9 Deno runtime projects to watch

The Deno ecosystem is taking root, with a host of tools and services to challenge Node.js. Here are nine projects leveraging Deno for web development, serverless edge hosting, and more.

Tree roots

Deno is championed as a more-secure alternative to the popular Node.js JavaScript runtime. The 1.0 version of the Deno runtime, which leverages the V8 JavaScript engine and was built using Rust, arrived in May 2020. Node.js founder Ryan Dahl even spearheaded Deno's development, which now has more than 83,000 stars on GitHub. Unsurprisingly, an ecosystem is sprouting up around Deno, with tools and services supplementing the runtime to aid developers with tasks such as coding, serverless edge hosting, and web development. This article looks at some of the early arrivals to the Deno ecosystem.


Aleph.js is positioned as a full-stack framework for building web applications in Deno. As of this writing, the framework is not quite 1.0, with many features subject to change. Demo apps have been deployed to the Deno Deploy service.

Deno Deploy

From the makers of Deno, Deno Deploy is a serverless edge hosting service for JavaScript, TypeScript, and WebAssembly. Integrated with the V8 runtime, Deno Deploy servers are intended to provide minimal latency and eliminate unnecessary abstractions. It is built on the same systems as the Deno CLI, and applications are deployed from the URL. The Deno Deploy service is located in 33 regions worldwide.

Deno for Visual Studio Code

This extension, accessible from the Visual Studio Marketplace, adds support for using Deno with Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code editor, powered by the Deno language server. Among its capabilities are type-checking for JavaScript and TypeScript, including quick fixes and intelligent code completion. The extension also allows remote modules to be cached in the CLI cache, in line with Deno’s CLI module strategy. Version 1.13.0 or later of the Deno CLI is required for the VS Code extension.


This is a hosting service for Deno scripts. Open source modules stored on GitHub are cached and served at one domain. Module versions are persistent and immutable, thus it is not possible to delete a module or version, to prevent breaking programs that rely on this module. But modules may be removed if there is a legal reason such as copyright infringement.


The Fresh web framework for JavaScript and TypeScript developers is designed to make it “trivial” to build high-quality, personalized web applications. Fresh is a combination of a routing framework and templating engine that renders pages on demand. It uses Preact and JSX (JavaScript XML) for rendering and templating on the client and server. Projects built with Fresh can be deployed to any platform with Deno code. The intention is to deploy to an edge runtime, such as Deno Deploy, for the best experience.

Fresh reached version 1.0 status on June 28. To get started with it, developers must have Deno CLI version 1.23 or higher. Fresh 1.0 is a stable release and can be relied upon for production use. 

JetBrains Deno plugin

This plugin adds support for Deno in WebStorm and other JetBrains IDEs such as IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate and PhpStorm. Once installed, developers can turn on Deno support from the editor. The plugin is accessible from the JetBrains Marketplace.


Opine is described as a fast, minimalist web framework for Deno ported from the Express framework for Node.js. It features routing, a focus on high performance, and a selection of HTTP helpers including support for downloading and sending files. Static assets can be served. A view system supports template engines. Opine is compatible with the SuperDeno library for server testing. HTTP proxy middleware is supported via opine-http-proxy.


Pogo is a server framework for Deno. Billed as easy-to-use and expressive, Pogo is used for writing web servers and applications and is inspired by the hapi framework.


SuperDeno is a superagent-driven library for testing Deno HTTP servers. Its slogan is, “HTTP servers for Deno made easy via superagent.” The motivation behind the SuperDeno module is to provide a high-level abstraction for testing HTTP in Deno while still allowing users to drop down to the lower-level API provided by superagent.

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