Adding Angular to Django Project


This document is a work in progress!! This procedure does not currently use gulp or grunt as the tsc compiler has it’s own watch mechanism


This document refers to an angular app in a directory called ‘app’. Substitute the name of you’ve given your angular app. Multiple apps can created in the angular directory.

After you have created your django project, create a directory for the angular part of the project e.g. angular:

mkdir angular
cd angular

Within this angular directory create a package.json as follows:

  "name": "<NAME OF YOUR APP>",
  "description": "<DESCRIPTION OF YOUR APP>",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "scripts": {
    "tsc": "tsc",
    "tsc:w": "tsc -w",
    "lite": "lite-server",
    "start": "concurrent \"npm run tsc:w\" "
  "license": "Apache Software License",
  "dependencies": {
    "zone.js": "0.5.11",
    "angular2": "2.0.0-beta.3",
    "systemjs": "0.19.6",
    "es6-promise": "^3.0.2",
    "es6-shim": "^0.33.3",
    "reflect-metadata": "0.1.2",
    "rxjs": "5.0.0-beta.0"
  "devDependencies": {
    "concurrently": "^1.0.0",
    "lite-server": "^2.0.1",
    "typescript": "^1.7.5"

To use the lite-server (if your app can run independently of the django project) you can change the start line above as follows, however running your app via the lite-server makes it more difficult to access rest apis on the server:

"start": "concurrent \"npm run tsc:w\" \"npm run lite\" "

Create tsconfig.json as follows:

  "compilerOptions": {
    "target": "es5",
    "module": "system",
    "moduleResolution": "node",
    "outDir": "static/angular/app",
    "sourceMap": true,
    "emitDecoratorMetadata": true,
    "experimentalDecorators": true,
    "removeComments": false,
    "noImplicitAny": true
  "exclude": [

Install the angular tools

If you don’t have the node.js / npm tool chain installed you’ll need install it. To check type:

node -v
npm -v

The node version should be higher than v0.10.32 The npm version should be higher than 2.1.8

As node v10 is sufficient, you can probably simply install your distro’s packages e.g.:

sudo apt-get install nodejs

It’s also worth checking you have the latest npm:

sudo npm install npm -g

Or see the nodejs website for details of the latest version of the tool chain

At the time of writing the install generates an error if typescript and tsd are not installed globally. If you don’t have them installed already on your system, they can be installed as follows:

sudo npm install -g typescript@^1.7.0
sudo npm install -g tsd

Now install angular and dependancies listed in the package.json above:

npm install

Create your static directory for use by django:

mkdir -p static/angular/jslib
mkdir -p static/angular/app

In order to use the static mechanism to serve the angular modules copy then from the node_modules directory to a directory called jslib:

cp node_modules/es6-shim/es6-shim.min.js static/angular/jslib
cp node_modules/systemjs/dist/system-polyfills.js static/angular/jslib

cp node_modules/angular2/bundles/angular2-polyfills.js static/angular/jslib
cp node_modules/systemjs/dist/system.src.js static/angular/jslib
cp node_modules/rxjs/bundles/Rx.js static/angular/jslib
cp node_modules/angular2/bundles/ static/angular/jslib
cp node_modules/angular2/bundles/ static/angular/jslib

The following are useful for development, they should not be included when you distribute your project:

cp node_modules/es6-shim/ static/angular/jslib
cp node_modules/systemjs/dist/system-polyfills.js static/angular/jslib

Create your angular app directory (e.g. app):

mkdir app

Add angular as a django app

Now add the angular directory as an app to django in your django settings file

Create a init file:


Edit settings/ add ‘angular’ to INSTALLED_APPS

Edit to add ‘angular’ to the list of packages

Create a section in package_data as follows:

'angular': [

Using angular in a project

To enable loading using the django static mechanism need to add the following to your configuration to the angular entry point document for your application (e.g. the index.html for your Django Application):

System.paths["app/*"] = "{% static 'angular' %}/app/*"

Using standard configuration your served template render this:

System.paths["app/*"] = "/static/angular/app/*"

Vim typescript syntax highlighting

If you use Vim or GVim to enable syntax highlighting (assuming you have Pathogen and git installed) simply:

git clone ~/.vim/bundle/typescript-vim

System.paths['app/*'] = '/static/angular/app/*'

Error when running npm install without typscript and tsd installed globally

BTW: It does work after this error but best to install error free using the procedure above:

└── UNMET DEPENDENCY zone.js@0.5.11

npm WARN optional Skipping failed optional dependency /chokidar/fsevents:
npm WARN notsup Not compatible with your operating system or architecture: fsevents@1.0.7
npm WARN angular2-quickstart@1.0.0 No description
npm WARN angular2-quickstart@1.0.0 No repository field.
npm ERR! Linux 4.2.0-27-generic
npm ERR! argv "node" "/usr/bin/npm" "install"
npm ERR! node v0.12.7
npm ERR! npm  v3.7.1
npm ERR! file sh
npm ERR! errno ENOENT
npm ERR! syscall spawn

npm ERR! zone.js@0.5.11 postinstall: `tsd install`
npm ERR! spawn ENOENT
npm ERR!
npm ERR! Failed at the zone.js@0.5.11 postinstall script 'tsd install'.
npm ERR! Make sure you have the latest version of node.js and npm installed.
npm ERR! If you do, this is most likely a problem with the zone.js package,
npm ERR! not with npm itself.
npm ERR! Tell the author that this fails on your system:
npm ERR!     tsd install
npm ERR! You can get information on how to open an issue for this project with:
npm ERR!     npm bugs zone.js
npm ERR! Or if that isn't available, you can get their info via:
npm ERR!     npm owner ls zone.js
npm ERR! There is likely additional logging output above.

npm ERR! Please include the following file with any support request:
npm ERR!     /home/user/repo/dev/project/project-name/angular/npm-debug.log