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Command-Line Completion

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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

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 Homebrew, then you're done -- the Bash completion script is already installed in $(brew --prefix)/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/lib/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:

      • Copy this file to your completion directory, if you have one.

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

      • Copy it somewhere on your local disk, such as 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

Bazel comes with a Zsh completion script.

If you installed Bazel:

  • From the APT repository, then you're done -- the Zsh completion script is already installed in /usr/share/zsh/vendor-completions.

    If you have a heavily customized .zshrc and the autocomplete does not function, try one of the following solutions:

    Add the following to your .zshrc:

        zstyle :compinstall filename '/home/tradical/.zshrc'
    
        autoload -Uz compinit
        compinit
    

    or

    Follow the instructions here

    If you are using oh-my-zsh, you may want to install and enable the zsh-autocomplete plugin. If you'd prefer not to, use one of the solutions described above.

  • From Homebrew, then you're done -- the Zsh completion script is already installed in $(brew --prefix)/share/zsh/site-functions.

  • 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/lib/bazel/bin.

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

      fpath[1,0]=~/.zsh/completion/
      mkdir -p ~/.zsh/completion/
      cp /path/from/above/step/_bazel ~/.zsh/completion
      

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

    3. 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