Settings

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

For example:

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

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

Table of Settings

NameValueDefaultDescription
allow-duplicate-recipesbooleanfalseAllow recipes appearing later in a justfile to override earlier recipes with the same name.
allow-duplicate-variablesbooleanfalseAllow variables appearing later in a justfile to override earlier variables with the same name.
dotenv-filenamestring-Load a .env file with a custom name, if present.
dotenv-loadbooleanfalseLoad a .env file, if present.
dotenv-pathstring-Load a .env file from a custom path and error if not present. Overrides dotenv-filename.
dotenv-requiredbooleanfalseError if a .env file isn’t found.
exportbooleanfalseExport all variables as environment variables.
fallbackbooleanfalseSearch justfile in parent directory if the first recipe on the command line is not found.
ignore-commentsbooleanfalseIgnore recipe lines beginning with #.
positional-argumentsbooleanfalsePass positional arguments.
shell[COMMAND, ARGS…]-Set the command used to invoke recipes and evaluate backticks.
tempdirstring-Create temporary directories in tempdir instead of the system default temporary directory.
windows-powershellbooleanfalseUse PowerShell on Windows as default shell. (Deprecated. Use windows-shell instead.
windows-shell[COMMAND, ARGS…]-Set the command used to invoke recipes and evaluate backticks.

Boolean settings can be written as:

set NAME

Which is equivalent to:

set NAME := true

Allow Duplicate Recipes

If allow-duplicate-recipes is set to true, defining multiple recipes with the same name is not an error and the last definition is used. Defaults to false.

set allow-duplicate-recipes

@foo:
  echo foo

@foo:
  echo bar
$ just foo
bar

Allow Duplicate Variables

If allow-duplicate-variables is set to true, defining multiple variables with the same name is not an error and the last definition is used. Defaults to false.

set allow-duplicate-variables

a := "foo"
a := "bar"

@foo:
  echo $a
$ just foo
bar

Dotenv Settings

If any of dotenv-load, dotenv-filename, dotenv-path, or dotenv-required are set, just will try to load environment variables from a file.

If dotenv-path is set, just will look for a file at the given path, which may be absolute, or relative to the working directory.

If dotenv-filename is set just will look for a file at the given path, relative to the working directory and each of its ancestors.

If dotenv-filename is not set, but dotenv-load or dotenv-required are set, just will look for a file named .env, relative to the working directory and each of its ancestors.

dotenv-filename and dotenv-path and similar, but dotenv-path is only checked relative to the working directory, whereas dotenv-filename is checked relative to the working directory and each of its ancestors.

It is not an error if an environment file is not found, unless dotenv-required is set.

The loaded 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
DATABASE_ADDRESS=localhost:6379
SERVER_PORT=1337

And your justfile contains:

set dotenv-load

serve:
  @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

Export

The export setting causes all just variables to be exported as environment variables. Defaults to false.

set export

a := "hello"

@foo b:
  echo $a
  echo $b
$ just foo goodbye
hello
goodbye

Positional Arguments

If positional-arguments is true, recipe arguments will be passed as positional arguments to commands. For linewise recipes, argument $0 will be the name of the recipe.

For example, running this recipe:

set positional-arguments

@foo bar:
  echo $0
  echo $1

Will produce the following output:

$ just foo hello
foo
hello

When using an sh-compatible shell, such as bash or zsh, $@ expands to the positional arguments given to the recipe, starting from one. When used within double quotes as "$@", arguments including whitespace will be passed on as if they were double-quoted. That is, "$@" is equivalent to "$1" "$2"… When there are no positional parameters, "$@" and $@ expand to nothing (i.e., they are removed).

This example recipe will print arguments one by one on separate lines:

set positional-arguments

@test *args='':
  bash -c 'while (( "$#" )); do echo - $1; shift; done' -- "$@"

Running it with two arguments:

$ just test foo "bar baz"
- foo
- bar baz

Positional arguments may also be turned on on a per-recipe basis with the [positional-arguments] attribute1.29.0:

[positional-arguments]
@foo bar:
  echo $0
  echo $1

Note that PowerShell does not handle positional arguments in the same way as other shells, so turning on positional arguments will likely break recipes that use PowerShell.

Shell

The shell setting controls the command used to invoke recipe lines and backticks. Shebang recipes are unaffected. The default shell is sh -cu.

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

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

foo:
  print("Snake snake snake snake.")
  print("{{foos}}")

just passes the command to be executed as an argument. Many shells will need an additional flag, often -c, to make them evaluate the first argument.

Windows Shell

just uses sh on Windows by default. To use a different shell on Windows, use windows-shell:

set windows-shell := ["powershell.exe", "-NoLogo", "-Command"]

hello:
  Write-Host "Hello, world!"

See powershell.just for a justfile that uses PowerShell on all platforms.

Windows PowerShell

set windows-powershell uses the legacy powershell.exe binary, and is no longer recommended. See the windows-shell setting above for a more flexible way to control which shell is used on Windows.

just uses sh on Windows by default. To use powershell.exe instead, set windows-powershell to true.

set windows-powershell := true

hello:
  Write-Host "Hello, world!"
Python 3
set shell := ["python3", "-c"]
Bash
set shell := ["bash", "-uc"]
Z Shell
set shell := ["zsh", "-uc"]
Fish
set shell := ["fish", "-c"]
Nushell
set shell := ["nu", "-c"]

If you want to change the default table mode to light:

set shell := ['nu', '-m', 'light', '-c']

Nushell was written in Rust, and has cross-platform support for Windows / macOS and Linux.