darnautov / chrome-extension-boilerplate

Boilerplate code for a Chrome extension using TypeScript, React, and Webpack.

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TypeScript / React / Webpack / Chrome Extension Boilerplate

You can use this boilerplate code to start developing a Chrome extension using TypeScript/JS, React for the frontend, and Webpack as the build system.

At Duo Labs, we found ourselves creating Chrome extensions with this stack frequently enough that we thought it would be nice to have a consistent starting point. Getting all the individual pieces configured from scratch can be a pain.

Get started

Clone this repository, and then, in this directory:

  1. npm install
  2. npx webpack

Your unpacked Chrome extension will be compiled into dist/. You can load it into Chrome by enabling developer mode on the "Extensions" page, hitting "Load unpacked", and selecting the dist/ folder. You can pack the extension into a .crx by using the "Pack extension" button on the same page.

Use npx webpack to recompile after editing.

Source layout

The default source layout looks like this:

├── app
│   ├── background.ts
│   └── content.ts
├── styles
│   └── popup.css
└── ui
    └── popup.tsx
  • background.ts will get loaded as the extension background script, and will run persistently in the background
  • content.ts will be injected into the URLs matched by dist/manifest.json's matches entry (see Match Patterns documentation)
  • popup.tsx will become the extension's "browser action" popup
    • NOTE: popup.tsx compiles into dist/js/popup.js. It is loaded into dist/popup.html by an explicit <script> tag on that page. dist/popup.html is static and is not automatically generated by the build process.
  • popup.css contains styles for the popup. These styles are loaded with style-loader via the import line at the top of popup.tsx (and directly injected into the popup via JavaScript)

Dist layout

├── _locales
│   └── en
│       └── messages.json
├── icons
│   ├── icon128.png
│   ├── icon16.png
│   ├── icon19.png
│   └── icon48.png
├── js
│   ├── background.js
│   ├── content.js
│   └── popup.js
├── manifest.json
└── popup.html

dist contains the Chrome extension. You can delete js/*, as its contents will be regenerated by webpack, but the rest of the contents of dist will not.

Why these choices?

We wanted a boilerplate from which we could be productive immediately, without including components we wouldn't immediately need.

  • TypeScript: We chose TypeScript because it grants us the safety of a type system while still being accessible to developers who are only familiar with JavaScript. TypeScript is a typed superset of JavaScript, so all valid JavaScript is also valid TypeScript. You can use TypeScript's extra functionality only when you want to.
  • React: Writing UI state transitions can be buggy and tedious. We like that React allows us to declaratively describe our UI without being overly bulky.
  • Webpack: Webpack allows us to define a build pipeline that can be easily extended in the future.


This work is inspired by Extensionizr, and the icons in dist/icons remain under the Extensionizr license.


Boilerplate code for a Chrome extension using TypeScript, React, and Webpack.

License:BSD 3-Clause "New" or "Revised" License


Language:TypeScript 51.2%Language:JavaScript 38.0%Language:CSS 10.8%