FAQs about TypeScript in Deno
Can I use TypeScript not written for Deno?
Maybe. That is the best answer, we are afraid. For lots of reasons, Deno has chosen to have fully qualified module specifiers. In part this is because it treats TypeScript as a first class language. Also, Deno uses explicit module resolution, with no magic. This is effectively the same way browsers themselves work, though they don’t obviously support TypeScript directly. If the TypeScript modules use imports that don’t have these design decisions in mind, they may not work under Deno.
Also, in recent versions of Deno (starting with 1.5), we have started to use a
scenarios. Because of this, there are certain situations in TypeScript where
type information is required, and therefore those are not supported under Deno.
If you are using
tsc as stand-alone, the setting to use is
and setting it to
true to help ensure that your code can be properly handled
One of the ways to deal with the extension and the lack of Node.js non-standard resolution logic is to use import maps which would allow you to specify “packages” of bare specifiers which then Deno could resolve and load.
What version(s) of TypeScript does Deno support?
Deno is built with a specific version of TypeScript. To find out what this is, type the following on the command line:
> deno --version
The TypeScript version (along with the version of Deno and v8) will be printed. Deno tries to keep up to date with general releases of TypeScript, providing them in the next patch or minor release of Deno.
There was a breaking change in the version of TypeScript that Deno uses, why did you break my program?
We do not consider changes in behavior or breaking changes in TypeScript
releases as breaking changes for Deno. TypeScript is a generally mature language
and breaking changes in TypeScript are almost always “good things” making code
more sound, and it is best that we all keep our code sound. If there is a
blocking change in the version of TypeScript and it isn’t suitable to use an
older release of Deno until the problem can be resolved, then you should be able
--no-check to skip type checking all together.
In addition you can utilize
@ts-ignore to ignore a specific error in code
that you control. You can also replace whole dependencies, using
import maps, for situations where a
dependency of a dependency isn’t being maintained or has some sort of breaking
change you want to bypass while waiting for it to be updated.
How do I write code that works in Deno and a browser, but still type checks?
You can do this by using a configuration file with the
--config option on the
command line and adjusting the
"lib" option in the
"compilerOptions" in the
file. For more information see
Targeting Deno and the Browser.
Why are you forcing me to use isolated modules, why can’t I use const enums with Deno, why do I need to do export type?
As of Deno 1.5 we defaulted to isolatedModules to
true and in Deno 1.6 we
removed the options to set it back to
false via a configuration file. The
isolatedModules option forces the TypeScript compiler to check and emit
TypeScript as if each module would stand on its own. TypeScript has a few type
directed emits in the language at the moment. While not allowing type directed
emits into the language was a design goal for TypeScript, it has happened
anyways. This means that the TypeScript compiler needs to understand the
erasable types in the code to determine what to emit, which when you are trying
When people started transpiling TypeScript without
tsc, these type directed
emits became a problem, since the likes of Babel simply try to erase the types
without needing to understand the types to direct the emit. In the internals of
Deno we have started to use a Rust based emitter which allows us to optionally
skip type checking and generates the bundles for things like
deno bundle. Like
all transpilers, it doesn’t care about the types, it just tries to erase them.
This means in certain situations we cannot support those type directed emits.
So instead of trying to get every user to understand when and how we could
support the type directed emits, we made the decision to disable the use of them
by forcing the isolatedModules option to
true. This means that even when we
are using the TypeScript compiler to emit the code, it will follow the same
“rules” that the Rust based emitter follows.
This means that certain language features are not supportable. Those features are:
- Re-exporting of types is ambiguous and requires knowing if the source module
is exporting runtime code or just type information. Therefore, it is
recommended that you use
export typefor type only imports and exports. This will help ensure that when the code is emitted, that all the types are erased.
const enumis not supported.
const enums require type information to direct the emit, as
const enums get written out as hard coded values. Especially when
const enums get exported, they are a type system only construct.
import =are legacy TypeScript syntax which we do not support.
declare namespaceis supported. Runtime
namespaceis legacy TypeScript syntax that is not supported.
Why don’t you support language service plugins or transformer plugins?
tsc supports language service plugins, Deno does not. Deno does not
always use the built-in TypeScript compiler to do what it does, and the
complexity of adding support for a language service plugin is not feasible.
TypeScript does not support emitter plugins, but there are a few community
projects which hack emitter plugins into TypeScript. First, we wouldn’t want
to support something that TypeScript doesn’t support, plus we do not always use
the TypeScript compiler for the emit, which would mean we would need to ensure
we supported it in all modes, and the other emitter is written in Rust, meaning
that any emitter plugin for TypeScript wouldn’t be available for the Rust
The TypeScript in Deno isn’t intended to be a fully flexible TypeScript
the runtime API
Deno.emit() is intended to be simple and straight forward and
support a certain set of use cases.
How do I combine Deno code with non-Deno code in my IDE?
The Deno language server supports the ability to have a “per-resource”
configuration of enabling Deno or not. This also requires a client IDE to
support this ability. For Visual Studio Code the official
supports the vscode concept of
This means you just need to add folders to the workspace and set the
deno.enable setting as required on each folder.
For other IDEs, the client extensions needs to support the similar IDE concepts.