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Command-Line Completion

You can enable command-line completion (also known as tab-completion) in Bash and Zsh. This lets you tab-complete command names, flags names and flag values, and target names.

Bash completion

Bazel comes with a Bash completion script.

If you installed Bazel:

  • From the APT repository, then you’re done – the Bash completion script is already installed in /etc/bash_completion.d.

  • From the installer downloaded from GitHub, then:
    1. Locate the absolute path of the completion file. The installer copied it to the bin directory.

      Example: if you ran the installer with --user, this will be $HOME/.bazel/bin. If you ran the installer as root, this will be /usr/local/bazel/bin.

    2. Do one of the following:

      • Either copy this file to your completion directory (if you have one).

        Example: on Ubuntu this is the /etc/bash_completion.d directory.

      • Or source the completion file from Bash’s RC file.

        Add a line similar to the one below to your ~/.bashrc (on Ubuntu) or ~/.bash_profile (on macOS), using the path to your completion file’s absolute path:

        source /path/to/bazel-complete.bash
        
  • Via bootstrapping, then:
    1. Build the completion script:

      bazel build //scripts:bazel-complete.bash
      
    2. The completion file is built under bazel-bin/scripts/bazel-complete.bash.

      Do one of the following:

      • Either copy this file to your completion directory (if you have one).

        Example: on Ubuntu this is the /etc/bash_completion.d directory

      • Or copy it somewhere on your local disk, e.g. to $HOME, and source the completion file from Bash’s RC file.

        Add a line similar to the one below to your ~/.bashrc (on Ubuntu) or ~/.bash_profile (on macOS), using the path to your completion file’s absolute path:

        source /path/to/bazel-complete.bash
        

Zsh completion

Bazel also comes with a Zsh completion script. To install it:

  1. Add this script to a directory on your $fpath:

    fpath[1,0]=~/.zsh/completion/
    mkdir -p ~/.zsh/completion/
    cp scripts/zsh_completion/_bazel ~/.zsh/completion
    

    You may have to call rm -f ~/.zcompdump; compinit the first time to make it work.

  2. Optionally, add the following to your .zshrc.

    # This way the completion script does not have to parse Bazel's options
    # repeatedly.  The directory in cache-path must be created manually.
    zstyle ':completion:*' use-cache on
    zstyle ':completion:*' cache-path ~/.zsh/cache