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Gradle plugin that provides deployment capabilities to local and remote containers via Cargo
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Gradle Cargo plugin

Cargo Logo

The plugin provides deployment capabilities for web applications to local and remote containers in any given Gradle build by leveraging the Cargo Ant tasks. The plugin supports WAR and EAR artifacts.


To use the Cargo plugin, include in your build script:

apply plugin: 'cargo'

The plugin JAR needs to be defined in the classpath of your build script. It is directly available on Maven Central. Alternatively, you can download it from GitHub and deploy it to your local repository. The following code snippet shows an example on how to retrieve it from Maven Central:

buildscript {
    repositories {

    dependencies {
        classpath 'org.gradle.api.plugins:gradle-cargo-plugin:0.6.1'

To define the Cargo dependencies please use the cargo configuration name in your dependencies closure. Remote deployment functionality will only work with a Cargo version >= 1.1.0 due to a bug in the library. Please see CARGO-962 for more information.

dependencies {
    def cargoVersion = '1.3.3'
    cargo "org.codehaus.cargo:cargo-core-uberjar:$cargoVersion",


The Cargo plugin defines the following tasks:

  • cargoDeployRemote: Deploys web application to remote container.
  • cargoUndeployRemote: Undeploys a web application from remote container.
  • cargoRedeployRemote: Redeploys web application to remote container.
  • cargoRunLocal: Starts the local container, deploys web application to it and wait for the user to press CTRL + C to stop.
  • cargoStartLocal: Starts the local container, deploys web application to it and then do other tasks (for example, execute tests).
  • cargoStopLocal: Stops local container.

Project layout

The Cargo plugin uses the same layout as the War plugin.

Convention properties

The Cargo plugin defines the following convention properties in the cargo closure:

  • containerId: The container ID you are targeting. Please see the list of supported containers on the Cargo website.
  • port: The TCP port the container responds on (defaults to 8080).

Within cargo you can define optional properties for the 1..n deployment artifacts in a closure named deployable. Each deployment artifact would be specified in its own closure:

  • file: An arbitrary artifact to be deployed to container (defaults to project/module artifact - WAR or EAR file).
  • context: The URL context the container is handling your web application on (defaults to WAR/EAR name).

Keep in mind that you do not have to define the deployable closure if you just want to deploy the artifact defined by your Gradle project/module.

Within cargo you can define properties for remote containers in a closure named remote:

  • protocol: The protocol of the remote container (defaults to http).
  • hostname: The hostname of the remote container.
  • username: The username credential for the remote container (optional).
  • password: The password credential for the remote container (optional).

Within cargo you can define properties for local containers in a closure named local:

  • jvmArgs: The JVM arguments for a local container.
  • output: The log file of your local container (defaults to writing to the console).
  • log: The Cargo log file of your local container (defaults to writing to the console).
  • logLevel: The log level to run the container with (optional). The valid levels are low, medium and high.
  • homeDir: The home directory of your local container installation.
  • configHomeDir: The home directory of your local container's configuration.
  • configFile: The configuration files you want to add to your container's configuration. The configFile is a closure itself and requires you to provide the attributes file and todir. Multiple configuration file be defined by creating more than one configFile closure.
  • rmiPort: The port to use when communicating with this server, for example to start and stop it.

Within local you can define properties for specific local containers. At the moment the following containers are supported defined by these closures:

  • jetty: Jetty
    • createContextXml
    • sessionPath
    • useFileMappedBuffer
  • jonas: Jonas
    • jmsPort
    • serverName
    • servicesList
    • domainName
  • jrun: JRun
    • home
  • tomcat: Tomcat
    • webappsDir
    • copyWars
    • contextReloadable
    • ajpPort
  • weblogic: WebLogic
    • adminUser
    • adminPassword
    • beaHome
    • server

If you decide to use the ZIP installer Cargo will automatically download your container. You can define its properties in the closure installer. The installer only applies to "local" Cargo tasks.

  • installUrl: The URL to download the container distribtion from.
  • downloadDir: Target directory to download the container distribution to.
  • extractDir: Directory to extract the downloaded container distribution to.

Please refer to the individual configuration properties on the Cargo homepage. All of these properties can be overriden by project properties. The name of the project properties is the same as in the Cargo manual.


cargo {
    containerId = 'tomcat6x'
    port = 9090

    deployable {
        context = 'myawesomewebapp'

    remote {
        hostname = ''
        username = 'superuser'
        password = 'secretpwd'

    local {
        homeDir = file('/home/user/dev/tools/apache-tomcat-6.0.32')
        output = file('build/output.log')

        tomcat {
            ajpPort = 9091

Project properties

The convention properties can be overridden by project properties via or -P command line parameter:

  • Overrides the convention property containerId.
  • cargo.port: Overrides the convention property port.
  • cargo.protocol: Overrides the convention property protocol.
  • cargo.hostname: Overrides the convention property hostname.
  • cargo.username: Overrides the convention property username.
  • cargo.password: Overrides the convention property password.
  • cargo.jvmargs: Overrides the convention property jvmArgs.
  • cargo.output: Overrides the convention property output.
  • cargo.log: Overrides the convention property log.
  • cargo.log.level: Overrides the convention property logLevel.
  • cargo.home.dir: Overrides the convention property homeDir.


I would like to deploy multiple artifacts to my container. How do I do that?

You would specify each artifact in a separate deployable closure. Each of the closures should assign a unique URL context. The following example demonstrates how a Cargo setup with three different artifacts deployed to a local Tomcat:

cargo {
    containerId = 'tomcat6x'
    port = 9090

    deployable {
        file = file('/home/foo/bar/web-services.war')
        context = 'web-services'

    deployable {
        file = file('/home/foo/bar/web-app.war')
        context = 'web-app'

    deployable {
        file = file('/home/foo/bar/enterprise-app.ear')
        context = 'enterprise-app'

    local {
        homeDir = file('/home/user/dev/tools/apache-tomcat-6.0.32')

Is there a way to let Cargo automatically install the container I'd like to use?

Cargo allows for defining a container that gets automatically downloaded and installed on your local disk. All you need to do is to specify the installer closure. The following code snippet downloads, installs and uses Tomcat 7:

cargo {
    containerId = 'tomcat7x'

    local {
        installer {
            installUrl = ''
            downloadDir = file("$buildDir/download")
            extractDir = file("$buildDir/extract")

I'd like to add a configuration file to my local container. How do I do that?

For local containers a closure named configFile can be used that defines the source file and directory you would like to use the file from at runtime. If you need more than one just create multiple configFile closures.

cargo {
    containerId = 'jboss5x'

    local {
        configFile {
            file = file('src/main/jboss5/login-config.xml')
            toDir = file('conf')

        configFile {
            file = file('src/main/jboss5/')
            toDir = file('conf/props')

        configFile {
            file = file('src/main/jboss5/')
            toDir = file('conf/props')

To add binary file(s) you should use file closure(s) instead:

cargo {
    containerId = 'glassfish3x'

    local {
        file {
            file = file('../config/db/mysql-connector-java-5.1.23-bin.jar')
            toDir = file('lib')
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