Using Twitter Bootstrap with Node.js, Express and Jade

I’ve decided to write this post as a note to myself. I’m still learning Node.js and digging into Express/Jade, but I’ve read many people using the nice Twitter Bootstrap and I was wondering if there was a way to integrate all these technologies. The short answer is: yes, we can!

Note: once again, I’m not a Node.js expert and surely there are other ways to achieve this task (for example there is a Node.js module called twitter-bootstrap, but I haven’t tried it). This tutorial is based on another tutorial I found, but it was not very updated and it had a more complicated way to install Bootstrap, so I decided to write a new one basing it on the original http://www.rs.au.com/31/how-to-install-bootstrap-v2-0-2-in-expressjs-v3-0-0

Preparing the environment

I will assume that you’re running any Linux distribution (in my case I’m using Ubuntu 12.10, but feel free to use your own distribution). Be sure to have installed a recent version of nodejs and npm packages (I’m using Node.js 0.8.20 and npm 1.2.11).

Create a project folder and install the required dependencies

mkdir node-bootstrap
cd node-bootstrap
npm install express
npm install jade

Create the basic project structure with Express

andrea@andrea-Inspiron-660:~/Documents/sviluppo/nodejs/node-bootstrap$ node_modules/express/bin/express nodebootstrap

create : nodebootstrap
create : nodebootstrap/package.json
create : nodebootstrap/app.js
create : nodebootstrap/public
create : nodebootstrap/public/javascripts
create : nodebootstrap/public/images
create : nodebootstrap/public/stylesheets
create : nodebootstrap/public/stylesheets/style.css
create : nodebootstrap/routes
create : nodebootstrap/routes/index.js
create : nodebootstrap/routes/user.js
create : nodebootstrap/views
create : nodebootstrap/views/layout.jade
create : nodebootstrap/views/index.jade

install dependencies:
$ cd nodebootstrap && npm install

run the app:
$ node app

You should already have installed all the needed dependencies, even without executing npm install, anyway executing it won’t hurt.

Download and install Bootstrap

Download Twitter Boostrap from the official website http://twitter.github.com/bootstrap/assets/bootstrap.zip and unzip it under the nodebootstrap/public folder.

Bootstrap integration with Jade template system

At this point you need to edit the views/layout.jade file and include the references to Bootsrap

!!!
html
  head
    title= title
    link(rel='stylesheet', href='/bootstrap/css/bootstrap.min.css')
    link(rel='stylesheet', href='/bootstrap/css/bootstrap-responsive.min.css')
    link(rel='stylesheet', href='/stylesheets/style.css')
    script(src='http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1/jquery.min.js')
    script(src='/bootstrap/js/bootstrap.min.js')
  body
    block content

Test the Bootstrap integration

At this point we will modify views/index.jade that is the default template used to render the index

extends layout

block content
  div.top
    form.form-horizontal(method="post", id="loginForm")
      label Username
      input.span3(id="username", type="text", name="User", placeholder="Enter your username")
      label Password
      input.span3(id="password", type="password", name="Password")
      input.btn(type="submit", value="Log In")
  div.container
    div.content
      table.table.table-striped
        thead
          tr
            th Table
            th Heading
        tbody
          tr
            td Blah
            td Test
          tr
            td Hello
            td World

  div.footer

Now go back to the terminal and execute the app:

andrea@andrea-Inspiron-660:~/Documents/sviluppo/nodejs/node-bootstrap/nodebootstrap$ node app.js
Express server listening on port 3000

Open your favourite browse and visit http://localhost:3000 to see your first Bootstrap + Node.js application app and running.

9 comments

  1. This might be a self-post for you, but it’s awesome. Exactly what I needed. You might think on expanding on this subject, as it’s something very, very interesting.

  2. Thanks so much! After going through a variety of well-intentioned posts on the web of how to install node and express, this was the clearest and it worked like a charm.

  3. Thanks for the write-up, but after following the directions, the css portions of bootstrap don’t get applied, the icons don’t show, etc. Do you know what could be going on?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>