The ern link command is helpful during development of your MiniApps as a way to develop and debug your application. The command is also helpful as a way to use the react-native hot reload feature for your MiniApps when the command is run inside a host application along with other MiniApps.
The ern link command was developed to help with developing and debugging MiniApps when running them inside a target native host application. This benefit is realized in the following scenario: When you run multiple MiniApps together in the native application, you cannot use the react-native start command from within your MiniApp directory and load the bundle from the local react-native packager as you would normally do when running your MiniApp standalone in the runner.
Using the local packager for your MiniApp makes the native application fail whenever it attempts to load another MiniApp—due to the fact that it doesn't find the other MiniApps in your own MiniApp bundle served through the local packager. And, if running a single MiniApp, the react-native packager does not function well with symbolic links.
In response to this scenario, you can use the ern link command to help with developing and debugging MiniApps when running them inside a target native host application.
The ern link or the ern unlink plus the ern start commands are used together to achieve this.
This command must be executed within a MiniApp working directory.
Any changes to the code of the MiniApp, inside its working directory, are available in the native host application through a manual react-native reload of the MiniApp or through the live/hot reload feature of react-native.
After running the ern link command, the link to the MiniApp directory remains in effect until you unlink it using the ern unlink command.
The MiniApps link is used when you use the ern start command. This command creates a composite bundle with all the MiniApps contained within the native application and starts the react-native packager for this bundle.
ern start | Start the Electrode Native platform
ern unlink | Remove the link associated to a MiniApp directory