Monorepo Tutorial With Lerna, Storybook & Next.js

Posted by Nirmalya Ghosh on October 13, 2023

Using a monorepo structure for your app can be very advantageous. A monorepo structure makes it much easier to manage multiple dependent applications or packages.

A monorepo structure also makes developing, deploying, and sharing code much simpler since updating and restarting your apps become unnecessary. When structuring an app as a dependent package on separate repositories, the opposite is true. There are many more steps to manage.

This problem compounds when you are managing multiple apps on multiple frameworks. If you have a Next.js CMS for your website and blog, alongside a React Native app, maintenance grows more complex with each new variable. 

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to build a monorepo using Lerna. We’ll be building a Next.js application which will import components from a separate package. We’ll also be using Storybook to showcase those components.

What is Lerna?

Lerna is a tool for managing projects which contain multiple JavaScript projects. It’s similar to yarn workspace as it helps us manage a monorepo while making it easy to build all the packages separately.

Get Started Building with Next.js, Storybook, and Lerna

We can bootstrap our Lerna project by globally installing it:

npm install --global lerna

Next, we need to create a new git repository:

git init building-monorepos-using-lerna && cd building-monorepos-using-lerna

Now, we can run the init command which will create a new Lerna repo or upgrade an existing repo to the current version of Lerna:

lerna init

Screenshot: lerna init

This will generate the following monorepo structure:

Screenshot: lerna file structure

Creating the Front-end Package

We’ll be creating the front-end package inside the packages directory. So, let’s change our directory and install the Next.js application:

cd packages && yarn create next-app

This will generate the following structure:

Screenshot: nextjs file structure added

Please note that while creating the Next.js application, I chose the name front-end. Hence, all the files were installed inside that directory. If you choose a different name for your Next.js application, you’ll see that directory instead.

Creating the Components Package

We’ll be creating the components package inside the packages directory. In this monorepo package, we’ll be building React components which will be consumed by our Next.js application (front-end package).

We’ll also use Microbundle for bundling our modules. Let’s create the package using Lerna:

lerna create components

Screenshot: components packages screen

Now, the structure of our application should be like the following:

Screenshot: monorepo file structure with packages added

Let’s add microbundle to our components package:

cd packages/components && yarn add microbundle -D

The above command will add microbundle as a dev-dependency.


Let’s add one script inside our components package’s package.json file:

// packages/components/package.json

"scripts": {
   "dev": "microbundle watch --jsx React.createElement"

Also, we need to add a source to the package.json file:

// packages/components/package.json

"source": "lib/index.js",

Let’s create one file called index.js inside our packages/components/lib directory.

Running Our Packages

Until now, we’ve created two packages: front-end and components. Both of them have a dev script defined in their respective package.json files:

// packages/components/package.json

"scripts": {
   "dev": "microbundle watch --jsx React.createElement lib/*.js"
// packages/front-end/package.json

"scripts": {
   "dev": "next dev",

We can run both these scripts from the root using the following command:

lerna run dev

Screenshot: lerna run dev scripts

We can now view our Next.js application running on http://localhost:3000/.

Screenshot: Next.js app on local

More information regarding lerna run command is available here.

We can also run the following command to get the logs about our server:

lerna run dev --parallel

Screenshot: lerna server command logs

If we want to run a command for only one package we use the following command:

lerna run dev --scope front-end

Screenshot: monorepo single package command

Connecting Our Front-end Package with Our Components Package

Let’s now connect our front-end package with our components package. To do that, we can simply add the components package in the front-end package’s package.json file:

// packages/front-end/package.json

"dependencies": {
   "components": "0.0.0"

We’ve defined the version 0.0.0 as that’s the version defined in the components package’s package.json file:

// packages/components/package.json

 "name": "components",
 "version": "0.0.0",

Let’s import a dummy function from the components package into our front-end application:

// packages/front-end/pages/index.js

import Head from "next/head";
import dummy from "components";

dummy(); // function log something from components package

const Home = () => (

Let’s update our component package’s lib/index.js file to ensure that the dummy function that we imported from it is working fine:

// packages/components/lib/index.js

"use strict";

module.exports = components;

function components() {
 console.log("Front components package!");

We can immediately see that our packages compiled:

Screenshot: monorepo packages successfully compiled

Now, if we visit http://localhost:3000/, we should be able to see the console.log output on the browser’s console:

Screenshot: console log output on local Next.js app

So, we’ve successfully connected our Next.js application with our components package. Next, we’ll build a few React components using Storybook. Then, we’ll import them in our Next.js application.

Integrating Storybook With Our Components Package

We’ll now install Storybook and build our React components with it.

cd packages/components && npx -p @storybook/cli sb init --type react

The above command will do the following:

  1. Adds the Storybook dependencies
  2. Generates example stories
  3. Adds two storybook scripts
"scripts": {
   "storybook": "start-storybook -p 6006",
   "build-storybook": "build-storybook"

Our monorepo application structure will now look like the following:

Screenshot: Storybook added to app structure

Now, we’ll create a Button component and import it in our Storybook application. Let’s create a simple Button component in our components package:

// packages/components/lib/button/index.js

import React from "react";

const Button = ({ onClick, children }) => {
 return <button onClick={onClick}>{children}</button>;

export default Button;

Now, we can import this in our Button story. We already have an example Button story. We just need to replace the Button component present in that story with our Button component:

// packages/components/stories/1-Button.stories.js

import React from "react";
import { action } from "@storybook/addon-actions";

import Button from "../lib/button";

export default {
 title: "Button",
 component: Button

export const Text = () => (
 <Button onClick={action("clicked")}>Hello Button</Button>

export const Emoji = () => (
 <Button onClick={action("clicked")}>
   <span role="img" aria-label="so cool">
     πŸ˜€ 😎 πŸ‘ πŸ’―

We can now run our Storybook application and check our Button component:

cd packages/components && yarn storybook

Screenshot: running storybook app to check button

Our Storybook application will now be up and running at http://localhost:6006/. We can also view our Button component there:

Screenshot: storybook app on local with button


Importing Button From Our Components Package

Until now, we have created a Button component in our components package. Let’s export that component from our package:

// packages/components/lib/index.js

"use strict";

import Button from "./button";

module.exports = {

Now, we can import this component in our front-end package:

// packages/front-end/pages/index.js

import Head from "next/head";
import { Button } from "components";

const Home = () => (
 <div className="container">
       onClick={() => console.log("button clicked!")}
       Click me

export default Home;

Screenshot: styled component added to front end

We can see our Button component appearing below the Welcome to Next.js! text. If we click on the button, we can also see that it’s logging “button clicked!” in the browser’s console:

Screenshot: console view of styled Next.js app

Adding Styles to Our Components

Let’s add styles to our Button component. We’ll be using emotion for styling. First, let’s install the necessary dependencies:

cd packages/components && yarn add @emotion/styled @emotion/core

Now, let’s update our Button component:

// packages/components/lib/button/index.js

import React from "react";
import styled from "@emotion/styled";

const Button = styled.button`
 padding: 12px 24px;
 background-color: #121a3e;
 font-size: 16px;
 border-radius: 4px;
 color: #fff;
 cursor: pointer;

const _Button = ({ onClick, children }) => {
 return <Button onClick={onClick}>{children}</Button>;

export default _Button;

If we visit our Next.js application on http://localhost:3000/, we can see the updated Button component:

Screenshot: updated button component

Our Storybook application should also show the new Button component as well:

Screenshot: updated button component in storybook app

Starting Your Own Monorepo Project 

We’ve seen how easy it is to create a monorepo application with a design system using Lerna. If you need a Next.js CMS for any of your future projects, be sure to consider ButterCMS - it works with any tech stack. 

The code for this project is available on Github. This repository can be the starting point for your next monorepo project. 

Deploy to ZEIT Now

I hope this tutorial helps you in your future projects. Please feel free to share your feedback in the comments section below.

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Nirmalya Ghosh

Nirmalya Ghosh is a Frontend Developer and Designer based in India. He likes good design and is currently working mostly with React. You can find more details about him at

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