Run predefined tasks whenever watched file changes. LiveReload included.

npm install grunt-este-watch
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Run predefined tasks whenever watched file changes. LiveReload included.

Getting Started

This plugin requires Grunt ~0.4.0

If you haven't used Grunt before, be sure to check out the Getting Started guide, as it explains how to create a Gruntfile as well as install and use Grunt plugins. Once you're familiar with that process, you may install this plugin with this command:

npm install grunt-este-watch --save-dev

Once the plugin has been installed, it may be enabled inside your Gruntfile with this line of JavaScript:


Watch task

Run this task with the grunt esteWatch command.



Note you have to specify only directory ('dir'), or directory recursively ('dir/**/') with all its subdirectories.

Type: Array.<string> Default:


List of watched directories.


Type: Object Default:

  enabled: true,
  port: 35729,
  extensions: ['js', 'css']


Watch and compile CoffeeScript.

    # just a dirs, no file paths
    dirs: ['dirOne/**/', 'dirTwo/**/']

  'coffee': (filepath) ->
      files = [
        expand: true
        src: filepath
        ext: '.js'
      grunt.config ['coffee', 'app', 'files'], files

  # to define all
  '*': (filepath) ->
    return ['urequire:uberscoreUMD']


  esteWatch: {
    options: {
      dirs: ['bower_components/closure-library/**/',
    coffee: function(filepath) {
      var files = [{
        expand: true,
        src: filepath,
        ext: '.js'
      grunt.config(['coffee', 'app', 'files'], files);
      grunt.config(['coffee2closure', 'app', 'files'], files);
      return ['coffee:app', 'coffee2closure:app'];
    soy: function(filepath) {
      grunt.config(['esteTemplates', 'app'], filepath);
      return ['esteTemplates:app'];
    js: function(filepath) {
      grunt.config(['esteUnitTests', 'app', 'src'], filepath);
      var tasks = ['esteDeps:all', 'esteUnitTests:app'];
      if (grunt.option('stage')) {
      return tasks;
    styl: function(filepath) {
      grunt.config(['stylus', 'all', 'files'], [{
        expand: true,
        src: filepath,
        ext: '.css'
      return ['stylus:all', 'stylus:app'];
    css: function(filepath) {
      if (grunt.option('stage')) {
        return 'cssmin:app';

Live Reloading

Live reloading is built into the watch task and enabled by default.

Enabling Live Reload in Your HTML

Once you've started a live reload server you'll be able to access the live reload script. To enable live reload on your page, add a script tag before your closing </body> tag pointing to the livereload.js script:

<script src="http://localhost:35729/livereload.js"></script>

Feel free to add this script to your template situation and toggle with some sort of dev flag.


What's wrong with official grunt-contrib-watch?

It's slow and buggy, because it uses combination fs.fileWatch and, for historical reason. From Node 0.9.2+, is ok. Needs maximum performance and stability, so that's why I had to create yet another Node.js file watcher. This watcher is continuously tested on Mac, Linux, Win platforms.

What are grunt-contrib-watch bugs?

  • Strange "Abort trap: 6" exceptions.
  • File added in new directory isn't detected.
  • LiveReload console.log mess during livereloading.
  • Polling to much files. Etc.

Note about editors atomic save

Node.js sometimes does not work with editors atomic save. For example, Node.js v0.10.17 works while v0.10.18 doesn't. Fix for SublimeText is easy, just disable it via "atomic_save": false.


Copyright (c) 2013 Daniel Steigerwald

Licensed under the MIT license.

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