javascript – Running a command in a Grunt Task-ThrowExceptions

Exception or error:

I’m using Grunt (task-based command line build tool for JavaScript projects) in my project. I’ve created a custom tag and I am wondering if it is possible to run a command into it.

To clarify, I’m trying to use Closure Templates and “the task” should call the jar file to pre-compile the Soy file to a javascript file.

I’m running this jar from command line, but I want to set it as a task.

How to solve:

Alternatively you could load in grunt plugins to help this:

grunt-shell example:

shell: {
  make_directory: {
    command: 'mkdir test'

or grunt-exec example:

exec: {
  remove_logs: {
    command: 'rm -f *.log'
  list_files: {
    command: 'ls -l **',
    stdout: true
  echo_grunt_version: {
    command: function(grunt) { return 'echo ' + grunt.version; },
    stdout: true


Check out grunt.util.spawn:

  cmd: 'rm',
  args: ['-rf', '/tmp'],
}, function done() {
  grunt.log.ok('/tmp deleted');


I’ve found a solution so I’d like to share with you.

I’m using grunt under node so, to call terminal commands you need to require ‘child_process’ module.

For example,

var myTerminal = require("child_process").exec,
    commandToBeExecuted = "sh";

myTerminal(commandToBeExecuted, function(error, stdout, stderr) {
    if (!error) {
         //do something


If you are using the latest grunt version (0.4.0rc7 at the time of this writing) both grunt-exec and grunt-shell fail (they don’t seem to be updated to handle the latest grunt). On the other hand, child_process’s exec is async, which is a hassle.

I ended up using Jake Trent’s solution, and adding shelljs as a dev dependency on my project so I could just run tests easily and synchronously:

var shell = require('shelljs');


grunt.registerTask('jquery', "download jquery bundle", function() {


Guys are pointing child_process, but try to use execSync to see output..

grunt.registerTask('test', '', function () {
        var exec = require('child_process').execSync;
        var result = exec("phpunit -c phpunit.xml", { encoding: 'utf8' });


For async shell commands working with Grunt 0.4.x use

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *