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Stencil CLI
Troubleshooting Your Setup

Troubleshooting Your Setup

For any unexpected behavior you encounter while developing your Stencil theme, we recommend checking the terminal window where you started Stencil CLI.

In some cases, the terminal will provide a verbose error message specifying where to look for problems. It has the potential to provide further insight on the issue. Diagnostic suggestions are listed on this page for error messages that may not be helpful in revealing the issue you're experiencing.

Unsupported Node version

If you receive the following error message, please reinstall Node.js to a supported "LTS" ("Long-Term Support") version:

Debug: internal, implementation, error
        TypeError: Uncaught error: Object #<Object> has no method 'parse'
        at internals.implementation

On Mac OS, we have tested Stencil CLI most robustly on Node.js version 4.4.0. On Linux, we have tested most robustly on version 4.1.2. On Windows, we have tested most robustly on version 4.6.1. You’ll find detailed steps (for each operating system) in these instructions' Installing Stencil Prerequisites by OS section.

npm install errors

The following headings represent errors that may occur when running the npm install command. The content under each heading issues a fix for the issue.

"Unmet peer dependency"

If you get any Unmet Peer Dependency errors when issuing the npm install command make sure you are running the npm install command inside your theme directory.

If running the npm install command inside your theme directory does not resolve the error, try one of the following:

  • Try removing your theme directory's /node_modules/ subdirectory, by running rm -rf node_modules

  • Run the npm cache clean command

  • Re-run npm install

Permissions errors

If you get a file-permissions error such as EPERM or EACCES when issuing the npm install command, try one of the workarounds listed on Fixing npm Permissions (opens in a new tab) (

"js/bundle" errors

If you get errors of the following type upon executing the stencil init command:

Potentially unhandled rejection [6] TypeError: Error loading "js/bundle"
at file:/Users/<username>/Desktop/Fortune-1.4.6/assets/js/bundle.js
Error evaluating file:/Users/<username>/Desktop/Fortune-1.4.6/assets/js/bundle.js
Cannot read property 'createElement' of undefined...

Try the following workaround:

  1. Download and unzip a fresh copy of the theme.

  2. Refresh theme dependencies by running npm install.

  3. Run stencil init.

You will see the same error message as before, but proceed to:

  1. Delete the assets/js/bundle.js file.

  2. Run stencil init again. This should now execute properly.

  3. Run stencil start.

  4. Verify your theme's launch at: http://localhost:3000 (opens in a new tab).

npm install and stencil init errors

If you get an unexpected error messages when issuing the npm install or stencil init commands, check your Node.js version and ensure it aligns with a version compatible for the Stencil framework.

stencil init/stencil start errors

If you get an unexpected error message or unexpected results upon executing the stencil init, stencil start, or other Stencil CLI commands, make sure you are working in the subdirectory for the specific theme you intend to launch.

One way of checking what directory you are working in is by running the pwd command in your terminal.

stencil start missing module errors

If executing stencil start provokes errors like the following

throw err;

Error: Cannot find module 'webpack'
at Function.Module._resolveFilename (module.js:325:15)
at Function.Module._load (module.js:276:25)
at Module.require (module.js:353:17)
at require (internal/module.js:12:17)
at Object. (/Users/jane.doe/themes/cornerstone/stencil.conf.js:2:15)
at Module._compile (module.js:409:26)
at Object.Module._extensions..js (module.js:416:10)
at Module.load (module.js:343:32)
at Function.Module._load (module.js:300:12)
at Module.require (module.js:353:17)

switch to your theme directory and run npm install. Running this command will add the missing JavaScript library dependencies.

If you receive the same error again after running npm install, you should completely uninstall and reinstall both the Stencil framework and Node.js.

Mac OS: Xcode/iOS license... errors

On Mac OS, if you have recently installed a new version of Xcode, the command line will display the following error when you next try to use or reinstall Stencil:

error: Agreeing to the Xcode/iOS license requires admin privileges, please re-run as root via sudo.

To resolve this error, do the following:

  • Launch Xcode.
  • Accept its user agreement.
  • Quit Xcode.
  • Re-execute your Stencil command.

ETIMEOUT errors on Node > 4.4.0

If you are running a version of Node.js higher than 4.4.0, and you receive an ETIMEOUT error when running Stencil CLI, re-install the latest version of Stencil CLI to resolve this error by following the workflow in Installing Stencil CLI/Framework.

stencil command not found

Reinstall Stencil CLI

If you receive the error message -bash: stencil: command not found, ensure that you have followed the steps on Installing Stencil CLI/Framework or attempt to reinstall the Stencil CLI.

Redirect Bash shell

If you receive the error message -bash: stencil: command not found, enter echo $NVM_DIR. If this command returns nothing, then run source ~/.bash_profile and try running stencil commands again.

Check/Specify nvm version

If you receive a stencil: command not found error message upon executing stencil start from inside your theme subdirectory: Check whether nvm has installed multiple versions of Node.js, by entering the following command:

ls ~/.nvm/versions/node

If this reports more than one version, specify your platform's supported Node.js <version_number> by entering:

nvm use <version_number>

To prevent this error from recurring, add the same nvm use <version_number> command to your ~/.bash_profile file.

stencil start errors

"Unauthorized...username/token" error

If executing the stencil start command generates an Unauthorized, please use a valid username/token error, make sure the .stencil file or secrets.stencil.json and config.stencil.json files (if using Stencil V3.1 release or later) contain the correct store URL. Also, verify that you copied the correct username and token. If you continue to get the same error, please reissue tokens.

403 errors

If the Stencil server responds with a 403 error and you are using a proxy-based domain service like Cloudflare or Amazon Cloudfront, modify your hosts file to map the localhost to your BigCommerce store IP address.

500 errors

If you see errors like or similar to below:

{"statusCode":500,"error":"Internal Server Error","message":"An internal server error occurred"}

They often indicate a template syntax error, such as unmatched or missing punctuation. Check your terminal window for more details.

Lint errors upon bundling

If bundling your theme triggers multiple lint errors related to the bundle.js file, your theme is missing the .eslintignore file. Retrieve this file from the Cornerstone repo (opens in a new tab), then re-run stencil bundle.

Module not found errors upon bundling

If you see the following error when running stencil bundle, this is a past bug that has since been corrected.

[ModuleNotFoundError: Module not found: Error: Cannot resolve module 'pace' in...]

To remove the error, please update your Cornerstone version.

Short undescriptive JavaScript diagnostics

If JavaScript errors in your browser's developer tools are not reporting filenames and line numbers, try changing your webpack.conf.js file's sourcemap entry from:

devtool: 'eval-cheap-module-source-map'


devtool: 'eval-source-map'

The eval-cheap-module-source-map option performs faster rebuilds, but omits line numbers. The eval-source-map option is slower, but more verbose.

TR-300 error upon theme upload

If uploading your theme triggers a TR-300 error, this can indicate an included source-map file ( that exceeds its size limit of 5 MB. If your exceeds that limit, the workaround is to move this file outside your theme directory before re-running stencil bundle.

Other reasons for this error include exceeding these stencil theme limitations:

  • Max file size for /templates/ and /parsed/templates/: 1 MB
  • Max for any single file in the bundle: 5 MB
  • Max zipped size: 50 MB
  • Max unzipped size: 100 MB
  • Max total files: 2500

Reinstalling Stencil CLI

If you encounter persistent problems in initializing or starting Stencil, you have the option of completely removing Stencil CLI and doing a fresh reinstall. You would do so as follows:

  1. From your command line, issue the command: npm uninstall -g @bigcommerce/stencil-cli

  2. Navigate back to the Installing and Launching Stencil section and repeat all installation steps to reinstall dependencies and restore your theme, according to your development scenario.

A more-drastic measure is to uninstall and reinstall Stencil CLI's Node.js prerequisites (along with uninstalling Stencil CLI). We do not recommend this, as it might disable other Node.js applications on your local machine.


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