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Streamline your web dev experience with stella - reload for the terminal as well as browser.

Project description




stella is a command line utility made for streamlining web development experience. It is able to reload server as well as the browser page on every file change. Although you can use it like any other live reload tool - with builtin .gitignore detection and following, along with several other features like multiple command execution, and the npm-scripts like interface.

📝 Table of Contents

⚡️ Installation

Using pipx (recommended):

pipx install stellapy

On Windows:

pip install stellapy

On Linux/MacOS:

pip3 install stellapy

💫 Motivation

I wanted a CLI that could live reload the browser page as well as live restart the server. I tried to find such a tool, but didn't find one. So I made stella - that could reload backend as well as frontend code. Also the builtin debug modes of web frameworks sucked.

⚙️ How does stella work?

stella continuously watches for file changes in the project, while respecting the gitignore file and whenever a change is made, it kills the existing process and spawns a new process using subprocess. What about browser reload? It uses selenium to accomplish that.

💡 Usage

This section briefly describes how to use the stella CLI.


stella init

The init command writes a default stella.yml config file in the working directory. The default configuration looks like this:

# yaml-language-server: $schema= 
browser: firefox
include_only: []
poll_interval: 500
browser_wait_interval: 1000
follow_symlinks: false
- name: default
  url: ''
  command: echo 'hello'
  shell: true

This yaml file comes with a schema which can be utilized by yaml language servers to provide autocompletion and validation to make sure the config is correct.


Let's quickly go over the config options:

  • browser: This option specifies the browser to use when url is given. The only valid options for browser currently are firefox and chrome.

  • include_only: The list of gitignore-style patterns to consider for live reload. This will be used along with the ignore file (stella.ignore or .gitignore) to match files. eg. include_only: ["*.py", "*.env"].

  • poll_interval: The duration in milliseconds to poll the filesystem for changes.

  • browser_wait_interval: This is the duration in milliseconds between the execution of given command on the terminal and browser page refresh. This can be used in situations when the server takes some time before it is ready to listen on a given port.

  • follow_symlinks: Boolean value that indicates whether to follow symbolic links encountered in the filesystem.

  • scripts: This the list of npm style scripts that take 4 parameters each.

    • name: Name of the script. To execute a certain script, use its name in the stella run SCRIPT_NAME command. The script named default will be used in case SCRIPT_NAME is not provided. Note that this parameter is case-insensitive, for convenience.

    • url: The URL to listen to on the browser. Set it to an empty string ('') if you don't want live reload on the browser. eg. localhost:8000.

    • command: A single command or a list of commands to execute on the terminal. eg.

      command: python3
        - go fmt ./...
        - go build
        - ./main.exe

      If a list of commands are provided, the shell will be considered true even if it's false.

    • shell: Boolean value which indicates whether to execute commands inside a shell context (like bash, powershell, zsh...) or as an independent process. This is useful if you want to execute shell scripts directly without invoking the shell interpreter. On Windows, powershell is used as shell (instead of cmd). On Linux and MacOS, the shell used is determined by SHELL environment variable. If it's not present, /bin/sh will be used.


Polling a filesystem for changes can be lengthy in case of big projects. Even worse when dependencies are vendored within the project, like python virtual environments or include directories in c/c++.

Therefore, you can create a stella.ignore file in the project with gitignore-style patterns to exclude certain directories and files to consider.

Otherwise, .gitignore also just works, and is the recommended way.

However, stella.ignore will be the first one that will be searched for. If it's not found, stella will resort to .gitignore.

Ignore patterns are cached once stella is started, similar to the stella configuration. If you change either of them, in order to see the desired changes, you need stop stella and run it again.


stella run SCRIPT_NAME
stella run SCRIPT_NAME --config-file /path/to/config/stella.yml

The run command is used to start stella. It expects one optional argument: the script name (case-insensitive) to run from the config file.

An optional --config-file (-c for short) flag can be used to specify the config file to be used. Alternatively, an environment variable named STELLA_CONFIG can be set for the same.

If not provided, stella will attempt to find stella.yml in the current directory or its parent folders until its found.

While stella is running, you can input rs to restart the server and refresh the browser page manually, and rb only to refresh the browser page.

To stop stella, input ex. It will close the browser as well as kill the running process gracefully.

📄 Licensing

License © 2021-Present Shravan Asati

This repository is licensed under the MIT license. See LICENSE for details.

👥 Contribution

Contribution is more than welcome. For more guidelines on contributing to stella, refer

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