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

When you first run Vulcan, you’ll see the contents of the example-movies package. It is recommended you go through the Movies example tutorial tutorial to get a better grasp of how Vulcan’s building blocks (data loading, forms, etc.) work.

You can then enable the example-instagram package (which you can do by uncommenting it in .meteor/packages, and commenting out example-movies in its place), which takes the same basic example but goes a little further, as well as take a look at its code.

At this stage, you can either continue using Vulcan’s basic building blocks, or enable the more advanced forum features by checking out the example-forum package.

And if you’d like to use and customize the forum packages, you can then follow up with the customization example tutorial tutorial, which will take you through the code of the included example-customization package and show you how to adapt Vulcan packages to your needs without modifying their code directly, by tweaking styles, overriding components, and inserting your own logic in Vulcan’s back-end.


Vulcan is built on top of three main open-source technologies: React, GraphQL, and Meteor.

  • React is Vulcan’s front-end library.
  • GraphQL is Vulcan’s API layer, used to load data from the server with Apollo.
  • Meteor is Vulcan’s back-end layer, used to handle the database as well as server and bundle the app.

Each layer is independent from the other two: you can take your React components and use them with a completely different stack, and – although we’re not quite there yet – ultimately we also hope to make it easy to migrate out of Meteor.

The goal is to avoid getting stuck: if at any point you outgrow Vulcan, it should be possible to leave it with minimal refactoring.


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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