Stylus ships with the stylus executable for converting Stylus to CSS.

  Usage: stylus [options] [command] [< in [> out]]
                [file|dir ...]


    help [<type>:]<prop> Opens help info at MDC for <prop> in
                         your default browser. Optionally
                         searches other resources of <type>:
                         safari opera w3c ms caniuse quirksmode


    -i, --interactive       Start interactive REPL
    -u, --use <path>        Utilize the Stylus plugin at <path>
    -U, --inline            Utilize image inlining via data URI support
    -w, --watch             Watch file(s) for changes and re-compile
    -o, --out <dir>         Output to <dir> when passing files
    -C, --css <src> [dest]  Convert CSS input to Stylus
    -I, --include <path>    Add <path> to lookup paths
    -c, --compress          Compress CSS output
    -d, --compare           Display input along with output
    -f, --firebug           Emits debug infos in the generated CSS that
                            can be used by the FireStylus Firebug plugin
    -l, --line-numbers      Emits comments in the generated CSS
                            indicating the corresponding Stylus line
    -m, --sourcemap         Generates a sourcemap in sourcemaps v3 format
    --sourcemap-inline      Inlines sourcemap with full source text in base64 format
    --sourcemap-root <url>  "sourceRoot" property of the generated sourcemap
    --sourcemap-base <path> Base <path> from which sourcemap and all sources are relative
    -P, --prefix [prefix]   Prefix all css classes
    -p, --print             Print out the compiled CSS
    --import <file>         Import stylus <file>
    --include-css           Include regular CSS on @import
    -D, --deps              Display dependencies of the compiled file
    --disable-cache         Disable caching
    --hoist-atrules         Move @import and @charset to the top
    -r, --resolve-url       Resolve relative urls inside imports
    --resolve-url-nocheck   Like --resolve-url but without file existence check
    -V, --version           Display the version of Stylus
    -h, --help              Display help information

STDIO Compilation Example

stylus reads from stdin and outputs to stdout, so for example:

  $ stylus --compress < some.styl > some.css

Try Stylus some in the terminal! Type below and press CTRL-D for __EOF__:

  $ stylus
    color red
    font 14px Arial, sans-serif

Compiling Files Example

stylus also accepts files and directories. For example, a directory named css will compile and output .css files in the same directory.

  $ stylus css

The following will output to ./public/stylesheets:

  $ stylus css --out public/stylesheets

Or a few files:

  $ stylus one.styl two.styl

For development purposes, you can use the linenos option to emit comments indicating the Stylus filename and line number in the generated CSS:

  $ stylus --line-numbers <path>

Or the firebug option if you want to use the FireStylus extension for Firebug:

  $ stylus --firebug <path>

Prefixing classes

stylus executable provides you a way to prefix all the generated styles using --prefix option with given [prefix],

$ stylus --prefix foo-

used with this code:

  width: 10px

would yield

.foo-bar {
  width: 10px;

All the classes would be prefixed: interpolated, extended etc.

Converting CSS

If you wish to convert CSS to the terse Stylus syntax, use the --css flag.

Via stdio:

  $ stylus --css < test.css > test.styl

Output a .styl file of the same basename:

  $ stylus --css test.css

Output to a specific destination:

  $ stylus --css test.css /tmp/out.styl

CSS Property Help

On OS X, stylus help <prop> will open your default browser and display help documentation for the given <prop>.

$ stylus help box-shadow

Interactive Shell

The Stylus REPL (Read-Eval-Print-Loop) or “interactive shell” allows you to play around with Stylus expressions directly from your terminal.

Note that this works only for expressions—not selectors, etc. To use simple add the -i, or --interactive flag:

 $ stylus -i
 > color = white
 => #fff
 > color - rgb(200,50,0)
 => #37cdff
 > color
 => #fff
 > color -= rgb(200,50,0)
 => #37cdff
 > color
 => #37cdff
 > rgba(color, 0.5)
 => rgba(55,205,255,0.5)

Resolving relative urls inside imports

By default Stylus don’t resolve the urls in imported .styl files, so if you’d happen to have a foo.styl with @import "bar/bar.styl" which would have url("baz.png"), it would be url("baz.png") too in a resulting CSS.

But you can alter this behavior by using --resolve-url (or just -r) option to get url("bar/baz.png") in your resulting CSS.

List dependencies

You can use --deps (or just -D) flag to get a list of dependencies of the compiled file.

For example, suppose we have test.styl:

@import 'foo'
@import 'bar'

And inside foo.styl:

@import 'baz'


$ stylus --deps test.styl

Will give us list of the imports paths:


Note that currently this does not works for dynamically generated paths.

Utilizing Plugins

For this example we’ll use the nib Stylus plugin to illustrate its CLI usage.

Suppose we have the following Stylus, which imports nib to use its linear-gradient() function.

 @import 'nib'

   background: linear-gradient(20px top, white, black)

Our first attempt to render using stylus(1) via stdio might look like this:

 $ stylus < test.styl

Which would yield the following error (because Stylus doesn’t know where to find nib).

   Error: stdin:3
    > 3| @import 'nib'
      5| body
      6|   background: linear-gradient(20px top, white, black)

For plugins that simply supply Stylus APIs, we could add the path to the Stylus lookup paths. We do so by using the --include or -I flag:

 $ stylus < test.styl --include ../nib/lib

Now yielding the output below. (As you might notice, calls to gradient-data-uri() and create-gradient-image() output as literals. This is because exposing the library path isn’t enough when a plugin provides a JavaScript API. However, if we only wanted to use pure-Stylus nib functions, we’d be fine.)

  body {
    background: url(gradient-data-uri(create-gradient-image(20px, top)));
    background: -webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom, color-stop(0, #fff), color-stop(1, #000));
    background: -webkit-linear-gradient(top, #fff 0%, #000 100%);
    background: -moz-linear-gradient(top, #fff 0%, #000 100%);
    background: linear-gradient(top, #fff 0%, #000 100%);

So, what we need to do is use the --use, or -u flag. It expects a path to a node module (with or without the .js extension). This require()s the module, expecting a function to be exported as module.exports, which then calls style.use(fn()) to expose the plugin (defining its js functions, etc.).

$ stylus < test.styl --use ../nib/lib/nib

Yielding the expected result:

body {
  background: url("data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAAAEAAAAUCAYAAABMDlehAAAABmJLR0QA/wD/AP+gvaeTAAAAI0lEQVQImWP4+fPnf6bPnz8zMH358oUBwkIjKJBgYGNj+w8Aphk4blt0EcMAAAAASUVORK5CYII=");
  background: -webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom, color-stop(0, #fff), color-stop(1, #000));
  background: -webkit-linear-gradient(top, #fff 0%, #000 100%);
  background: -moz-linear-gradient(top, #fff 0%, #000 100%);
  background: linear-gradient(top, #fff 0%, #000 100%);

If you need to pass arguments to the plugin, use the --with option. --with evaluates any valid javascript expression and passes its value to the plugin. For example:

$ stylus < test.styl --use ../node_modules/autoprefixer-stylus --with "{ browsers: ['ie 7', 'ie 8'] }"
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