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CLI Commands
Learn all the command line interface (CLI) commands you need to get started, build, test and run programs, work with Ballerina Central, and manage packages.
ballerina, cli, command line interface, programming language
/learn/cli-documentation/cli-commands/
cli-commands
The Ballerina Tool is your one-stop-shop for all the things you do in Ballerina.
/learn/cli-commands
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/learn/using-the-cli-tools/
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/learn/tooling-guide/cli-tools/cli-commands
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Using the Ballerina Tool

The Ballerina Tool is a command-line tool for managing Ballerina source code. It helps you to manage Ballerina packages and modules, test, build, and run programs, etc.

It also enables you to easily install, update, and switch among Ballerina distributions.

In the CLI, execute the bal help command to view all the actions you can perform with the Ballerina Tool as shown below:

→ bal help
NAME
       The Ballerina Tool

SYNOPSIS
       bal [-v | --version]
       bal help
       bal <command> [-h | --help]


DESCRIPTION
       Ballerina is a statically-typed, concurrent programming language focusing on network
       interaction and structured data. It is intended to be the core of a language-centric
       middleware platform. It not only has all the general-purpose functionality expected
       from a modern programming language but also has several unusual aspects that make it
       particularly suitable for its intended purpose.

       Find more information at: https://ballerina.io


OPTIONS
       -v, --version
           Print the Ballerina version information.

       -h, --help
           Print the usage details of a command.


BALLERINA COMMANDS
        The below is a list of the available subcommands:

   Core Commands:
        build           Compile a Ballerina program into an executable
        run             Build and run a Ballerina program
        test            Run package tests
        doc             Generate API documentation
        clean           Clean the artifacts generated during the build
        format          Format Ballerina sources

   Package Commands:
        new             Create a new Ballerina package
        init            Initialise a new Ballerina package in the current directory
        add             Add a new Ballerina module in the package
        pull            Pull a package from Ballerina Central
        push            Upload a package to Ballerina Central
        search          Search Ballerina Central for packages

   Other Commands:
        grpc            Generate the Ballerina sources for a given Protocol Buffer definition
        openapi         Generate the Ballerina sources for a given OpenAPI definition and
                        vice versa [EXPERIMENTAL]
        version         Print the Ballerina version
        bindgen         Generate the Ballerina bindings for Java APIs
        shell           Run Ballerina interactive REPL [EXPERIMENTAL]

You can use it in the below format.

bal <THE-COMMAND> <ITS-ARGUEMENTS>

Tip: You can view details of the commands below by executing the bal help <COMMAND>. For example, the below is the output of the bal help pull command.

→ bal help pull
NAME
       ballerina-pull - Fetch packages from Ballerina Central

SYNOPSIS
       bal pull <org-name>/<package-name>
       bal pull <org-name>/<package-name>:<version>


DESCRIPTION
       Download the specified package from Ballerina Central
       along with its dependencies and cache it in the
       '.ballerina' directory in the user home.

       Ballerina Central is a package repository hosted at
       https://central.ballerina.io/. A package repository organizes packages
       into a three-level hierarchy: organization, package name, and version.
       Organizations are unique within a repository and can be mapped to an
       individual user or organization registered with the repository.


EXAMPLES
       Pull the latest version of the 'gmail' connector in the 'wso2' organization
       from Ballerina Central.
          $ bal pull wso2/gmail

       Pull the '1.1.0' version of the 'gmail' connector in the 'wso2' organization
       from Ballerina Central.
          $ bal pull wso2/gmail:1.1.0

Core Commands

These everyday commands are your best friends! They address the very basics of programming in Ballerina such as compiling, running, testing programs, and generating their documentation.

build Compile a standalone `.bal` file, or an entire package into an executable JAR file. For more information, see Writing Your First Ballerina Program.
run Build and run a standalone `.bal` file, an entire package, or a previously-built program. For more information, see Writing Your First Ballerina Program.
test Run tests of a Ballerina package. For more information, see Testing Ballerina Code.
doc Generate API documents for all public symbols of a Ballerina package. For more information, see Documenting Ballerina Code.
clean Clean all artifacts generated by the build command for a package.
format Format Ballerina source files as per the Coding Conventions.

Package Commands

Ballerina packages are the way to organize real-world Ballerina development tasks. The last 3 commands given below allow you to work with the Ballerina Central and also to share Ballerina packages with others in a safe, secure, and dependable way.

new Create a Ballerina package. For more information, see Ballerina Packages.
init Create a new Ballerina package in the current directory.
add Create a new Ballerina module in a package.
pull Pull a package from Ballerina Central.
push Upload a package to Ballerina Central. For more information, see Publishing a library package to Ballerina Central.
search Search Ballerina Central for packages.

Other Commands

These powerful supporting tools extend Ballerina to various ecosystem technologies that are inherently cloud-native. This functionality will grow over time and will even be developer extensible in the future.

encrypt Use this tool to encrypt sensitive data and pass them to a Ballerina program via the configuration system.
grpc This is the gRPC stub/skeleton generation tool. For more information, see Generating Ballerina Code for Protocol Buffer Definitions.
openapi This is the OpenAPI (Swagger) stub/skeleton generation tool. For more information, see Using the OpenAPI Tools.
version Tells you the version of the distribution you are currently using, the language specification version on which it is based, and the update tool version, which is currently in use.
bindgen Use this tool for auto-generating Ballerina bridge code for Java APIs. For more information, see Calling Java Code from Ballerina.
help Prints the usage details of any Ballerina command (e.g., `bal help pull`).

Update Commands

dist Manage Ballerina distributions. For more information, see Keeping Ballerina Up to Date.
update Update the Ballerina Tool. For more information, see Keeping Ballerina Up to Date.
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