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Development Guides

A series of short tutorials, to guide you through the most common development tasks.


Creating a new theme#

Adding a new theme is really easy. There're two things you need to do: Pass the theme name to Dashy, so that it can be added to the theme selector dropdown menu, and then write some styles!

1. Add Theme Name#

Choose a snappy name for your theme, and add it to the builtInThemes array inside defaults.js.

2. Write some Styles#

Put your theme styles inside color-themes.scss. Create a new block, and make sure that data-theme matches the theme name you chose above. For example:

html[data-theme='tiger'] {  --primary: #f58233;  --background: #0b1021;}

Then you can go ahead and write your own custom CSS. Although all CSS is supported here, the best way to define your theme is by setting the CSS variables. You can find a list of all CSS variables, here.

For a full guide on styling, see Theming Docs.

Note that if your theme is just for yourself, and you're not submitting a PR, then you can instead just pass it under appConfig.cssThemes inside your config file. And then put your theme in your own stylesheet, and pass it into the Docker container - see how.

Writing Translations#

For full docs about Dashy's multi-language support, see Multi-Language Support

Dashy is using vue-i18n to manage multi-language support.

Adding a new language is pretty straightforward, with just three steps:

1. Create a new Language File#

Create a new JSON file in ./src/assets/locales name is a 2-digit ISO-639 code for your language, E.g. for German de.json, French fr.json or Spanish es.json - You can find a list of all ISO codes at

2. Translate#

Using en.json as an example, translate the JSON values to your language, while leaving the keys as they are. It's fine to leave out certain items, as if they're missing they will fall-back to English. If you see any attribute which include curly braces ({xxx}), then leave the inner value of these braces as is, as this is for variables.

{  "theme-maker": {    "export-button": "Benutzerdefinierte Variablen exportieren",    "reset-button": "Stile zurücksetzen für",    "show-all-button": "Alle Variablen anzeigen",    "save-button": "Speichern",    "cancel-button": "Abbrechen",    "saved-toast": "{theme} Erfolgreich aktualisiert",    "reset-toast": "Benutzerdefinierte Farben für {theme} entfernt"  },}

3. Add your file to the app#

In ./src/utils/languages.js, you need to do 2 small things:

First import your new translation file, do this at the top of the page. E.g. import de from '@/assets/locales/de.json';

Second, add it to the array of languages, e.g:

export const languages = [  {    name: 'English',    code: 'en',    locale: en,    flag: '🇬🇧',  },  {    name: 'German', // The name of your language    code: 'de', // The ISO code of your language    locale: de, // The name of the file you imported (no quotes)    flag: '🇩🇪', // An optional flag emoji  },];

You can also add your new language to the readme file, under the Language Switching section, and optionally include your name/ username if you'd like to be credited for your work. Done!

If you are not comfortable with making pull requests, or do not want to modify the code, then feel free to instead send the translated file to me, and I can add it into the application. I will be sure to credit you appropriately.

Adding a new option in the config file#

This section is for, adding a new setting to the config file.

All of the users config is specified in ./user-data/conf.yml - see Configuring Docs for info. It's important to first ensure that there isn't a similar option already available, the new option is definitely necessary, and most importantly that it is fully backwards compatible.

Next choose the appropriate section to place it under

  • Application settings should be located under appConfig
  • Page info (such as text and metadata) should be under pageInfo
  • Data relating to specific sections should be under section[n].displayData
  • Settings applied to specific items or widgets, should be under item[n] or widget[n]

For example, if your option is added under appConfig, you can access it within your component using the $store, this is typically placed in a computed property, e.g:

computed: {  appConfig() {    return this.$store.getters.appConfig;  },  ...},

Then, where you want to get the users value within your component, use something like: this.appConfig.myProperty. If the user hasn't specified the value, Don't forget to have a fallback or default for it.

If you have a default fallback value, then this would typically be specified in the defaults.js file.

You will now need to add the definition of your new attribute into the ConfigSchema. This will make it available in the UI config editor, and also ensure that the config validation check doesn't fail. For example:

"fontAwesomeKey": {  "type": "string",  "pattern": "^[a-z0-9]{10}$",  "description": "API key for font-awesome",  "example": "0821c65656"}


"iconSize": {  "enum": [ "small", "medium", "large" ],  "default": "medium",  "description": "The size of each link item / icon"}

Finally, add your new property to the API docs. Put it under the relevant section, and be sure to include field name, data type, a description and mention that it is optional. If your new feature needs more explanation, then you can also document it under the relevant section elsewhere in the documentation.


  • Ensure the new attribute is actually necessary, and nothing similar already exists
  • Update the Schema with the parameters for your new option
  • If required, set a default or fallback value (usually in defaults.js)
  • Document the new value in, and if required under the relevant section in the docs
  • Ensure your changes are backwards compatible, and that nothing breaks if the attribute isn't specified

Updating Dependencies#

Running yarn upgrade will updated all dependencies based on the ranges specified in the package.json. The yarn.lock file will be updated, as will the contents of ./node_modules, for more info, see the yarn upgrade documentation. npm-check-updates is a useful tool to help with this. It is important to thoroughly test after any big dependency updates.

Developing Netlify Cloud Functions#

When Dashy is deployed to Netlify, it is effectively running as a static app, and therefore the server-side code for the Node.js endpoints is not available. However Netlify now supports serverless cloud lambda functions, which can be used to replace most functionality.

1. Run Netlify Dev Server#

First off all, install the Netlify CLI: npm install netlify-cli -g Then, from within the root of Dashy's directory, start the server, by running: netlify dev

2. Create a lambda function#

This should be saved in the ./services/serverless-functions directory

exports.handler = async () => ({  statusCode: 200,  body: 'Return some data here...',});

3. Redirect the Node endpoint to the function#

In the netlify.toml file, add a 301 redirect, with the path to the original Node.js endpoint, and the name of your cloud function

[[redirects]]  from = "/status-check"  to = "/.netlify/functions/cloud-status-check"  status = 301  force = true

Hiding Page Furniture on Certain Routes#

For some pages (such as the login page, the minimal start page, etc) the basic page furniture, (like header, footer, nav, etc) is not needed. This section explains how you can hide furniture on a new view (step 1), or add a component that should be hidden on certain views (step 2).

1. Add the route name to the should hide array#

In ./src/utils/defaults.js, there's an array called hideFurnitureOn. Append the name of the route (the same as it appears in router.js) here.

2. Add the conditional to the structural component to hide#

First, import the helper function:

import { shouldBeVisible } from '@/utils/SectionHelpers';

Then you can create a computed value, that calls this function, passing in the route name:

export default {  ...  computed: {    ...    isVisible() {      return shouldBeVisible(this.$;    },  },};

Finally, in the markup of your component, just add a v-if statement, referencing your computed value

<header v-if="isVisible">  ...</header>

Adding / Using Environmental Variables#

All environmental variables are optional. Currently there are not many environmental variables used, as most of the user preferences are stored under appConfig in the conf.yml file.

You can set variables either in your environment, or using the .env file.

Any environmental variables used by the frontend are preceded with VUE_APP_. Vue will merge the contents of your .env file into the app in a similar way to the 'dotenv' package, where any variables that you set on your system will always take preference over the contents of any .env file.

If add any new variables, ensure that there is always a fallback (define it in defaults.js), so as to not cause breaking changes. Don't commit the contents of your .env file to git, but instead take a few moments to document what you've added under the appropriate section. Try and follow the concepts outlined in the 12 factor app.

Building a Widget#

Step 0 - Prerequisites#

If this is your first time working on Dashy, then the Developing Docs instructions for project setup and running. In short, you just need to clone the project, cd into it, install dependencies (yarn) and then start the development server (yarn dev).

To build a widget, you'll also need some basic knowledge of Vue.js. The official Vue docs provides a good starting point, as does this guide by Tania Rascia

If you just want to jump straight in, then here is a complete implementation of a new example widget, or take a look at the XkcdComic.vue widget, which is pretty simple.

Step 1 - Create Widget#

Firstly, create a new .vue file under ./src/components/Widgets.

<template><div class="example-wrapper"></div></template>
import axios from 'axios';import WidgetMixin from '@/mixins/WidgetMixin';import { widgetApiEndpoints } from '@/utils/defaults';
export default {  mixins: [WidgetMixin],  data() {    return {      results: null,    };  },  computed: {    endpoint() {      return `${widgetApiEndpoints.myApi}/something`;    },  },  methods: {    fetchData() {      this.makeRequest(this.endpoint).then(this.processData);    },    processData(data) {      // Do processing any here, and set component data      this.results = data;    },  },};</script>
<style scoped lang="scss"></style>

All widgets extend from the Widget mixin. This provides some basic functionality that is shared by all widgets. The mixin includes the following options, startLoading(), finishLoading(), error() and update().

  • Getting user options: options
    • Any user-specific config can be accessed with this.options.something (where something is the data key you're accessing)
  • Loading state: startLoading() and finishLoading()
    • You can show the loader with this.startLoading(), then when your data request completes, hide it again with this.finishLoading()
  • Error handling: error()
    • If something goes wrong (such as API error, or missing user parameters), then call this.error() to show message to user
  • Updating data: update()
    • When the user clicks the update button, or if continuous updates are enabled, then the update() method within your widget will be called

Step 2 - Adding Functionality#

Accessing User Options#

If your widget is going to accept any parameters from the user, then we can access these with this.options.[parmName]. It's best to put these as computed properties, which will enable us to check it exists, is valid, and if needed format it. For example, if we have an optional property called count (to determine number of results), we can do the following, and then reference it within our component with this.count

computed: {  count() {    if (!this.options.count) {      return 5;    }    return this.options.count;  },    ...},

Adding an API Endpoint#

If your widget makes a data request, then add the URL for the API endpoint to the widgetApiEndpoints array in defaults.js

widgetApiEndpoints: {  ...  exampleEndpoint: '',},

Then in your widget file:

import { widgetApiEndpoints } from '@/utils/defaults';

For GET requests, you may need to add some parameters onto the end of the URL. We can use another computed property for this, for example:

endpoint() {  return `${widgetApiEndpoints.exampleEndpoint}?count=${this.count}`;},

Making an API Request#

Axios is used for making data requests, so import it into your component: import axios from 'axios';

Under the methods block, we'll create a function called fetchData, here we can use Axios to make a call to our endpoint.

fetchData() {  this.makeRequest(this.endpoint, this.headers).then(this.processData);},

There are three things happening here:

  • If the response completes successfully, we'll pass the results to another function that will handle them
  • If there's an error, then we call this.error(), which will show a message to the user
  • Whatever the result, once the request has completed, we call this.finishLoading(), which will hide the loader

Processing Response#

In the above example, we call the processData() method with the result from the API, so we need to create that under the methods section. How you handle this data will vary depending on what's returned by the API, and what you want to render to the user. But however you do it, you will likely need to create a data variable to store the response, so that it can be easily displayed in the HTML.

data() {  return {    myResults: null,  };},

And then, inside your processData() method, you can set the value of this, with:

`this.myResults = 'whatever'`

Rendering Response#

Now that the results are in the correct format, and stored as data variables, we can use them within the <template> to render results to the user. Again, how you do this will depend on the structure of your data, and what you want to display, but at it's simplest, it might look something like this:

<p class="results">{{ myResults }}</p>


Styles can be written for your widget within the <style> block.

There are several color variables used by widgets, which extend from the base palette. Using these enables users to override colors to theme their dashboard, if they wish. The variables are: --widget-text-color, --widget-background-color and --widget-accent-color

<style scoped lang="scss">p.results {  color: var(--widget-text-color);}</style>

For examples of finished widget components, see the Widgets directory. Specifically, the XkcdComic.vue widget is quite minimal, so would make a good example, as will this example implementation.

Step 3 - Register#

Next, register your new widget in WidgetBase.vue. In this file, you'll need to add the following:

const COMPAT = {  ...  'example-widget': 'ExampleWidget',};

Here, the example-widget property name will be used to identify the widget when parsing the type property in a configuration file. The ExampleWidget string is used to dynamically import the widget, and therefore must match the widget's filename as it exists in the components/widgets folder.

Step 4 - Docs#

Finally, add some documentation for your widget in the Widget Docs, so that others know how to use it. Include the following information: Title, short description, screenshot, config options and some example YAML.

Summary: For a complete example of everything discussed here, see: 3da76ce

Respecting Config Permissions#

Any screen that displays part or all of the users config, must not be shown when the user has disabled viewing config.

This can be done by checking the allowViewConfig attribute of the permissions getter, in the store. First create a new computed property, like:

allowViewConfig() {  return this.$store.getters.permissions.allowViewConfig;},

Then wrap the part of your UI which displays config with: v-if="allowViewConfig"

If required, add a message showing that the component isn't available, using the AccessError component. E.g.

import AccessError from '@/components/Configuration/AccessError';
<AccessError v-else />

The $store.getters.permissions object also returns options for when and where config can be saved, using: allowWriteToDisk, and allowSaveLocally - both are booleans.