Getting started

To begin working with the Graphite codebase, you will need to set up the project to build and run on your local machine. Development usually involves running the dev server which watches for changes to frontend (web) and backend (Rust) code and automatically recompiles and reloads the Graphite editor in your browser.


Graphite is built with Rust and web technologies, which means you will need to install:

  • Node.js (the latest LTS version)
  • Rust (the latest stable release)
  • Git (any recent version)

Next, install the dependencies required for development builds:

cargo install cargo-watch
cargo install wasm-pack

You'll likely get faster build times if you manually install this specific version of wasm-bindgen-cli. It is supposed to be installed automatically but a version mismatch causes it to reinstall every single recompilation. It may need to be manually updated periodically to match the version of the wasm-bindgen dependency in Cargo.toml:

cargo install -f [email protected]


Clone the project to a convenient location:

git clone
cd Graphite

Development builds

From either the / (root) or /frontend directories, you can run the project by executing:

npm start

This spins up the dev server at http://localhost:8080 with a file watcher that performs hot reloading of the web page. You should be able to start the server, edit and save web and Rust code, and shut it down by double pressing CtrlC. You sometimes may need to reload the browser's page if hot reloading didn't behave right.

This method compiles Graphite code in debug mode which includes debug symbols for viewing function names in stack traces. But be aware, it runs slower and the Wasm binary is much larger. Having your browser's developer tools open will also significantly impact performance in both debug and release builds, so it's best to close that when not in use.

Production builds

You'll rarely need to compile your own production builds because our CI/CD system takes care of deployments. However, you can compile a production build with full optimizations by first installing the additional cargo-about dev dependency:

cargo install cargo-about

And then running:

npm run build

This produces the /frontend/dist directory containing the static site files that must be served by your own web server.