🤖 Just a command runner

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just is a handy way to save and run project-specific commands.


Commands, called recipes, are stored in a file called justfile with syntax inspired by make:

    cc *.c -o main

# test everything
test-all: build
    ./test --all

# run a specific test
test TEST: build
    ./test --test {{TEST}}

You can then run them with just RECIPE:

$ just test-all
cc *.c -o main
./test --all
Yay, all your tests passed!

Just has a ton of useful features, and many improvements over Make:

If you need help with just please feel free to open an issue or ping me on discord. Feature requests and bug reports are always welcome!




just should run on any system with a reasonable sh, including Linux, MacOS, and the BSDs.

On Windows, just works with the sh provided by Git for Windows, GitHub Desktop, and Cygwin.

If you’d rather not install sh, you can use the shell setting to use the shell of your choice.

Like cmd.exe:

# use cmd.exe instead of sh:
set shell := ["cmd.exe", "/c"]


…or Powershell:

# use Powershell instead of sh:
set shell := ["powershell.exe", "-c"]

  Write-Host "Hello, world!"


Operating System Package Manager Package Command




cargo install just

Microsoft Windows



scoop install just




brew install just




port install just

Arch Linux


just AUR

yay -S just

NixOS, Linux, macOS



nix-env -iA nixos.just




eopkg install just

Void Linux



xbps-install -S just




pkg install just

Alpine Linux



apk add just

Pre-built Binaries

Pre-built binaries for Linux, MacOS, and Windows can be found on the releases page.

You can use the following command on Linux, MacOS, or Windows to download the latest release, just replace DEST with the directory where you’d like to put just:

curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf https://just.systems/install.sh | bash -s -- --to DEST

Quick Start

See Installation for how to install just on your computer. Try running just --version to make sure that it’s installed correctly.

Once just is installed and working, create a file named justfile in the root of your project with the following contents:

    echo 'This is a recipe!'

# this is a comment
    @echo 'This is another recipe.'

When you invoke just it looks for file justfile in the current directory and upwards, so you can invoke it from any subdirectory of your project.

The search for a justfile is case insensitive, so any case, like Justfile, JUSTFILE, or JuStFiLe, will work.

Running just with no arguments runs the first recipe in the justfile:

$ just
echo 'This is a recipe!'
This is a recipe!

One or more arguments specify the recipe(s) to run:

$ just another-recipe
This is another recipe.

just prints each command to standard error before running it, which is why echo 'This is a recipe!' was printed. This is suppressed for lines starting with @, which is why echo 'Another recipe.' was not printed.

Recipes stop running if a command fails. Here cargo publish will only run if cargo test succeeds:

    cargo test
    # tests passed, time to publish!
    cargo publish

Recipes can depend on other recipes. Here the test recipe depends on the build recipe, so build will run before test:

    cc main.c foo.c bar.c -o main

test: build

    @echo "`wc -l *.c` lines of code"
$ just test
cc main.c foo.c bar.c -o main
testing... all tests passed!

Recipes without dependencies will run in the order they’re given on the command line:

$ just build sloc
cc main.c foo.c bar.c -o main
1337 lines of code

Dependencies will always run first, even if they are passed after a recipe that depends on them:

$ just test build
cc main.c foo.c bar.c -o main
testing... all tests passed!


A variety of example justfiles can be found in the examples directory.


Listing Available Recipes

Recipes can be listed in alphabetical order with just --list:

$ just --list
Available recipes:

just --summary is more concise:

$ just --summary
build test deploy lint

Pass --unsorted to print recipes in the order they appear in the justfile:

  echo 'Testing!'

  echo 'Building!'
$ just --list --unsorted
Available recipes:
$ just --summary --unsorted
test build

If you’d like just to default to listing the recipes in the justfile, you can use this as your default recipe:

  @just --list

The heading text can be customized with --list-heading:

$ just --list --list-heading 'Cool stuff…\n'
Cool stuff…

And the indentation can be customized with --list-prefix:

$ just --list --list-prefix ····
Available recipes:


Aliases allow recipes to be invoked with alternative names:

alias b := build

  echo 'Building!'
$ just b
echo 'Building!'


Settings control interpretation and execution. Each setting may be specified at most once, anywhere in the justfile.

For example:

set shell := ["zsh", "-cu"]

  # this line will be run as `zsh -cu 'ls **/*.txt'`
  ls **/*.txt

Table of Settings

Name Value Description



Set the command used to invoke recipes and evaluate backticks.


The shell setting controls the command used to invoke recipe lines and backticks. Shebang recipes are unaffected.

# use python3 to execute recipe lines and backticks
set shell := ["python3", "-c"]

# use print to capture result of evaluation
foos := `print("foo" * 4)`

  print("Snake snake snake snake.")

Documentation Comments

Comments immediately preceding a recipe will appear in just --list:

# build stuff

# test stuff
$ just --list
Available recipes:
    build # build stuff
    test # test stuff

Variables and Substitution

Variables, strings, concatenation, and substitution using {{…​}} are supported:

version := "0.2.7"
tardir  := "awesomesauce-" + version
tarball := tardir + ".tar.gz"

    rm -f {{tarball}}
    mkdir {{tardir}}
    cp README.md *.c {{tardir}}
    tar zcvf {{tarball}} {{tardir}}
    scp {{tarball}} [email protected]:release/
    rm -rf {{tarball}} {{tardir}}

Escaping {{

To write a recipe containing {{, use {{ "{{" }}:

    echo 'I {{ "{{" }}LOVE}} curly braces!'

(An unmatched }} is ignored, so it doesn’t need to be escaped.)

Another option is to put all the text you’d like to escape inside of an interpolation:

    echo '{{'I {{LOVE}} curly braces!'}}'


Double-quoted strings support escape sequences:

string-with-tab             := "\t"
string-with-newline         := "\n"
string-with-carriage-return := "\r"
string-with-double-quote    := "\""
string-with-slash           := "\\"
$ just --evaluate
"tring-with-carriage-return := "
string-with-double-quote    := """
string-with-newline         := "
string-with-slash           := "\"
string-with-tab             := "     "

Single-quoted strings do not recognize escape sequences and may contain line breaks:

escapes := '\t\n\r\"\\'

line-breaks := 'hello
$ just --evaluate
escapes := "\t\n\r\"\\"

line-breaks := "hello

Ignoring Errors

Normally, if a command returns a nonzero exit status, execution will stop. To continue execution after a command, even if it fails, prefix the command with -:

    -cat foo
    echo 'Done!'
$ just foo
cat foo
cat: foo: No such file or directory
echo 'Done!'


Just provides a few built-in functions that might be useful when writing recipes.

System Information

  • arch() – Instruction set architecture. Possible values are: "aarch64", "arm", "asmjs", "hexagon", "mips", "msp430", "powerpc", "powerpc64", "s390x", "sparc", "wasm32", "x86", "x86_64", and "xcore".

  • os() – Operating system. Possible values are: "android", "bitrig", "dragonfly", "emscripten", "freebsd", "haiku", "ios", "linux", "macos", "netbsd", "openbsd", "solaris", and "windows".

  • os_family() – Operating system family; possible values are: "unix" and "windows".

For example:

    @echo "This is an {{arch()}} machine".
$ just system-info
This is an x86_64 machine

Environment Variables

  • env_var(key) – Retrieves the environment variable with name key, aborting if it is not present.

  • env_var_or_default(key, default) – Retrieves the environment variable with name key, returning default if it is not present.

Invocation Directory

  • invocation_directory() - Retrieves the path of the current working directory, before just changed it (chdir’d) prior to executing commands.

For example, to call rustfmt on files just under the "current directory" (from the user/invoker’s perspective), use the following rule:

    find {{invocation_directory()}} -name \*.rs -exec rustfmt {} \;

Alternatively, if your command needs to be run from the current directory, you could use (e.g.):

    cd {{invocation_directory()}}; ./some_script_that_needs_to_be_run_from_here

Justfile and Justfile Directory

  • justfile() - Retrieves the path of the current justfile.

  • justfile_directory() - Retrieves the path of the parent directory of the current justfile.

For example, to run a command relative to the location of the current justfile:


Dotenv Integration

just will load environment variables from a file named .env. This file can be located in the same directory as your justfile or in a parent directory. These variables are environment variables, not just variables, and so must be accessed using $VARIABLE_NAME in recipes and backticks.

For example, if your .env file contains:

# a comment, will be ignored

And your justfile contains:

  @echo "Starting server with database $DATABASE_ADDRESS on port $SERVER_PORT..."
  ./server --database $DATABASE_ADDRESS --port $SERVER_PORT

just serve will output:

$ just serve
Starting server with database localhost:6379 on port 1337...
./server --database $DATABASE_ADDRESS --port $SERVER_PORT

Command Evaluation Using Backticks

Backticks can be used to store the result of commands:

localhost := `dumpinterfaces | cut -d: -f2 | sed 's/\/.*//' | sed 's/ //g'`

    ./serve {{localhost}} 8080

Conditional Expressions

if/else expressions evaluate different branches depending on if two expressions evaluate to the same value:

foo := if "2" == "2" { "Good!" } else { "1984" }

  @echo "{{foo}}"
$ just bar

It is also possible to test for inequality:

foo := if "hello" != "goodbye" { "xyz" } else { "abc" }

  @echo {{foo}}
$ just bar

Conditional expressions short-circuit, which means they only evaluate one of their branches. This can be used to make sure that backtick expressions don’t run when they shouldn’t.

foo := if env_var("RELEASE") == "true" { `get-something-from-release-database` } else { "dummy-value" }

Conditionals can be used inside of recipes:

bar foo:
  echo {{ if foo == "bar" { "hello" } else { "goodbye" } }}

Note the space after the final }! Without the space, the interpolation will be prematurely closed.

Setting Variables from the Command Line

Variables can be overridden from the command line.

os := "linux"

test: build
    ./test --test {{os}}

    ./build {{os}}
$ just
./build linux
./test --test linux

Any number of arguments of the form NAME=VALUE can be passed before recipes:

$ just os=plan9
./build plan9
./test --test plan9

Or you can use the --set flag:

$ just --set os bsd
./build bsd
./test --test bsd

Environment Variables

Assignments prefixed with the export keyword will be exported to recipes as environment variables:

export RUST_BACKTRACE := "1"

    # will print a stack trace if it crashes
    cargo test

Recipe Parameters

Recipes may have parameters. Here recipe build has a parameter called target:

build target:
    @echo 'Building {{target}}...'
    cd {{target}} && make

To pass arguments on the command line, put them after the recipe name:

$ just build my-awesome-project
Building my-awesome-project...
cd my-awesome-project && make

To pass arguments to a dependency, put the dependency in parentheses along with the arguments:

default: (build "main")

build target:
  @echo 'Building {{target}}...'
  cd {{target}} && make

Parameters may have default values:

default := 'all'

test target tests=default:
    @echo 'Testing {{target}}:{{tests}}...'
    ./test --tests {{tests}} {{target}}

Parameters with default values may be omitted:

$ just test server
Testing server:all...
./test --tests all server

Or supplied:

$ just test server unit
Testing server:unit...
./test --tests unit server

Default values may be arbitrary expressions, but concatenations must be parenthesized:

arch := "wasm"

test triple=(arch + "-unknown-unknown"):
  ./test {{triple}}

The last parameter of a recipe may be variadic, indicated with either a + or a * before the argument name:

backup +FILES:
  scp {{FILES}} [email protected]:

Variadic parameters prefixed with + accept one or more arguments and expand to a string containing those arguments separated by spaces:

$ just backup FAQ.md GRAMMAR.md
scp FAQ.md GRAMMAR.md [email protected]:
FAQ.md                  100% 1831     1.8KB/s   00:00
GRAMMAR.md              100% 1666     1.6KB/s   00:00

Variadic parameters prefixed with * accept zero or more arguments and expand to a string containing those arguments separated by spaces, or an empty string if no arguments are present:

  git commit {{FLAGS}} -m "{{MESSAGE}}"

Variadic parameters can be assigned default values. These are overridden by arguments passed on the command line:

test +FLAGS='-q':
  cargo test {{FLAGS}}

{{…​}} substitutions may need to be quoted if they contains spaces. For example, if you have the following recipe:

search QUERY:
    lynx https://www.google.com/?q={{QUERY}}

And you type:

$ just search "cat toupee"

Just will run the command lynx https://www.google.com/?q=cat toupee, which will get parsed by sh as lynx, https://www.google.com/?q=cat, and toupee, and not the intended lynx and https://www.google.com/?q=cat toupee.

You can fix this by adding quotes:

search QUERY:
    lynx 'https://www.google.com/?q={{QUERY}}'

Running recipes at the end of a recipe

Dependencies of a recipes always run before a recipe starts. That is to say, the dependee always runs before the depender.

You can call Just recursively to run a recipe after a recipe ends. Given the following justfile:

  echo 'A!'

b: a
  echo 'B!'
  just c

  echo 'C!'

…running 'b' prints:

$ just b
echo 'A!'
echo 'B!'
echo 'C!'

This has some limitations, since recipe c is run with an entirely new invocation of Just: Assignments will be recalculated, dependencies might run twice, and command line arguments will not be propagated to the child Just process.

Writing Recipes in Other Languages

Recipes that start with a #! are executed as scripts, so you can write recipes in other languages:

polyglot: python js perl sh ruby

    #!/usr/bin/env python3
    print('Hello from python!')

    #!/usr/bin/env node
    console.log('Greetings from JavaScript!')

    #!/usr/bin/env perl
    print "Larry Wall says Hi!\n";

    #!/usr/bin/env sh
    echo "$hello from a shell script!"

    #!/usr/bin/env ruby
    puts "Hello from ruby!"
$ just polyglot
Hello from python!
Greetings from JavaScript!
Larry Wall says Hi!
Yo from a shell script!
Hello from ruby!

Safer Bash Shebang Recipes

If you’re writing a Bash shebang recipe, consider adding set -euxo pipefail:

    #!/usr/bin/env bash
    set -euxo pipefail
    echo "$hello from Bash!"

It isn’t strictly necessary, but set -euxo pipefail turns on a few useful features that make Bash shebang recipes behave more like normal, linewise Just recipe:

  • set -e makes bash exit if a command fails.

  • set -u makes bash exit if a variable is undefined.

  • set -x makes bash print each script line before it’s run.

  • set -o pipefail makes bash exit if a command in a pipeline fails.

Together, these avoid a lot of shell scripting gotchas.

Shebang Recipe Execution on Windows

On Windows, shebang interpreter paths containing a / are translated from Unix-style paths to Windows-style paths using cygpath, a utility that ships with Cygwin.

For example, to execute this recipe on Windows:


  echo "Hello!"

The interpreter path /bin/sh will be translated to a Windows-style path using cygpath before being executed.

If the interpreter path does not contain a / it will be executed without being translated. This is useful if cygpath is not available, or you wish to use a Windows style path to the interpreter.

Setting Variables in a Recipe

Recipe lines are interpreted by the shell, not Just, so it’s not possible to set Just variables in the middle of a recipe:

  x := "hello" # This doesn't work!
  echo {{x}}

It is possible to use shell variables, but there’s another problem. Every recipe line is run by a new shell instance, so variables set in one line won’t be set in the next:

  x=hello && echo $x # This works!
  echo $y            # This doesn't, `y` is undefined here!

The best way to work around this is to use a shebang recipe. Shebang recipe bodies are extracted and run as scripts, so a single shell instance will run the whole thing:

  #!/usr/bin/env bash
  set -euxo pipefail
  echo $x

Changing the Working Directory in a Recipe

Each recipe line is executed by a new shell, so if you change the working directory on one line, it won’t have an effect on later lines:

  pwd    # This `pwd` will print the same directory…
  cd bar
  pwd    # …as this `pwd`!

There are a couple ways around this. One is to call cd on the same line as the command you want to run:

  cd bar && pwd

The other is to use a shebang recipe. Shebang recipe bodies are extracted and run as scripts, so a single shell instance will run the whole thing, and thus a pwd on one line will affect later lines, just like a shell script:

  #!/usr/bin/env bash
  set -euxo pipefail
  cd bar

Multi-line Constructs

Recipes without an initial shebang are evaluated and run line-by-line, which means that multi-line constructs probably won’t do what you want.

For example, with the following justfile:

    if true; then
        echo 'True!'

The extra leading whitespace before the second line of the conditional recipe will produce a parse error:

$ just conditional
error: Recipe line has extra leading whitespace
3 |         echo 'True!'
  |     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

To work around this, you can write conditionals on one line, escape newlines with slashes, or add a shebang to your recipe. Some examples of multi-line constructs are provided for reference.

if statements

    if true; then echo 'True!'; fi
    if true; then \
        echo 'True!'; \
    #!/usr/bin/env sh
    if true; then
        echo 'True!'

for loops

    for file in `ls .`; do echo $file; done
    for file in `ls .`; do \
        echo $file; \
    #!/usr/bin/env sh
    for file in `ls .`; do
        echo $file

while loops

    while `server-is-dead`; do ping -c 1 server; done
    while `server-is-dead`; do \
        ping -c 1 server; \
    #!/usr/bin/env sh
    while `server-is-dead`; do
        do ping -c 1 server

Command Line Options

just supports a number of useful command line options for listing, dumping, and debugging recipes and variable:

$ just --list
Available recipes:
$ just --show perl
    #!/usr/bin/env perl
    print "Larry Wall says Hi!\n";
$ just --show polyglot
polyglot: python js perl sh ruby

Run just --help to see all the options.

Private Recipes

Recipes and aliases whose name starts with a _ are omitted from just --list:

test: _test-helper

$ just --list
Available recipes:

And from just --summary:

$ just --summary

This is useful for helper recipes which are only meant to be used as dependencies of other recipes.

Quiet Recipes

A recipe name may be prefixed with '@' to invert the meaning of '@' before each line:

  echo hello
  echo goodbye
  @# all done!

Now only the lines starting with '@' will be echoed:

$ j quiet
# all done!

Shebang recipes are quiet by default:

  #!/usr/bin/env bash
  echo 'Foo!'
$ just foo

Adding @ to a shebang recipe name makes just print the recipe before executing it:

  #!/usr/bin/env bash
  echo 'Bar!'
$ just bar                                                                                    ~/src/just
#!/usr/bin/env bash
echo 'Bar!'

Selecting Recipes to Run With an Interactive Chooser

The --choose subcommand makes just invoke a chooser to select which recipes to run. Choosers should read lines containing recipe names from standard input and print one or more of those names separated by spaces to standard output.

Because there is currenly no way to run a recipe that requires arguments with --choose, such recipes will not be given to the chooser. Private recipes and aliases are also skipped.

The chooser can be overridden with the --chooser flag. If --chooser is not given, then just first checks if $JUST_CHOOSER is set. If it isn’t, then the chooser defaults to fzf, a popular fuzzy finder.

Arguments can be included in the chooser, i.e. fzf --exact.

The chooser is invoked in the same way as recipe lines. For example, if the chooser is fzf, it will be invoked with sh -cu 'fzf', and if the shell, or the shell arguments are overridden, the chooser invocation will respect those overrides.

If you’d like just to default to selecting recipes with a chooser, you can use this as your default recipe:

  @just --choose

Invoking Justfiles in Other Directories

If the first argument passed to just contains a /, then the following occurs:

  1. The argument is split at the last /.

  2. The part before the last / is treated as a directory. Just will start its search for the justfile there, instead of in the current directory.

  3. The part after the last slash is treated as a normal argument, or ignored if it is empty.

This may seem a little strange, but it’s useful if you wish to run a command in a justfile that is in a subdirectory.

For example, if you are in a directory which contains a subdirectory named foo, which contains a justfile with the recipe build, which is also the default recipe, the following are all equivalent:

$ (cd foo && just build)
$ just foo/build
$ just foo/

Just Scripts

By adding a shebang line to the top of a justfile and making it executable, just can be used as an interpreter for scripts:

$ cat > script <<EOF
#!/usr/bin/env just --justfile

  echo foo
$ chmod +x script
$ ./script foo
echo foo

When a script with a shebang is executed, the system supplies the path to the script as an argument to the command in the shebang. So, with a shebang of #!/usr/bin/env just --justfile, the command will be /usr/bin/env just --justfile PATH_TO_SCRIPT.

With the above shebang, just will change its working directory to the location of the script. If you’d rather leave the working directory unchanged, use #!/usr/bin/env just --working-directory . --justfile.

Note: Shebang line splitting is not consistent across operating systems. The previous examples have only been tested on macOS. On Linux, you may need to pass the -S flag to env:

#!/usr/bin/env -S just --justfile

  echo foo


Companion Tools

Tools that pair nicely with just include:

  • watchexec — a simple tool that watches a path and runs a command whenever it detects modifications.

GitHub Actions

extractions/setup-just can be used to install just in a GitHub Actions workflow.

Example usage:

- uses: extractions/[email protected]
    just-version: 0.8  # optional semver specification, otherwise latest

Shell Alias

For lightning-fast command running, put alias j=just in your shell’s configuration file.

Shell Completion Scripts

Shell completion scripts for Bash, Zsh, Fish, PowerShell, and Elvish are available in the completions directory. Please refer to your shell’s documentation for how to install them.

The just binary can also generate the same completion scripts at runtime, using the --completions command:

$ just --completions zsh > just.zsh

Syntax Highlighting

justfile syntax is close enough to make that you may want to tell your editor to use make syntax highlighting for just.


For vim, you can put the following in ~/.vim/filetype.vim:

if exists("did_load_filetypes")

augroup filetypedetect
  au BufNewFile,BufRead justfile setf make
augroup END

Vim and Emacs

Include the following in a justfile to enable syntax highlighting in vim and emacs:

# Local Variables:
# mode: makefile
# End:
# vim: set ft=make :

Visual Studio Code

An extension for VS Code by skellock is available here. (repository)

You can install it from the command line by running:

code --install-extension skellock.just


Kakoune supports justfile syntax highlighting out of the box, thanks to TeddyDD.

Other Editors

Feel free to send me the commands necessary to get syntax highlighting working in your editor of choice so that I may include them here.


A non-normative grammar of justfiles can be found in GRAMMAR.md.


Before just was a fancy rust program it was a tiny shell script that called make. You can find the old version in extras/just.sh.

Non-Project Specific Justfile

If you want some commands to be available everywhere, put them in ~/.justfile and add the following to your shell’s initialization file:

alias .j='just --justfile ~/.justfile --working-directory ~'

Or, if you’d rather they run in the current directory:

alias .j='just --justfile ~/.justfile --working-directory .'

I’m pretty sure that nobody actually uses this feature, but it’s there.



just welcomes your contributions! just is released under the maximally permissive CC0 public domain dedication and fallback license, so your changes must also released under this license.


Janus is a tool that collects and analyzes justfiles, and can determine if a new version of just breaks or changes the interpretation of existing justfiles.

Before merging a particularly large or gruesome change, Janus should be run to make sure that nothing breaks. Don’t worry about running Janus yourself, Casey will happily run it for you on changes that need it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the idiosyncrasies of Make that Just avoids?

Make has some behaviors which are confusing, complicated, or make it unsuitable for use as a general command runner.

One example is that under some circumstances, Make won’t actually run the commands in a recipe. For example, if you have a file called test and the following makefile:


Make will refuse to run your tests:

$ make test
make: `test' is up to date.

Make assumes that the test recipe produces a file called test. Since this file exists and the recipe has no other dependencies, Make thinks that it doesn’t have anything to do and exits.

To be fair, this behavior is desirable when using Make as a build system, but not when using it as a command runner. You can disable this behavior for specific targets using Make’s built-in .PHONY target name, but the syntax is verbose and can be hard to remember. The explicit list of phony targets, written separately from the recipe definitions, also introduces the risk of accidentally defining a new non-phony target. In just, all recipes are treated as if they were phony.

Other examples of Make’s idiosyncrasies include the difference between = and := in assignments, the confusing error messages that are produced if you mess up your makefile, needing $$ to use environment variables in recipes, and incompatibilities between different flavors of Make.

What’s the relationship between just and cargo build scripts?

Cargo build scripts have a pretty specific use, which is to control how cargo builds your rust project. This might include adding flags to rustc invocations, building an external dependency, or running some kind of codegen step.

just, on the other hand, is for all the other miscellaneous commands you might run as part of development. Things like running tests in different configurations, linting your code, pushing build artifacts to a server, removing temporary files, and the like.

Also, although just is written in rust, it can be used regardless of the language or build system your project uses.

Further Ramblings

I personally find it very useful to write a justfile for almost every project, big or small.

On a big project with multiple contributors, it’s very useful to have a file with all the commands needed to work on the project close at hand.

There are probably different commands to test, build, lint, deploy, and the like, and having them all in one place is useful and cuts down on the time you have to spend telling people which commands to run and how to type them.

And, with an easy place to put commands, it’s likely that you’ll come up with other useful things which are part of the project’s collective wisdom, but which aren’t written down anywhere, like the arcane commands needed for some part of your revision control workflow, install all your project’s dependencies, or all the random flags you might need to pass to the build system.

Some ideas for recipes:

  • Deploying/publishing the project

  • Building in release mode vs debug mode

  • Running in debug mode or with logging enabled

  • Complex git workflows

  • Updating dependencies

  • Running different sets of tests, for example fast tests vs slow tests, or running them with verbose output

  • Any complex set of commands that you really should write down somewhere, if only to be able to remember them

Even for small, personal projects it’s nice to be able to remember commands by name instead of ^Reverse searching your shell history, and it’s a huge boon to be able to go into an old project written in a random language with a mysterious build system and know that all the commands you need to do whatever you need to do are in the justfile, and that if you type just something useful (or at least interesting!) will probably happen.

For ideas for recipes, check out this project’s justfile, or some of the justfile​s out in the wild.

Anyways, I think that’s about it for this incredibly long-winded README.

I hope you enjoy using just and find great success and satisfaction in all your computational endeavors!


  • Add support for generating shell completions

    Add support for generating shell completions

    clap supports generating shell completions either at buildtime or at runtime. It would be helpful to add them. I'm willing to do the work on it, but I wanted to ask if you would prefer having a completions option to generate them at runtime, or a build script to generate them at compile time?

    opened by chrisvittal 26
  • Allow an alternative runner for shebang tasks

    Allow an alternative runner for shebang tasks

    Currently the shell setting lets users customise the runner for single-line commands. But this doesn't affect shebang tasks. On Windows, the default shell may not exist, so this makes shebang tasks unusable. However, the "Python Launcher" shipped with Python includes a shebang interpreter, so it would be entirely possible on Windows to say

    set shebang_shell := ["py"]

    at the top of the justfile to get shebang support.

    This should be a different setting variable, not shell, as py doesn't handle command lines, and a shell like Powershell doesn't handle shebangs. So a single setting won't work for both.

    On an unrelated note, it would be nice to have systemwide settings, so that I didn't have to set shell (and shebang_shell, if it was added) in every justfile.

    opened by pfmoore 23
  • Support cmd.exe on windows

    Support cmd.exe on windows

    Currently, just uses sh to execute all recipes on windows. This requires users to have installed sh, usually from cygwin or git-bash.

    I would like to make this dependency optional. It should be possible for a user to create a justfile that uses cmd.exe to execute recipes.

    I'm not sure the best way to indicate that a justfile uses cmd.exe for recipe execution, but my thought it to have just search for a file called justfile.com, and if it finds it use cmd.exe to execute all recipes within. It may be desirable to allow individual recipes to use cmd.exe, or to give some kind of syntax within a justfile, aside from the name, for using cmd.exe so all that is up in the air.

    I don't know enough about windows to be able to do this, so I'm looking for help! If you're a windows dev and would like to implement this, do reach out!

    opened by casey 22
  • Consider making `just` variables environment variables 🔥

    Consider making `just` variables environment variables 🔥

    I've long thought that it was good for just variables to be distinct from environment variables. However, I've grown increasingly unsure of that decision.

    Pros of just variables being distinct from environment variables:

    • Compile time undefined-variable errors: Misspelled variables in interpolations {{..}} are reported at compile time, not at runtime. (However, because just invokes sh with the -u flag, misspelled variables would produce an error at runtime, instead of evaluating to the empty string.)
    • Easier access in shebang recipes: Can use "{{VAR}}" instead of import os; os.getenv("VAR").
    • Avoids polluting child process environment: Variables do not pollute the downstream process environment, unless prefixed with export.
    • Lines are echoed with the values of variables, e.g. echo foo instead of echo $variable_name.

    Cons of just variables being distinct from environment variables:

    • Can't use a=b just foo to set variable a, must use just a=b foo or just --set a b foo.
    • Verbose: Must use {{VAR}} instead of the shorter and more common $VAR.
    • Complex quoting interactions: Depending on the shell or shebang-recipe interpreter, interpolations may require quotes, for example if the variable value contains spaces, quotes, or special characters.
    • Unquoted variables that evaluate to the empty string or whitespace will not be picked up as arguments: If FOO is empty, then cmd {{FOO}} a b c will run cmd a b c, whereas if FOO were an environment variable, cmd $FOO a b c would run cmd "" a b c.

    On balance, I think it's better for just variables to be environment variables. The benefits aren't huge, and quoting and escaping feel like a thorny issue.

    My current thinking is that this should be supported with a per-justfile setting, and a command line flag, either of which would trigger export of all variables and parameters:

    set export := true
    foo := "bar"
    # `a` and `foo` are exported, so this works:
    baz a:
      echo $foo
      echo $a

    This way, users who preferred this behavior could opt in to it. Eventually, if we so desired, it could be made the default behavior after a deprecation period.

    What do people think? There was an issue that I can't find at the moment where someone wanted this (I think it was @fleshgrinder) and I argued for the opposite, but I've started to come around.

    opened by casey 20
  • Add `--fmt` subcommand

    Add `--fmt` subcommand

    Implements #817.

    Things I'd like to get feedback so I could fix them:

    • copypasted impl<'src> Display for UnresolvedRecipe<'src> (cannot wrestle borrow checker)
    • ugly tree: (justfile ()) instead of tree: (justfile) to pass tests (not sure that matters)
    • justfile in repository uses tabs but --fmt formats them to spaces, probably because it reuses space-based impl originally used for --dump (I don't have any preference on the matter)
    opened by vglfr 18
  • Adding some path functions

    Adding some path functions

    I've tried to add the functions I talked about in #871, mirroring the standard library functions from Path. I've added a bunch of tests, but I haven't updated the documentation. I'm looking forward to getting this pull request reviewed because it will be my first rust contribution if it gets merged. For the very same reason, it could be non-optimal or straightforward. Closes #871.

    opened by TonioGela 18
  • Allow dependencies that take parameters

    Allow dependencies that take parameters

    I'm not sure if this is possible, but consider the following case:

    run stuff:
        cd {{stuff}} && python main.py
    visualize stuff:
        python src/visualize.py {{stuff}}
    run_visualize stuff:
        just run {{stuffl}}
        just visualize {{stuff}}

    Is there a way to create run_visualize recipe without subsequent executions of just from the main just process?

    opened by fuine 18
  • Add option to run arbitrary command from project root

    Add option to run arbitrary command from project root

    Add a option which allows running a command from the project root:

    # for example, to edit your Cargo.toml file from any subdirectory of your project
    $ just --cmd vim Cargo.toml
    enhancement good first issue 
    opened by casey 16
  • fix(zsh): Fix variable completion

    fix(zsh): Fix variable completion

    This PR contains the following fixes:

    • Allow completion of variables in the command context
    • Allow completion of variables after --set flag

    Closes #695

    opened by heyrict 16
  • SIGSEGV in release build

    SIGSEGV in release build

    Hello all,

    thanks for this nice piece of software. Just updated in v.4.5.0 and unfortunately my old justfile s start to crash.

    gdb --args  /tmp/just/target/release/just  lib_8w
    Starting program: /tmp/just/target/release/just lib_8w
    Missing separate debuginfos, use: dnf debuginfo-install glibc-2.29-22.fc30.x86_64
    [Thread debugging using libthread_db enabled]
    Using host libthread_db library "/lib64/libthread_db.so.1".
    warning: `=` in assignments, exports, and aliases is being phased out on favor of `:=`
    Please see this issue for more details: https://github.com/casey/just/issues/379
    8 | tool_chain = "-DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=$(realpath ./tools/share/cmake/toolchain-mips.cmake)"
      |            ^
    [New Thread 0x7ffff7c22700 (LWP 21546)]
    cd lib;CROSS_COMPILE=/opt/cross-mips-wp53/cross.mips/bin/mips-wp53-linux-gnu- MODULE_DEF=1 PRJNAME=W ./libbuild -v -C all && cd ..
    Thread 1 "just" received signal SIGSEGV, Segmentation fault.
    0x00005555555ac0ab in <&alloc::collections::btree::map::BTreeMap<K,V> as core::iter::traits::collect::IntoIterator>::into_iter ()
    Missing separate debuginfos, use: dnf debuginfo-install libgcc-9.2.1-1.fc30.x86_64
    (gdb) bt
    #0  0x00005555555ac0ab in <&alloc::collections::btree::map::BTreeMap<K,V> as core::iter::traits::collect::IntoIterator>::into_iter ()
    #1  0x0000555555592ca3 in <std::process::Command as just::command_ext::CommandExt>::export_environment_variables ()
    #2  0x000055555558bc5f in just::recipe::Recipe::run ()
    #3  0x00005555555c0b6d in just::justfile::Justfile::run_recipe ()
    #4  0x00005555555c0106 in just::justfile::Justfile::run ()
    #5  0x0000555555590d70 in just::run::run ()
    #6  0x0000555555589387 in just::main ()
    #7  0x00005555555893d3 in std::rt::lang_start::{{closure}} ()
    #8  0x00005555556e3483 in std::rt::lang_start_internal::{{closure}} () at src/libstd/rt.rs:49
    #9  std::panicking::try::do_call () at src/libstd/panicking.rs:296
    #10 0x00005555556eb55a in __rust_maybe_catch_panic () at src/libpanic_unwind/lib.rs:80
    #11 0x00005555556e3f8d in std::panicking::try () at src/libstd/panicking.rs:275
    #12 std::panic::catch_unwind () at src/libstd/panic.rs:394
    #13 std::rt::lang_start_internal () at src/libstd/rt.rs:48
    #14 0x00005555555893c2 in main ()

    The problem doesn't appear in debug mode.

    opened by apmanol 15
  • need help installing on WSL

    need help installing on WSL

    I run bash on Ubuntu/WSL and install just as:

    curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf https://just.systems/install.sh | bash -s -- --to .

    this creates file called just, but when running just I get:

    # just
    just: command not found
    # ls -l just
    -rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 4594672 Sep 10 17:12 just

    Any idea what am I doing wrong?

    opened by epogrebnyak 3
  • Can regular expression be used in Conditional Expressions? Any string functions available?

    Can regular expression be used in Conditional Expressions? Any string functions available?

    I want to test whether a sub-string (such as "GPU") is contained in a parameter or values. I tried if "GPUS" == "GPU", which can work in the shell and return the 'true' value.

    enhancement good first issue 
    opened by meicale 3
  • Allow backticks in variable substitutions to be lazy.

    Allow backticks in variable substitutions to be lazy.

    I'd like to be able to define variables with backtick substitutions that are only run if the variable is referenced (I'd be fine if all the variables used in any commands are run before any of the commands run).

    The use case I have is having a justfile that runs in multiple contexts, and some of the backtick substitutions can only be run in one of the contexts:

    nix_volume_path := `podman volume inspect --format '{{.Mountpoint}}' nix`
        podman exec nix just /src/_build
       nix build ...

    where the podman volume inspect does not succeed in the inner context.

    enhancement good first issue 
    opened by tomprince 1
  • Add preview and command-line argument support for default chooser

    Add preview and command-line argument support for default chooser

    When --chose is invoked without specifying a chooser, it uses fzf with recipe names present in the projects justfile without a preview window for currently highlighted recipes. If a recipe is selected it invokes just with that recipe name without prompting the user to pass in any command-line arguments.

    Consider adding a preview window to display the recipes contents during the search in addition to being able to pass in command-line arguments to recipes that take them.

    Here's a rough idea for how this may look like:


    opened by terror 1
  • Add settings to control environment file name

    Add settings to control environment file name

    Something like:

    set dotenv-filenames := [".env", "other-dotenv-file"]
    opened by casey 9
  • Default to using `skim` as library when invoking chooser, to avoid dependency on `fzf` being installed

    Default to using `skim` as library when invoking chooser, to avoid dependency on `fzf` being installed

    skim is a popular fuzzy finder written in rust with a library interface. We should see if we can use that by default instead of calling fzf.

    opened by casey 0
  • Completion confused when using --justfile

    Completion confused when using --justfile

    Hi, great project, thank you so much!


    I laughed at the comment "I’m pretty sure that nobody actually uses this feature" here, because I've been using exactly that for my global Makefile for a while now. I had a shell alias mmake that executes some tasks to manage my macOS workstation. For example upgrading all homebrew packages (mmake upgrade) or save a list of installed homebrew packages (mmake freeze). So I'm glad that this is implemented. 👍

    The Actual Issue

    The shell completion that is generated with zsh does not take that switch into account it seems. When defining the alias .just as just -f=~/.justfile, .just -l will display the recipes of the justfile in the current directory instead of the recipes defined in ~/.justfile.

    Have a great day 🌻

    opened by ls42 3
  • Modules tracking issue

    Modules tracking issue


    After a false start a while ago, I've started working on modules once again. I think the two pieces of desiderata surrounding modules are reuse and modularity. For the former, the desire is to be able to import common recipes and variables in order to reduce duplicate. For the latter, the desire is to be able to split a large justfile in multiple sub files, and also have be in different parts of the filesystem, e.g. to have recipes and variables related to a sub-project be in a file in that sub-projects directory.

    This issue is tracking for the latter, modularity. Reuse is important too, but modularity has been requested more frequently, so that's what I'm starting with. The use-case that I'm trying to satisfy is using just inside a monorepo. Users should be able to start with a justfile in the root, and, as it makes sense, put mod.just files in subdirectories, and place variables and recipes related to those subdirectories in mod.just files. This is a big feature, so no promises when and if I'll finish it.

    Working in a monorepo with well-written justfiles should be joyful. just should make it easy to discover all the different commands and workflows that are used, and make executing those commands quick and unsurprising.

    MVP Outline

    The initial implementation will be an MVP, usable, but without a lot of niceties that I hope to add later. The MVP should allow:

    Creating a justfile with a mod statement:

    mod foo

    Creating a mod.just file in a subdirectory named after the module, in this case foo/mod.just:

      echo 'Hello, modules!'

    And invoking the bar recipe in the foo module by running just foo bar in subdirectory.

    MVP Features

    • [ ] just --list shows recipes from submodules.
    • [ ] Recipes in a submodule run with the current directory set to the directory that contains the submodule source file. In the example, all recipes defined in foo/mod.just would run with the current directory set to foo.
    • [ ] Error messages indicate the path to source file in which the error was encountered.
    • [ ] Submodule recipes can be invoked as subcommands from the command-line, i.e. just module recipe.
    • [ ] Using modules requires passing the --unstable flag
    • [ ] Duplicate module definitions is a compile-time error.
    • [ ] Settings may only appear in the root module, and arg global.

    Post-MVP Features

    • [ ] Can call default recipe in module by omitting recipe name.
    • [ ] Recipes defined in one module can be called from another.
    • [ ] Variables defined in one module can be called from another.
    • [ ] Run recipes defined in the current directory's module with just ./recipe.
    • [ ] Allow modules to be defined in module-name.just alongside declaring file, instead of requiring them to be in a subdirectory.
    • [ ] Allow specifying the path to the module source file, so a modules is not required to have the same name as the directory that contains the mod.just file
    • [ ] Decide if settings can be defined in on a per-module basis.
    • [ ] Allow inline modules that are declared and defined in a single file.

    Misc To-dos

    • [ ] Get unindent working for temptree, and use published version
    opened by casey 0
  • Consider putting all source strings in Arcs

    Consider putting all source strings in Arcs

    • Benchmark
    opened by casey 0
  • Make GIF for readme

    Make GIF for readme

    • write a justfile
    • list recipes
    • run a recipe
    opened by casey 0
Casey Rodarmor
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