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Custom Project Installation

This quick start will help you install a pre-created custom project. It's not always clear what project type to pass in if the project's README does not explicitly tell you.

The basic format to install a custom project is as follows:

npx projen new $PROJECT_TYPE --from $PACKAGE

Project Type

The $PROJECT_TYPE is the type of project you want to create. Using projen's default projects as examples, if you want to create a TypeScript project, you would pass in typescript. If you want to create a Python project, you would pass in python.

The name of the project is typically the name of the exported class, minus the suffix Project. For example, if the project's README says to install a CustomProject project, you would pass in custom as the $PROJECT_TYPE. Projen's CLI is generally very good about identifying mis-typed $PROJECT_TYPEs, so if you get it wrong, it will tell you.


The $PACKAGE is the name of the package that contains the project you want to install. This parameter supports anything that your installer supports. Examples can be found in the npmjs docs. yarn, pnpm, and other package managers generally maintain backwards compatibility with npm, so you can use the same syntax.


Let's look at a specific example. There is a custom project for creating CDKTF providers. To install it, we would use the following command:

npx projen new cdktf_provider --from @cdktf/provider-project

We would infer that it's cdktfprovider because the name of the exported class in src/main.ts is CdkTfProviderProject. However, when we try installing that, we get an error:

👾 Project type "cdktfprovider" not found in "@cdktf/provider-project". Found:


Please specify a valid project type.
Example: npx projen new --from @cdktf/provider-project cdktf_provider

In this case the error message is very helpful. It tells us the project type and we can easily adjust. When we execute the correct command, we get the following output:

❯ npx projen new cdktf_provider --from @cdktf/provider-project
blank@ /Users/defiance/cdktf-provider-project
└── projen@0.75.1

👾 installing external module @cdktf/provider-project...

up to date, audited 89 packages in 399ms

9 packages are looking for funding
run `npm fund` for details

found 0 vulnerabilities

👾 Cannot create "@cdktf/provider-project.CdktfProviderProject". Missing required options:
--cdktf-version [string]
--constructs-version [string]
--terraform-provider [string]

Here the error message is helpful again. There are required options that must be passed in via the command line. It tells us the options and the syntax to pass them. We can now install the project with the following command:

npx projen new cdktf_provider --from @cdktf/provider-project \
--cdktf-version 0.18.0 \
--constructs-version 10.3.0 \
--terraform-provider aws@5.21.0

This command will execute successfully.

Why did we have to pass in those options? This project is designed to be built from a .projenrc file first, with those required variables set. When we use the --from flag to initialize the project, those required variables must be passed in via the command line instead of the .projenrc file.