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Web UI Development

Code Structure

Most static resources for the NetBox UI are housed within the netbox/project-static/ directory.

Path Description
dist/ Destination path for installed dependencies
docs/ Local build path for documentation
img/ Image files
js/ Miscellaneous JavaScript resources served directly
src/ TypeScript resources (to be compiled into JS)
styles/ Sass resources (to be compiled into CSS)

Front End Technologies

Front end scripting is written in TypeScript, which is a strongly-typed extension to JavaScript. TypeScript is "transpiled" into JavaScript resources which are served to and executed by the client web browser.

All UI styling is written in Sass, which is an extension to browser-native Cascading Stylesheets (CSS). Similar to how TypeScript content is transpiled to JavaScript, Sass resources (.scss files) are compiled to CSS.


The following software is employed by the NetBox user interface.

  • Bootstrap 5 - A popular CSS & JS framework
  • clipboard.js - A lightweight package for enabling copy-to-clipboard functionality
  • flatpickr - A lightweight date & time selection widget
  • gridstack.js - Enables interactive grid layouts (for the dashboard)
  • HTMX - Enables dynamic web interfaces through the use of HTML element attributes
  • Material Design Icons - An extensive open source collection of graphical icons, delivered as a web font
  • query-string - Assists with parsing URL query strings
  • Tabler - A web application UI toolkit & theme based on Bootstrap 5
  • Tom Select - Provides dynamic selection form fields


NetBox generally follows the following guidelines for front-end code:

  • Bootstrap utility classes may be used to solve one-off issues or to implement singular components, as long as the class list does not exceed 4-5 classes. If an element needs more than 5 utility classes, a custom SCSS class should be added that contains the required style properties.
  • Custom classes must be commented, explaining the general purpose of the class and where it is used.
  • Reuse SCSS variables whenever possible. CSS values should (almost) never be hard-coded.
  • All TypeScript functions must have, at a minimum, a basic JSDoc description of what the function is for and where it is used. If possible, document all function arguments via @param JSDoc block tags.
  • Expanding on NetBox's dependency policy, new front-end dependencies should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. Every new front-end dependency adds to the CSS/JavaScript file size that must be loaded by the client and this should be minimized as much as possible. If adding a new dependency is unavoidable, use a tool like Bundlephobia to ensure the smallest possible library is used.
  • All UI elements must be usable on all common screen sizes, including mobile devices. Be sure to test newly implemented solutions (JavaScript included) on as many screen sizes and device types as possible.
  • NetBox aligns with Bootstrap's supported Browsers and Devices list.

UI Development

To contribute to the NetBox UI, you'll need to review the main Getting Started guide in order to set up your base environment.


Once you have a working NetBox development environment, you'll need to install a few more tools to work with the NetBox UI:

  • NodeJS (the LTS release should suffice)
  • Yarn (version 1)

After Node and Yarn are installed on your system, you'll need to install all the NetBox UI dependencies:

$ cd netbox/project-static
$ yarn

Check Your Working Directory

You need to be in the netbox/project-static directory to run the below yarn commands.

Updating Dependencies

Run yarn outdated to identify outdated dependencies.

$ yarn outdated
yarn outdated v1.22.19
info Color legend :
 "<red>"    : Major Update backward-incompatible updates
 "<yellow>" : Minor Update backward-compatible features
 "<green>"  : Patch Update backward-compatible bug fixes
Package                          Current Wanted  Latest Workspace Package Type    URL
bootstrap                        5.3.1   5.3.1   5.3.3  netbox    dependencies

Run yarn upgrade --latest to automatically upgrade these packages to their most recent versions.

$ yarn upgrade bootstrap --latest
yarn upgrade v1.22.19
[1/4] Resolving packages...
[2/4] Fetching packages...
[3/4] Linking dependencies...
[4/4] Rebuilding all packages...
success Saved lockfile.
success Saved 1 new dependency.
info Direct dependencies
└─ bootstrap@5.3.3
info All dependencies
└─ bootstrap@5.3.3
Done in 0.95s.

package.json will be updated to reflect the new package versions automatically.


In order for the TypeScript and Sass (SCSS) source files to be usable by a browser, they must first be transpiled (TypeScript → JavaScript, Sass → CSS), bundled, and minified. After making changes to TypeScript or Sass source files, run yarn bundle.

yarn bundle is a wrapper around the following subcommands, any of which can be run individually:

Command Action
yarn bundle Bundle TypeScript and Sass (SCSS) source files.
yarn bundle:styles Bundle Sass (SCSS) source files only.
yarn bundle:scripts Bundle TypeScript source files only.

All output files will be written to netbox/project-static/dist, where Django will pick them up when collectstatic is run.

Remember to re-run collectstatic

If you're running the development web server — runserver — you'll need to run collectstatic to see your changes.

Linting, Formatting & Type Checking

Before committing any changes to TypeScript files, and periodically throughout the development process, you should run yarn validate to catch formatting, code quality, or type errors.

IDE Integrations

If you're using an IDE, it is strongly recommended to install ESLint, TypeScript, and Prettier integrations, if available. Most of them will automatically check and/or correct issues in the code as you develop, which can significantly increase your productivity as a contributor.

yarn validate is a wrapper around the following subcommands, any of which can be run individually:

Command Action
yarn validate Run all validation.
yarn validate:lint Validate TypeScript code via ESLint only.
yarn validate:types Validate TypeScript code compilation only.
yarn validate:formatting Validate code formatting of JavaScript & Sass/SCSS files.
yarn validate:formatting:styles Validate code formatting Sass/SCSS only.
yarn validate:formatting:scripts Validate code formatting TypeScript only.

You can also run the following commands to automatically fix formatting issues:

Command Action
yarn format Format TypeScript and Sass (SCSS) source files.
yarn format:styles Format Sass (SCSS) source files only.
yarn format:scripts Format TypeScript source files only.