Background Builds

Background builds allow you to run more than one Figwheel hot reloading build process at a time.

Background builds can be started with the --background-build (-bb) Figwheel Main CLI option.

For instance, let’s say you want to run a build that compiles your main application and a build that compiles an admin backend application. The build files for both are respectively named app.cljs.edn and admin.cljs.edn. You can start both builds with the following command:

$ clojure -m figwheel.main -bb admin -b app -r

The above command will run both the admin and app builds and allow you to work on both of them at the same time.

Difference from foreground build

Background builds are not full fledged citizens like the build you supply to the --build option.

In the above example we’ll call the app build the foreground build. The foreground build is different because its configuration is what gets applied to the Figwheel server when it starts. Practically speaking, if both builds have defined their own :ring-handler, only the app build’s ring-handler will be installed. The same goes for all server related options like :ring-server-options etc.

Background builds do not affect the Figwheel server configuration.

Background builds only launch a file watcher/builder and maintain a REPL connection to the client environment to allow Figwheel to send reload and error messages. REPL connections are maintained for each build, but only the foreground build gets an interactive REPL on terminal.

Background builds should always be builds which initiate a running watcher/build process.

Background build requirements

Background builds usually have to define a :watch-dirs Figwheel configuration option.

Background builds also need to define their own host page as both applications need their own client environment.

Background build for Testing

Background builds are an ideal solution if you want to run your test suite in the Browser and you want it to react and run every time you change a file.