The War plugin extends the Java plugin to add support for assembling web application WAR files. It disables the default JAR archive generation of the Java plugin and adds a default WAR archive task.


To use the War plugin, include the following in your build script:

Example 1. Using the War plugin
plugins {
    id 'war'
plugins {

Project layout

In addition to the standard Java project layout, the War Plugin adds:


Web application sources


The War plugin adds and modifies the following tasks:


Depends on: compile

Assembles the application WAR file.

assemble - lifecycle task

Depends on: war

The War plugin adds the following dependencies to tasks added by the Java plugin;

Figure 1. War plugin - tasks

Dependency management

The War plugin adds two dependency configurations:

  • providedCompile

  • providedRuntime

These two configurations have the same scope as the respective compile and runtime configurations, except that they are not added to the WAR archive.

It is important to note that these provided configurations work transitively. Let’s say you add commons-httpclient:commons-httpclient:3.0 to any of the provided configurations. This dependency has a dependency on commons-codec. Because this is a “provided” configuration, this means that neither of these dependencies will be added to your WAR, even if the commons-codec library is an explicit dependency of your compile configuration. If you don’t want this transitive behavior, simply declare your provided dependencies like commons-httpclient:commons-httpclient:3.0@jar.



A SoftwareComponent for publishing the production WAR created by the war task.

Convention properties (deprecated)

webAppDirName — String

Default value: src/main/webapp

The name of the web application source directory, relative to the project directory.

webAppDir — (read-only) File

Default value: $webAppDirName, e.g. src/main/webapp

The path to the web application source directory.

These properties are provided by a WarPluginConvention object.

Configuring war tasks via convention properties is deprecated. If you need to set default values the war task then configure the task directly. If you want to configure all tasks of type War in the project then use tasks.withType(War.class).configureEach(…​).


The default behavior of the War task is to copy the content of src/main/webapp to the root of the archive. Your webapp directory may of course contain a WEB-INF sub-directory, which may contain a web.xml file. Your compiled classes are compiled to WEB-INF/classes. All the dependencies of the runtime [1] configuration are copied to WEB-INF/lib.

The War class in the API documentation has additional useful information.


Here is an example with the most important customization options:

Example 2. Customization of war plugin
configurations {

repositories {
   flatDir { dirs "lib" }

dependencies {
    implementation module(":compile:1.0") {
        dependency ":compile-transitive-1.0@jar"
        dependency ":providedCompile-transitive:1.0@jar"
    providedCompile "javax.servlet:servlet-api:2.5"
    providedCompile module(":providedCompile:1.0") {
        dependency ":providedCompile-transitive:1.0@jar"
    runtimeOnly ":runtime:1.0"
    providedRuntime ":providedRuntime:1.0@jar"
    testImplementation "junit:junit:4.13"
    moreLibs ":otherLib:1.0"

war {
    webAppDirectory = file('src/main/webapp')
    from 'src/rootContent' // adds a file-set to the root of the archive
    webInf { from 'src/additionalWebInf' } // adds a file-set to the WEB-INF dir.
    classpath fileTree('additionalLibs') // adds a file-set to the WEB-INF/lib dir.
    classpath configurations.moreLibs // adds a configuration to the WEB-INF/lib dir.
    webXml = file('src/someWeb.xml') // copies a file to WEB-INF/web.xml
val moreLibs = configurations.create("moreLibs")

repositories {
    flatDir { dir("lib") }

dependencies {
    implementation(module(":compile:1.0") {
        dependency( ":providedCompile-transitive:1.0@jar")
    providedCompile(module(":providedCompile:1.0") {

tasks.war {
    from("src/rootContent") // adds a file-set to the root of the archive
    webInf { from("src/additionalWebInf") } // adds a file-set to the WEB-INF dir.
    classpath(fileTree("additionalLibs")) // adds a file-set to the WEB-INF/lib dir.
    classpath(moreLibs) // adds a configuration to the WEB-INF/lib dir.
    webXml = file("src/someWeb.xml") // copies a file to WEB-INF/web.xml

Of course one can configure the different file-sets with a closure to define excludes and includes.

1. The runtime configuration extends the compile configuration.