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Custom Commands
This is currently considered experimental. Please try it out and post feedback via GitHub issues or in our community!
As part of a Garden project, you can define custom commands. You can think of these like Makefile targets, npm package scripts etc., except you have the full power of Garden's templating syntax to work with, and can easily declare the exact arguments and options the command accepts. The custom commands come up when you run garden help, which helps make your project easier to use and more self-documenting.
You'll find more examples and details below, but here's a simple example to illustrate the idea:
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kind: Command
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name: api-dev
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description:
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short: Start garden with preconfigured options for API development
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exec:
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command:
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- sh
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- -c
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- git submodule update --recursive --remote # Because we keep forgetting to update these, amirite?
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gardenCommand:
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- deploy
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- --dev
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- api,worker
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- --log-level
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- debug
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- $concat: ${args.$all} # Allow any arguments/options on top of the fixed ones above
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Here we imagine a basic day-to-day workflow for a certain group of developers. The user simply runs garden api-dev. Before the Garden command starts, we update the submodules in the repo, and then we start garden deploy with some parameters that we tend to use or prefer.
Of course this is just an example, but no doubt you can imagine some commands, parameters etc. that you use a lot and which would be nice to codify for you and your team. And this example only uses a fraction of what's possible! Read on for more and see what ideas come up.

Limitations

Before diving in, there are a few constraints and caveats to be aware of when defining your custom commands:
  • For performance reasons, we currently only pick custom commands from the project root folder. They can still be in any *.garden.yml file in that directory, much like other configs, but we deliberately avoid scanning the entire project structure for commands. By extension, commands cannot be defined in remote sources at this time.
  • Commands cannot have the same name as other Garden commands. This is by design, to avoid any potential confusion for users.
  • Only the exec and gardenCommand fields can be templated. Other fields need to be statically defined.
  • Project and environment variables cannot be referenced in command templates at this time, because the project configuration is by design not resolved before executing the command.
We may later lift some of these limitations. Please post a GitHub issue if any of the above is getting in your way!

Basics

Each command has to define a name, which must be a valid identifier (following the same rules as module names etc.). A short description must also be provided with description.short, and you can also provide a longer description on description.long which is shown when you run the command with --help. For example:
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kind: Command
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name: api-dev
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description:
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short: Short text to show when users run garden help
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long: |
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Some arbitrarily long paragraph that gets into more
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detail and is shown then this command is run with
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the --help flag.
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...
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Then, you must define one or both of exec and/or gardenCommand. The former simply executes some command on your system, e.g. a shell command. The latter, as you might have guessed, runs a Garden command.
If you specify both exec and gardenCommand, the exec part is run before the gardenCommand.
For the exec field, you must specify exec.command and can optionally set exec.env as well, to set any environment variables for the command execution.
The gardenCommand field is a simple array, which normally should start with the command name to run, and then any flags and arguments you want to pass on.

Templating

The exec and gardenCommand fields can be templated with many of the fields available for project and environment configuration. See the reference for all the fields available.
Of special note are the ${args.*} and ${opts.*} variables. You can see below how to explicitly define both positional arguments and option flags, but you can also use the following predefined variables:
  • ${args.$all} is a list of every argument and flag passed to the command (only subtracting the name of the custom command itself). This includes all normal global Garden option flags, as well as the ones you explicitly specify.
  • ${args.$rest} is a list of every positional argument and option that isn't explicitly defined in the custom command, including all global Garden flags.
  • ${args["--"]} is a list of everything placed after -- in the command line. For example, if you run garden my-command -- foo --bar, this variable will be an array containing "foo" and "--bar".
You can also reference any provided option flag under ${opts.*}, even those that are not explicitly defined. Unspecified options won't be validated, but are still parsed and made available for templating.
For example, if you just want to pass all arguments (beyond global options and the command name itself) to a shell script, you can do something like this:
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kind: Command
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name: my-script
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description:
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short: Run that script we keep using
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exec:
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command:
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- sh
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- -c
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- |
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echo "I'm a super important script, here we go!"
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echo "We're in the ${project.name} project and you are ${local.username}, in case you forgot..."
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./scripts/foo.sh ${join(args.$rest, ' ')}
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Here we use the join helper function to convert all extra arguments to a space separated string, and pass that to the imagined foo.sh script. Pretty much like using "[email protected]" in a bash script. We also reference a couple of other common template variables (in this admittedly contrived example...).

Defining arguments and option flags

You can explicitly define positional arguments and options that are expected or required for your command, using the args and opts fields. These are validated and parsed before running the command, and are also shown in the help text when running the command with --help. For example:
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kind: Command
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name: run-task
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description:
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short: Run a task ad-hoc
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args:
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- name: task-name
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description: The name of the task to run
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required: true
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opts:
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- name: db
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description: Override the database hostname
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type: string
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gardenCommand:
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- run
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- task
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- ${args.task-name}
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- --var
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- dbHostname=${opts.db || "db"}
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Here we've made a wrapper command for running tasks in your project. We require one positional argument for the name of the task to run. Then we define an option for overriding a project variable. For the example, we imagine there's a project variable that's templated into the tasks that controls the hostname of a database they need to connect to. The last lines in the example override the variable and default to "db" if the option flag isn't set. To run this command, you could run e.g. garden run-task my-task --db test, which would run my-task with the dbHostname variable set to test.
You might want to augment this example to further accept any additional arguments and append to the Garden command. To do that, you could add the following:
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...
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gardenCommand:
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- run
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- task
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- ${args.task-name}
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- --var
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- dbHostname=${opts.db || "db"}
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- $concat: ${args.$rest} # <- pass any additional parameters through to the command without validation
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Now you could, for example, run garden run-task my-task --db test --force and the additional --force parameter gets passed to the underlying Garden command.
As you can see, you can do a whole lot here! Read on for more examples.

Using variables

You can specify a variables field, and reference those in the exec and gardenCommand fields using ${var.*}, similar to module variables. Note that project variables are not available, since the Garden project is not resolved ahead of resolving the custom command.