Declare & install Babel plugins & transforms the easy way

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Declare & install Babel plugins & transforms the easy way

babel-install is convenience for folks who are frequently trying out Babel plugins and presets. It installs and saves them to the appropriate place in your .babelrc and package.json file. It warns you when you're installing a module that has already been saved to your .babelrc. It also allows you to pass the module names using shorhand via CLI flags powered by yargs-parser.

Getting started

From the command line
npm i babel-install -DE

If you haven't already, add this to your ~/.zshrc or ~/.bashrc and reload your shell. It allows your to run local Node bins as if they were globally installed.
export PATH=./node_modules/.bin:$PATH

CLI usage

babel-install babel-preset-es2015 babel-plugin-transform-async-to-generator babel-plugin-transform-es2015-arrow-functions
# or
babel-install --presets es2015 --plugins transform-async-to-generator transform-es2015-arrow-functions

...which results in
  "presets": ["es2015"],
  "plugins": ["transform-es2015-arrow-functions", "transform-async-to-generator"]

  "devDependencies": {
    "babel-preset-es2015": "{some latest version here}",
    "babel-plugin-transform-async-to-generator": "{some latest version here}",
    "babel-plugin-transform-es2015-arrow-functions": "{some latest version here}",

There are several aliases installed to cover common typos
  • babel-isntall
  • babelisntall
  • babelinstall

I didn't provide an even shorter command ala bi to prevent conflicts with other libraries. However, if you'd like a shorter command, I recommend creating an alias.
You can specify specific versions of Babel modules using both the full and short forms. E.g.
babel-install --plugins rewire@v1.0.0-beta-5
# is the same as
babel-install babel-plugin-rewire@v1.0.0-beta-5

Programmatic Usage

import BabelInstaller from 'babel-install';
BabelInstaller().installAndDeclare(someArrayOfBabelPackageNames, function (installError) {
  return installError ? console.error(installError) :'Install succeeded');


Install pre-commit hook

npm run install-precommit


  • Evaluating adding a --transforms flag that's a special subset of --plugins