javascript – Difference between MEAN.js and

javascript – Difference between MEAN.js and

Theyre essentially the same… They both use swig for templating, they both use karma and mocha for tests, passport integration, nodemon, etc.

Why so similar? Mean.js is a fork of and both initiatives were started by the same guy… is now under the umbrella of the company Linnovate and looks like the guy (Amos Haviv) stopped his collaboration with this company and started Mean.js. You can read more about the reasons here.

Now… main (or little) differences you can see right now are:

SCAFFOLDING AND BOILERPLATE GENERATION uses a custom cli tool named mean
Mean.js uses Yeoman Generators

MODULARITY uses a more self-contained node packages modularity with client and server files inside the modules.
Mean.js uses modules just in the front-end (for angular), and connects them with Express. Although they were working on vertical modules as well…

BUILD SYSTEM has recently moved to gulp
Mean.js uses grunt


Both have Dockerfiles in their respective repos, and has one-click install on Google Compute Engine, while Mean.js can also be deployed with one-click install on Digital Ocean.

Mean.js has AWESOME docs

COMMUNITY has a bigger community since it was the original boilerplate
Mean.js has less momentum but steady growth

On a personal level, I like more the philosophy and openness of MeanJS and more the traction and modules/packages approach of MeanIO. Both are nice, and youll end probably modifying them, so you cant really go wrong picking one or the other. Just take them as starting point and as a learning exercise.


MEAN is a generic way (coined by Valeri Karpov) to describe a boilerplate/framework that takes Mongo + Express + Angular + Node as the base of the stack. You can find frameworks with this stack that use other denomination, some of them really good for RAD (Rapid Application Development) and building SPAs. Eg:

You also have Hackathon Starter. It doesnt have A of MEAN (it is MEN), but it rocks..

Have fun!

First of all, MEAN is an acronym for MongoDB, Express, Angular and Node.js.

It generically identifies the combined used of these technologies in a stack. There is no such a thing as The MEAN framework.

Lior Kesos at Linnovate took advantage of this confusion. He bought the domain and put some code at

They luckily received a lot of publicity, and theree are more and more articles and video about MEAN. When you Google mean framework, is the first in the list.

Unfortunately the code at seems poorly engineered.

In February I fell in the trap myself. The site had a catchy design and the Github repo had 1000+ stars. The idea of questioning the quality did not even pass through my mind. I started experimenting with it but it did not take too long to stumble upon things that were not working, and puzzling pieces of code.

The commit history was also pretty concerning. They re-engineered the code and directory structure multiple times, and merging the new changes is too time consuming.

The nice things about both and mean.js code is that they come with Bootstrap integration. They also come with Facebook, Github, Linkedin etc authentication through PassportJs and an example of a model (Article) on the backend on MongoDB that sync with the frontend model with AngularJS.

According to Linnovates website:

Linnovate is the leading Open Source company in Israel, with the most
experienced team in the country, dedicated to the creation of high-end
open source solutions. Linnovate is the only company in Israel which
gives an A-Z services for enterprises for building and maintaining
their next web project.

From the website it looks like that their core skill set is Drupal (a PHP content management system) and only lately they started using Node.js and AngularJS.

Lately I was reading the Mean.js Blog and things became clearer. My understanding is that the main Javascript developer (Amos Haviv) left Linnovate to work on Mean.js leaving project with people that are novice Node.js developers that are slowing understanding how things are supposed to work.

In the future things may change but for now I would avoid to use If you are looking for a boilerplate for a quickstart Mean.js seems a better option than

javascript – Difference between MEAN.js and

Here is a side-by-side comparison of several application starters/generators and other technologies including MEAN.js,, and cleverstack. I keep adding alternatives as I find time and as that happens, the list of potentially provided benefits keeps growing too. Today its up to around 1600. If anyone wants to help improve its accuracy or completeness, click the next link and do a questionnaire about something you know.

Compare app technologies project

From this database, the system generates reports like the following:

MeanJS vs MeanIO trade-off report

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