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Project Generators

Automated project creation saves time and ensures that you start new services, libraries and other projects with good solid code that meets your standards and includes the components you need, configured the way you like them.

In Atomist, you automate project creation using a generator, a type of command. Generators typically copy their code from a known-good repository called a seed, and then modify the code in certain ways, such as renaming classes so that it’s ready to use without lots of manual find and replace. Generators frequently also configure supporting systems, for example, by creating a dedicated Slack channel, setting up issue tracking, and so on.

To make your own generator, get an SDM of your own.

In team mode, the SDM hooks your generator up to chat and creates repositories in your version control. You can also add a custom form to serve project creation to your team or organization. In local mode, the SDM creates a directory on your filesytem.

This page gives you enough information to

  • create a generator from your own seed
  • with your own transforms
  • and custom parameters


A seed is a project that works as a starting point. It is real, functional code, not a template. The simplest generator makes a copy of the seed in a new repository; most generators transform the code first.

You can use any project you already have, or craft one carefully for new projects to start from. This makes a canonical “best starting point” for your organization.

For examples, see all the repositories in our atomist-seeds organization.

Generator Registration

To add a generator to your SDM, register it where you configure your SDM (usually machine.ts):


The sample code on this page is about a generator for starting a new documentation site like this one.

That MkdocsSiteGenerator is a [GeneratorRegistration][apidoc-generator-registration]:

export const MkdocsSiteGenerator: GeneratorRegistration = {
    name: "Mkdocs Site",
    intent: "create mkdocs site",
    startingPoint: GitHubRepoRef.from({
        owner: "atomist-seeds",
        repo: "mkdocs-site"
    transform: [updateTitle("", "New Project")],

The important elements of a GeneratorRegistration are:

  • name of the generator. This can be any string.
  • intent a string or array of strings; type this to trigger the command.
  • startingPoint gives the generator a seed. Use a pointer to a repository in version control - see RepoRef for options.
  • transform is an array of zero or more code transforms to apply.


Generator commands work the same way as command parameters.

In addition, a generator command automatically gets some parameters that every generator needs:

attribute type description default
target.description string description for the new repository ”“
target.repo string new repository name none
target.visibility “public” or “private” what kind of visibility a new repository gets “private”