Alpas Console

As you may have already noticed, Alpas comes with a bunch of console commands—make:controller, make:job, and route:list, to name a few, that assist you in performing some tasks from a command-line. You can run an Alpas command by prepending it with alpas.

To see a list of all the Alpas commands as well as a short description for each, you can use alpas list command.

Custom Commands

If the core Alpas commands are not enough for you, it is easy to create your own. Alpas actually wraps clikt command library in its own thin wrapper. Clikt is very powerful library that makes writing command line interfaces simple and intuitive. It has pretty much everything you would ever need to create powerful command-line interfaces.

Simple Commands

When writing a simple custom command, all you have to do is extend dev.alpas.console.Command class and override the run() method. The Command constructor receives a number of optional parameters allowing you to configure your commands the way you want it. This includes help text, summary text etc.

The easiest way to create a command is by using make:command Alpas command, which will generate a new command under console/commands folder.

$ alpas make:command GreetCommand

class GreetCommand : Command(name = "greet", help = "Say hello.") {
    private val name by argument()
    override fun run() {
        success("Hello, $name!")

After registering this new command, you can call it like so:

$ alpas greet you

> Hello, you!

Generator Commands

Generator commands create some files and folders when invoked. make:command is actually an example of a generator command and so is make:controller.

While you can use a simple command like GreetCommand above to write a generator command, you have to wire a few things to get it right.

Instead of extending dev.alpas.console.Command class, you can extend dev.alpas.console.GeneratorCommand class to make your life much easier while writing generator commands. While it may not always satisfy all your needs, most of the time it will. Even if it doesn't, it's a good place to start.

You can pass --generator or -g to make:command command to create a generator type command for you. Then all you have to do is override one abstract method—populateOutputFile().

Let's see an example of how we can write a make:sandwich generator command that creates a NameOfSandwich.kt file under sandwiches folder, creating this folder if it doesn't already exist.

  1. Create the command itself:

$ alpas make:command MakeSandwich -g

  1. Modify console/commands/MakeSandwich.kt file to:

class MakeSandwich(srcPackage: String) :
    GeneratorCommand(srcPackage, name = "make:sandwich", help = "Make a sandwich.") {

    override fun populateOutputFile(
        filename: String,
        actualname: String,
        vararg parentDirs: String
    ): OutputFile {

        val dir = "sandwiches"
        val file = File(sourceOutputPath(dir, *parentDirs), "${filename.toPascalCase()}.kt")

        return OutputFile()
            .packageName(makePackageName(dir, *parentDirs))
                package StubPackageName
                class StubClazzName {
                    fun whoAreYou() {
                        println("I am a StubClazzName sandwich")

    override fun onCompleted(outputFile: OutputFile) {
        withColors {
            echo(green("MakeSandwich CREATED 🙌"))
            echo("${brightGreen(}: ${dim(}")

Notice that we have a couple of placeholders in the code—StubPackageName and StubClazzName, both of which will be replaced with proper text automatically when we actually run the command.

  1. Register this command in ConsoleKernel class:

// ...

override fun commands(app: Application): List<Command> {
    return listOf(MakeSandwich(app.srcPackage))

// ...

  1. Now we are ready to make ourselves a sandwich or two:

$ alpas make:sandwich club

This command will generate a sandwiches/Club.kt file.

You can actually create multiple sandwiches in one go:

$ alpas make:sandwich club blt

Registering Custom Commands

After you have created your own commands, you must register them with the app. Otherwise, they won't be available to you. You can register a command in a number of ways—the easiest one is by overriding commands() method in ConsoleKernel class and returning a list of all your commands.

// ...

override fun commands(app: Application): List<Command> {
    return listOf(GreetCommand())

// ...

An alternative way is by creating and registering a new Service Provider.

/tip/ Clikt comes with many other powerful features such as parameters, flags, choice options, input prompts, password masking and much more. The best part of it is that the features are properly documented with lots of real-world examples. We highly recommend consulting its documentation when creating your own commands.

Writing Output

When you need to write some output to the console, you can use info, success, warning, and error methods. Most of these methods respect --quiet flag and also use proper ANSI colors for their purpose.

// ...

// prints the message in red; does NOT respect --quiet flag
error("Oops! We have a problem.")

// prints the message in green; respects --quiet flag
success("Yay! This is working.")

// ...

If you need more control over coloring the output, you can use withColors() method. Alpas uses the full-featured text styling Mordant library for coloring console outputs. This allows you to color the output anyway you want. Keep in mind that withColors() won't print anything if --quiet flag is set.

/power/ Alpas Console is proudly powered by Clikt and Mordant.