A JavaScript graph library for analysis and visualisation

npm install cytoscape
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You can find the documentation and downloads on the project website. This readme is mostly for developers of Cytoscape.js.

Contributing to Cytoscape.js

Cytoscape.js is an open source project, and anyone interested is encouraged to contribute to Cytoscape.js. We gladly accept pull requests. If you are interested in regular contributions to Cytoscape.js, then we can arrange granting you permission to the repository by contacting us.

If your pull request is a bugfix, please make changes to the master branch. Otherwise, please make changes to the next version's branch.


Arbor was used in one of Cytoscape.js's included layouts. We made some modifications to the library, written by Samizdat Drafting Co., so that it would work with multiple instances of Cytoscape.js and that it would work on lesser browsers, like IE. Information about this library can be found at the Arbor website and on GitHub where the original code was forked.

Adding source files

When adding source (.js) files to the repository, update the list of JS files in gulpfile.js. You can update the references to these JS files in the tests and debug page et cetera with gulp:

  1. gulp debugrefs : Update the JS files referenced in the debug page (debug/index.html).
  2. gulp testrefs : Update the JS files referenced in the test page (test/index.html).
  3. gulp testlist : Update the JS test files referenced in the test page (test/index.html).

Or you can do them together via gulp refs.

Build dependencies

Install npm and gulp. Of course, npm install before using gulp.

Build instructions

Run gulp in the console. The main targets are:

  • build : build the library
  • zip : build the release ZIP
  • clean : clean the build directory
  • testrefs : update JS lib file refs in the tests page
  • testlist : update list of test JS files in tests page
  • debugrefs : update JS lib file refs in debug page
  • test : run the Mocha unit tests
  • docs : build the documentation template
  • docsmin : build the documentation template with all resources minified
  • docspub : build the documentation for publishing (ZIPs, JS refs, etc.)
  • dist : update the distribution JS for npm, bower, etc.
  • pub : publish a new version of Cytoscape.js
  • watch : update JS refs in HTML files automatically when JS files are added or deleted

Release instructions

  1. Update the VERSION environment variable, e.g. export VERSION=1.2.3.
  2. Confirm VERSION is picked up by gulp: gulp version.
  3. Build and publish the release: gulp pub, and then...
    1. Make sure all your changes are pushed.
    2. Create a tag for this version in git (e.g. ./
    3. Copy the docs in documentation to the gh-pages branch and push (e.g. ./
    4. Publish to npm (e.g. ./


Mocha tests are found in the test directory. The tests can be run in the browser or they can be run via Node.js (gulp test).


Funding for Cytoscape.js and Cytoscape is provided by NRNB (U.S. National Institutes of Health, National Center for Research Resources grant numbers P41 RR031228 and GM103504) and by NIH grants 2R01GM070743 and 1U41HG006623. The following organizations help develop Cytoscape:

ISB | UCSD | MSKCC | Pasteur | Agilent | UCSF | Unilever | Toronto | NCIBI | NRNB

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