Setting up a webserver

When making changes to Converse, either development or theming changes, you’ll want to preview them in your browser.

For this, you’ll need to serve the development files via a web server, so that you can see your local changes in the browser.

Manually starting a web server

To both set up the development environment and also start up a web browser to serve the files for you, you can run:

make serve


To run the “make” commands, you’ll need GNUMake installed on your computer. If you use GNU/Linux or *BSD, it should be installed or available via your package manager. For Mac, you’ll need to install XCode and in Windows you can use Chocolatey.

After running make serve you can open http://localhost:8000 in your webbrowser to see the Converse website.

When developing or changing the theme, you’ll want to load all the unminified JS and CSS resources as separate files. To do this, open http://localhost:8000/dev.html instead.

You might want to open dev.html in your text editor or IDE as well, to see how converse.initialize is called and to potentially change any of the settings.

Starting a web server with live reloading

Alternatively, if you want to have live reloading whenever any of the source files change, you can run make devserver (which will use webpack-dev-server).

Instead of dev.html being used, webpack.html is now being used as the HTML template, and you’ll need to modify that file if you want to change the settings passed to converse.initialize.

If you’re running make devserver, you need to open http://localhost:8080.