A "smart" file versioner for production environments which takes inter-file dependencies into account automatically.

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import gruntSmartrev from '';


grunt-smartrev Build Status NPM version

A "smart" file versioner for production environments which takes inter-file dependencies into account automatically.

Takes a directory tree like this:

 |- index.html
 |- app.js
 |- deferred.js
 |- styles.css
 |- logo.png

Converts it into the following:

 |- index.html
 |- app.0f278ffd46a4687731ccad34403db8f9.js
 |- deferred.2cf007ff23e7b3dc8df55e05949abb83.js
 |- styles.84b6cd3d11e54bb8da24e6730ab64c98.css
 |- logo.cc01729f517ff39cfb928546ee06f184.png

Then modifies your application's source code to point to the new, versioned files.

File references in source code

smartrev substitutes file references in HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.


In HTML files, smartrev substitutes href and src attributes.

<!-- Before -->
<link href="build/styles.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"/>
<script src="build/app.js"></script>

<!-- After -->
<link href="build/styles.84b6cd3d11e54bb8da24e6730ab64c98.css" type="text/css" rel="stylesheet"/>
<script src="build/app.0f278ffd46a4687731ccad34403db8f9.js"></script>


In JavaScript files, smartrev substitutes any path strings called by a pseudo-global geturl function.

This function doesn't actually exist; it is just used to tag strings for substitution, and is removed by the plugin afterwards.

// Before
var script = document.createElement('script');
script.src = geturl('build/deferred.js');

// After
var script = document.createElement('script');
script.src = 'build/deferred.2cf007ff23e7b3dc8df55e05949abb83.js';


In CSS files, smartrev substitutes any path strings found inside the url() declaration.

/* Before */
.logo {
    background: url(build/logo.png) no-repeat;

/* After */
.logo {
    background: url(build/logo.cc01729f517ff39cfb928546ee06f184.png) no-repeat;

Inter-file dependencies

smartrev considers inter-file dependencies when generating revisions for each file.

Consider this example of a CSS file and two PNG files that were previously modified/renamed by smartrev:

/* styles.334e21d7c11d250e9ccc0c17eb8ba499.css */
.a {
    background: url(a.f51946af45e0b561c60f768335c9eb79.png);
.b {
    background: url(b.b47581f5ba4a76da649c1fe5a6b68775.png);

Let's say you modify a.png. As a result, it has a new revision, and running the smartrev task again yields the following:

/* styles.fef7511f24fecec4c030b035c7019143.css (NEW) */
.a {
    background: url(a.5a88b4a157baf9f23f9f4e3e68b4e394.png); /* NEW */
.b {
    background: url(b.b47581f5ba4a76da649c1fe5a6b68775.png); /* unchanged */

Notice that not only did a.png get a new revision, so did the file that referenced it: styles.css. This has to happen, because if styles.css doesn't get a new revision, users will download the old styles.css that still points to the old version of a.png.

To do this, smartrev generates a full dependency tree of your source files based on the URL substitution patterns documented above. If a fourth file referenced styles.css, it too would get a new revision, and so on.

Getting Started

This plugin requires Grunt >=0.4.2

If you haven't used Grunt before, be sure to check out the Getting Started guide, as it explains how to create a Gruntfile as well as install and use Grunt plugins. Once you're familiar with that process, you may install this plugin with this command:

npm install grunt-smartrev --save-dev

Once the plugin has been installed, it may be enabled inside your Gruntfile with this line of JavaScript:


The "smartrev" task


In your project's Gruntfile, add a section named smartrev to the data object passed into grunt.initConfig().

    smartrev: {
        options: {
            cwd: 'build',
            baseUrl: '//',
            noRename: ['index.html', 'bootstrap.js'],
        dist: {
            src: [
            // Save the generated dependency tree and file hash information (optional)
            dest: 'stats.json',



Type: String Default value: '.'

The directory where smartrev should work inside. Should be your build directory.


Type: String Default value: ''

The base url to prepend to the generated urls/paths. Most probably should be your CDN's base url.


Type: String[] Default value: []

List of file patterns that should not be renamed, such as your index.html file.


Type: String Default value: '''

A custom "salt" to use when generating the file hashes. This string is prepended to file contents when generating the hash so it can be used as a version to update all file hashes when necessary.


In lieu of a formal styleguide, take care to maintain the existing coding style. Add unit tests for any new or changed functionality. Lint and test your code using JSHint and Grunt.

Release History

Date Changes
12-04-2017 Add salt option
29-12-2014 Add support for srcset
25-02-2014 Simplified README
01-02-2014 Initial Release