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NativeScript Angular

Command-Line Interface Setup

With the open-source NativeScript command-line interface and an IDE or text editor of your choice, you can create, develop, store, and build your apps locally, free of charge and anonymously.

The NativeScript CLI allows you to build apps in two different ways.

  • The Quick Setup allows you to build and develop NativeScript apps without installing any iOS or Android dependencies on your local machine, and is perfect for getting started.
  • The Full Setup walks you through installing the dependencies you need to compile iOS and Android apps locally. You’ll eventually need to complete the full setup to use certain NativeScript plugins, and to build apps for the App Store and Google Play.

TIP: You can read about the limitations of the quick setup below.

Quick Setup

Step 1: Install Node.js

The NativeScript CLI is built on Node.js, and as such you need to have Node.js installed to use NativeScript.

To check whether you have Node.js installed, open a terminal or command prompt and execute node --version. If there is an error, head to and download and install the latest “LTS” (long-term support) distribution and restart your terminal or command prompt.


  • If you’re on macOS and use Homebrew, you can alternatively install the Node.js LTS release by running brew update (to download the latest updates) and then brew install node@8 in your terminal.
  • The NativeScript CLI supports a wide variety of Node.js versions, so if you already have Node.js installed you should be good to go. If, by chance, you’re running an unsupported version, the tns doctor command will run momentarily and flag the problem so you can upgrade.

NOTE: Mac users, bear in mind that you might need to add the path to node@8/bin manually. If you execute node --version and get a “command not found” error, run echo 'export PATH="/usr/local/opt/node@8/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bash_profile and restart your terminal.

Step 2: Install the NativeScript CLI

Open your terminal or command prompt and execute the following command to install the NativeScript CLI from npm, which is the Node.js package manager:

npm install -g nativescript


  • If you’re on macOS and receive an EACCES error, you either need to rerun the previous command with sudo—that is, sudo npm install -g nativescript—or take a moment to fix your npm permissions so that you don’t need admin rights to globally install npm packages.

After completing the setup there should be two commands available on the terminal/command prompt: tns (short for Telerik NativeScript) and nativescript. The two commands are identical, so you’ll likely want to stick with the shorter tns.

Go ahead and verify that the installation was successful by running tns in your terminal or command prompt. You should see a long list of commands that starts with this section:

$ tns
# NativeScript CLI
│ Usage   │ Synopsis                                                            │
│ General │ $ tns <Command> [Command Parameters] [--command <Options>]          │
│ Alias   │ $ nativescript <Command> [Command Parameters] [--command <Options>] │

Step 3: Install the NativeScript Playground app

The NativeScript CLI quick setup lets you develop your apps locally, and test them on a physical Android or iOS device. This enables some pretty cool workflows, such as allowing you to develop iOS apps on Windows or Linux development machines.

To enable this workflow and complete your setup, download and install the NativeScript Playground app on your mobile device. You can search for “NativeScript Playground” on the iOS App Store or Google Play, or use the links below.

Step 4: Learn the basics

At this point you’re all set to get started developing NativeScript apps. As a next step, read the article below to learn the basics of the NativeScript CLI.

Full Setup

Step 1: Install Node.js and NativeScript CLI

If you haven't already, complete the Quick Setup above.

Step 2: Install iOS and Android requirements

With the full setup, the NativeScript CLI builds truly native iOS and Android apps locally. As such, you need to set up each target platform on your development machine. To ease the pain of installing all of these requirements manually, the tns command provides quick-start scripts for Windows and macOS. Let’s look at how they work.


  • Setting up your machine for native development can be tricky, especially if you’re new to mobile development. If you get stuck, or if you have questions while going through these instructions, Stack Overflow is a great place to get help.
  • If you’re not comfortable with a script automatically installing dependencies on your development machine, or if you’re on Linux, refer to one of the advanced setup guides below for details on manually installing the iOS and Android dependencies.


  • Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or later

If you’re running Windows, copy and paste the script below into your command prompt as an administrator and press Enter:

Please be sure that you run this command in cmd as an administrator (Windows key > type "cmd" > right click > Run as Administrator).

@powershell -NoProfile -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Command "iex ((new-object net.webclient).DownloadString('https:/setup/win'))"

NOTE: On some windows systems depending on the configuration, you may receive the following error: "The splatting operator '@' cannot be used to reference variables in an expression. '@powershell' can be used only as an argument to a command. To reference variables in an expression use '$powershell'." If this is the case, remove the '@' at the beginning of '@powershell' in the above command to proceed without errors.

During installation you may need to accept a User Account Control prompt to grant the script administrative privileges. Also, be aware that the script downloads and installs some big dependencies—so it’s common for the script to take a while to complete. When the script finishes, close and reopen your command prompt.

NOTE: On Windows and Linux systems you can only use the tns command to develop Android apps. This is because the NativeScript CLI uses Xcode to build iOS apps, which is only available on macOS. If you’re interested in building iOS apps on Windows or Linux, you should try NativeScript Remote Builds.

After the installation the system setup should have:

  • The latest stable official release of Node.js (LTS) 8.x
  • Google Chrome
  • JDK 8
  • Android SDK
  • Android Support Repository
  • Google Repository
  • Android SDK Build-tools 28.0.3 or a later stable official release
  • Android Studio
  • Set up Android virtual devices to expand your testing options

The two environment variables JAVA_HOME and ANDROID_HOME are required for Android development, which should have been automatically added as part of the installation:

NOTE To check if JAVA_HOME and ANDROID_HOME are set:

  • close any open Command Prompt windows,
  • open a new Command Prompt
  • execute echo %JAVA_HOME% and make sure a valid path is returned
  • execute echo %ANDROID_HOME% and make sure a valid path is returned

TIP: You can install and use custom Android Virtual Devices that are emulating different API levels and screens.


If you’re using macOS, copy and paste the script below into your terminal and press Enter:

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https:/setup/mac)"

The macOS script needs administrative access to run some commands using sudo; therefore, you may need to provide your password several times during execution. The macOS script also may take some time to complete, as it’s installing the dependencies for both iOS and Android development. When the script finishes, close and restart your terminal.

Step 3: Verify the setup

To verify the setup, run the tns doctor command which will check for any issues with the installation. If you see “No issues were detected” you’re good to go!

Quick Setup Limitations

The NativeScript CLI quick setup allows you to test your applications on a Preview app that runs on your iOS or Android device(s).

Although this is great for getting started, there are some limitations to using the Preview app. If you hit any of the scenarios below, you need to complete the NativeScript CLI full setup to build and run your apps.

  • Plugins
    • The Preview app comes with a predefined set of NativeScript plugins. If your app needs to utilize a plugin that is not present in the Preview app, you will see a warning message and your app might not work as expected.
  • Resources
    • The Preview app comes with predefined set of resources, such as app icons, splash screens, and image files. If you need to work with additional files in your application’s App_Resources folder, you need to switch to the full setup workflow.
  • Debugging
  • Unit Tests
  • Lazy Loading