A task runner / simpler Make alternative written in Go
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README.md

Build Status

Task - A task runner / simpler Make alternative written in Go

We recently released version 2.0.0 of Task. The Taskfile changed a bit. Please, check the Taskfile versions document to see what changed and how to upgrade.

Task is a simple tool that allows you to easily run development and build tasks. Task is written in Golang, but can be used to develop any language. It aims to be simpler and easier to use then GNU Make.

Installation

Go

If you have a Golang environment setup, you can simply run:

go get -u -v github.com/go-task/task/cmd/task

Homebrew

If you're on macOS and have Homebrew installed, getting Task is as simple as running:

brew install go-task/tap/go-task

Snap

Task is available for Snapcraft, but keep in mind that your Linux distribution should allow classic confinement for Snaps to Task work right:

sudo snap install task

Install script

We also have a install script, which is very useful on scanarios like CIs. Many thanks to godownloader for easily generating this script.

curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/go-task/task/master/install-task.sh | sh

Binary

Or you can download the binary from the releases page and add to your PATH. DEB and RPM packages are also available. The task_checksums.txt file contains the sha256 checksum for each file.

Usage

Create a file called Taskfile.yml in the root of your project. The cmds attribute should contain the commands of a task. The example below allows compiling a Go app and uses Minify to concat and minify multiple CSS files into a single one.

version: '2'

tasks:
  build:
    cmds:
      - go build -v -i main.go

  assets:
    cmds:
      - minify -o public/style.css src/css

Running the tasks is as simple as running:

task assets build

Task uses github.com/mvdan/sh, a native Go sh interpreter. So you can write sh/bash commands and it will work even on Windows, where sh or bash are usually not available. Just remember any executable called must be available by the OS or in PATH.

If you ommit a task name, "default" will be assumed.

Environment

You can specify environment variables that are added when running a command:

version: '2'

tasks:
  build:
    cmds:
      - echo $hallo
    env:
      hallo: welt

OS specific task

If you add a Taskfile_{{GOOS}}.yml you can override or amend your Taskfile based on the operating system.

Example:

Taskfile.yml:

version: '2'

tasks:
  build:
    cmds:
      - echo "default"

Taskfile_linux.yml:

version: '2'

tasks:
  build:
    cmds:
      - echo "linux"

Will print out linux and not default.

Keep in mind that the version of the files should match. Also, when redefining a task the whole task is replaced, properties of the task are not merged.

It's also possible to have an OS specific Taskvars.yml file, like Taskvars_windows.yml, Taskfile_linux.yml, or Taskvars_darwin.yml. See the variables section below.

Task directory

By default, tasks will be executed in the directory where the Taskfile is located. But you can easily make the task run in another folder informing dir:

version: '2'

tasks:
  serve:
    dir: public/www
    cmds:
      # run http server
      - caddy

Task dependencies

You may have tasks that depend on others. Just pointing them on deps will make them run automatically before running the parent task:

version: '2'

tasks:
  build:
    deps: [assets]
    cmds:
      - go build -v -i main.go

  assets:
    cmds:
      - minify -o public/style.css src/css

In the above example, assets will always run right before build if you run task build.

A task can have only dependencies and no commands to group tasks together:

version: '2'

tasks:
  assets:
    deps: [js, css]

  js:
    cmds:
      - minify -o public/script.js src/js

  css:
    cmds:
      - minify -o public/style.css src/css

If there is more than one dependency, they always run in parallel for better performance.

If you want to pass information to dependencies, you can do that the same manner as you would to call another task:

version: '2'

tasks:
  default:
    deps:
      - task: echo_sth
        vars: {TEXT: "before 1"}
      - task: echo_sth
        vars: {TEXT: "before 2"}
    cmds:
      - echo "after"

  echo_sth:
    cmds:
      - echo {{.TEXT}}

Calling another task

When a task has many dependencies, they are executed concurrently. This will often result in a faster build pipeline. But in some situations you may need to call other tasks serially. In this case, just use the following syntax:

version: '2'

tasks:
  main-task:
    cmds:
      - task: task-to-be-called
      - task: another-task
      - echo "Both done"

  task-to-be-called:
    cmds:
      - echo "Task to be called"

  another-task:
    cmds:
      - echo "Another task"

Overriding variables in the called task is as simple as informing vars attribute:

version: '2'

tasks:
  main-task:
    cmds:
      - task: write-file
        vars: {FILE: "hello.txt", CONTENT: "Hello!"}
      - task: write-file
        vars: {FILE: "world.txt", CONTENT: "World!"}

  write-file:
    cmds:
      - echo "{{.CONTENT}}" > {{.FILE}}

The above syntax is also supported in deps.

Prevent unnecessary work

If a task generates something, you can inform Task the source and generated files, so Task will prevent to run them if not necessary.

version: '2'

tasks:
  build:
    deps: [js, css]
    cmds:
      - go build -v -i main.go

  js:
    cmds:
      - minify -o public/script.js src/js
    sources:
      - src/js/**/*.js
    generates:
      - public/script.js

  css:
    cmds:
      - minify -o public/style.css src/css
    sources:
      - src/css/**/*.css
    generates:
      - public/style.css

sources and generates can be files or file patterns. When both are given, Task will compare the modification date/time of the files to determine if it's necessary to run the task. If not, it will just print a message like Task "js" is up to date.

If you prefer this check to be made by the content of the files, instead of its timestamp, just set the method property to checksum. You will probably want to ignore the .task folder in your .gitignore file (It's there that Task stores the last checksum).

version: '2'

tasks:
  build:
    cmds:
      - go build .
    sources:
      - ./*.go
    generates:
      - app{{exeExt}}
    method: checksum

TIP: method none skips any validation and always run the task.

Alternatively, you can inform a sequence of tests as status. If no error is returned (exit status 0), the task is considered up-to-date:

version: '2'

tasks:
  generate-files:
    cmds:
      - mkdir directory
      - touch directory/file1.txt
      - touch directory/file2.txt
    # test existence of files
    status:
      - test -d directory
      - test -f directory/file1.txt
      - test -f directory/file2.txt

You can use --force or -f if you want to force a task to run even when up-to-date.

Also, task --status [tasks]... will exit with a non-zero exit code if any of the tasks are not up-to-date.

Variables

When doing interpolation of variables, Task will look for the below. They are listed below in order of importance (e.g. most important first):

  • Variables declared locally in the task
  • Variables given while calling a task from another. (See Calling another task above)
  • Variables declared in the vars: option in the Taskfile
  • Variables available in the Taskvars.yml file
  • Environment variables

Example of sending parameters with environment variables:

$ TASK_VARIABLE=a-value task do-something

Since some shells don't support above syntax to set environment variables (Windows) tasks also accepts a similar style when not in the beginning of the command. Variables given in this form are only visible to the task called right before.

$ task write-file FILE=file.txt "CONTENT=Hello, World!" print "MESSAGE=All done!"

Example of locally declared vars:

version: '2'

tasks:
  print-var:
    cmds:
      echo "{{.VAR}}"
    vars:
      VAR: Hello!

Example of global vars in a Taskfile.yml:

version: '2'

vars:
  GREETING: Hello from Taskfile!

tasks:
  greet:
    cmds:
      - echo "{{.GREETING}}"

Example of Taskvars.yml file:

PROJECT_NAME: My Project
DEV_MODE: production
GIT_COMMIT: {sh: git log -n 1 --format=%h}

Variables expansion

Variables are expanded 2 times by default. You can change that by setting the expansions: option. Change that will be necessary if you compose many variables together:

version: '2'

expansions: 3

vars:
  FOO: foo
  BAR: bar
  BAZ: baz
  FOOBAR: "{{.FOO}}{{.BAR}}"
  FOOBARBAZ: "{{.FOOBAR}}{{.BAZ}}"

tasks:
  default:
    cmds:
      - echo "{{.FOOBARBAZ}}"

Dynamic variables

The below syntax (sh: prop in a variable) is considered a dynamic variable. The value will be treated as a command and the output assigned. If there is one or more trailing newlines, the last newline will be trimmed.

version: '2'

tasks:
  build:
    cmds:
      - go build -ldflags="-X main.Version={{.GIT_COMMIT}}" main.go
    vars:
      GIT_COMMIT:
        sh: git log -n 1 --format=%h

This works for all types of variables.

Go's template engine

Task parse commands as Go's template engine before executing them. Variables are accessible through dot syntax (.VARNAME).

All functions by the Go's sprig lib are available. The following example gets the current date in a given format:

version: '2'

tasks:
  print-date:
    cmds:
      - echo {{now | date "2006-01-02"}}

Task also adds the following functions:

  • OS: Returns operating system. Possible values are "windows", "linux", "darwin" (macOS) and "freebsd".
  • ARCH: return the architecture Task was compiled to: "386", "amd64", "arm" or "s390x".
  • splitLines: Splits Unix (\n) and Windows (\r\n) styled newlines.
  • catLines: Replaces Unix (\n) and Windows (\r\n) styled newlines with a space.
  • toSlash: Does nothing on Unix, but on Windows converts a string from \ path format to /.
  • fromSlash: Oposite of toSlash. Does nothing on Unix, but on Windows converts a string from \ path format to /.
  • exeExt: Returns the right executable extension for the current OS (".exe" for Windows, "" for others).

Example:

version: '2'

tasks:
  print-os:
    cmds:
      - echo '{{OS}} {{ARCH}}'
      - echo '{{if eq OS "windows"}}windows-command{{else}}unix-command{{end}}'
      # This will be path/to/file on Unix but path\to\file on Windows
      - echo '{{fromSlash "path/to/file"}}'
  enumerated-file:
    vars:
      CONTENT: |
        foo
        bar
    cmds:
      - |
        cat << EOF > output.txt
        {{range $i, $line := .CONTENT | splitLines -}}
        {{printf "%3d" $i}}: {{$line}}
        {{end}}EOF

Help

Running task --list (or task -l) lists all tasks with a description. The following taskfile:

version: '2'

tasks:
  build:
    desc: Build the go binary.
    cmds:
      - go build -v -i main.go

  test:
    desc: Run all the go tests.
    cmds:
      - go test -race ./...

  js:
    cmds:
      - minify -o public/script.js src/js

  css:
    cmds:
      - minify -o public/style.css src/css

would print the following output:

* build:   Build the go binary.
* test:    Run all the go tests.

Silent mode

Silent mode disables echoing of commands before Task runs it. For the following Taskfile:

version: '2'

tasks:
  echo:
    cmds:
      - echo "Print something"

Normally this will be print:

echo "Print something"
Print something

With silent mode on, the below will be print instead:

Print something

There's three ways to enable silent mode:

  • At command level:
version: '2'

tasks:
  echo:
    cmds:
      - cmd: echo "Print something"
        silent: true
  • At task level:
version: '2'

tasks:
  echo:
    cmds:
      - echo "Print something"
    silent: true
  • Or globally with --silent or -s flag

If you want to suppress stdout instead, just redirect a command to /dev/null:

version: '2'

tasks:
  echo:
    cmds:
      - echo "This will print nothing" > /dev/null

Output syntax

By default, Task just redirect the STDOUT and STDERR of the running commands to the shell in real time. This is good for having live feedback for log printed by commands, but the output can become messy if you have multiple commands running at the same time and printing lots of stuff.

To make this more customizable, there are currently three different output options you can choose:

  • interleaved (default)
  • group
  • prefixed

To choose another one, just set it to root in the Taskfile:

version: '2'

output: 'group'

tasks:
 # ...

The group output will print the entire output of a command once, after it finishes, so you won't have live feedback for commands that take a long time to run.

The prefix output will prefix every line printed by a command with [task-name] as the prefix, but you can customize the prefix for a command with the prefix: attribute:

version: '2'

output: prefixed

tasks:
 default:
   deps:
     - task: print
       vars: {TEXT: foo}
     - task: print
       vars: {TEXT: bar}
     - task: print
       vars: {TEXT: baz}

 print:
   cmds:
     - echo "{{.TEXT}}"
   prefix: "print-{{.TEXT}}"
   silent: true
$ task default
[print-foo] foo
[print-bar] bar
[print-baz] baz

Watch tasks

If you give a --watch or -w argument, task will watch for file changes and run the task again. This requires the sources attribute to be given, so task know which files to watch.

Examples

The go-task/examples intends to be a collection of Taskfiles for various use cases. (It still lacks many examples, though. Contributions are welcome).

Alternative task runners

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Contributors

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