Working in GatsbyJS with Typescript Pt. 1

I am spinning up my first GatsbyJS site using Typescript. These are my findings while doing so.

I’m a fan of strongly typed languages. So as I started my excursion into GatsbyJS, I definitely wanted to use Typescript instead of Javascript.

One of the first issues I ran across was getting strongly typed GraphQL query types in my .tsx (Typescript React) files.


I used a community gatsby starter to start my project:

gatsby new gatsby-starter-typescript

There are other starters for typescript, but they have quite a bit more “features”. I wanted to learn a bit about GatsbyJS myself, so I started with a minimal project.

Using gql-gen to generate type files

After some investigation, it appeared the recommended way for strongly-typing your GraphQL query models, was to generate types using the gql-gen tool.

Following the documentation here, I installed a few dev dependencies into my project:

npm install --save-dev graphql-code-generator graphql
npm install --save-dev graphql-codegen-typescript-template

Now, the way gql-gen works is by analyzing a schema. This can be done a couple of different ways, either by passing a json schema file on the command line, or by passing a graphql server endpoint to the tool.

It feels like a chicken-egg scenario, but I chose to go ahead and pass the GatsbyJS hosted graphql endpoint to the gql-gen tool.

You can do so by serving up your GatsbyJS site, e.g. gatsby develop, and using the http://localhost:8000/___graphql endpoint as your source:

gql-gen --schema http://localhost:8000/___graphql  --template graphql-codegen-typescript-template --out ./src/graphql.d.ts \"./src/**/*.graphql\"

As you can see here, I’m outputting my type definitions to /src/graphql.d.ts.

Using the generated types in your components

From here, it’s pretty simple to import the types into your React components:

import { MyType } from '../graphql';

Now you have strongly typed models in your Typescript React components!

interface IndexPageProps {
  theme: Theme;
  data: {
    site: {
      siteMetadata: {
        title: string,
    myData: MyType,

export default class IndexPage extends React.Component<IndexPageProps, {}> {
  public render() {
    const { title } =;
    return (
        <ResponsiveDrawer theme={theme} data={} />