# Installation

Vue.js is built by design to be incrementally adoptable. This means that it can be integrated into a project multiple ways depending on the requirements.

There are four primary ways of adding Vue.js to a project:

  1. Import it as a CDN package on the page
  2. Download the JavaScript files and host them yourself
  3. Install it using npm
  4. Use the official CLI to scaffold a project, which provides batteries-included build setups for a modern frontend workflow (e.g., hot-reload, lint-on-save, and much more)

# Release Notes

Latest version: npm

Detailed release notes for each version are available on GitHub (opens new window).

# Vue Devtools

Currently in Beta - Vuex and Router integration is still WIP

When using Vue, we recommend also installing the Vue Devtools (opens new window) in your browser, allowing you to inspect and debug your Vue applications in a more user-friendly interface.

Get the Chrome Extension (opens new window)

Get the Firefox Addon (opens new window)

Get the standalone Electron app (opens new window)


For prototyping or learning purposes, you can use the latest version with:

<script src="https://unpkg.com/vue@next"></script>

For production, we recommend linking to a specific version number and build to avoid unexpected breakage from newer versions.

# Download and Self Host

If you want to avoid using build tools but can't use a CDN in production then you can download the relevant .js file and host it using your own web server. You can then include it using a <script> tag, just like with the CDN approach.

The files can be browsed and downloaded from a CDN such as unpkg (opens new window) or jsDelivr (opens new window). The various different files are explained later but you would typically want to download both a development build and a production build.

# npm

npm is the recommended installation method when building large scale applications with Vue. It pairs nicely with module bundlers such as Webpack (opens new window) or Rollup (opens new window). Vue also provides accompanying tools for authoring Single File Components.

# latest stable
$ npm install vue@next


Vue provides an official CLI (opens new window) for quickly scaffolding ambitious Single Page Applications. It provides batteries-included build setups for a modern frontend workflow. It takes only a few minutes to get up and running with hot-reload, lint-on-save, and production-ready builds. See the Vue CLI docs (opens new window) for more details.


The CLI assumes prior knowledge of Node.js and the associated build tools. If you are new to Vue or front-end build tools, we strongly suggest going through the guide without any build tools before using the CLI.

For Vue 3, you should use Vue CLI v4.5 available on npm as @vue/cli. To upgrade, you need to reinstall the latest version of @vue/cli globally:

yarn global add @vue/cli
# OR
npm install -g @vue/cli

Then in the Vue projects, run

vue upgrade --next

# Vite

Vite (opens new window) is a web development build tool that allows for lightning fast serving of code due its native ES Module import approach.

Vue projects can quickly be set up with Vite by running the following commands in your terminal.

With npm:

$ npm init @vitejs/app <project-name>
$ cd <project-name>
$ npm install
$ npm run dev

Or with Yarn:

$ yarn create @vitejs/app <project-name>
$ cd <project-name>
$ yarn
$ yarn dev

It might occur, that when your username has a space in it like 'Mike Baker', Vite cannot succeed. Have a try with

$ create-vite-app <project-name>

# Explanation of Different Builds

In the dist/ directory of the npm package (opens new window) you will find many different builds of Vue.js. Here is an overview of which dist file should be used depending on the use-case.

# From CDN or without a Bundler

# vue(.runtime).global(.prod).js:

  • For direct use via <script src="..."> in the browser, exposes the Vue global.
  • In-browser template compilation:
    • vue.global.js is the "full" build that includes both the compiler and the runtime so it supports compiling templates on the fly.
    • vue.runtime.global.js contains only the runtime and requires templates to be pre-compiled during a build step.
  • Inlines all Vue core internal packages - i.e. it's a single file with no dependencies on other files. This means you must import everything from this file and this file only to ensure you are getting the same instance of code.
  • Contains hard-coded prod/dev branches, and the prod build is pre-minified. Use the *.prod.js files for production.


Global builds are not UMD (opens new window) builds. They are built as IIFEs (opens new window) and are only meant for direct use via <script src="...">.

# vue(.runtime).esm-browser(.prod).js:

  • For usage via native ES modules imports (in browser via <script type="module">.
  • Shares the same runtime compilation, dependency inlining and hard-coded prod/dev behavior with the global build.

# With a Bundler

# vue(.runtime).esm-bundler.js:

  • For use with bundlers like webpack, rollup and parcel.
  • Leaves prod/dev branches with process.env.NODE_ENV guards (must be replaced by bundler)
  • Does not ship minified builds (to be done together with the rest of the code after bundling)
  • Imports dependencies (e.g. @vue/runtime-core, @vue/runtime-compiler)
    • Imported dependencies are also esm-bundler builds and will in turn import their dependencies (e.g. @vue/runtime-core imports @vue/reactivity)
    • This means you can install/import these deps individually without ending up with different instances of these dependencies, but you must make sure they all resolve to the same version.
  • In-browser template compilation:
    • vue.runtime.esm-bundler.js (default) is runtime only, and requires all templates to be pre-compiled. This is the default entry for bundlers (via module field in package.json) because when using a bundler templates are typically pre-compiled (e.g. in *.vue files).
    • vue.esm-bundler.js: includes the runtime compiler. Use this if you are using a bundler but still want runtime template compilation (e.g. in-DOM templates or templates via inline JavaScript strings). You will need to configure your bundler to alias vue to this file.

# For Server-Side Rendering

# vue.cjs(.prod).js:

  • For use in Node.js server-side rendering via require().
  • If you bundle your app with webpack with target: 'node' and properly externalize vue, this is the build that will be loaded.
  • The dev/prod files are pre-built, but the appropriate file is automatically required based on process.env.NODE_ENV.

# Runtime + Compiler vs. Runtime-only

If you need to compile templates on the client (e.g. passing a string to the template option, or mounting to an element using its in-DOM HTML as the template), you will need the compiler and thus the full build:

// this requires the compiler
  template: '<div>{{ hi }}</div>'

// this does not
  render() {
    return Vue.h('div', {}, this.hi)

When using vue-loader, templates inside *.vue files are pre-compiled into JavaScript at build time. You don’t really need the compiler in the final bundle, and can therefore use the runtime-only build.

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Last updated: 2021-03-19, 14:40:52 UTC