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Setup the Pug Templating Engine with ExpressJS on Ubuntu 19.10

Last Updated: Thu, Apr 23, 2020
Node.js Programming Ubuntu

Overview

Pug or PugJS is a template engine for NodeJS, which allows for server-side rendering of HTML. Unlike standard HTML markup, PugJS allows HTML to be generated dynamically through data sent from the server to the view.

This tutorial uses the example server IP 192.0.2.123.

Prerequisites

Before starting, it is recommended that you:

Installation

NodeJS and NPM

Install curl to be able to install NodeJS from the NodeSource repository:

$ sudo apt-get install curl

Add the latest Active LTS NodeJS repository:

$ curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_12.x | sudo -E bash -

And finally, install NodeJS:

$ sudo apt-get install nodejs

Check if everything was installed properly:

$ node -v && npm -v
v12.x.x
6.x.x

Setup

Initialize Development Environment

First, create the project root directory:

$ cd ~
$ mkdir pugjs
$ cd pugjs

Initialize a NodeJS development environment to automatically generate a package.json:

npm init

Answer the short questions to fit your project. For example, if you press return at each question to accept the defaults, the npm init process responds:

About to write to ~/pugjs/package.json:

{
"name": "pugjs",
"version": "1.0.0",
"description": "",
"main": "index.js",
"scripts": {
    "test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1"
},
"author": "",
"license": "ISC"
}

Is this OK? (yes)

Install the required packages using npm in the project root directory:

$ npm install --save express pug

Creating an ExpressJS Web Server

Create an index.js in the root directory of the project:

$ nano index.js

Create a simple ExpressJS web server with the following route in index.js:

const express = require("express");
const port = process.env.PORT || 8080;
const app = express();

app.get('/', (req, res) => {
    res.send("It is working!")
});

app.listen(port, () => {
    console.log(`Server started on port ${port}`);
});

Running the index.js file with node it should look like this:

$ node index.js
Server started on port 8080

To make sure the routes are working, navigate to the following URL in any browser:

http://192.0.2.123:8080/

You should see 'It is working!' as a response.

Integrating PugJS views with ExpressJS Web Server Routes

Modify the index.js file to accept the pug templating engine and to render a view on a route endpoint:

const express = require("express");
const path = require("path");
const port = process.env.PORT || 8080;
const app = express();

app.set('view engine', 'pug') // sets the view engine 
app.set('views', path.join(__dirname, 'views')) // sets the view directory

app.get('/', (req, res) => {
    res.render("home") // render view file on this endpoint
});

app.listen(port, () => {
    console.log(`Server started on port ${port}`);
});

Now create a directory called views inside the project root directory and cd into it:

$ mkdir views && cd views

Inside the views folder create a file called home.pug. This file is going to be rendered by the ExpressJS server.

$ touch home.pug

The file structure of the project should look like the following (excluding node_modules and package.json):

~/pugjs/
├── index.js
└── views/
    └── home.pug

Edit the home.pug file and add this basic markup inside:

html
    head
        title Homepage
body
    h1 Welcome to the Homepage!

Now, cd back to the root directory and run the index.js file with node. It should return the same output as before:

$ cd ~/pugjs
$ node index.js
Server started on port 8080

Now navigate to the following URL again in any browser:

http://192.0.2.123:8080/

This time you should see the message 'Welcome to the Homepage!' surrounded with h1 tags.

Sending Data from the Server to the View

To send data to the pug view file, modify the index.js file to send an object to the model:

const express = require("express");
const path = require("path");
const port = process.env.PORT || 8080;
const app = express();

app.set('view engine', 'pug') // sets the view engine 
app.set('views', path.join(__dirname, 'views')) // sets the view directory

app.get('/', (req, res) => {
    // add a second argument to the render method to send object data to the view
    res.render("home", {message: "THIS IS SENT FROM THE SERVER!"}) // render view file on this endpoint
});

app.listen(port, () => {
    console.log(`Server started on port ${port}`);
});

Now edit the home.pug file located in the views directory:

html
    head
        title Homepage
body
    h1 Welcome to the Homepage!
    p=message

Run index.js with node.

$ cd ~/pugjs
$ node index.js
Server started on port 8080

Navigate to the web server URL. This time you should see 'Welcome to the Homepage!' surrounded with h1 tags and 'THIS IS SENT FROM THE SERVER!' as a paragraph.

Conclusion

You have set up a basic Pug template engine. For more information, please see the Pug API documentation.

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