Standalone Tailwind CSS CLI, installable via pip

Use Tailwind CSS without Node.js and install it via pip.


Tailwind CSS is notoriously dependent on Node.js. If you’re a Python developer, this dependency may not be welcome
in your team, your Docker container, or your inner circle.

The Tailwind CSS team recently announced a new standalone CLI build that gives you the full power of Tailwind CLI in
a self-contained executable — no Node.js or npm required.

However, installing such a standalone CLI isn’t as easy as running npm install, the installation command for Node.js

That’s why I decided to make it as simple as running pip install command. As a result you can install the standalone *
Tailwind CLI* via pip by running the following command:

pip install pytailwindcss

Now you can run tailwindcss in your terminal as:

tailwindcss -i input.css -o output.css --minify


Get started

  1. Install tailwindcss via pip by executing the following command:

    pip install pytailwindcss
  2. The tailwindcss command should now be available in your terminal. Try to run it:


    If the installation was successful, you should see the message about binary being downloaded on the first run. When download is complete, you should see the help output for the tailwindcss command. Use tailwindcss
    to create a new project or work with an existing Tailwind CSS project.

  3. Let’s create a new project. Go to the directory where you want to host your Tailwind CSS project and initialize it
    by running:

    tailwindcss init

    This command will create the default tailwind.config.js file.

  4. Start a watcher by running:

    tailwindcss -i input.css -o output.css --watch
  5. Compile and minify your CSS for production by running:

    tailwindcss -i input.css -o output.css --minify

You got it. Please refer to official Tailwind documentation for more information on
using Tailwind CSS and its CLI.


It’s not all roses, though. Giving up Node.js means you won’t be able to install plugins or additional dependencies for
your Tailwind CSS setup. At the same time, that might not be a dealbreaker. You can still customize Tailwind CSS via
the tailwind.config.js file. And the standalone build also comes with all official Tailwind CSS plugins
like @tailwindcss/aspect-ratio, @tailwindcss/forms, @tailwindcss/line-clamp, and @tailwindcss/typography. So in
90% of Tailwind CSS usage cases you should be covered, and the setup is so simplified now.

Here is what the Tailwind CSS team says about going the standalone Tailwind CSS route:

If you’re working on a project where you don’t otherwise need Node.js or npm, the standalone build can be a great choice. If Tailwind was the only reason you had a package.json file, this is probably going to feel like a nicer solution.

Bugs and suggestions

If you have found a bug, please use the issue tracker on GitHub.

2021 (c) Tim Kamanin – A Full Stack Django and Wagtail Developer


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