make-like for Nim. Describe your builds as tasks!

build, automation, sortof
nimble install nake


Nake readme

Describe your Nim builds as tasks. Example nakefile.nim:

import nake

  ExeName = "my_app"
  BleedingEdgeFeatures = "-d:testFeature1 -d:testFeature2"

task "debug-build", "Build with unproven features":
  if shell(nimExe, "c", BleedingEdgeFeatures, "-d:debug", ExeName):
    ## zip up files or do something useful here?

task "run-tests":
  # ...

Now you can compile this nakefile.nim file into a binary and run it:

$ nim c -r nakefile test-build
## or if you already compiled the nakefile
$ ./nakefile test-build


MIT license.


Stable version

Use Nim's Nimble package manager to install the package and nake binary:

$ nimble update
$ nimble install nake

If a new version of nake is released you can update to it running again those commands. You can figure out the version you have installed by running nimble path nake.

Development version

Use Nim's Nimble package manager to install locally the github checkout:

$ git clone
$ cd nake
$ nimble install

If you don't mind downloading the git repository every time, you can also tell Nimble to install the latest development version directly from git:

$ nimble update
$ nimble install -y nake@#head


Nake has its own nakefile, it will build nake as a binary. The nake binary is just a shortcut for nim c -r nakefile $ARGS:

$ cd ~/.nimble/libs/nake
$ nim c -r nakefile install
## boring ^
$ cd ~/my-project
$ nake debug-build
## wow look at the convenience (!!)

Once the nakefile is built you can run it manually with ./nakefile, but you can also run nake again. If nake detects that the source file is newer than the binary, the nakefile will be rebuilt again, otherwise it just runs the nakefile binary directly. You can always remove the nakefile and the nimcache directories if you need to force a rebuild.

Most nakefiles will involve running some commands in a shell. To verify what the shell invocations do you can pass the -c or --careful switch to a nake binary and then it will ask you to confirm each command being run:

$ nake --careful install
Run? `nim c nake` [N/y]

Note that this parameter only applies to nake's convenience shell() and direShell() procs, malicious nakefile authors will likely implement their own shell spawning process.

If you run the nakefile without parameters or with the -t or --tasks switch it will report the available tasks. But if you run a nakefile with a specific task and this task doesn't exist, nake will report an error, list the available tasks and exit with a non zero status.

In your nakefiles you can define the defaultTask task. This is a task which will be executed if the user runs nake without specifying a task. Example:

task defaultTask, "Compiles binary":
  if binaryRequiresRebuilding():
    echo "Binary is fresh, anything else?"


The documentation of nake can be found online at, but you can run the docs task of the included nakefile.nim to generate the user API HTML documentation into a nake.html file. This documentation explains what symbols you can use other than the obvious task() template to define tasks. If you installed using Nimble you first need to go to your local Nimble directory. Unix example:

$ cd `nimble path nake`
$ nim c -r nake docs
$ open nake.html

The docs task will also generate HTML versions of all local rst files, which are indexed from the generated theindex.html.


This is development version 1.9. Read the changes log in the changes.rst file.