Saturday, April 25, 2015

Ant Cheat Sheet

This post list some of the commonly used ant commands and shortcuts.

Test if ant is installed
$ant -version
Ant is a command-line tool so it must be on the path to be used. If Ant is installed, above command will return version details otherwise it will say that ant command is not found (i.e. Ant is not installed).

It gives below response when I run it on my Mac:
Apache Ant(TM) version 1.9.2 compiled on July 8 2013

Running ant target(s)
$ant                                     //runs default target
$ant compile                       //runs compile target
$ant <target1> <target2>    //runs multiple targets

Generate verbose log during build
$ant -verbose        //runs default target in verbose mode
$ant <target> -verbose
$ant <target> -v   // v is shortcut for verbose
Ant produces verbose log when invoked with -verbose (or -v) parameter. This is useful to figure out what's going out during build and specially when build fails.

Generate debug log during build
$ant -debug                 //runs default target in debug mode
Debug prints more log information than verbose. This option prints lot more low-level details along with verbose details.
$ant -quiet                  //to see nothing but errors and final build status message
$ant -keep-going        //tells ant to try to recover from failure

List all targets
$ant -projecthelp        //or -p
$ant -p -verbose         // list sub-targets as well
Lists all the targets provided by build file. Ant list only public targets with optional description attribute. To see optional targets also along with main targets run above command with -verbose.

Pass a property dynamically

$ant execute -Dproperty=value
Passes a key value (property) pair to the ant build. This will override if the property already exist in the build or config file.

Get build sequence
Target dependency is transitive. So if the build file is quite huge then knowing the dependency becomes quite difficult. To get it, I often run the build in verbose mode and then grep for the given String.

$ant -v main | grep "Complete build sequence is"
Complete build sequence is [clean, compile, execute, main, ]

$ant -help     //or -h
If you don't remember this cheat sheet, just ask ant to help. It will give all the options which ant supports. I have covered some of them here, but some other useful options like providing your own build file other than build.xml etc are not covered here.


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