Trying out Marko

If you just want to play around with Marko in the browser, head on over to our Try Online feature. You'll be able to develop a Marko application right in your browser.

Creating new apps

If you're starting from scratch, marko-cli provides a starter app to get you going quickly. To get started:

npm install marko-cli --global
marko create hello-world
cd hello-world
npm start

Direct usage


The Marko compiler runs on Node.js and can be installed using npm:

npm install marko

or using yarn:

yarn add marko

In the browser

Let's say we have a simple view that we want to render in the browser: hello.marko

<h1>Hello ${}</h1>
h1 -- Hello ${}

First, let's create a client.js that requires the view and renders it to the body:

var helloComponent = require("./hello");
helloComponent.renderSync({ name: "Marko" }).appendTo(document.body);

We will also create a barebones HTML page to host our application:

<!doctype html>
    <title>Marko Example</title>

Now, we need to bundle these files for use in the browser. We can use a tool called lasso to do that for us, so let's get it (and the marko plugin) installed:

npm install --global lasso-cli
npm install --save lasso lasso-marko

Now we can build our bundle for the browser:

lasso --main client.js --plugins lasso-marko --inject-into index.html

This builds a client.js file to the newly created static/ directory and injects the required <script> tags into our HTML page to load our application in the browser. If we had css in the view then <link> tags would have also been added.

Load up that page in your browser and you should see Hello Marko staring back at you.

On the server

Require Marko views

Marko provides a custom Node.js require extension that allows you to require Marko views exactly like a standard JavaScript module. Take the following example server.js:

    Hello ${}!
div -- Hello ${}!
// The following line installs the Node.js require extension
// for `.marko` files.  This should be called once near the start
// of your application before requiring any `*.marko` files.
var fs = require("fs");
// Load a Marko view by requiring a .marko file:
var hello = require("./hello");
var out = fs.createWriteStream("hello.html", { encoding: "utf8" });
hello.render({ name: "Frank" }, out);

Using the Node.js require extension is completely optional. If you prefer to not use the Node.js require extension then you will need to precompile all of the marko templates using Marko CLI:

marko compile hello.marko

This will produce a hello.marko.js file next to the original template. The generated .js file will be what gets loaded by the Node.js runtime. It is important to leave off the .marko extension when requiring a Marko template so that the .js will be resolved correctly.

If you wish to only use the require extension in development, you can conditionally require it.

if (!process.env.NODE_ENV) {

Serving a simple page

Let's update server.js to serve the view from an http server:

// Allow requiring `.marko` files
var http = require("http");
var hello = require("./hello");
var port = 8080;
  .createServer((req, res) => {
    // let the browser know html is coming
    res.setHeader("content-type", "text/html");
    // render the output to the `res` output stream
    hello.render({ name: "Marko" }, res);

And give hello.marko some content:

<h1>Hello ${}</h1>
h1 -- Hello ${}

Start the server (node server.js) and open your browser to http://localhost:8080 where you should see the heading Hello Marko.

Initializing server-rendered components

Marko automatically injects a list of components that need to be mounted in the browser, right before the closing </body> tag (as such, it required that you include a <body> in your rendered output).

However, you still need to bundle the CSS & JavaScript for your page and include the proper link, style, and script tags. Luckily, the lasso taglib will do all the heavy lifting for you.

First install lasso and lasso-marko:

npm install --save lasso lasso-marko @lasso/marko-taglib

Next, register and config the lasso:

var isProduction = process.env.NODE_ENV === "production";
// Configure lasso to control how JS/CSS/etc. is delivered to the browser
  plugins: [
    "lasso-marko" // Allow Marko templates to be compiled and transported to the browser
  outputDir: __dirname + "/static", // Place all generated JS/CSS/etc. files into the "static" dir
  bundlingEnabled: isProduction, // Only enable bundling in production
  minify: isProduction, // Only minify JS and CSS code in production
  fingerprintsEnabled: isProduction // Only add fingerprints to URLs in production

Next, in your page or layout view, add the lasso-head and lasso-body tags:

    <title>Hello world</title>
    title -- Hello world

Finally, configure your server to serve the static files that lasso generates:

If you're using express, just do:


And if koa, do:

const mount = require("koa-mount");
const serve = require("koa-static");
app.use(mount("/static", serve(__dirname + "/static")));

For the full application code for the Koa and assets bundling, please see the sample: Marko + Koa.



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