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Command line help

How to dynamically get more information on Pants's internals.

Run ./pants help to get basic help, including a list of commands you can run to get more specific help:

❯ ./pants help
Pants 2.13.0


  ./pants [options] [goals] [inputs]          Attempt the specified goals on the specified inputs.
  ./pants help                               Display this usage message.
  ./pants help goals                         List all installed goals.
  ./pants help targets                       List all installed target types.
  ./pants help subsystems                    List all configurable subsystems.
  ./pants help tools                         List all external tools.
  ./pants help api-types                     List all plugin API types.
  ./pants help global                        Help for global options.
  ./pants help-advanced global               Help for global advanced options.
  ./pants help [name]                        Help for a target type, goal, subsystem, plugin API type or rule.
  ./pants help-advanced [goal/subsystem]     Help for a goal or subsystem's advanced options.
  ./pants help-all                           Print a JSON object containing all help info.

  [inputs] can be:
     A file, e.g. path/to/file.ext
     A path glob, e.g. '**/*.ext' (in quotes to prevent premature shell expansion)
     A directory, e.g. path/to/dir
     A directory ending in `::` to include all subdirectories, e.g. path/to/dir::
     A target address, e.g. path/to/dir:target_name.
     Any of the above with a `-` prefix to ignore the value, e.g. -path/to/ignore_me::

Documentation at https://www.pantsbuild.org
Download at https://pypi.org/pypi/pantsbuild.pants/2.13.0

For example, to get help on the test goal:

$ ./pants help test

`test` goal options

Run tests.

Config section: [test]

      default: False
      current value: False
      Run tests sequentially in an interactive process. This is necessary, for example, when you add
      breakpoints to your code.

      default: False
      current value: False
      Force the tests to run, even if they could be satisfied from cache.

Related subsystems: coverage-py, download-pex-bin, pants-releases, pex, pex-binary-defaults, pytest, python-infer, python-native-code, python-repos, python-setup, setup-py-generation, setuptools, source, subprocess-environment

Note that when you run ./pants help <goal>, it outputs all related subsystems, such as pytest. You can then run ./pants help pytest to get more information.

You can also run ./pants help goals and ./pants help subsystems to get a list of all activated options scopes.

To get help on the python_tests target:

❯ ./pants help python_test

`python_test` target

A single Python test file, written in either Pytest style or unittest style.

All test util code, including `conftest.py`, should go into a dedicated `python_source` target and then be included in the
`dependencies` field. (You can use the `python_test_utils` target to generate these `python_source` targets.)

See https://www.pantsbuild.org/v2.8/docs/python-test-goal

Valid fields:

    type: int | None
    default: None
    A timeout (in seconds) used by each test file belonging to this target.

    This only applies if the option `--pytest-timeouts` is set to True.


Advanced Help

Many options are classified as advanced, meaning they are primarily intended to be used by admins, not by regular users.

Use help-advanced, e.g. ./pants help-advanced global or ./pants help-advanced pytest.