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Leaf is a powerful templating language with Swift-inspired syntax. You can use it to generate dynamic HTML pages for a front-end website or generate rich emails to send from an API.


The first step to using Leaf is adding it as a dependency to your project in your SPM package manifest file.

// swift-tools-version:5.2
import PackageDescription

let package = Package(
    name: "MyApp",
    platforms: [
    dependencies: [
        /// Any other dependencies ...
        .package(url: "https://github.com/vapor/leaf.git", from: "4.0.0"),
    targets: [
        .target(name: "App", dependencies: [
            .product(name: "Leaf", package: "leaf"),
            // Any other dependencies
        // Other targets


Once you have added the package to your project, you can configure Vapor to use it. This is usually done in configure.swift.

import Leaf


This tells Vapor to use the LeafRenderer when you call req.view in your code.


Leaf has an internal cache for rendering pages. When the Application's environment is set to .development, this cache is disabled, so that changes to templates take effect immediately. In .production and all other environments, the cache is enabled by default; any changes made to templates will not take effect until the application is restarted.


For Leaf to be able to find the templates when running from Xcode, you must set the custom working directory for you Xcode workspace.

Folder Structure

Once you have configured Leaf, you will need to ensure you have a Views folder to store your .leaf files in. By default, Leaf expects the views folder to be a ./Resources/Views relative to your project's root.

You will also likely want to enable Vapor's FileMiddleware to serve files from your /Public folder if you plan on serving Javascript and CSS files for instance.

├── Package.swift
├── Resources
│   ├── Views
│   │   └── hello.leaf
├── Public
│   ├── images (images resources)
│   ├── styles (css resources)
└── Sources
    └── ...

Rendering a View

Now that Leaf is configured, let's render your first template. Inside of the Resources/Views folder, create a new file called hello.leaf with the following contents:

Hello, #(name)!


If you're using VSCode as your code editor, we recommend installing the Leaf extension to enable syntax highlighting: Leaf HTML.

Then, register a route (usually done in routes.swift or a controller) to render the view.

app.get("hello") { req -> EventLoopFuture<View> in
    return req.view.render("hello", ["name": "Leaf"])

// or

app.get("hello") { req async throws -> View in
    return try await req.view.render("hello", ["name": "Leaf"])

This uses the generic view property on Request instead of calling Leaf directly. This allows you to switch to a different renderer in your tests.

Open your browser and visit /hello. You should see Hello, Leaf!. Congratulations on rendering your first Leaf view!