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Cordova Command-line-interface (CLI) Reference

Syntax

cordova <command> [options] -- [platformOpts]

Global Command List

These commands are available at all times.

Command Description
create Create a project
help Get help for a command
telemetry Turn telemetry collection on or off

Project Command List

These commands are supported when the current working directory is a valid Cordova project.

Command Description
info Generate project information
requirements Checks and print out all the installation requirements for platforms specified
platform Manage project platforms
plugin Manage project plugins
prepare Copy files into platform(s) for building
compile Build platform(s)
clean Cleanup project from build artifacts
run Run project (including prepare && compile)
serve Run project with a local webserver (including prepare)

Common options

These options apply to all cordova-cli commands.

Option Description
-d or --verbose Pipe out more verbose output to your shell. You can also subscribe to log and warn events if you are consuming cordova-cli as a node module by calling cordova.on('log', function() {}) or cordova.on('warn', function() {}).
-v or --version Print out the version of your cordova-cli install.
--no-update-notifier Will disable updates check. Alternatively set "optOut": true in ~/.config/configstore/update-notifier-cordova.json or set NO_UPDATE_NOTIFIER environment variable with any value (see details in update-notifier docs).
--nohooks Suppress executing hooks (taking RegExp hook patterns as parameters)
--no-telemetry Disable telemetry collection for the current command.

Platform-specific options

Certain commands have options (platformOpts) that are specific to a particular platform. They can be provided to the cordova-cli with a '--' separator that stops the command parsing within the cordova-lib module and passes through rest of the options for platforms to parse.

Examples

  • This example demonstrates how cordova-cli can be used to create a project with the camera plugin and run it for android platform. In particular, platform specific options like --keystore can be provided:

    # Create a cordova project
    cordova create myApp com.myCompany.myApp myApp
    cd myApp
    # Add camera plugin to the project and remember that in config.xml
    cordova plugin add cordova-plugin-camera --save
    # Add camera plugin to the project and remember that in config.xml. Use npm install to fetch.
    cordova plugin add cordova-plugin-camera --save --fetch
    # Add android platform to the project and remember that in config.xml
    cordova platform add android --save
    # Add android platform to the project and remember that in config.xml. Use npm install to fetch.
    cordova platform add android --save --fetch
    # Check to see if your system is configured for building android platform.
    cordova requirements android
    # Build the android and emit verbose logs.
    cordova build android --verbose
    # Run the project on the android platform.
    cordova run android
    # Build for android platform in release mode with specified signing parameters.
    cordova build android --release -- --keystore="..\android.keystore" --storePassword=android --alias=mykey
    

cordova create command

Synopsis

Create the directory structure for the Cordova project in the specified path.

Syntax

cordova create path [id [name [config]]] [options]
Value Description
path Directory which should not already exist. Cordova will create this directory. For more details on the directory structure, see below.
id Default: io.cordova.hellocordova
Reverse domain-style identifier that maps to id attribute of widget element in config.xml. This can be changed but there may be code generated using this value, such as Java package names. It is recommended that you select an appropriate value.
name Default: HelloCordova
Application's display title that maps name element in config.xml file. This can be changed but there may be code generated using this value, such as Java class names. The default value is HelloCordova, but it is recommended that you select an appropriate value.
config JSON string whose key/values will be included in <path>/.cordova/config.json

Options

Option Description
--template Use a custom template located locally, in NPM, or GitHub.
--copy-from\ --src
--link-to Symlink to specified www directory without creating a copy.

Directory structure

Cordova CLI works with the following directory structure:

myapp/
|-- config.xml
|-- hooks/
|-- merges/
| | |-- android/
| | |-- windows/
| | |-- ios/
|-- www/
|-- platforms/
| |-- android/
| |-- windows/
| |-- ios/
|-- plugins/
  |--cordova-plugin-camera/

config.xml

Configures your application and allows you to customize the behavior of your project. See also config.xml reference documentation

www/

Contains the project's web artifacts, such as .html, .css and .js files. As a cordova application developer, most of your code and assets will go here. They will be copied on a cordova prepare to each platform's www directory. The www source directory is reproduced within each platform's subdirectory, appearing for example in platforms/ios/www or platforms/android/assets/www. Because the CLI constantly copies over files from the source www folder, you should only edit these files and not the ones located under the platforms subdirectories. If you use version control software, you should add this source www folder, along with the merges folder, to your version control system.

platforms/

Contains all the source code and build scripts for the platforms that you add to your project.

WARNING: When using the CLI to build your application, you should not edit any files in the /platforms/ directory unless you know what you are doing, or if documentation specifies otherwise. The files in this directory are routinely overwritten when preparing applications for building, or when plugins are re-installed.

plugins/

Any added plugins will be extracted or copied into this directory.

hooks/

This directory may contains scripts used to customize cordova-cli commands. Any scripts you add to these directories will be executed before and after the commands corresponding to the directory name. Useful for integrating your own build systems or integrating with version control systems.

Refer to Hooks Guide for more information.

merges/

Platform-specific web assets (HTML, CSS and JavaScript files) are contained within appropriate subfolders in this directory. These are deployed during a prepare to the appropriate native directory. Files placed under merges/ will override matching files in the www/ folder for the relevant platform. A quick example, assuming a project structure of:

merges/
|-- ios/
| -- app.js
|-- android/
| -- android.js
www/
-- app.js

After building the Android and iOS projects, the Android application will contain both app.js and android.js. However, the iOS application will only contain an app.js, and it will be the one from merges/ios/app.js, overriding the "common" app.js located inside www/.

Version control

It is recommended not to check in platforms/ and plugins/ directories into version control as they are considered a build artifact. Instead, you should save the platform/plugin spec in the config.xml and they will be downloaded when on the machine when cordova prepare is invoked.

Examples

  • Create a Cordova project in myapp directory using the specified ID and display name:

    cordova create myapp com.mycompany.myteam.myapp MyApp
    
  • Create a Cordova project with a symlink to an existing www directory. This can be useful if you have a custom build process or existing web assets that you want to use in your Cordova app:

    cordova create myapp --link-to=../www
    

cordova platform command

Synopsis

Manage cordova platforms - allowing you to add, remove, update, list and check for updates. Running commands to add or remove platforms affects the contents of the project's platforms directory.

Syntax

cordova {platform | platforms} [
    add <platform-spec> [...] {--save | link=<path> | --fetch } |
    {remove | rm}  platform [...] {--save | --fetch}|
    {list | ls}  |
    check |
    save |
    update ]
Sub-command Option Description
add <platform-spec> [...] Add specified platforms
--save Save <platform-spec> into config.xml after installing them using <engine> tag
--link=<path> When <platform-spec> is a local path, links the platform library directly instead of making a copy of it (support varies by platform; useful for platform development)
--fetch Fetches the platform using npm install and stores it into the apps node_modules directory
remove <platform> [...] Remove specified platforms
--save Delete specified platforms from config.xml after removing them
--fetch Removes the platform using npm uninstall and removes it from the apps node_modules directory
update platform [...] Update specified platforms
--save Updates the version specified in config.xml
--fetch Fetches the platform using npm install and stores it into the apps node_modules directory
list List all installed and available platforms
check List platforms which can be updated by cordova-cli platform update
save Save <platform-spec> of all platforms added to config.xml

Platform-spec

There are a number of ways to specify a platform:

<platform-spec> : platform[@version] | path | url[#commit-ish]
Value Description
platform Platform name e.g. android, ios, windows etc. to be added to the project. Every release of cordova CLI pins a version for each platform. When no version is specified this version is used to add the platform.
version Major.minor.patch version specifier using semver
path Path to a directory or tarball containing a platform
url URL to a git repository or tarball containing a platform
commit-ish Commit/tag/branch reference. If none is specified, 'master' is used

Supported Platforms

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Windows (8.1, Phone 8.1, UWP - Windows 10)
  • Blackberry10
  • Ubuntu
  • Browser

Deprecated Platforms

  • Amazon-fireos (use Android platform instead)
  • WP8 (use Windows platform instead)
  • Windows 8.0 (use older versions of cordova)
  • Firefox OS (use older versions of cordova)

Examples

  • Add pinned version of the android and ios platform and save the downloaded version to config.xml:

    cordova platform add android ios --save
    
  • Add pinned version of the android and ios platform and save the downloaded version to config.xml. Install to the project using npm install and store it in the apps node_modules directory:

    cordova platform add android ios --save --fetch
    
  • Add android platform with semver version ^5.0.0 and save it to config.xml:

    cordova platform add android@^5.0.0 --save
    
  • Add platform by cloning the specified git repo and checkout to the 4.0.0 tag:

    cordova platform add https://github.com/myfork/cordova-android.git#4.0.0
    
  • Add platform using a local directory named android:

    cordova platform add ../android
    
  • Add platform using the specified tarball:

    cordova platform add ../cordova-android.tgz
    
  • Remove android platform from the project and from config.xml:

    cordova platform rm android --save
    
  • Remove android platform from the project and from config.xml. Run npm uninstall to remove it from the node_modules directory.

    cordova platform rm android --save --fetch
    
  • List available and installed platforms with version numbers. This is useful to find version numbers when reporting issues:

    cordova platform ls
    
  • Save versions of all platforms currently added to the project to config.xml.

    cordova platform save
    

cordova plugin command

Synopsis

Manage project plugins

Syntax

cordova {plugin | plugins} [
    add <plugin-spec> [..] {--searchpath=<directory> | --noregistry | --link | --save | --browserify | --force | --fetch} |
    {remove | rm} {<pluginid> | <name>} --save --fetch |
    {list | ls} |
    search [<keyword>] |
    save |
]
Sub-command Option Description
add <plugin-spec> [...] Add specified plugins
--searchpath <directory> When looking up plugins by ID, look in this directory and each of its subdirectories before hitting the registry. Multiple search paths can be specified. Use ':' as a separator in *nix based systems and ';' for Windows.
--noregistry Don't search the registry for plugins.
--link When installing from a local path, creates a symbolic link instead of copying files. The extent to which files are linked varies by platform. Useful for plugin development.
--save Save the <plugin-spec> as part of the plugin element into config.xml.
--browserify Compile plugin JS at build time using browserify instead of runtime.
--force Introduced in version 6.1. Forces copying source files from the plugin even if the same file already exists in the target directory.
--fetch Fetches the plugin using npm install and stores it into the apps node_modules directory
remove ` ` [...]
--save Remove the specified plugin from config.xml
--fetch Removes the plugin using npm uninstall and removes it from the apps node_modules directory
list List currently installed plugins
search [<keyword>] [...] Search http://plugins.cordova.io for plugins matching the keywords
save Save <plugin-spec> of all plugins currently added to the project

Plugin-spec

There are a number of ways to specify a plugin:

<plugin-spec> : [@scope/]pluginID[@version]|directory|url[#commit-ish][:subdir]
Value Description
scope Scope of plugin published as a scoped npm package
plugin Plugin id (id of plugin in npm registry or in --searchPath)
version Major.minor.patch version specifier using semver
directory Directory containing plugin.xml
url Url to a git repository containing a plugin.xml
commit-ish Commit/tag/branch reference. If none is specified, 'master' is used
subdir Sub-directory to find plugin.xml for the specified plugin. (Doesn't work with --fetch option)

Algorithm for resolving plugins

When adding a plugin to a project, the CLI will resolve the plugin based on the following criteria (listed in order of precedence):

  1. The plugin-spec given in the command (e.g. cordova plugin add pluginID@version)
  2. The plugin-spec saved in config.xml (i.e. if the plugin was previously added with --save)
  3. As of Cordova version 6.1, the latest plugin version published to npm that the current project can support (only applies to plugins that list their Cordova dependencies in their package.json)
  4. The latest plugin version published to npm

Examples

  • Add cordova-plugin-camera and cordova-plugin-file to the project and save it to config.xml. Use ../plugins directory to search for the plugins.

    cordova plugin add cordova-plugin-camera cordova-plugin-file --save --searchpath ../plugins
    
  • Add cordova-plugin-camera with semver version ^2.0.0 and save it to config.xml:

    cordova plugin add cordova-plugin-camera@^2.0.0 --save
    
  • Add cordova-plugin-camera with semver version ^2.0.0 and npm install it. It will be stored in the node_modules directory:

    cordova plugin add cordova-plugin-camera@^2.0.0 --fetch
    
  • Clone the specified git repo, checkout to tag 2.1.0, look for plugin.xml in the plugin directory, and add it to the project. Save the plugin-spec to config.xml:

    cordova plugin add https://github.com/apache/cordova-plugin-camera.git#2.1.0:plugin --save
    
  • Add the plugin from the specified local directory:

    cordova plugin add ../cordova-plugin-camera
    
  • Add the plugin from the specified tarball file:

    cordova plugin add ../cordova-plugin-camera.tgz --save
    
  • Remove the plugin from the project and the config.xml:

    cordova plugin rm camera --save
    
  • Remove the plugin from the project and npm uninstall it. Removes it from the node_modules directory:

    cordova plugin rm camera --fetch
    
  • List all plugins installed in the project:

    cordova plugin ls
    

Conflicting plugins

Conflicting plugins may occur when adding plugins that use edit-config tags in their plugin.xml file. edit-config allows plugins to add or replace attributes of XML elements.

This feature can cause issues with the application if more than one plugin tries to modify the same XML element. Conflict detection has been implemented to prevent plugins from being added so one plugin doesn't try to overwrite another plugin's edit-config changes. An error will be thrown when a conflict in edit-config has been found and the plugin won't be added. The error message will mention that all conflicts must be resolved before the plugin can be added. One option to resolving the edit-config conflict is to make changes to the affected plugins' plugin.xml so that they do not modify the same XML element. The other option is to use the --force flag to force add the plugin. This option should be used with caution as it ignores the conflict detection and will overwrite all conflicts it has with other plugins, thus may leave the other plugins in a bad state.

Refer to the plugin.xml guide for managing edit-config, resolving conflicts, and examples.

cordova prepare command

Synopsis

Transforms config.xml metadata to platform-specific manifest files, copies icons & splashscreens, copies plugin files for specified platforms so that the project is ready to build with each native SDK.

Syntax

cordova prepare [<platform> [..]]
     [--browserify | --fetch]

Options

Option Description
<platform> [..] Platform name(s) to prepare. If not specified, all platforms are built.
--browserify Compile plugin JS at build time using browserify instead of runtime.
--fetch When restoring plugins or platforms, fetch will npm install the missing modules.

cordova compile command

Synopsis

cordova compile is a subset of the cordova build command. It only performs the compilation step without doing prepare. It's common to invoke cordova build instead of this command - however, this stage is useful to allow extending using hooks.

Syntax

cordova build [<platform> [...]]
    [--debug|--release]
    [--device|--emulator|--target=<targetName>]
    [--buildConfig=<configfile>]
    [--browserify]
    [-- <platformOpts>]

For detailed documentation see cordova build command docs below.

cordova build command

Synopsis

Shortcut for cordova prepare + cordova compile for all/the specified platforms. Allows you to build the app for the specified platform.

Syntax

cordova build [<platform> [...]]
    [--debug|--release]
    [--device|--emulator]
    [--buildConfig=<configfile>]
    [--browserify]
    [-- <platformOpts>]
Option Description
<platform> [..] Platform name(s) to build. If not specified, all platforms are built.
--debug Perform a debug build. This typically translates to debug mode for the underlying platform being built.
--release Perform a release build. This typically translates to release mode for the underlying platform being built.
--device Build it for a device
--emulator Build it for an emulator. In particular, the platform architecture might be different for a device Vs emulator.
--buildConfig=<configFile> Default: build.json in cordova root directory.
Use the specified build configuration file. build.json file is used to specify paramaters to customize the app build process esecially related to signing the package.
--browserify Compile plugin JS at build time using browserify instead of runtime
<platformOpts> To provide platform specific options, you must include them after -- separator. Review platform guide docs for more details.

Examples

  • Build for android and windows platform in debug mode for deployment to device:

    cordova build android windows --debug --device
    
  • Build for android platform in release mode and use the specified build configuration:

    cordova build android --release --buildConfig=..\myBuildConfig.json
    
  • Build for android platform in release mode and pass custom platform options to android build process:

    cordova build android --release -- --keystore="..\android.keystore" --storePassword=android --alias=mykey
    

cordova run command

Synopsis

Prepares, builds, and deploys app on specified platform devices/emulators. If a device is connected it will be used, unless an eligible emulator is already running.

Syntax

cordova run [<platform> [...]]
    [--list | --debug | --release]
    [--noprepare] [--nobuild]
    [--device|--emulator|--target=<targetName>]
    [--buildConfig=<configfile>]
    [--browserify]
    [-- <platformOpts>]
Option Description
<platform> [..] Platform name(s) to run. If not specified, all platforms are run.
--list Lists available targets. Displays both device and emulator deployment targets unless specified
--debug Deploy a debug build. This is the default behavior unless --release is specified.
--release Deploy a release build
--noprepare Skip preparing (available in Cordova v6.2 or later)
--nobuild Skip building
--device Deploy to a device
--emulator Deploy to an emulator
--target Deploy to a specific target emulator/device. Use --list to display target options
--buildConfig=<configFile> Default: build.json in cordova root directory.
Use the specified build configuration file. build.json file is used to specify paramaters to customize the app build process esecially related to signing the package.
--browserify Compile plugin JS at build time using browserify instead of runtime
<platformOpts> To provide platform specific options, you must include them after -- separator. Review platform guide docs for more details.

Examples

  • Run a release build of current cordova project on android platform emulator named Nexus_5_API_23_x86. Use the spcified build configuration when running:

    cordova run android --release --buildConfig=..\myBuildConfig.json --target=Nexus_5_API_23_x86
    
  • Run a debug build of current cordova project on android platform using a device or emulator (if no device is connected). Skip doing the build:

    cordova run android --nobuild
    
  • Run a debug build of current cordova project on an ios device:

    cordova run ios --device
    
  • Enumerate names of all the connected devices and available emulators that can be used to run this app:

    cordova run ios --list
    

cordova emulate command

Synopsis

Alias for cordova run --emulator. Launches the emulator instead of device. See cordova run command docs for more details.

cordova clean command

Synopsis

Cleans the build artifacts for the specified platform, or all platforms by running platform-specific build cleanup.

Syntax

cordova clean [<platform> [...]]

Example

  • Clean android platform build artifiacts:

    cordova clean android
    

cordova requirements command

Synopsis

Checks and print out all the requirements for platforms specified (or all platforms added to project if none specified). If all requirements for each platform are met, exits with code 0 otherwise exits with non-zero code.

This can be useful when setting up a machine for building a particular platform.

Syntax

cordova requirements android

cordova info command

Synopsis

Print out useful information helpful for submitting bug reports and getting help. Creates an info.txt file at the base of your project.

Syntax

cordova info

cordova serve command

Synopsis

Run a local web server for www/ assets using specified port or default of 8000. Access projects at: http://HOST_IP:PORT/PLATFORM/www

Syntax

cordova serve [port]

cordova telemetry command

Synopsis

Turns telemetry collection on or off.

Syntax

cordova telemetry [STATE]
Option Description
on Turn telemetry collection on.
off Turn telemetry collection off.

Details

A timed prompt asking the user to opt-in or out is displayed the first time cordova is run. It lasts for 30 seconds, after which the user is automatically opted-out if he doesn't provide any answer. In CI environments, the CI environment variable can be set, which will prevent the prompt from showing up. Telemetry collection can also be turned off on a single command by using the --no-telemetry flag.

Examples

cordova telemetry on
cordova telemetry off
cordova build --no-telemetry

For details, see our privacy notice: https://cordova.apache.org/privacy

cordova help command

Synopsis

Show syntax summary, or the help for a specific command.

Syntax

cordova help [command]
cordova [command] -h
cordova -h [command]

© 2012–2017 The Apache Software Foundation
Licensed under the Apache License 2.0.
https://cordova.apache.org/docs/en/7.x/reference/cordova-cli/index.html