Skip to main contentCarbon Design System

1. Installing Carbon

Starting with the Carbon Angular, there are two ways to begin working with Carbon components. By the end, these two methods will produce the same result.


A preview of what you will build:


Fork, clone and branch

This tutorial has an accompanying GitHub repository called carbon-tutorial-angular that we’ll use as a starting point for each step.


To begin, fork carbon-tutorial-angular using your GitHub account.


Go to your forked repository, copy the SSH or HTTPS URL and in your terminal run the two commands to get the repository in your local file system and enter that directory.

git clone [your fork SSH/HTTPS]
cd carbon-tutorial-angular

Add upstream remote

Add a remote called upstream so we can eventually submit a pull request once you have completed this tutorial step.

git remote add upstream [email protected]:carbon-design-system/carbon-tutorial-angular.git

Or, if you prefer to use HTTPS instead of SSH with your remotes:

git remote add upstream

Verify that your forked repository remotes are correct:

git remote -v

Your terminal should output something like this:

origin [your forked repo] (fetch)
origin [your forked repo] (push)
upstream [email protected]:carbon-design-system/carbon-tutorial-angular.git (fetch)
upstream [email protected]:carbon-design-system/carbon-tutorial-angular.git (push)


Now that we have our repository set up, let’s check out the branch for this tutorial step’s starting point. Run the two commands:

git fetch upstream
git checkout -b angular-step-1 upstream/angular-step-1

Install Angular CLI

Since we are starting from scratch, we need to first install Angular CLI. Currently you need to install Angular CLI Version 8.x to work through this tutorial.

npm install -g @angular/cli

Create an Angular App

Now that we have our environment set up, starting a new Angular app is easy! If you haven’t set up the environment yet, please do so using the steps provided in Prerequisites (above). We will be using the Angular CLI to create and generate our components. It can also generate services, router, components, and directives.

To create a new Angular project with Angular CLI, just run:

ng new carbon-angular-tutorial

This will create the new project within the current directory. Make sure you do this within the cloned fork of the project. When you get prompted, enter the following.

? Would you like to add Angular routing? Yes
? Which stylesheet format would you like to use? SCSS

This command will install the Angular app with all the configurations needed. Within the project folder carbon-angular-tutorial, the src directory should have the following structure:

├── src
├── app
│   ├── app-routing.module.ts
│   ├── app.component.html
│   ├── app.component.scss
│   ├── app.component.spec.ts
│   ├── app.component.ts

Install Carbon

Even though we installed some dependencies while creating the new app, we’ve yet to install the Carbon packages.

  • carbon-components - Component styles
  • carbon-components-angular - Angular components
  • @carbon/icons - Carbon icons
npm install carbon-components carbon-components-angular @carbon/icons

Import carbon-components styles

In src/styles.scss, import the Carbon styles by adding the following to the top of the file:

@import '~carbon-components/scss/globals/scss/styles';

Run the app

Now we can run our app for a quick preview inside the browser.

npm start

Your app should now be running with the message: ** Angular Live Development Server is listening on localhost:4200, open your browser on http://localhost:4200/ **

Before we start adding components we want to start with an empty project, so delete everything in app.component.html except for the router-outler. We will also have to delete the test that was associated with this code. So in app.component.spec.ts, delete the should render title and should have as title 'carbon-angular-tutorial' test.

Add UI Shell

Next, we’re going to create an Angular component called Header to use with the UI Shell Carbon component. Using Angular CLI we will create this component inside the src/app directory.

ng g component header --lint-fix
Folder structure
├── header.component.html
├── header.component.scss
├── header.component.spec.ts
└── header.component.ts

Import UI Shell

Next we’ll import our Carbon UI Shell components into app.module.ts, app.component.spec.ts and header.component.spec.ts. Set up the file like so:

import { BrowserModule } from '@angular/platform-browser';
import { NgModule } from '@angular/core';
import { AppRoutingModule } from './app-routing.module';
import { AppComponent } from './app.component';
import { HeaderComponent } from './header/header.component';
// carbon-components-angular default imports
import { UIShellModule, IconModule } from 'carbon-components-angular';
import { UIShellModule } from 'carbon-components-angular/ui-shell/ui-shell.module';
declarations: [HeaderComponent],
imports: [UIShellModule]

Import and register icons

Now let’s import the icons from our @carbon/icons package. In app.module.ts, app.component.spec.ts and header.component.spec.ts, we need to import each individual icon we will use and register them with the IconService

import Notification16 from '@carbon/icons/es/notification/16';
import UserAvatar16 from '@carbon/icons/es/user--avatar/16';
import AppSwitcher16 from '@carbon/icons/es/app-switcher/16';

In the AppModule class we’ll add a constructor that provides us with an instance of IconService and call registerAll with an array of the icons we need to use.

constructor(protected iconService: IconService) {

Then we need to add the template code. Populate header.component.html with:

<ibm-header name="Carbon Tutorial Angular">
<ibm-header-navigation ariaLabel="Carbon Tutorial Angular">
<ibm-header-item href="/repos">Repositories</ibm-header-item>
<ibm-header-action title="action">
<svg ibmIcon="notification" size="20"></svg>
<ibm-header-action title="action">

Notice that the icon names are the same as their file path. This how the directive queries the service for the icon.

Next import the header component in app.component.spec.ts and add the component in app.component.html

import { HeaderComponent } from './header/header.component';
declarations: [HeaderComponent];
<main class="bx--content">

Let’s add some padding to the top of the document, so the content is below the header. We are going to do this by using the bx--header class provided by carbon. So in header.component.ts lets hostbind that class.

import { Component, HostBinding } from '@angular/core';
@HostBinding('class.bx--header') headerClass = true;

Create pages

Next thing we need to do is create the files for our content. These files will be located in the app folder inside of src. It should be a sibling of header.

Our app will have two pages. First, we need a landing page. Go ahead and stop your development server (with CTRL-C) and then:

ng g module home --routing --lint-fix
ng g component home/landing-page --lint-fix
Folder structure
├── landing-page
│   ├── landing-page.component.html
│   ├── landing-page.component.scss
│   ├── landing-page.component.spec.ts
│   └── landing-page.component.ts
├── home-routing.module.ts
└── home-page.module.ts

And a repo page:

ng g module repositories --routing --lint-fix
ng g component repositories/repo-page --lint-fix
Folder structure
├── repo-page
│   ├── repo-page.component.html
│   ├── repo-page.component.scss
│   ├── repo-page.component.spec.ts
│   └── repo-page.component.ts
├── repositories-routing.module.ts
└── repositories.module.ts

Now you can restart your server with npm start.

Add routing

We need to update routing functionality to enable the loading of repositories. Inside app-routing.module.ts we’ll add the following code in the routes array:

const routes: Routes = [
path: '',
loadChildren: () => import('./home/home.module').then((m) => m.HomeModule),
path: 'repos',
loadChildren: () =>

And modify the NgModule declaration to use the hash router:

imports: [RouterModule.forRoot(routes, { useHash: true })],
exports: [RouterModule],
export class AppRoutingModule {}

And add routes for the landing and repo pages:

import { LandingPageComponent } from './landing-page/landing-page.component';
const routes: Routes = [
path: '',
component: LandingPageComponent,
import { RepoPageComponent } from './repo-page/repo-page.component';
const routes: Routes = [
path: '',
component: RepoPageComponent

After that we need to do a couple quick fixes to the UI Shell to have it route to the repo page.

<ibm-header-item [route]="['/repos']">Repositories</ibm-header-item>

You should now have a working header that routes to the repos pages without full page reload!

Submit pull request

We’re going to submit a pull request to verify completion of this tutorial step and demonstrate a couple related concepts.

Continuous integration (CI) check

We have lint and test scripts defined in package.json that verify file formatting for files that have been touched since the last Git commit. You’d typically also have that script run your test suite as part of your CI build. Go ahead and make sure everything looks good with:

ng lint --fix
npm run lint && npm test

Git commit and push

Before we can create a pull request, we need to stage and commit all of our changes:

git add --all && git commit -m "feat(tutorial): complete step 1"

Then, push to your repository:

git push origin angular-step-1

Pull request (PR)

Finally, visit carbon-tutorial-angular to “Compare & pull request”. In doing so, make sure that you are comparing to angular-step-1 into base: angular-step-1. Take notice of the Netlify bot that deploys a preview of your PR every time that you push new commits. These previews can be shared and viewed by anybody to assist the PR review process.