Meteorite is a Meteor version manager and package manager. It provides an easy way to run different versions of meteor, use non-core packages, and to install packages from the Atmosphere package repository.

Meteorite provides the command mrt, which can be used to add and install smart packages from atmosphere.

# Create an app based on Meteor's devel branch.
$ mrt create my-app --branch devel
$ cd my-app
# Install an Atmosphere package, recursively fetching dependencies.
$ mrt add router
# Check for and install any updates, and run the app.
$ mrt

Installing Meteorite

Meteorite can be installed via npm.

$ npm install -g meteorite


If your system requires root access to install global npm packages, make sure you use the -H flag:

$ sudo -H npm install -g meteorite

Updating from pre-0.6.0 Meteorite

Meteorite now symlinks packages into the packages/ directory of your app, so it's no longer necessary to run mrt when you want to start a server. Just make sure you mrt install in your app, and delete the "meteor" section from your smart.json.

Subsequently, you can simply use meteor to run your development server, and just mrt install to ensure all packages are installed from atmosphere.


  • Meteor is not officially supported on windows; you can run it thanks to Tom Wijman's excellent work. However, meteorite's git based approach runs counter to the MSI installation that's required to get it working. So meteorite does not work under windows right now. Pull Requests which change this would be gladly accepted! Also, see this blog post for some information about how to use it.

  • You'll also need to ensure you have git installed and available in your path. Also, you'll need to make sure that mrt's install location (usually /usr/local/bin/) is on your path.


mrt add <package>

Works like meteor add, but if the package isn't one of Meteor's included packages, it installs it from Atmosphere.

Unlike meteor add, only one package can be added at a time with mrt add.

# Add the latest version of the moment package on Atmosphere.
$ mrt add moment
# Add a specific version of a package.
$ mrt add router --pkg-version 0.3.4
# Meteorite will install page.js too, because router depends on it.

mrt remove <package>

Similarly, removes a package from smart.json, and unlinks it from your project (as well as telling Meteor not to use it).

mrt install

Install all packages listed in smart.json that aren't already installed on your machine. Use this command if you are working collaboratively and your colleagues install new packages.

mrt update

Installs any available updates to the app's desired Meteor version and packages.

mrt create <name>

Works like meteor create, but you can specify the desired branch, tag or reference of Meteor's git repository that the app should be based on.

# By default, apps are based on Meteor's master branch.
$ mrt create cool-app
# You can create apps based on a branch of Meteor's repo.
$ mrt create risky-app --branch devel
# Or, on a tag (such as version numbers).
$ mrt create safe-app --tag v0.5.4
# Or, or on a commit.
$ mrt create choosy-app --ref a9a717

mrt create-package [path/to/]foo

Puts the basic building blocks down for creating a package named foo, (potentially in a sub directory, usually packages/).

mrt link-package path/to/foo

Links packages/foo to path/to/foo so that you can use a local version without changing smart.json. Useful for quick changes to a package you maintain when developing an application.

Note that mrt install or mrt will overwrite this link if you also have foo in your smart.json (which you probably will). This may change in the future.


Options can be passed at the very end of the command.


Log debug information to the console.

Example: mrt add crypto-sha1 --verbose

Deprecated commands

As Meteorite now installs packages into the packages/ directory, you can simply run meteor to start your app. You may need to run mrt install first. You can run any meteor executable you like (e.g. from a checkout somewhere on your machine).


Works like meteor, but checks and installs the app's desired Meteor version and package dependencies before running the app. You may still want to use this, but it's no longer the official way to use Meteorite.

If however you want to use a forked version of Meteor in your project, you can still list it in your smart.json, and Meteorite will run it via mrt. (Of course you could just run it directly from a checkout too, which may be simpler).

Other commands

When Meteorite is executed for an app, it checks or installs the app's desired Meteor version, packages and dependencies, then does the required book-keeping (described below), and finally passes the command onto meteor.

Permission woes?

It is not required that you run sudo mrt. If you do so, your home directory will pick up some root-owned files and you'll struggle to run mrt without sudo from then on. This isn't good.

To fix the problem, try cleaning up potentially "sudo-ed" files:

sudo mrt uninstall
sudo mrt uninstall --system
sudo chown -R whoami ~/.npm

If possible, try not to install Meteorite as root either. If you have permissions problems, make sure you install with sudo -H npm install -g meteorite. If you've installed without -H, your ~/.npm directory will be owned by root and you should run the chown command above to fix it.

How Meteorite works

Apps tell Meteorite the Meteor version and packages they want with a file called smart.json in their root directory. Meteorite will install those dependencies the next time it is executed within that app.

Meteorite writes to a smart.lock file in the app's root directory to track the exact versions of its dependencies, even when it's set up in a fresh environment. You should check the smart.lock file into your app's version control, to ensure that other developers are running the same versions of the dependencies. Any changes in smart.json take precendency over smart.lock. The smart.lock file is reset with the mrt update command.

Example smart.json

The meteor property is not required: apps will depend on Meteor's master branch by default. You can specify meteor.branch, meteor.tag or meteor.git to use alternate branches, tags and forks respectively. Note that meteor.git expects an actual URL, use ssh:// instead of

  "packages": {
    "moment": {},
    "router": "0.3.4",
    "roles": {
      "version": "1.0.1"
    "accounts-persona": {
      "git": ""
    "normalize.css": {
      "git": "",
      "tag": "v2.0.1"
    "branch-of-package": {
      "git": "",
      "branch": "dev"
    "my-experiment": {
      "path": "/path/to/local/package"

Writing Meteorite packages

Meteorite packages include a smart.json file in their root directory to provide information about the package, and to list their dependencies. For an example, see Meteor Router's smart.json.

Meteorite packages also include a package.js file in their root directory to tell Meteorite how it should be installed. For an example, see Meteor Roles' package.js.

See Atmosphere's documentation on writing packages for more information.

Bash Completion

Use Meteorite's bash completion by sourcing it in your .bashrc or .bash_profile.

Depending on where you installed Meteorite:

if [ -f /path/to/meteorite/completions/mrt.bash ]; then
  . /path/to/meteorite/completions/mrt.bash

Alternatively, you can create a symbolic link under bash_completion.d:

ln -s /path/to/meteorite/completions/mrt.bash /path/to/bash_completion.d/mrt

Running Meteorite In a Git Hook Script

If you encounter checkout errors while running mrt install or mrt update within a Git hook script, it is because GIT_DIR is set to an unexpected value when running within a hook. The solution is to temporarily unset it just before running the mrt command.

(unset GIT_DIR; mrt update)


Contributions to meteorite are very welcome! Please see the Contribution Guide for details.