generates and/or modifies files based on a schematic.


Runs linting tools on Angular application code in a given project folder.

new n

Creates a new Angular workspace.


Runs an Architect target with an optional custom builder configuration defined in your project.

serve s

Builds and serves your application, rebuilding on file changes.

test t

Runs unit tests in a project.


Updates your workspace and its dependencies. See https://update.angular.io/.

version v

Outputs Angular CLI version.

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