⚡️ Speed up your Webpack build with esbuild


Keywords
esbuild, webpack, loader, typescript, esnext, babel, optimization, minification, speedup, terser, esbuild-loader
License
MIT
Install
npm install esbuild-loader@2.8.0

Documentation

esbuild-loader

Speed up your Webpack build with esbuild! 🔥

esbuild is a JavaScript bundler written in Go that supports blazing fast ESNext & TypeScript transpilation and JS minification.

esbuild-loader lets you harness the speed of esbuild in your Webpack build by offering faster alternatives for transpilation (eg. babel-loader/ts-loader) and minification (eg. Terser)!

Curious how much faster your build will be? See what users are saying.

Support this project by ⭐️ starring and sharing it. Follow me to see what other cool projects I'm working on! ❤️

🚀 Install

npm i -D esbuild-loader

🚦 Quick Setup

Javascript & JSX transpilation (eg. Babel)

In webpack.config.js:

  module.exports = {
    module: {
      rules: [
-       {
-         test: /\.js$/,
-         use: 'babel-loader',
-       },
+       {
+         test: /\.js$/,
+         loader: 'esbuild-loader',
+         options: {
+           loader: 'jsx',  // Remove this if you're not using JSX
+           target: 'es2015'  // Syntax to compile to (see options below for possible values)
+         }
+       },

        ...
      ],
    },
  }

TypeScript & TSX

In webpack.config.js:

  module.exports = {
    module: {
      rules: [
-       {
-         test: /\.tsx?$/,
-         use: 'ts-loader'
-       },
+       {
+         test: /\.tsx?$/,
+         loader: 'esbuild-loader',
+         options: {
+           loader: 'tsx',  // Or 'ts' if you don't need tsx
+           target: 'es2015'
+         }
+       },

        ...
      ]
    },
  }

Configuration

If you have a tsconfig.json file, esbuild-loader will automatically detect it.

Alternatively, you can also pass it in directly via the tsconfigRaw option:

  {
      test: /\.tsx?$/,
      loader: 'esbuild-loader',
      options: {
          loader: 'tsx',
          target: 'es2015',
+         tsconfigRaw: require('./tsconfig.json')
      }
  }

⚠️ esbuild only supports a subset of tsconfig options (see TransformOptions interface) and does not do type-checks. It's recommended to use a type-aware IDE or tsc --noEmit for type-checking instead. It is also recommended to enable isolatedModules and esModuleInterop options in your tsconfig by the esbuild docs.

JS Minification (eg. Terser)

You can replace JS minifiers like Terser or UglifyJs. Checkout the benchmarks to see how much faster esbuild is. The target option tells esbuild that it can use newer JS syntax to perform better minification.

In webpack.config.js:

+ const { ESBuildMinifyPlugin } = require('esbuild-loader')

  module.exports = {
    ...,

+   optimization: {
+     minimizer: [
+       new ESBuildMinifyPlugin({
+         target: 'es2015'  // Syntax to compile to (see options below for possible values)
+       })
+     ]
+   },
  }

💁‍♀️ Protip: Use the minify plugin in-place of the loader to transpile the JS

If you're not using TypeScript, JSX, or any syntax unsupported by Webpack, you can also leverage the minifier for transpilation (as an alternative to Babel). It will be faster because there's less files to work on and will produce a smaller output because the polyfills will only be bundled once for the entire build instead of per file. Simply set the target option on the minifier to specify which support level you want.

CSS Minification

There are two ways to minify CSS, depending on your setup. You should already have CSS setup in your build using css-loader.

⚠️ esbuild currently doesn't support source-maps for CSS minification.

CSS assets

If your CSS is extracted and emitted as a CSS file, you can replace CSS minification plugins like css-minimizer-webpack-plugin or optimize-css-assets-webpack-plugin with the same ESBuildMinifyPlugin by enabling the css option.

Assuming the CSS is extracted using something like MiniCssExtractPlugin, in webpack.config.js:

  const { ESBuildMinifyPlugin } = require('esbuild-loader')
  const MiniCssExtractPlugin = require('mini-css-extract-plugin');

  module.exports = {
    ...,

    optimization: {
      minimizer: [
        new ESBuildMinifyPlugin({
          target: 'es2015',
+         css: true  // Apply minification to CSS assets
        })
      ]
    },

    module: {
      rules: [
        {
          test: /\.css$/i,
          use: [
            MiniCssExtractPlugin.loader,
            'css-loader'
          ]
        }
      ]
    },

    plugins: [
      new MiniCssExtractPlugin()
    ]
  }

CSS in JS

If your CSS is not emitted as a CSS file, but rather loaded via JS using something like style-loader, you can use the loader for minification.

In webpack.config.js:

  module.exports = {
    ...,

    module: {
      rules: [
        {
          test: /\.css$/i,
          use: [
            'style-loader',
            'css-loader',
+           {
+             loader: 'esbuild-loader',
+             options: {
+               loader: 'css',
+               minify: true
+             }
+           }
          ]
        }
      ]
    }
  }

Examples

If you'd like to see working Webpack builds that use esbuild-loader for basic JS, React, TypeScript, or Next.js, check out the examples repo.

Bring your own esbuild (Advanced)

esbuild-loader comes with a version of esbuild it has been tested to work with. However, esbuild has a frequent release cadence, and while we try to keep up with the important releases, it can easily go out of date.

Use the implementation option in the loader or the minify plugin to pass in your own version of esbuild (eg. a newer one).

⚠️ esbuild is not stable yet and can have dramatic differences across releases. Using a different version of esbuild is not guaranteed to work.

+ const esbuild = require('esbuild')

  ...

  module.exports = {
    ...,

    module: {
      rules: [
        {
          test: ...,
          loader: 'esbuild-loader',
          options: {
            ...,
+           implementation: esbuild
          }
        }
      ]
    }
  }

The implementation option will be removed once esbuild reaches a stable release. Instead esbuild will become a peerDependency so you always provide your own.

⚙️ Options

Loader

The loader supports all Transform options from esbuild.

Note:

  • Source-maps are automatically configured for you via devtool. sourcemap/sourcefile options are ignored.
  • The root tsconfig.json is automatically detected for you. You don't need to pass in tsconfigRaw unless it's in a different path.

Here are some common configurations and custom options:

target

Type: string | Array<string>

Default: 'es2015'

The target environment (e.g. es2016, chrome80, esnext).

Read more about it in the esbuild docs.

loader

Type: 'js' | 'jsx' | 'ts' | 'tsx' | 'css' | 'json' | 'text' | 'base64' | 'file' | 'dataurl' | 'binary' | 'default'

Default: 'js'

The loader to use to handle the file. See the type for possible values.

Read more about it in the esbuild docs.

jsxFactory

Type: string

Default: React.createElement

Customize the JSX factory function name to use.

Read more about it in the esbuild docs.

jsxFragment

Type: string

Default: React.Fragment

Customize the JSX fragment function name to use.

Read more about it in the esbuild docs.

implementation

Type: { transform: Function }

Custom esbuild-loader option.

Use it to pass in a different esbuild version.

MinifyPlugin

The loader supports all Transform options from esbuild.

target

Type: string | Array<string>

Default: 'esnext'

Target environment (e.g. 'es2016', ['chrome80', 'esnext'])

Read more about it in the esbuild docs.

Here are some common configurations and custom options:

minify

Type: boolean

Default: true

Enable JS minification. Enables all minify* flags below.

To have nuanced control over minification, disable this and enable the specific minification you want below.

Read more about it in the esbuild docs.

minifyWhitespace

Type: boolean

Minify JS by removing whitespace.

minifyIdentifiers

Type: boolean

Minify JS by shortening identifiers.

minifySyntax

Type: boolean

Minify JS using equivalent but shorter syntax.

legalComments

Type: 'none' | 'inline' | 'eof'

Default: 'inline'

Read more about it in the esbuild docs.

sourcemap

Type: boolean

Default: Webpack devtool configuration

Whether to emit sourcemaps.

css

Type: boolean

Default: false

Custom esbuild-loader option.

Whether to minify CSS files.

include

Type: string | RegExp | Array<string | RegExp>

Custom esbuild-loader option.

Filter assets to include in minification

exclude

Type: string | RegExp | Array<string | RegExp>

Custom esbuild-loader option.

Filter assets to exclude from minification

implementation

Type: { transform: Function }

Custom esbuild-loader option.

Use it to pass in a different esbuild version.

🙋‍♀️ FAQ

Is it possible to use esbuild plugins?

No. esbuild plugins are only available in the build API. And esbuild-loader uses the transform API instead of the build API for two reasons:

  1. The build API is for creating JS bundles, which is what Webpack does. If you want to use esbuild's build API, consider using esbuild directly instead of Webpack.

  2. The build API reads directly from the file-system, but Webpack loaders operate in-memory. Webpack loaders are essentially just functions that are called with the source-code as the input. Not reading from the file-system allows loaders to be chainable. For example, using vue-loader to compile Single File Components (.vue files), then using esbuild-loader to transpile just the JS part of the SFC.

Is it possible to use esbuild's inject option?

No. The inject option is only available in the build API. And esbuild-loader uses the transform API.

However, you can use the Webpack equivalent ProvidePlugin instead.

If you're using React, check out this example on how to auto-import React in your components.

Is it possible to use Babel plugins?

No. If you really need them, consider porting them over to a Webpack loader.

And please don't chain babel-loader and esbuild-loader. The speed gains come from replacing babel-loader.

Why am I not getting a 100x speed improvement as advertised?

Running esbuild as a standalone bundler vs esbuild-loader + Webpack are completely different:

  • esbuild is highly optimized, written in Go, and compiled to native code. Read more about it here.
  • esbuild-loader is handled by Webpack in a JS runtime, which applies esbuild transforms per file. On top of that, there's likely other loaders & plugins in a Webpack config that slow it down.

Using any JS bundler introduces a bottleneck that makes reaching those speeds impossible. However, esbuild-loader can still speed up your build by removing the bottlenecks created by babel-loader, ts-loader, Terser, etc.

Will there be type-checking support?

According to the esbuild FAQ, it will not be supported.

However, IDEs like VSCode or WebStorm have type-chekcing built in. And you can also run tsc --noEmit to type check.

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