3.0.0 • Public • Published

build status grunt-exec

Grunt plugin for executing shell commands.



Install grunt-exec using npm:

$ npm install grunt-exec --save-dev

Then add this line to your project's Gruntfile.js:



This plugin is a multi task, meaning that grunt will automatically iterate over all exec targets if a target is not specified.

If the exit code generated by the specified shell command is greater than 0, grunt-exec will assume an error has occurred and will abort grunt immediately.


  • command (alias: cmd): The shell command to be executed. Must be a string or a function that returns a string.
  • stdin: If true, stdin will be redirected from the child process to the current process allowing user interactivity (EXPERIMENTAL)
  • stdout: If true, stdout will be printed. Defaults to true.
  • stderr: If true, stderr will be printed. Defaults to true.
  • cwd: Current working directory of the shell command. Defaults to the directory containing your Gruntfile.
  • exitCode (alias: exitCodes): The expected exit code(s), task will fail if the actual exit code doesn't match. Defaults to 0. Can be an array for multiple allowed exit codes.
  • callback: The callback function passed child_process.exec. Defaults to a noop.
  • callbackArgs: Additional arguments to pass to the callback. Defaults to empty array.
  • sync: Whether to use child_process.spawnSync. Defaults to false.
  • options: Options to provide to child_process.exec. NodeJS Documentation
    • cwd String Current working directory of the child process
    • env Object Environment key-value pairs
    • encoding String (Default: 'utf8')
    • shell String Shell to execute the command with (Default: '/bin/sh' on UNIX, 'cmd.exe' on Windows, The shell should understand the -c switch on UNIX or /s /c on Windows. On Windows, command line parsing should be compatible with cmd.exe.)
    • timeout Number (Default: 0)
    • maxBuffer Number largest amount of data (in bytes) allowed on stdout or stderr - if exceeded child process is killed (Default: 200*1024)
    • killSignal String (Default: 'SIGTERM')
    • uid Number Sets the user identity of the process. (See setuid(2).)
    • gid Number Sets the group identity of the process. (See setgid(2).)

If the configuration is instead a simple string, it will be interpreted as a full command itself:

exec: {
  echo_something: 'echo "This is something"'

Command Functions

If you plan on doing advanced stuff with grunt-exec, you'll most likely be using functions for the command property of your exec targets. This section details a couple of helpful tips about command functions that could help make your life easier.

Passing arguments from the command line

Command functions can be called with arbitrary arguments. Let's say we have the following exec target that echoes a formatted name:

exec: {
  echo_name: {
    cmd: function(firstName, lastName) {
      var formattedName = [
      return 'echo ' + formattedName;

In order to get SIMPSON, HOMER echoed, you'd run grunt exec:echo_name:homer:simpson from the command line.

Accessing grunt object

All command functions are called in the context of the grunt object that they are being ran with. This means you can access the grunt object through this.


The following examples are available in grunt-exec's Gruntfile.

  exec: {
    remove_logs: {
      command: 'rm -f *.log',
      stdout: false,
      stderr: false
    list_files: {
      cmd: 'ls -l **'
    list_all_files: 'ls -la',
    echo_grunt_version: {
      cmd: function() { return 'echo ' + this.version; }
    echo_name: {
      cmd: function(firstName, lastName) {
        var formattedName = [
        return 'echo ' + formattedName;


$ cd grunt-exec
$ npm test


Found a bug? Create an issue on GitHub.


For transparency and insight into the release cycle, releases will be numbered with the follow format:


And constructed with the following guidelines:

  • Breaking backwards compatibility bumps the major
  • New additions without breaking backwards compatibility bumps the minor
  • Bug fixes and misc changes bump the patch

For more information on semantic versioning, please visit


Original Copyright (c) 2012-2014 Jake Harding Copyright (c) 2016 grunt-exec Licensed under the MIT License.

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