Migrating a Theme from the Plugins SDK to the Liferay Theme Generator

After you’ve upgraded your Liferay Portal 6 theme to Liferay DXP 7.0, the Themes Generator offers enhanced development features and tools for optimizing your theme and streamlining theme management. To introduce one of its most powerful features, we’ll pose some questions.


  • Do you want to make a temporary change to your theme’s UI?
  • Do you want to add the same UI modification to all of your themes without duplicating code?
  • Do you want to share your new theme designs with a colleague?
  • Do you want to test a new design concept in your theme without altering its code?

Answer: Themelets are the answer! Themelets are small, extendable, reusable modular pieces of code that let you make changes to your theme quickly. Because they are modular, you can use the same themelet for multiple themes!

Themelets are just one of the features you gain from migrating your existing Ant-based theme project to a Liferay Theme Generator project. The Liferay Theme Generator is a Node.js-based tool that gives you access to an array of theme Gulp tasks that facilitate developing and managing themes.

The upgrade Gulp task upgrades Liferay Portal 6 themes to Liferay DXP 7.0. For details, refer to the Upgrading Themes tutorial.

In addition to the upgrade task, there are tasks for building and deploying themes and for interacting with deployed themes. For instance, you can automatically redeploy your theme as you make changes to it.

Do you periodically need to make changes to your theme’s settings? No problem. You can configure your theme’s settings through the command-line wizard that the Liferay Theme Generator provides. All you have to do is answer a few questions about the settings.

As you can see, the Liferay Theme Generator, Node.js, and Gulp development tools offer a lot to a Liferay theme developer.

This tutorial assumes that you have already installed the Liferay Theme Generator and that your upgraded theme was developed with the Plugins SDK. There are two ways you can migrate your Plugins SDK theme to the Theme Generator: importing your theme manually into the Theme Generator or converting it to a Theme Generator project from a Liferay Workspace. You’ll learn how to import it manually first.

Importing Your Theme

The Liferay Theme Generator uses Yeoman to equip theme projects with the new development tools. Follow the steps below to set up your existing theme in such a project:

  1. Navigate to the directory you want to import your theme into and run the following command:

    yo liferay-theme:import

    This runs the import sub-generator for the themes generator.

  2. Enter the absolute path of the theme you want to import and press Enter.

    The theme’s modified files (the files it modified from the base theme) are copied and reorganized in a newly created src directory. A gulpfile.js, liferay-theme.json, package.json file and a node_modules directory are also added.

    Next, the gulp init task runs and prompts you with a couple questions.

  3. Enter the path to your app server.

  4. Enter your site’s URL (this can be your production site, development site, etc.), or press Enter to accept the default http://localhost:8080.

Your theme is now set up to use the Node.js build tools and theme Gulp tasks!

Migrating Themes to the Theme Generator Using Workspace

If you’re a theme developer who wants to use Liferay Workspace to migrate your Plugins SDK theme to the Theme Generator, you can execute a single command to convert the theme project. Before beginning, make sure your Plugins SDK has been converted to a Liferay Workspace.

  1. Using a command line tool, navigate to the root folder of your workspace.

  2. Execute the following command to migrate your Plugins SDK theme to a Theme Generator theme:

    blade convert [PLUGINS_SDK_THEME_NAME]

    Blade CLI extracts the theme from the nested Plugins SDK folder and reorganizes it into a standard Theme Generator project. The converted theme is available in the workspace’s themes folder.

That’s it! Your Plugins SDK theme is now available as a Liferay Theme Generator project residing in Liferay Workspace.

Introduction to Themes

Liferay Theme Generator


Upgrading Themes

« Migrating Data Upgrade Processes to the New Framework for ModulesMigrating a Theme from the Plugins SDK to Workspace »
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