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A no-frills build script framework.

Project description

A no-frills build script framework.


This project provides a Python 3.3+ library/utility for creating build scripts. The main features of Ubuild are:

  • Streamlines the discoverability of build steps/tasks.

  • Build step/task details are captured in Python functions.

  • Provides a CLI menu to show available build steps/tasks.

  • Provides a CLI utility ubuild to locate and run build scripts.


Currently, this project is in the development release stage. While this project is suitable for use, please note that there may be incompatibilities in new releases.

Release notes are maintained in the project changelog.


Ubuild should run on any Python 3.3+ interpreter with some additional third-party libraries (installed automatically).


Ubuild is available on PyPI here and can be installed with pip using the following command: pip install ubuild

Additionally, Ubuild can be installed from source by running: python install


Create a file. Import ubuild and use the menu decorator to add functions to the build menu. Use the main function to show the menu. For example:

from ubuild import menu, main

def build():

def clean():


Running this script will show the following menu:

-- MENU --
  (b) Build
  (c) Clean
  (q) Quit
[!] Menu loops until quit.
[?] Enter menu selection:

By default, the menu entry names are based off the function name. For example:

  • something() = (s) Something

  • do_something() = (ds) Do Something

  • do_something_else() = (dse) Do Something Else

However the names will attempt to use the shortest available name, e.g. (ds) Do Something will be (d) Do Something if there is no existing (d) entry.

Because Ubuild is meant to be lightweight and capture build step details, often it might be useful to use Auxly to call other utilities. For example:

def build():

Note the return on the call. This allows the exit code from the make call to propagate up through to Ubuild, i.e. if the menu is quit after the call, the exit code for Ubuild will be the make exit code.

The ubuild command line utility can be used in two different ways:

  1. Calling ubuild without arguments in a directory with or any of the child directories will show the Ubuild menu.

  2. Calling ubuild with arguments in a directory with or any of the child directories will run that menu entry, e.g. ubuild b.

A few additional notes about the menu decorator:

@menu("x")  # (x) Build
def build():

@menu(name="x")  # (x) Build
def build():

@menu(desc="Something")  # (s) Something
def build():

@menu("x", desc="Something")  # (x) Something
def build():

@menu(desc="Flag Set", args=[True])     # (fs) Flag Set
@menu(desc="Flag Clear", args=[False])  # (fc) Flag Clear
def build(flag):

@menu(desc="Flag Clear", kwargs={'flag':False})  # (fc) Flag Clear
def build(flag=True):

Here are some real-world examples of Ubuild in action:

Alternative Script Names

The default Ubuild script name is but occasionally it might make sense to have an alternative name. The script must match the following regex:


The script must also contain the following line exactly without any changes or trailing whitespace:

# -*- ubuild -*-


The following projects are similar and may be worth checking out:


Why for script names?

  • This project follows the naming guidelines provided by the Unified Style Guide for naming user scripts. The name is meant to distinguish this script as being intended for direct user interaction. For example, a name like is not clear whether it is mean for a user or if it is called by something else.

Is Ubuild intended to replace other build tools?

  • No, not at all! In fact, Ubuild is intended to supplement other build tools by providing a simple abstraction layer for performing build tasks. For example, a project may start using make to organize builds but later move to scons. By using Ubuild to capture the build step details, a user need never be aware of the change. They just see the build entry in the Ubuild menu.

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