Getting Started

Install Metro using npm:

npm install --save-dev metro metro-core

Or via yarn:

yarn add --dev metro metro-core

Running metro

You can run Metro by either running the CLI or by calling it programmatically.

Running Programatically

First, require the module by doing:

const Metro = require('metro');

Within the object returned, several main methods are given:

Method runMetro(config)

Given the config, a metro-server will be returned. You can then hook this into a proper HTTP(S) server by using its processRequest method:

'use strict';
const http = require('http');
const Metro = require('metro');
// We first load the config from the file system
Metro.loadConfig().then(config => {
const metroBundlerServer = Metro.runMetro(config);
const httpServer = http.createServer(

In order to be also compatible with Express apps, processRequest will also call its third parameter when the request could not be handled by Metro. This allows you to integrate the server with your existing server, or to extend a new one:

const httpServer = http.createServer((req, res) => {
metroBundlerServer.processRequest(req, res, () => {
// Metro does not know how to handle the request.

If you are using Express, you can just pass processRequest as a middleware:

const express = require('express');
const app = express();

Method runServer(config, options)

Starts a development server based on the given configuration and options. Returns the server. We recommend using runMetro instead of runServer, runMetro calls this function.


  • host (string): Where to host the server on.
  • onReady (Function): Called when the server is ready to serve requests.
  • secure (boolean): DEPRECATED Whether the server should run on https instead of http.
  • secureKey (string): DEPRECATED The key to use for https when secure is on.
  • secureCert (string): DEPRECATED The cert to use for https when secure is on.
  • secureServerOptions (Object): The options object to pass to the Metro's https server. The presence of this object will make Metro's server run on https. Refer to the nodejs docs for valid options.
const config = await Metro.loadConfig();
await Metro.runServer(config, {
port: 8080,
const fs = require('fs');
const config = await Metro.loadConfig();
await Metro.runServer(config, {
port: 8080,
secureServerOptions: {
ca: fs.readFileSync('path/to/ca'),
cert: fs.readFileSync('path/to/cert'),
key: fs.readFileSync('path/to/key'),

Method runBuild(config, options)

Given a configuration and a set of options that you would typically pass to a server, plus a set of options specific to the bundle itself, a bundle will be built. The return value is a Promise that resolves to an object with two properties, code and map. This is useful at build time.


  • dev (boolean): Create a development version of the build (process.env.NODE_ENV = 'development').
  • entry (string): Pointing to the entry file to bundle.
  • onBegin (Function): Called when the bundling starts.
  • onComplete (Function): Called when the bundling finishes.
  • onProgress (Function): Called during the bundle, every time there's new information available about the module count/progress.
  • minify (boolean): Whether Metro should minify the bundle.
  • out (string): Path to the output bundle.
  • platform ('web' | 'android' | 'ios'): Which platform to bundle for if a list of platforms is provided.
  • sourceMap (boolean): Whether Metro should generate source maps.
  • sourceMapUrl (string): URL where the source map can be found. It defaults to the same same URL as the bundle, but changing the extension from .bundle to .map. When inlineSourceMap is true, this property has no effect.
const config = await Metro.loadConfig();
await Metro.runBuild(config, {
platform: 'ios',
minify: true,
out: '/Users/Metro/metro-ios.js'

Method createConnectMiddleware(config)

Instead of creating the full server, creates a Connect middleware that answers to bundle requests. This middleware can then be plugged into your own servers. The port parameter is optional and only used for logging purposes.


  • port (number): Port for the Connect Middleware (Only for logging purposes).
const Metro = require('metro');
const express = require('express');
const app = express();
const server = require('http').Server(app);
Metro.loadConfig().then(async config => {
const connectMiddleware = await Metro.createConnectMiddleware(config);
const {server: {port}} = config;

Available options


Check Configuring Metro for details on configuration options.

URL and bundle request

The server has the ability to serve assets, bundles and source maps for those bundles.


In order to request an asset, you can freely use the require method as if it was another JS file. The server will treat this specific require calls and make them return the path to that file. When an asset is requested (an asset is recognized by its extension, which has to be on the assetExts array) it is generally served as-is.

However, the server is also able to serve specific assets depending on the platform and on the requested size (in the case of images). The way you specify the platform is via the dotted suffix (e.g. .ios) and the resolution via the at suffix (e.g. @2x). This is transparently handled for you when using require.


Any JS file can be used as the root for a bundle request. The file will be looked in the projectRoot. All files that are required by the root will be recursively included. In order to request a bundle, just change the extension from .js to .bundle. Options for building the bundle are passed as query parameters (all optional).

  • dev: build the bundle in development mode or not. Maps 1:1 to the dev setting of the bundles. Pass true or false as strings into the URL.
  • platform: platform requesting the bundle. Can be ios or android. Maps 1:1 to the platform setting of the bundles.
  • minify: whether code should be minified or not. Maps 1:1 to the minify setting of the bundles. Pass true or false as strings into the URL.
  • excludeSource: whether sources should be included in the source map or not. Pass true or false as strings into the URL.

For instance, requesting http://localhost:8081/foo/bar/baz.bundle?dev=true&platform=ios will create a bundle out of foo/bar/baz.js for iOS in development mode.

Source maps

Source maps are built for each bundle by using the same URL as the bundle (thus, the same as the JS file acting as a root). This will only work when inlineSourceMap is set to false. All options you passed to the bundle will be added to the source map URL; otherwise, they wouldn't match.

JavaScript transformer

The JavaScript transformer (babelTransformerPath) is the place where JS code will be manipulated; useful for calling Babel. The transformer can export two methods:

Method transform(module)

Mandatory method that will transform code. The object received has information about the module being transformed (e.g its path, code...) and the returned object has to contain an ast key that is the AST representation of the transformed code. The default shipped transformer does the bare minimum amount of work by just parsing the code to AST:

const babylon = require('@babel/parser');
module.exports.transform = (file: {filename: string, src: string}) => {
const ast = babylon.parse(code, {sourceType: 'module'});
return {ast};

If you would like to plug-in babel, you can simply do that by passing the code to it:

const {transformSync} = require('@babel/core');
module.exports.transform = file => {
return transformSync(file.src, {
// Babel options...

Method getCacheKey()

Optional method that returns the cache key of the transformer. When using different transformers, this allows to correctly tie a transformed file to the transformer that converted it. The result of the method has to be a string.