romaninsh romaninsh - 5 months ago 21
CSS Question

How to automatically compile LESS into CSS on the server?

Friend designer of mine was compiling his LESS file manually and uploading it with Coda (Remote Site) spending lots of precious time. He asked me:

Is it possible to automatically detect file change on the Linux server and compile without delay at all?


I have made a script and I publish the details:

  • Easy to use for designers
  • Executes LESS compiler immediately after file is saved, without consuming server resources
  • Any editor capable of remote editing will work with this solution - Code, Sublime Text, Textmate

First, you need to install "npm" on the server by typing this into the console:

sudo apt-get install npm inotify-tools
sudo npm install -g less
sudo nano /usr/local/bin/lesscwatch

Paste the following into the file:

# Detect changes in .less file and automatically compile into .css
[ "$2" ] || { echo "Specify both .less and .css files"; exit 1; }
inotifywait . -m -e close_write | while read x op f; do.
    if [ "$f" == "$1" ]; then.
        lessc $f > $2 && echo "`date`: COMPILED";.

Save, exit, then execute:

sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/lesscwatch

You are all done. Next time you need to work with your LESS files, you will need to open terminal (Coda has a built-in), go to the folder of your file (using cd) and execute this:

lesscwatch main.less main.css

It will output information about successful compilations or errors. Enjoy.