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Browsersync for a monorepo setup

When working with multiple webpack/gulp instances in a monorepo setup, handling live reload becomes a challenge. I decided to use BrowserSync with gulp to watch changes on all packages.

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How it works?

I handle my monorepo with lerna, we are running browserSync using gulp and to run this at the same time, just add it as a "npm script", I called it npm start and should look like this:

  "name": "root",
  "private": true,
  "scripts": {
    "start": "concurrently --kill-others \"npx lerna run start --parallel\" \"npx gulp --silent\"",
    "postinstall": "npx lerna bootstrap"
  "devDependencies": {
    "browser-sync": "^2.26.7",
    "concurrently": "^4.1.2",
    "gulp": "^4.0.2",
    "lerna": "^3.16.4"
  "dependencies": {}

concurrently will run both lerna and gulp "concurrently".

Once gulp runs, it's using browserSync to create a server and watch for changes in all "src" directories inside every package. You might use webpack/gulp,etc to build every package as long as you use the same structure and set the same script name on package.json. For ex. If every package has a build script, you would run them with lerna just like this: npx lerna run build.

As soon as browserSync detects a change, it will run to wait for changes in the dist directory. If the change is "CSS" related (css preprocessors/files) it will inject the change in the browser, if it's not, it will do a hard reload. You can read the code right here

It's very flexible and easy to use. You can even use it for Wordpress. For example, every plugin/theme would behave as a "package" and you can add multiple directories to watch using the directories_to_watch option inside the gulpfile.js to make it look like: