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The Ember CLI

The Ember CLI (command line interface) is the official way to create, build, test, and serve the files that make up an Ember.js app or addon. Many things have to happen before any web app is ready for the browser, and the Ember CLI helps you get there with zero configuration.

npm install -g ember-cli

Visit Ember CLI on GitHub and the Ember.js Release Blog Posts for information on the latest releases and new features.

Learning the CLI

Although these CLI guides have a lot of content, a typical Ember developer will only need to know and use a small fraction of the information. For new users, the recommended learning path is to first do the Ember.js Quickstart and Tutorial, which teach the commands while building a sample app. Then, review the Basic Use section of this site as a reference resource.

The CLI comes with a command-line-based help system too. At any point, if you're curious what a command does and what the options are, you can add --help to the command and press enter to find out more.

What are addons?

There are thousands of JavaScript libraries that work great in Ember. When an npm package offers some Ember-specific conveniences, we call it an “addon.” Ember CLI’s addon system provides a way to create reusable units of code, share components and styling, extend the build tooling, and more — all with minimal configuration.

To view some of the most popular addons, visit Ember Observer.

Although Ember-specific packages are more specific, you can use your favorite npm packages directly too. By default, Ember apps created through Ember CLI include the ember-auto-import dependency, which enables importing npm packages directly. For example, if you want to use the highcharts library in your application, you can install and import it in your application without any other configuration. Be sure to visit the ember-auto-import documentation for more advanced usage!

Why do we need a CLI?

The Ember CLI is like a dependency packager, test runner, optimizer, and local server all rolled into one. Since all the features were built to work together, common tasks (such as upgrading the app version or deploying) can be automated with production-ready, open source plugins. The CLI is backwards-compatible with older Ember apps and maintains a six-week release schedule.

The CLI's job is to make your work easier. It was built with the philosophy that a developer should be able to focus on building great apps, not re-engineering how to fit all the pieces together at each stage of an app's lifecycle. The result is that apps are more maintainable and approachable, since there are established architectural patterns across individuals, teams, and companies.

However, if you want to make your own adjustments like using a different testing library, you still can.

Getting help

Do you have questions? Run into an issue or a bug? Get support from the community. A list of chat rooms, forums, and more are available here.


The Ember CLI is developed and maintained by a group of open source contributors from many different companies and backgrounds. If you have an idea for a feature, a bug to report, or just want to help out where it is needed, you can reach the team via GitHub, the Ember Community forums and chat, or drop by the weekly meeting that is open to the public.

Places to contribute