What’s Vulcan?

Vulcan is a framework that gives you a set of tools for quickly building React-based web applications. Out of the box, it can handle data loading, automatically generate forms, handle email notifications, and much more.

You can get a good overview of what Vulcan can do in the Features section.

Note: Vulcan is the new name of Telescope Nova. Learn more


Install the latest version of Node and NPM. We recommend the usage of NVM.

You can then install Meteor, which is used as the Vulcan build tool.

Clone the Vulcan repo locally, then:

npm install
npm start

And open http://localhost:3000/ in your browser.

Note that you can also start the app with:

# default setting file: sample_settings.json
meteor --settings sample_settings.json

# 'npm start' will create a copy of the sample settings, 'settings.json', and run `meteor` with this file for you.

Getting Started

There are two main ways of using Vulcan: you can use the features it provides out of the box such as posts, comments, a newsletter, and so on. Or, you can use the underlying framework that powers all these features.

In either case, you should start by reading the Architecture section to understand how Vulcan’s codebase is organized.

Once you’ve done that, depending on which path you’re interested in you can refer to either one of these two tutorials:

  1. Customizing & Extending Vulcan will take you through the code of the included customization-demo package and show you how to adapt Vulcan to your needs by tweaking styles, overriding components, and inserting your own logic in Vulcan’s back-end.
  2. Understanding the Vulcan Framework on the other hand will teach you how to use Vulcan’s core data management features to display a list of movies, complete with pagination and a data insertion form.

If you’re not sure which one is for you, I recommend starting with the first tutorial, as the second one covers more advanced concepts.

Alternative Approach

Throughout the documentation, you’ll find “Alternative Approach” sections that explain what a feature does, and how to achieve the same results without using Vulcan (typically, with standard React and/or Apollo code). This is useful if you’ve hit the limits of what Vulcan offers, and want to refactor parts of your app to use lower-level APIs.


You can find the Vulcan roadmap on Trello.


We’re looking for contributors! If you’re interested in this project, come say hello in the Vulcan Slack chatroom.

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