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Declare the project to be a java library.

Use cases

For a Java library, Gradle will build and publish the JAR, API documentation and source JAR for the project. For a command-line application, Gradle will build a distribution ZIP or TAR containing automatically generated wrapper scripts, runtime dependencies and documentation. From the same meta-data, it will be able to build a .exe or OS X application bundle for the application. Or provide a task to run the application from Gradle. Or generate a native installer.

More info in the forum ticket.

User visible changes

- 'java-library' plugin
    - applies 'java' plugin
    - adds 'distZip' task
        - packages up the jar and runtime dependencies of the library as a Zip.
        - include contents of src/dist
    - adds 'distribution' extension
        - has 'name' property that is used to configure the 'baseName' of the distZip task.


apply plugin: 'java-library'
//applies 'java' plugin

distribution {
  name = 'someName'

distZip {  //type: Zip
  from { ... }

Sad day cases

  • works if src/dist does not exist
  • works if only 'java-library' is specified and nothing else (e.g. sensible defaults are used for the distro name, etc.)
  • does not crash if is configured to null

Integration test coverage

  • add an integ test that runs task to build up a distro that:
    • has some stuff in src/dist
    • includes some runtime dependency that is declared
    • uses the name of the for the distro name

Implementation approach

Unit testing

  • add unit tests for the plugin, validate all the features (separate tests) declared in 'user visible changes' section.


  • add new plugin chapter and hook it up to the user guide
  • add the xml for the new extension object
  • new extension object should have a javadoc with small code sample (using our 'autoTested').
    • say, apply plugin and configure the
  • link the new extension from plugins.xml

Next steps

Only after above is completed & integrated with the master we want to design and implement the following:

  • Generate a Tar distribution as well.
  • Share configuration and tasks with the application plugin, by extracting a common 'dist' plugin out of the application plugin.
  • (Very advanced) Allow the distributions to be published instead of the jar. This would need to mess with the generated pom.xml/ivy.xml to remove the dependency declarations for those dependencies that have been bundled in the distribution.
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