Most tools require installation on your computer before you can use them. If the installation is easy, you may think that’s fine. But it can be an unnecessary burden on the users of the build. Equally importantly, will the user install the right version of the tool for the build? What if they’re building an old version of the software?
The Gradle Wrapper (henceforth referred to as the “Wrapper”) solves both these problems and is the preferred way of starting a Gradle build.
If a Gradle project has set up the Wrapper (and we recommend all projects do so), you can execute the build using one of the following commands from the root of the project:
./gradlew <task> (on Unix-like platforms such as Linux
and Mac OS X)
gradlew <task> (on Windows using the gradlew.bat
Each Wrapper is tied to a specific version of Gradle, so when you first run one of the commands above for a given Gradle version, it will download the corresponding Gradle distribution and use it to execute the build.
When importing a Gradle project via its wrapper, your IDE may ask to use the Gradle 'all' distribution. This is perfectly fine and helps the IDE provide code completion for the build files.
Not only does this mean that you don’t have to manually install Gradle yourself, but you are also sure
to use the version of Gradle that the build is designed for. This makes your historical builds more
reliable. Just use the appropriate syntax from above whenever you see a command line starting with
gradle ... in the user guide, on Stack Overflow, in articles or wherever.
For completeness sake, and to ensure you don’t delete any important files, here are the files and directories in a Gradle project that make up the Wrapper:
gradlew (Unix Shell script)
gradlew.bat (Windows batch file)
gradle/wrapper/gradle-wrapper.jar (Wrapper JAR)
gradle/wrapper/gradle-wrapper.properties (Wrapper properties)
If you’re wondering where the Gradle distributions are stored, you’ll find them in your user home
The Wrapper is something you should check into version control. By distributing the Wrapper with your project, anyone can work with it without needing to install Gradle beforehand. Even better, users of the build are guaranteed to use the version of Gradle that the build was designed to work with. Of course, this is also great for continuous integration servers (i.e. servers that regularly build your project) as it requires no configuration on the server.
You install the Wrapper into your project by running the
wrapper task. (This task is always available, even if
you don't add it to your build). To specify a Gradle version use
--gradle-version on the command-line.
You can also set the URL to download Gradle from directly via
--gradle-distribution-url. If no version or distribution
URL is specified, the Wrapper will be configured to use the gradle version the
wrapper task is executed with.
So if you run the
wrapper task with Gradle 2.4, then the Wrapper configuration will default to version 2.4.
Example 5.1. Running the Wrapper task
gradle wrapper --gradle-version 2.0
> gradle wrapper --gradle-version 2.0 :wrapper BUILD SUCCESSFUL Total time: 1 secs
The Wrapper can be further customized by adding and configuring a
task in your build script, and then executing it.
After such an execution you find the following new or updated files in your project directory (in case the default configuration of the Wrapper task is used).
Example 5.3. Wrapper generated files
simple/ gradlew gradlew.bat gradle/wrapper/ gradle-wrapper.jar gradle-wrapper.properties
All of these files should be submitted to your version control system. This only needs to be done once. After these files have been added to the project, the project should then be built with the added gradlew command. The gradlew command can be used exactly the same way as the gradle command.
If you want to switch to a new version of Gradle you don't need to rerun the
wrapper task. It is good enough
to change the respective entry in the
gradle-wrapper.properties file, but if you want to take
advantage of new functionality in the Gradle wrapper, then you would need to regenerate the wrapper files.
If you run Gradle with gradlew, the Wrapper checks if a Gradle distribution for the Wrapper is available. If so, it delegates to the gradle command of this distribution with all the arguments passed originally to the gradlew command. If it didn't find a Gradle distribution, it will download it first.
When you configure the
Wrapper task, you can specify the Gradle version you wish to use. The gradlew
command will download the appropriate distribution from the Gradle repository.
Alternatively, you can specify the download URL of the Gradle distribution. The gradlew command will use this URL to download
If you specified neither a Gradle version nor download URL, the gradlew command will download whichever version
of Gradle was used to generate the Wrapper files.
For the details on how to configure the Wrapper, see the
Wrapper class in the API documentation.
If you don't want any download to happen when your project is built via gradlew, simply add the Gradle
distribution zip to your version control at the location specified by your Wrapper configuration.
A relative URL is supported - you can specify a distribution file relative to the location of
If you build via the Wrapper, any existing Gradle distribution installed on the machine is ignored.
The Gradle Wrapper allows for verification of the downloaded Gradle distribution via SHA-256 hash sum comparison. This increases security against targeted attacks by preventing a man-in-the-middle attacker from tampering with the downloaded Gradle distribution.
To enable this feature you'll want to first calculate the SHA-256 hash of a known Gradle distribution. You can generate a SHA-256 hash from Linux and OSX or Windows (via Cygwin) with the shasum command.
Example 5.4. Generating a SHA-256 hash
> shasum -a 256 gradle-2.4-all.zip 371cb9fbebbe9880d147f59bab36d61eee122854ef8c9ee1ecf12b82368bcf10 gradle-2.4-all.zip
Add the returned hash sum to the
gradle-wrapper.properties using the
Example 5.5. Configuring SHA-256 checksum verification