Guide for PhoneGap CLI Users

This page demonstrates quick steps to migrate a PhoneGap project into Monaca using Monaca CLI. After finishing this guide, you can to run, test, debug and build an app of your PhoneGap project using Monaca.


  1. Before starting the migration process, please make sure to read about the key differences in order to have a seamless migration.

  2. Install the Monaca CLI globally with npm:

    $ npm install -g monaca

Migration steps

  1. After the Monaca CLI installation, login with your Monaca account:

monaca login

2. Navigate to your PhoneGap project directory.

cd <project dir>

3. Then, run monaca init to convert your project to a Monaca project:

monaca init
Are you sure you want to continue initializing this project? Yes
Is it a transpilable project? No
Which command do you use to serve the app? npm run dev

4. Add these two new commands to your package.json file:

"scripts": {
    "monaca:preview": "npm run dev",
    "dev": "browser-sync start -s www/ --watch --port 8080 --ui-port 8081"

Debugging with the Monaca CLI

Monaca Debugger is an application for testing and debugging your Monaca apps on real devices in real time. When developing Monaca apps on your local PC, all changes you make to the project files reflect in the Monaca Debugger as soon as you save the changes.

Let’s get started with the Monaca Debugger as follows:

  1. Install the Monaca Debugger app on your device from Google Play or AppStore.

If you want to install Monaca Debugger on Android emulator, please refer to Monaca Debugger for Android Emulator.

2. Launch the Monaca Debugger app and sign in with your Monaca account. Make sure you are using the same account as for Monaca CLI.

3. Check that the Monaca Debugger and the PC are connected to the same network connection (LAN or Wi-Fi) and disable the firewall of the PC.

4. To pair your device to the PC, navigate to the project directory in the command line and type monaca debug.

cd <project dir>
monaca debug

5. A popup message prompting you to pair the debugger with the PC opens inside the Monaca Debugger.

6. If the pairing is successful, your local project name will appear under Local Projects in Monaca Debugger. However, if the pairing fails, please refer to Fail to pair the Monaca Debugger.

7. To run a project, tap on the project name in the Monaca Debugger (as shown in the above picture).

8. Your project should now be running in the debugger. Go ahead and try out your application. After that, try making some code changes and save them. You should see the changes reflected in the debugger.

To stop debugging and unpair the debugger and the PC, press Ctrl+c.

Building the app

Now that you know how to use the Monaca CLI commands with your PhoneGap project, let’s start building it with the Monaca CLI. For simplicity, we only show how to create a debug build for Android in this guide.

Using only the CLI commands

  1. Navigate to the project directory.

    cd <project dir>
  2. Start the Android debug build

    monaca remote build android --build-type=debug

Using the CLI Command with GUI

  1. Navigate to the project directory.

    cd <project dir>
  2. Open the Build Window to start building.

    monaca remote build --browser
  3. The debug build is selected by default. Click Start Build.

4. It may take several minutes to complete the build. The following screen will open after the build is successfully completed. Then, you can choose the way to install the app in your device.

Where to go from here

To learn more about Monaca, please refer to the following materials:

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