Chromatic CLI

The Chromatic CLI builds and publishes your Storybook. Run chromatic in your project directory.

This package was previously named storybook-chromatic. See migrating to the new package for details.

Quick Start

npx chromatic --project-token <your-project-token>

If you customized the way your Storybook runs, you may need to pass additional options. After the first run, the CLI will automatically ask you to add a script to your package.json.


Optionally, you can install chromatic as a dependency, while using the same script above.

npm install -D chromatic

If you don’t install chromatic as a dependency, npx will download and run the latest version automatically. This has pros and cons:

  • 👍 You’ll never be out of date, you’ll use the latest version every time, never have to worry about upgrading Chromatic.
  • 👍 You won’t need to install the package during local development if you’re only running it in continuous integration.
  • 👎 It will be slower to run because the package has to be downloaded first.


Required options

CLI flag
--project-token <token> The unique code for your project. Alias: -t

Get your project token from the Chromatic website during onboarding or on your project’s Manage page. This option can also be configured by setting the CHROMATIC_PROJECT_TOKEN environment variable. Environment variables are also read from a .env file, if present.

Note: --project-token was previously known as --app-code. If you encounter an error referring to this, you should upgrade to the latest version of the Chromatic CLI. See migrating to the new package.

Storybook options

chromatic is zero-config if you have a build-storybook script in your package.json. Otherwise you might to specify one of these.

CLI flag
--build-script-name <name> The npm script that builds your Storybook we should take snapshots against. Use this if your Storybook build script is named differently. Defaults to build-storybook. Alias: -b
--output-dir <dirname> Relative path to target directory for building your Storybook, in case you want to preserve it. Otherwise a temporary directory is used if possible. Alias: -o
--storybook-build-dir <dirname> If you have already built your Storybook, provide the path to the static build directory. Alias: -d
A placeholder in <angled brackets> denotes a required value, while [square brackets] denote an optional value. An optional flag value is interpreted as true when no value is provided.

Chromatic options

These options control how Chromatic behaves with regards to your stories and what to do with them. These might be needed in certain branching situations. See more in the branching docs.

CLI flag
--auto-accept-changes [branch] If there are any changes to the build, automatically accept them. Only for [branch], if specified. Globs are supported via picomatch.
--branch-name <branch> Override the branch name. Only meant to be used for unsupported CI integrations and fixing cross-fork PR comparisons. Also accepts <owner>:<branch> format.
--ci Mark this build as a CI build. Alternatively, set the CI environment variable (present in most CI systems). This option implies --no-interactive.
--exit-once-uploaded [branch] Exit with 0 once the built version has been published to Chromatic. Only for [branch], if specified. Globs are supported via picomatch.
--exit-zero-on-changes [branch] If all snapshots render but there are visual changes, exit with code 0 rather than the usual exit code 1. Only for [branch], if specified. Globs are supported via picomatch.
--externals <filepath> Disable TurboSnap when any of these files have changed since the baseline build. Globs are supported via picomatch. This flag can be specified multiple times. Requires –only-changed.
--ignore-last-build-on-branch <branch> Do not use the last build on this branch as a baseline if it is no longer in history (i.e. branch was rebased). Globs are supported via picomatch.
--only-changed [branch] Enables TurboSnap: Only run stories affected by files changed since the baseline build. Only for [branch], if specified. Globs are supported via picomatch. All other snapshots will be inherited from the prior commit.
--only-story-files <storypath> Only run a single story or a subset of stories by their filename(s). Specify the full path to the story file relative to the root of your Storybook project. Globs are supported via picomatch. This flag can be specified multiple times.
--only-story-names <storypath> Only run a single story or a subset of stories by their name(s). Use the title from the story file’s default export as the story path, followed by the desired story names. For example, if selecting all stories from a single story file with a title of Example/Button, this would be Example/Button/*. Globs are supported via picomatch. This flag can be specified multiple times.
--patch-build <headbranch...basebranch> Create a patch build to fix a missing PR comparison.
--skip [branch] Skip Chromatic tests, but mark the commit as passing. Avoids blocking PRs due to required merge checks. Only for [branch], if specified. Globs are supported via picomatch.
--storybook-base-dir <dirname> Relative path from repository root to Storybook project root. Use with --only-changed and --storybook-build-dir when your Storybook is located in a subdirectory of your repository.
--storybook-config-dir <dirname> Relative path from where you run Chromatic to your Storybook config directory. Use with --only-changed and --storybook-build-dir when using a custom --config-dir (-c) flag for Storybook. Defaults to .storybook.
--untraced <filepath> Disregard these files and their dependencies when tracing dependent stories for TurboSnap. Globs are supported via picomatch. This flag can be specified multiple times. Requires –only-changed.
--zip Publish your Storybook to Chromatic as a single zip file instead of individual content files.

Debug options

These options may help you debug problems or enable integration with other tools.

CLI flag
--debug Output verbose debugging information. This option implies --no-interactive.
--diagnostics Write process context information to chromatic-diagnostics.json.
--dry-run Run without actually publishing to Chromatic.
--force-rebuild [branch] Do not skip build when a rebuild is detected. Only for [branch], if specified. Globs are supported via picomatch.
--junit-report [filepath] Write build results to a JUnit XML file. Defaults to chromatic-build-{buildNumber}.xml. {buildNumber} will be replaced with the actual build number.
--list List available stories. This requires running a full build.
--no-interactive Don’t ask interactive questions about your setup and don’t overwrite output. true in non-TTY environments.
--trace-changed [mode] Print dependency trace for changed files to affected story files. Set to “expanded” to list individual modules. Requires --only-changed.

See diagnosing issues for when to use these flags.

Environment variables

Some options can be configured through environment variables. You will typically only need these when instructed to. Flags take precedence over environment variables.

Environment variable Description
CHROMATIC_PROJECT_TOKEN Project token, see --project-token
CHROMATIC_SHA * Git commit hash
CHROMATIC_BRANCH * Git branch name, see --branch-name
CHROMATIC_SLUG * Git repository slug (e.g. chromaui/chromatic-cli)
CHROMATIC_POLL_INTERVAL Polling interval when waiting for build to finish (default: 1000)
CHROMATIC_RETRIES Number of times to retry file upload (default: 5)
CHROMATIC_STORYBOOK_VERSION Overrides Storybook package/version detection (e.g. @storybook/react@6.5.0-alpha.25)
CHROMATIC_TIMEOUT Number of ms before giving up on start-storybook (default: 300000 (5 minutes))
STORYBOOK_BUILD_TIMEOUT Number of ms before giving up on build-storybook (default: 600000 (10 minutes))
CI See --ci
LOG_LEVEL One of: silent, error, warn, info, debug
DISABLE_LOGGING Set to true to disable logging. Equal to LOG_LEVEL=silent
HTTPS_PROXY or HTTP_PROXY Used to configure https-proxy-agent
* If you specify any of CHROMATIC_SHA, CHROMATIC_BRANCH or CHROMATIC_SLUG, you will have to specify all three, otherwise they will be ignored.

Exit codes

Exit code Key Description
0 OK Exited successfully
1 BUILD_HAS_CHANGES Chromatic build has (visual) changes
2 BUILD_HAS_ERRORS Chromatic build has component errors
3 BUILD_FAILED Chromatic build failed due to system error
4 BUILD_NO_STORIES Chromatic build failed because it contained no stories
5 BUILD_WAS_LIMITED Chromatic build was limited
6 BUILD_WAS_CANCELED Chromatic build was canceled
11 ACCOUNT_QUOTA_REACHED Chromatic account reached its snapshot quota
12 ACCOUNT_PAYMENT_REQUIRED Chromatic account requires payment
101 GIT_NOT_CLEAN Git repository workspace not clean
102 GIT_OUT_OF_DATE Git repository not up-to-date with remote
103 GIT_NO_MERGE_BASE Git branch has no merge base
104 NPM_INSTALL_FAILED npm or Yarn failed to install dependencies
105 NPM_BUILD_STORYBOOK_FAILED npm or Yarn failed to run build-storybook script
201 FETCH_ERROR HTTP fetch error
254 INVALID_OPTIONS Invalid options (flags) provided
255 UNKNOWN_ERROR Unknown error

Deprecated options

These options are still supported, but might be removed in a future version. Avoid them if possible. See “Uploading Storybook via the tunnel” below for details.

CLI flag
--allow-console-errors Continue running Chromatic even if there are errors logged to console in your Storybook.
--app-code <token> Renamed to --project-token.
--script-name [name] The npm script that starts your Storybook. Defaults to storybook. Alias: -s
--exec <command> Alternatively, a shell command that starts your Storybook. Alias: -e
--do-not-start Don’t attempt to start or build Storybook. Use this if your Storybook is already running, for example when part of a larger app. Alias: -S
--storybook-port <port> What port is your Storybook running on. Auto detected from the npm script when using --script-name. Alias: -p
--storybook-https Enable if Storybook is running on HTTPS (locally). Auto detected from the npm script when using --script-name.
--storybook-cert <path> Use with --storybook-https. Auto detected from the npm script when using --script-name.
--storybook-key <path> Use with --storybook-https. Auto detected from the npm script when using --script-name.
--storybook-ca <ca> Use with --storybook-https. Auto detected from the npm script when using --script-name.
--storybook-url <url> Run against an online Storybook at some URL. This implies --do-not-start. Alias: -u
Uploading Storybook via the tunnel (deprecated)

We changed the way that Chromatic CLI builds and uploads Storybook over time. Before we begin, make sure you’re using the latest chromatic package.

Tunnel method (deprecated)

The original version of storybook-chromatic (deprecated) used a tunnelling mechanism in order to capture screenshots of your stories and create a hosted version of your Storybook. The CLI package would create a HTTPS tunnel between your CI server (running Storybook in development mode) and our capture cloud.

This technique worked well, but it relied on a stable network connection between your CI server and our tunnel’s server while building. In some cases, this connection could be less than perfect for reasons outside of anyone’s control. This could lead to miscaptured stories when resources failed to load.

Build and publish method

As of ^2.0.0, Chromatic CLI defaults to building a static Storybook then uploading it to our servers before starting the capture process. It relies on the Storybook command build-storybook.

In practice, this method is more predictable, reliable, and faster for creating builds. It also means you can pass the --exit-once-uploaded flag (as of ^3.4.0) and not have to keep your CI server running while Chromatic is capturing.

We’ll continue to support the tunnel, however it is officially deprecated. We urge you to switch to uploaded builds.

To start using uploaded builds, ensure you are on the latest version of chromatic and that you are not using the -s / --script-name flag in your “chromatic” script. If you use a custom npm script name to build Storybook, you’ll need to pass the -b / --build-script-name flag to the Chromatic CLI.

Usage in a GitHub Action

There are examples here:

Do not run this based on a GitHub pull_request event. If you do, the commit and branch will get reported wrong, use our GitHub Action instead.

Diagnosing issues

Getting your Chromatic CI script configured just right can take some trial and error. To help debug issues, you may want to consider using some of the debug flags:

  • --no-interactive: When running the CLI locally, use this flag so you’ll get logs like you would in CI, which are more elaborate than the interactive logs. This is automatically enabled in CI, so it’s useless to add it in a CI script.
  • --diagnostics: Before terminating the process, this dumps process context information to chromatic-diagnostics.json. This is the first place to look if you’re seeing things you didn’t expect. In a CI system, you’ll have to configure this file as a build artifact so you can download it. How to do this depends on your CI provider.
  • --dry-run: Use this if you just want to debug the CLI without actually publishing your Storybook or running a Chromatic build. Typically you’d pair this with --diagnostics.
  • --debug: This enables verbose logging and --no-interactive. Use this if you want to see the nitty gritty details. Mostly useful if you have issues with publishing (uploading) your Storybook to Chromatic.
  • --trace-changed: Specifically for TurboSnap, you can use this flag to get a printed tree view of the dependencies between changed files (according to Git) and your story files.
  • --only-story-names: If you have some specific stories which are causing problems, you can use this flag to run a build for just those stories (one or more). If you don’t know which stories are available, you can use --list to print a list of all stories in your Storybook, though it will require running a Chromatic build.

Migrating to the new CLI package

This package was previously named storybook-chromatic. If you still have storybook-chromatic installed, you should remove it and install chromatic instead:

With npm:

npm uninstall --save-dev storybook-chromatic
npm install --save-dev chromatic

With yarn:

yarn remove storybook-chromatic
yarn add --dev chromatic


I see "Chromatic: Failed to publish. Reason: self signed certificate in certificate chain" when running the CLI on my machine.

This isn’t a Chromatic CLI issue. Check if your machine is using special security or network settings before running the CLI.