1. Introduction

The Spring Boot Gradle Plugin provides Spring Boot support in Gradle, allowing you to package executable jar or war archives, run Spring Boot applications, and use the dependency management provided by spring-boot-dependencies. Spring Boot’s Gradle plugin requires Gradle 4.0 or later.

In addition to this user guide, API documentation is also available.

2. Getting started

To get started with the plugin it needs to be applied to your project.

buildscript {
	repositories {
		maven { url 'https://repo.spring.io/libs-snapshot' }
	}

	dependencies {
		classpath files(pluginClasspath.split(','))
	}
}

apply plugin: 'org.springframework.boot'

Applied in isolation the plugin makes few changes to a project. Instead, the plugin detects when certain other plugins are applied and reacts accordingly. For example, when the java plugin is applied a task for building an executable jar is automatically configured.

A typical Spring Boot project will apply the groovy, java, or org.jetbrains.kotlin.jvm plugin and the io.spring.dependency-management plugin as a minimum. For example:

apply plugin: 'java'
apply plugin: 'io.spring.dependency-management'

To learn more about how the Spring Boot plugin behaves when other plugins are applied please see the section on reacting to other plugins.

3. Managing dependencies

When you apply the io.spring.dependency-management plugin, Spring Boot’s plugin will automatically import the spring-boot-dependencies bom from the version of Spring Boot that you are using. This provides a similar dependency management experience to the one that’s enjoyed by Maven users. For example, it allows you to omit version numbers when declaring dependencies that are managed in the bom. To make use of this functionality, simply declare dependencies in the usual way but omit the version number:

dependencies {
	compile 'org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-web'
	compile 'org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-data-jpa'
}

3.1. Customizing managed versions

The spring-boot-dependencies bom that is automatically imported when the dependency management plugin is applied uses properties to control the versions of the dependencies that it manages. Please refer to the bom for a complete list of these properties.

To customize a managed version you set its corresponding property. For example, to customize the version of SLF4J which is controlled by the slf4j.version property:

ext['slf4j.version'] = '1.7.20'
Each Spring Boot release is designed and tested against a specific set of third-party dependencies. Overriding versions may cause compatibility issues and should be done with care.

3.2. Learning more

To learn more about the capabilities of the dependency management plugin, please refer to its documentation.

4. Packaging executable archives

The plugin can create executable archives (jar files and war files) that contain all of an application’s dependencies and can then be run with java -jar.

4.1. Packaging executable jars

Executable jars can be built using the bootJar task. The task is automatically created when the java plugin is applied and is an instance of BootJar. The assemble task is automatically configured to depend upon the bootJar task so running assemble (or build) will also run the bootJar task.

4.2. Packaging executable wars

Executable wars can be built using the bootWar task. The task is automatically created when the war plugin is applied and is an instance of BootWar. The assemble task is automatically configured to depend upon the bootWar task so running assemble (or build) will also run the bootWar task.

4.2.1. Packaging executable and deployable wars

A war file can be packaged such that it can be executed using java -jar and deployed to an external container. To do so, the embedded servlet container dependencies should be added to the providedRuntime configuration, for example:

dependencies {
	compile 'org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-web'
	providedRuntime 'org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-tomcat'
}

This ensures that they are package in the war file’s WEB-INF/lib-provided directory from where they will not conflict with the external container’s own classes.

providedRuntime is preferred to Gradle’s compileOnly configuration as, among other limitations, compileOnly dependencies are not on the test classpath so any web-based integration tests will fail.

4.3. Packaging executable and normal archives

By default, when the bootJar or bootWar tasks are configured, the jar or war tasks are disabled. A project can be configured to build both an executable archive and a normal archive at the same time by enabling the jar or war task:

jar {
	enabled = true
}

To avoid the executable archive and the normal archive from being written to the same location, one or the other should be configured to use a different location. One way to do so is by configuring a classifier:

bootJar {
	classifier = 'boot'
}

4.4. Configuring executable archive packaging

The BootJar and BootWar tasks are subclasses of Gradle’s Jar and War tasks respectively. As a result, all of the standard configuration options that are available when packaging a jar or war are also available when packaging an executable jar or war. A number of configuration options that are specific to executable jars and wars are also provided.

4.4.1. Configuring the main class

By default, the executable archive’s main class will be configured automatically by looking for a class with a public static void main(String[]) method in directories on the task’s classpath.

The main class can also be configured explicitly using the task’s mainClassName property:

bootJar {
	mainClassName = 'com.example.ExampleApplication'
}

Alternatively, the main class name can be configured project-wide using the mainClassName property of the Spring Boot DSL:

springBoot {
	mainClassName = 'com.example.ExampleApplication'
}

If the application plugin has been applied its mainClassName project property can be used for the same purpose:

mainClassName = 'com.example.ExampleApplication'

Lastly, the Start-Class attribute can be configured on the task’s manifest:

bootJar {
	manifest {
		attributes 'Start-Class': 'com.example.ExampleApplication'
	}
}

4.4.2. Excluding Devtools

By default, Spring Boot’s Devtools module, org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-devtools, will be excluded from an executable jar or war. If you want to include Devtools in your archive set the excludeDevtools property to false:

bootWar {
	excludeDevtools = false
}

4.4.3. Configuring libraries that require unpacking

Most libraries can be used directly when nested in an executable archive, however certain libraries can have problems. For example, JRuby includes its own nested jar support which assumes that jruby-complete.jar is always directly available on the file system.

To deal with any problematic libraries, an executable archive can be configured to unpack specific nested jars to a temporary folder when the executable archive is run. Libraries can be identified as requiring unpacking using Ant-style patterns that match against the absolute path of the source jar file:

bootJar {
	requiresUnpack '**/jruby-complete-*.jar'
}

For more control a closure can also be used. The closure is passed a FileTreeElement and should return a boolean indicating whether or not unpacking is required.

4.4.4. Making an archive fully executable

Spring Boot provides support for fully executable archives. An archive is made fully executable by prepending a shell script that knows how to launch the application. On Unix-like platforms, this launch script allows the archive to be run directly like any other executable or to be installed as a service.

To use this feature, the inclusion of the launch script must be enabled:

bootJar {
	launchScript()
}

This will add Spring Boot’s default launch script to the archive. The default launch script includes several properties with sensible default values. The values can be customized using the properties property:

bootJar {
	launchScript {
		properties 'logFilename': 'example-app.log'
	}
}

If the default launch script does not meet your needs, the script property can be used to provide a custom launch script:

bootJar {
	launchScript {
		script = file('src/custom.script')
	}
}

4.4.5. Using the PropertiesLauncher

To use the PropertiesLauncher to launch an executable jar or war, configure the task’s manifest to set the Main-Class attribute:

bootWar {
	manifest {
		attributes 'Main-Class': 'org.springframework.boot.loader.PropertiesLauncher'
	}
}

5. Publishing your application

5.1. Publishing with the maven plugin

When the maven plugin is applied, an Upload task for the bootArchives configuration named uploadBootArchives is automatically created. By default, the bootArchives configuration contains the archive produced by the bootJar or bootWar task. The uploadBootArchives task can be configured to publish the archive to a Maven repository:

uploadBootArchives {
	repositories {
		mavenDeployer {
			repository url: 'https://repo.example.com'
		}
	}
}

5.2. Publishing with the maven-publish plugin

To publish your Spring Boot jar or war, add it to the publication using the artifact method on MavenPublication. Pass the task that produces that artifact that you wish to publish to the artifact method. For example, to publish the artifact produced by the default bootJar task:

publishing {
	publications {
		bootJava(MavenPublication) {
			artifact bootJar
		}
	}
	repositories {
		maven {
			url 'https://repo.example.com'
		}
	}
}

5.3. Distributing with the application plugin

When the application plugin is applied a distribution named boot is created. This distribution contains the archive produced by the bootJar or bootWar task and scripts to launch it on Unix-like platforms and Windows. Zip and tar distributions can be built by the bootDistZip and bootDistTar tasks respectively.

6. Running your application with Gradle

To run your application without first building an archive use the bootRun task:

$ ./gradlew bootRun

The bootRun task is an instance of BootRun which is a JavaExec subclass. As such, all of the usual configuration options for executing a Java process in Gradle are available to you. The task is automatically configured to use the runtime classpath of the main source set.

By default, the main class will be configured automatically by looking for a class with a public static void main(String[]) method in directories on the task’s classpath.

The main class can also be configured explicitly using the task’s main property:

bootRun {
	main = 'com.example.ExampleApplication'
}

Alternatively, the main class name can be configured project-wide using the mainClassName property of the Spring Boot DSL:

springBoot {
	mainClassName = 'com.example.ExampleApplication'
}

If the application plugin has been applied, its mainClassName project property can be used for the same purpose:

mainClassName = 'com.example.ExampleApplication'

6.1. Reloading resources

If devtools has been added to your project it will automatically monitor your application for changes. Alternatively, you can configure bootRun such that your application’s static resources are loaded from their source location:

bootRun {
	sourceResources sourceSets.main
}

This makes them reloadable in the live application which can be helpful at development time.

7. Integrating with Actuator

7.1. Generating build information

Spring Boot Actuator’s info endpoint automatically publishes information about your build in the presence of a META-INF/build-info.properties file. A BuildInfo task is provided to generate this file. The easiest way to use the task is via the plugin’s DSL:

springBoot {
	buildInfo()
}

This will configure a BuildInfo task named bootBuildInfo and, if it exists, make the Java plugin’s classes task depend upon it. The task’s destination directory will be META-INF in the output directory of the main source set’s resources (typically build/resources/main).

By default, the generated build information is derived from the project:

Property Default value

build.artifact

The base name of the bootJar or bootWar task, or unspecified if no such task exists

build.group

The group of the project

build.name

The name of the project

build.version

The version of the project

The properties can be customized using the DSL:

springBoot {
	buildInfo {
		properties {
			artifact = 'example-app'
			version = '1.2.3'
			group = 'com.example'
			name = 'Example application'
		}
	}
}

Additional properties can also be added to the build information:

springBoot {
	buildInfo {
		properties {
			additional = [
				'a': 'alpha',
				'b': 'bravo'
			]
		}
	}
}

8. Reacting to other plugins

When another plugin is applied the Spring Boot plugin reacts by making various changes to the project’s configuration. This section describes those changes.

8.1. Reacting to the Java plugin

When Gradle’s java plugin is applied to a project, the Spring Boot plugin:

  1. Creates a BootJar task named bootJar that will create an executable, fat jar for the project. The jar will contain everything on the runtime classpath of the main source set; classes are packaged in BOOT-INF/classes and jars are packaged in BOOT-INF/lib

  2. Configures the assemble task to depend on the bootJar task.

  3. Disables the jar task.

  4. Creates a BootRun task named bootRun that can be used to run your application.

  5. Creates a configuration named bootArchives that contains the artifact produced by the bootJar task.

  6. Configures any JavaCompile tasks with no configured encoding to use UTF-8.

  7. Configures any JavaCompile tasks to use the -parameters compiler argument.

8.2. Reacting to the war plugin

When Gradle’s war plugin is applied to a project, the Spring Boot plugin:

  1. Creates a BootWar task named bootWar that will create an executable, fat war for the project. In addition to the standard packaging, everything in the providedRuntime configuration will be packaged in WEB-INF/lib-provided.

  2. Configures the assemble task to depend on the bootWar task.

  3. Disables the war task.

  4. Configures the bootArchives configuration to contain the artifact produced by the bootWar task.

8.3. Reacting to the dependency management plugin

When the io.spring.dependency-management plugin is applied to a project, the Spring Boot plugin will automatically import the spring-boot-dependencies bom.

8.4. Reacting to the application plugin

When Gradle’s application plugin is applied to a project, the Spring Boot plugin:

  1. Creates a CreateStartScripts task named bootStartScripts that will creates scripts that launch the artifact in the bootArchives configuration using java -jar.

  2. Creates a new distribution named boot and configures it to contain the artifact in the bootArchives configuration in its lib directory and the start scripts in its bin directory.

  3. Configures the bootRun task to use the mainClassName property as a convention for its main property.

  4. Configures the bootRun task to use the applicationDefaultJvmArgs property as a convention for its jvmArgs property.

  5. Configures the bootJar task to use the mainClassName property as a convention for the Start-Class entry in its manifest.

  6. Configures the bootWar task to use the mainClassName property as a convention for the Start-Class entry in its manifest.

8.5. Reacting to the Maven plugin

When Gradle’s maven plugin is applied to a project, the Spring Boot plugin will configure the uploadBootArchives Upload task to ensure that no dependencies are declared in the pom that it generates.