Frequently Asked Questions

Does this tool require that I use Laravel?

No. It has a few optimizations for Laravel, but it can be used for any project.

My code isn't being minified.

Minification will only be performed, when your NODE_ENV is set to production. Not only will this speed up your compilation time, but it's also unnecessary during development. Here's an example of running webpack for production.

export NODE_ENV=production && webpack --progress --hide-modules

It's highly recommended that you add the following NPM scripts to your package.json file. Please note that Laravel includes these out of the box.

  "scripts": {
    "dev": "NODE_ENV=development webpack --progress --hide-modules",
    "watch": "NODE_ENV=development webpack --watch --progress --hide-modules",
    "hot": "NODE_ENV=development webpack-dev-server --inline --hot",
    "production": "NODE_ENV=production webpack --progress --hide-modules"

I'm using a VM, and webpack isn't picking up my file changes.

If you're running npm run dev through a VM, you may find that file changes are not picked up by webpack. If that's the case, there are two ways to resolve this:

  1. Configure webpack to poll the filesystem for changes Note: Polling the filesystem is resource-intensive and will likely shorten battery life on the go.
  2. Forward file change notifications to the VM by using something like vagrant-fsnotify. Note, this is a Vagrant-only plugin.

To poll the VM's filesystem, update your NPM script to use the --watch-poll flag, in addition to the --watch flag. Like this:

"scripts": {
    "watch": "NODE_ENV=development webpack --watch --watch-poll",

To forward file change notifications to the VM, simply install vagrant-fsnotify on the host machine:

vagrant plugin install vagrant-fsnotify

Now you may configure vagrant to use the plugin. In Homestead, your Homestead.yaml file would look something like this:

        map: /Users/jeffrey/Code/laravel
        to: /home/vagrant/Code/laravel
            fsnotify: true
                - node_modules
                - vendor

Once your vagrant machine is started, simply run vagrant fsnotify on the host machine to forward all file changes to the VM. You may then run npm run watch inside the VM and have your changes automatically picked up.

If you're still having trouble, see here for additional troubleshooting tips.

Why is it saying that an image in my CSS file can't be found in node_modules?

Let's imagine that you have a relative path to an asset that doesn't exist in your resources/assets/sass/app.scss file.

body {
    background: url('../img/example.jpg');

When referencing a relative path, always think in terms of the current file. As such, webpack will look for resources/assets/img/example.jpg. If it can't find it, it'll then begin searching for the file location, including within node_modules. If it still can't be found, you'll receive the error:

 ERROR  Failed to compile with 1 errors

This dependency was not found in node_modules:

You have two possible solutions:

  1. Make sure that resources/assets/img/example.jpg exists.
  2. Add the following to your webpack.mix.js file to disable CSS url() processing.
mix.sass('resources/assets/sass/app.scss', 'public/css')
        processCssUrls: false

This is particularly useful for legacy projects where your folder structure is already exactly as you desire.

My mix-manifest.json file shouldn't be in the project root.

If you're not using Laravel, your mix-manifest.json file will be dumped into the project root. If you need to change this, call mix.setPublicPath('dist/');, and your manifest file will now be saved in that base directory.

How Do I autoload modules with webpack?

Through its ProvidePlugin plugin, webpack allows you to automatically load modules, where needed. A common use-case for this is when we need to pull in jQuery.

new webpack.ProvidePlugin({
  $: 'jquery',
  jQuery: 'jquery'

// in a module
$('#item'); // <= just works
jQuery('#item'); // <= just works
// $ is automatically set to the exports of module "jquery"

While Laravel Mix automatically loads jQuery for you (exactly as the example above demonstrates), should you need to disable it (by passing an empty object), or override it with your own modules, you may use the mix.autoload() method. Here's an example:

  jquery: ['$', 'window.jQuery', 'jQuery'], // more than one
  moment: 'moment' // only one

How might I manually add CoffeeScript compilation?

Very easily! Most of the time, you only need to research the necessary steps for adding X to webpack, and then reference those instructions within the mix.webpackConfig() method of your webpack.mix.js file. The object you provide to this method will be merged with Mix's default config.

Here's how you might add CoffeeScript support.

// npm install coffee-loader coffee-script

mix.js('resources/assets/js/', 'public/js')
        module: {
            rules: [
                { test: /\.coffee$/, loader: 'coffee-loader' }