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React with Bun.js

Venturing into the Unknown: Compiling React with Bun.js


The confluence of Bun.js and React invites an exhilarating voyage into uncharted territories of web development. Bun.js, conceived by Jared Sumner, emerges as a promising JavaScript runtime, enticing developers with its simplified approach to code compilation and dependency management. This post, complementing our video tutorial, is an adventurous delve into employing Bun.js to compile a React single-page application, albeit in an experimental frame.

Initiating the React Project with Bun.js: A Tentative First Step

The maiden step of our exploration commences with setting up a React project. The package.json unveils how Bun.js effortlessly integrates into our project setup:

  "scripts": {
    "build": "rm -rf build && bun build ./src/index.tsx --outdir ./build && cp public/index.html build/index.html",
    "dev": "bun build ./src/index.tsx --outdir ./build --watch"

The scripts section is where the tentative synergy between Bun.js and our React project begins to take shape.

Crafting the React Application: A Simple Gesture

Our modest expedition into the Bun.js realm takes form with a minimalistic React application. The index.html in the public folder lays the foundation:

    <div id="root"></div>
    <script src="./index.js"></script>

Transitioning to src/index.tsx, the code showcases a simplistic React rendering:

import * as ReactDOM from 'react-dom/client';

const root = ReactDOM.createRoot(document.getElementById('root'));

root.render(<>hello here</>);

The Compilation Chronicle: An Experimental Stint

The essence of our exploration crystallizes in the compilation process:

rm -rf build && bun build ./src/index.tsx --outdir ./build && cp public/index.html build/index.html

This succinct script embodies the experimental spirit, initiating a clean build directory, engaging Bun.js for compilation, and ensuring the index.html is in the right place to link the compiled script.

Developer Experience: A Smooth Sail?

The dev script in package.json reveals Bun.js’s attempt at a smooth developer experience, even in this exploratory setting:

bun build ./src/index.tsx --outdir ./build --watch

This command keeps a vigilant watch on code changes, re-compiling as needed, a promising hint at a streamlined development workflow.

Reflecting on the Bun.js-React Compilation: A Promising Horizon?

This preliminary foray into marrying Bun.js with React was both enlightening and thought-provoking. The ease of setup and the almost instantaneous compilation process shines a promising light on Bun.js. However, as we step back and reflect, the experimental nature of this venture surfaces.

One notable absence in our compilation journey was the lack of minification. Minification is a crucial step towards optimizing the application for production, which wasn’t inherently handled by Bun.js in our setup. This lack of minification, among other optimizations, hints at why established tools like Vite or Next.js remain preferred choices for production scenarios. They offer a comprehensive, optimized build process right out of the box, catering to the myriad needs of a production-ready application.

Bun.js, on the other hand, invites the curious and the tinkerers among us. It opens up a playground for exploration, to probe the what-ifs and why-nots. For product engineers, whose primary focus is to deliver robust, optimized, and production-ready applications, leaning towards full-fledged frameworks like Next.js or utilizing bundlers like Vite might still be the more reassuring route. These tools come with a suite of optimizations, a mature ecosystem, and a community of experts continuously refining the process to meet the demanding standards of modern web development.

However, Bun.js isn’t to be dismissed. It’s a fresh breeze, offering a simplified and speedy compilation process. For those with a penchant for tinkering, for exploring the boundaries of what’s possible, or for those working on less critical or smaller scale projects, Bun.js presents a viable, exciting option. It’s a glimpse into an alternative narrative where simplicity and speed are at the forefront, albeit with the trade-off of some production-grade optimizations.

Our experiment with Bun.js paints a picture of a landscape where developers have the freedom to choose, to explore, and to decide the best fit for their project’s needs. And as Bun.js continues to evolve, who knows, it might one day mature into a tool that melds the best of both worlds - simplicity for the tinkerers and robustness for the product engineers.


This explorative venture unveils a hint of what Bun.js might harbor for React developers. The ease of compilation, real-time code monitoring, and a promising developer experience make a compelling case for Bun.js, even in this nascent stage of exploration.

For a visual walkthrough of this exploration, ensure you catch our detailed video guide. Your engagement through subscribing and interacting with our content is highly valued and goes a long way in fueling further explorations into the unknown!