Running tasks

Turborepo optimizes the developer workflows in your repository by automatically parallelizing and caching tasks. Once a task is registered in turbo.json, you have a powerful new toolset for running the scripts in your repository:

Running tasks through turbo is powerful because you get one model for executing workflows throughout your repository in development and in your CI pipelines.

Using scripts in package.json

For tasks that you run frequently, you can write your turbo commands directly into your root package.json.

  "scripts": {
    "dev": "turbo run dev",
    "build": "turbo run build",
    "test": "turbo run test",
    "lint": "turbo run lint",

Good to know:

turbo is an alias for turbo run - but we recommend using turbo run in package.json and CI workflows to avoid potential collisions with possible turbo subcommands that could be added in the future.

These scripts can then be run using your package manager.

npm run dev

You only want to write turbo commands in your root package.json. Writing turbo commands into the package.json of packages can lead to recursively calling turbo.

Using global turbo

Installing turbo globally lets you run commands directly from your terminal. This improves your local development experience since it makes it easier to run exactly what you need, when you need it.

Additionally, global turbo is useful in your CI pipelines, giving you maximum control of exactly which tasks to run at each point in your pipeline.

Automatic Package Scoping

When you're in a package's directory, turbo will automatically scope commands to the Package Graph for that package. This means you can quickly write commands without having to write filters for the package.

cd apps/docs
turbo build

In the example above, the turbo build command will run the build task for the docs package using the build task registered in turbo.json.

Good to know:

Using a filter will override Automatic Package Scoping.

Customizing behavior

In the documentation for the run subcommand, you'll find many useful flags to tailor the behavior of turbo run for what you need. When running global turbo, you can go faster using workflows like:

  • Variations of your most common commands: The build script in package.json has the most utility when it is turbo build - but you might only be interested in a specific package at the moment. You can quickly filter for the specific package you're interested in using turbo build --filter=@repo/ui.
  • One-off commands: Commands like turbo build --dry aren't needed often so you likely won't create a script in your package.json for it. Instead, you can run it directly in your terminal whenever you need it.
  • Overriding turbo.json configuration: Some CLI flags have an equivalent in turbo.json that you can override. For instance, you may have a turbo build command configured to use "outputLogs": "full" in turbo.json - but you're only interested in seeing errors at the moment. Using global turbo, you can use turbo lint --output-logs=errors to only show errors.

Running multiple tasks

turbo is able to run multiple tasks, parallelizing whenever possible.

turbo run build test lint check-types

This command will run all of the tasks, automatically detecting where it can run a script as early as possible, according to your task definitions.

Ordering of tasks

turbo test lint will run tasks exactly the same as turbo lint test.

If you want to ensure that one task blocks the execution of another, express that relationship in your task configurations.

Using filters

While caching ensures you stay fast by never doing the same work twice, you can also filter tasks to run only a subset of the Task Graph, according to your needs.

There are many advanced use cases for filtering in the --filter API reference but the most common use cases are discussed below.

Filtering by package name

Filtering by package is a simple way to only run tasks for the packages you're currently working on.

turbo build --filter=@acme/web

Filtering by directory

Your repository might have a directory structure where related packages are grouped together. In this case, you can capture the glob for that directory to focus turbo on those packages.

turbo lint --filter="./packages/utilities/*"

Filtering to include dependents

When you're working on a specific package, you might want to run tasks for the package and its dependents. The ... microsyntax is useful when you're making changes to a package and want to ensure that the changes don't break any of its dependents.

turbo build --filter=...ui

Filtering by source control changes

Using filters to run tasks based on changes in source control is a great way to run only the tasks for packages that are affected by your changes. Source control filters must be wrapped in [].

  • Comparing to the previous commit: turbo build --filter=[HEAD^1]
  • Comparing to the main branch: turbo build --filter=[]
  • Comparing specific commits using SHAs: turbo build --filter=[a1b2c3d...e4f5g6h]
  • Comparing specific commits using branch names: turbo build --filter=[]

In general, you can rely on caching to keep your repository fast. When you're using Remote Caching, you can count on hitting cache for unchanged packages.

Combining filters

For even more specificity, you can combine filters to further refine the entrypoints into your Task Graph.

turbo build --filter=...ui --filter={./packages/*} --filter=[HEAD^1]

Multiple filters are combined as a union, meaning that the Task Graph will include tasks that match any of the filters. For more information on advanced usage of filters, see the --filter API reference.

Next steps

When you start running tasks in your repository, you might start noticing that your tasks get faster. Next, you'll explore caching and how turbo makes it so you never do the same work twice.


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