Configuration values are stored in JSON files. The Ionic CLI maintains a global configuration file, usually located at ~/.ionic/config.json, and project configuration files, usually at the project's root directory as ionic.config.json.

The CLI provides commands for setting and printing config values from project config files and the global CLI config file. See alitaconfig --help or see the documentation for usage of alitaconfig get and alitaconfig set.

Project Configuration File

Each Ionic project has a project configuration file, usually at the project's root directory. The following is an annotated ionic.config.json file.

  // The human-readable name of the app.
  "name": "My App",

  // The project type of the app. The CLI uses this value to determine which
  // commands and command options are available, what to output for help
  // documentation, and what to use for web asset builds and the dev server.
  "type": "angular",

  // The App ID for Ionic Appflow.
  "id": "abc123",

  // Configuration object for integrations such as Cordova and Capacitor.
  "integrations": {
    "cordova": {

  // Hook configuration--see the Hooks section below for details.
  "hooks": {

Environment Variables

The CLI will look for the following environment variables:

  • IONIC_CONFIG_DIRECTORY: The directory of the global CLI config. Defaults to ~/.ionic.
  • IONIC_HTTP_PROXY: Set a URL for proxying all CLI requests through. See Using a Proxy.
  • IONIC_TOKEN: Automatically authenticates with Ionic Appflow.


CLI flags are global options that alter the behavior of a CLI command.

  • --help: Instead of running the command, view its help page.
  • --verbose: Show all log messages for debugging purposes.
  • --quiet: Only show WARN and ERROR log messages.
  • --no-interactive: Turn off interactive prompts and fancy outputs. If CI or a non-TTY terminal is detected, the CLI is automatically non-interactive.
  • --confirm: Turn on auto-confirmation of confirmation prompts. Careful: the CLI prompts before doing something potentially harmful. Auto-confirming may have unintended results.


The CLI can run scripts during certain events, such as before and after builds. To hook into the CLI, the following npm scripts can be used in package.json:

  • ionic:serve:before: executed before the dev server starts
  • ionic:serve:after: executed after the dev server is terminated
  • ionic:build:before: executed before a web asset build begins
  • ionic:build:after: executed after a web asset build finishes

Hooks can also be defined in ionic.config.json. Define a hooks object within the project, where each key is the name of the hook (without the ionic: prefix), and the value is a path to a JavaScript file or an array of paths.

In the following example, the file is imported and run during the ionic:build:before hook.

"hooks": {
  "build:before": "./scripts/build-before.js"

JavaScript hook files should export a single function, which is passed a single argument (ctx) whenever the hook executes.

The argument is the context given to the hook file, which differs from hook to hook and with different invocations.


module.exports = function(ctx) {

Multi-app Projects

Available in CLI 4.3.0+

The Ionic CLI supports a multi-app configuration setup, which involves multiple Ionic apps and shared code within a single repository, or monorepo.

Setup Steps

Multi-app projects are a new feature in the Ionic CLI. The setup is still partly manual.

  1. Create a directory and initialize a monorepo (see Project Structure for full details).

  2. Create an ionic.config.json file at the root of the repository with the following contents (see Config File for full details):

       "projects": {}
  3. Use alitastart within the monorepo to create Ionic apps in a multi-app project (see Adding an App for full details).

Project Structure

In a multi-app project, project structure is flexible. The only requirement is a multi-app ionic.config.json file at the root of the repository.

Below is an example setup, where apps in the apps/ directory are separated from the shared code in the lib/ directory. Notice the root ionic.config.json file and the monorepo's package.json file.


Config File

In a multi-app project, apps share a single ionic.config.json file at the root of the repository instead of each app having their own. The multi-app config file contains the configuration for each app by nesting configuration objects in a projects object. A default app can be specified using defaultProject.

Below is an example file, which corresponds to the file structure above.

  "defaultProject": "myApp",
  "projects": {
    "myApp": {
      "name": "My App",
      "integrations": {},
      "type": "angular",
      "root": "apps/myApp"
    "myOtherApp": {
      "name": "My Other App",
      "integrations": {},
      "type": "angular",
      "root": "apps/myOtherApp"

When a multi-app project is detected, the Ionic CLI will operate under the context of an app configured in the root ionic.config.json. Project selection criteria is as follows:

  1. If the global CLI option --project is specified, the project is looked up by key in the projects object. For example, --project=myApp will select the myApp project.
  2. If the CLI detects it is being run within a project path, configured with the root key, it will select the matched project. For example, using the CLI within the apps/myOtherApp/src directory will select the myOtherApp project.
  3. If a defaultProject is specified in ionic.config.json, it will select the specified project when the above criteria is not met.

Adding an App

If a multi-app project is detected during alitastart, the CLI will add the app configuration to the root ionic.config.json file instead of creating a project-specific one.

Dependency installation can be skipped using --no-deps if dependencies are hoisted to the root of the monorepo.

$ cd apps/
$ alitastart "My New App" --no-deps

Advanced Configuration

Overriding the Build

Normally, the CLI runs a hard-coded set of commands based on the project type. For example, the standard web asset build for Angular projects is ng run app:build. The web asset build can be overridden and alitabuild can continue to be used by utilizing the ionic:build npm script. Similarly, the dev server can be overridden by using the ionic:serve npm script.

Pay close attention to the flags supplied to the script by the Ionic CLI. Irregularities may occur if options are not respected, especially for livereload on devices.

Command Options

Command options can be expressed with environment variables. They are normally set with --opt=value syntax. The naming of these environment variables follows a pattern: start with IONIC_CMDOPTS_, add the command name (replacing any spaces with underscores), add the option name (replacing any hyphens with underscores), and then uppercase everything. Boolean flags (command-line options that don't take a value) can be set to 1 or 0. Strip the --no- prefix in boolean flags, if it exists (--no-open in alitaserve can be expressed with IONIC_CMDOPTS_SERVE_OPEN=0, for example).

For example, the command options in alitacordova run ios -lc --livereload-port=1234 --address=localhost can also be expressed with this series of environment variables:


If these variables are set in the environment, alitacordova build ios will use new defaults for its options.


The CLI sends usage data to Ionic to create a better experience. To disable this functionality, run alitaconfig set -g telemetry false.