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See for better tooling based on tools.deps/deps.edn.

boot-tools-deps was designed to allow you to use Boot to perform certain simple Boot tasks on top of an existing, working deps.edn project -- prior to the arrival of all that tooling -- such as building an uberjar. It was never intended to allow the full spectrum of Boot tooling to be used (but I think I mistakenly gave that impression in the original README).


A Boot task that uses tools.deps(.alpha) to read in deps.edn files in the same way that the clj script uses them. Updates Boot's resources, sources, and classpath based on the paths, extra paths, and classpath computed by tools.deps. Can also update Boot's dependencies (for use by tasks like uber).

The primary use case for boot-tools-deps is that your project runs with clj -- so all of its dependencies are managed via deps.edn files, with aliases as appropriate -- and you want to bring Boot tooling to that project, in addition. If you have an existing Boot project, the assumption is that you move all of the code-level :dependencies into deps.edn and use aliases in preference to :scope in order to manage how dependencies are assembled -- leaving only Boot-level tooling in :dependencies or supply those dependencies via the command-line. (This use case only worked for simple Boot projects!)

Clojars Project


You can either use this library as a command line dependency:

boot -d seancorfield/boot-tools-deps:0.4.7 deps ...

or you can add the following to your profile.boot file's :dependencies:

[seancorfield/boot-tools-deps "0.4.7" :scope "test"]

and then expose the task with:

(require '[boot-tools-deps.core :refer [deps]])

or, if you have a build.boot file, add the dependency and the require/:refer there.

The available arguments that mirror clj and tools.deps.alpha are:

  • -c --config-files -- specify the deps.edn files to be used
  • -r --repeatable -- use only the local deps.edn file (or the -c specified files) -- note: the -D option is still read and used!
  • -D --config-data -- provide an EDN string that is treated as an additional, final deps.edn file
  • -A --aliases -- specify aliases of any kind (equivalent to specifying -C, -M, and -R all with the same alias)
  • -C --classpath-aliases -- specify the aliases for classpath additions
  • -M --main-aliases -- specify the aliases for main options
  • -R --resolve-aliases -- specify the aliases for resolving dependencies

The available arguments that are specific to boot-tools-deps are:

  • -x --execute -- after processing the deps.edn files, run clojure.main/main providing as arguments any main-opts found by tools.deps.alpha -- note: main-opts are only found via aliases!
  • -B --overwrite-boot-deps -- in addition to setting up the classpath (and :resource-paths and source-paths), overwrite Boot's :dependencies with those returned from tools.deps -- note: this is only required for Boot tasks such as uber to function correctly!
  • -Q --quick-merge -- in addition to setting up the classpath etc, perform a quick and simple merge into Boot's :dependencies of those returned from tools.deps -- note: this is sometimes required for certain Boot tooling to work later on in the pipeline; it cannot be used with -B and should not be used with uber since it will include all your tooling dependencies as well
  • -v --verbose -- explain what the task is doing (-vv also makes tools.deps verbose)

Specifying aliases for tasks in build.boot

You can specify different classpaths for different tasks. For example, to use the default classpath for the build task:

(deftask build
  "Build and install the project locally."
  (comp (deps) (pom :project 'foo/bar :version "0.1.0" ) (jar :main 'clojure.main) (install)))

And to add the :test alias when testing:

(require '[adzerk.boot-test :as boot-test])

(deftask test
  "Runs tests"
  (comp (deps :aliases [:test])

Differences from how clj works

  • The "system" deps.edn file is not read but boot-tools-deps merges in a copy taken from the clojure/brew-install repository so the effect should be the same. This means the default deps.edn information may lag behind the latest, distributed/installed version, or may be ahead of the version you actually have installed (if you have not updated clojure recently). The version of Clojure used is whatever version is running by the time this task is run -- you can only change that via BOOT_CLOJURE_VERSION or ~/.boot/, not via deps.edn.
  • clj computes the full classpath and caches it in a local file. boot-tools-deps computes the classpath on every invocation.
  • Whatever value of :paths comes back from tools.deps is used as the :resource-paths value for Boot.
  • Whatever value of :extra-paths comes back from tools.deps is used as the base :source-paths value for Boot. You can use Boot's sift task to treat them as resources instead.
  • Any additional folders found on the computed classpath produced by tools.deps are added to the :source-paths and any JAR files on the computed classpath are added directly to Boot's in-memory classpath. Boot's :dependencies are not updated by default.
  • clojure.main is only executed if you specify the -x option (clj always runs this).
  • In order to run tasks that depend on Boot's :dependencies, such as uber, you need to specify either the -B option to overwrite Boot's :dependencies with the computed dependencies produced by tools.deps or the -Q option to merge the computed dependencies into Boot's :dependencies. Note: transitive dependencies do not inherit the :scope of the dependency that caused them to be included!


  • 0.4.7 -- 12/06/2018 -- Merge :mvn/repos back to :repositories in Boot (to address #24).
  • 0.4.6 -- 10/05/2018 -- Update to tools.deps.alpha 0.5.452 (to add authenticated repo support -- @cbowdon).
  • 0.4.5 -- 04/08/2018 -- Update to tools.deps.alpha 0.5.417 (which should suppress the slf4j warnings).
  • 0.4.4 -- 04/07/2018 -- broken release
  • 0.4.3 -- 02/23/2018 -- Update to tools.deps.alpha 0.5.398 (this removes the version range check).
  • 0.4.2 -- 02/14/2018 -- Update to tools.deps.alpha 0.5.373; only pull in a more recent version of Clojure for the pod if actually necessary; add :classifier and :extension to modifiers that boot-tools-deps passes back from tools.deps.alpha (#20; in addition to :exclusions and :scope -- @superstructor).
  • 0.4.1 -- 02/02/2018 -- Fix -D option (broken in 0.4.0).
  • 0.4.0 -- 02/02/2018 -- Destroy pod inline instead of in a future; update to tools.deps.alpha 0.5.351; add support for -M (main-aliases) and -x to execute clojure.main.
  • 0.3.0 -- 02/02/2018 -- Add -Q (quick merge) for Boot's :dependencies to better support certain tool chains (#15); refactor tools-deps to match arguments for load-deps for easier reuse as a library (#11); update docstrings (to match current usage and explain it better); updated README to better clarify intended usage (#12).
  • 0.2.3 -- 01/31/2018 -- Ensure pod environment gets recent version of Clojure (@superstructor).
  • 0.2.2 -- 01/29/2018 -- Refactor pod code to a separate namespace to make the code easier to work with (@superstructor).
  • 0.2.1 -- 01/29/2018 -- Make Clojure a :provided dependency for consistency (@superstructor).
  • 0.2.0 -- 01/28/2018 -- Update to use the most recent tools.deps.alpha release; directly update the Boot classpath (which means Git and Local dependencies are now supported!); run tools.deps inside a Boot pod; no longer update Boot's :dependencies by default.
  • 0.1.4 -- 12/06/2017 -- Fix #3 by updating deps.edn template from brew-install (changes Clojars repo URL); fix #4 by correcting how -r and -c options affect the list of deps.edn files used; switches from HOME environment variable to user.home system property; adds -A option for when you need the same alias on both -R and -C; now relies on tools.deps.alpha.makecp loading all the specific providers (instead of loading them manually).
  • 0.1.3 -- 11/15/2017 -- Fix #2 by using deps.edn template from brew-install repo as defaults.
  • 0.1.2 -- 11/13/2017 -- Expose deps task machinery as a function, load-deps, for more flexibility.
  • 0.1.1 -- 11/12/2017 -- First working version.


Copyright © 2017-2018 Sean Corfield, all rights reserved.

Distributed under the Eclipse Public License version 1.0.


A Boot task (deps) that wraps tools.deps(.alpha) to read deps.edn files




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