Inside Tasks

While a task is running, Grunt exposes many task-specific utility properties and methods inside the task function via the this object. This same object is also exposed as grunt.task.current for use in templates, eg. the property this.name is also available as grunt.task.current.name.

Inside All Tasks

this.async

If a task is asynchronous, this method must be invoked to instruct Grunt to wait. It returns a handle to a "done" function that should be called when the task has completed. Either false or an Error object may be passed to the done function to instruct Grunt that the task has failed.

If the this.async method isn't invoked, the task will execute synchronously.

// Tell Grunt this task is asynchronous.
var done = this.async();
// Your async code.
setTimeout(function() {
  // Let's simulate an error, sometimes.
  var success = Math.random() > 0.5;
  // All done!
  done(success);
}, 1000);

this.requires

If one task depends on the successful completion of another task (or tasks), this method can be used to force Grunt to abort if the other task didn't run, or if the other task failed. The tasks list can be an array of task names or individual task names, as arguments.

Note that this won't actually run the specified task(s), it will just fail the current task if they haven't already run successfully.

this.requires(tasksList)

this.requiresConfig

Fail the current task if one or more required config properties is missing. One or more string or array config properties may be specified.

this.requiresConfig(prop [, prop [, ...]])

See the grunt.config documentation for more information about config properties.

This method is an alias for the grunt.config.requires method.

this.name

The name of the task, as defined in grunt.registerTask. For example, if a "sample" task was run as grunt sample or grunt sample:foo, inside the task function, this.name would be "sample".

Note that if a task has been renamed with grunt.task.renameTask this property will reflect the new name.

this.nameArgs

The name of the task, including any colon-separated arguments or flags specified on the command-line. For example, if a "sample" task was run as grunt sample:foo, inside the task function, this.nameArgs would be "sample:foo".

Note that if a task has been renamed with grunt.task.renameTask this property will reflect the new name.

this.args

An array of arguments passed to the task. For example, if a "sample" task was run as grunt sample:foo:bar, inside the task function, this.args would be ["foo", "bar"].

Note that in multi tasks, the current target is omitted from the this.args array.

this.flags

An object generated from the arguments passed to the task. For example, if a "sample" task was run as grunt sample:foo:bar, inside the task function, this.flags would be {foo: true, bar: true}.

Note that inside multi tasks, the target name is not set as a flag.

this.errorCount

The number of grunt.log.error calls that occurred during this task. This can be used to fail a task if errors were logged during the task.

this.options

Returns an options object. Properties of the optional defaultsObj argument will be overridden by any task-level options object properties, which will be further overridden in multi tasks by any target-level options object properties.

this.options([defaultsObj])

This example shows how a task might use the this.options method:

var options = this.options({
  enabled: false,
});

doSomething(options.enabled);

The Configuring tasks guide shows an example of how options may be specified, from the task user's point of view.

Inside Multi Tasks

this.target

In a multi task, this property contains the name of the target currently being iterated over. For example, if a "sample" multi task was run as grunt sample:foo with the config data {sample: {foo: "bar"}}, inside the task function, this.target would be "foo".

this.files

In a multi task, all files specified using any Grunt-supported file formats and options, globbing patterns or dynamic mappings will automatically be normalized into a single format: the Files Array file format.

What this means is that tasks don't need to contain a ton of boilerplate for explicitly handling custom file formats, globbing patterns, mapping source files to destination files or filtering out files or directories. A task user can just specify files per the Configuring tasks guide, and Grunt will handle all the details.

Your task should iterate over the this.files array, utilizing the src and dest properties of each object in that array. The this.files property will always be an array. The src property will also always be an array, in case your task cares about multiple source files per destination file.

Note that it's possible that nonexistent files might be included in src values, so you may want to explicitly test that source files exist before using them.

This example shows how a simple "concat" task might use the this.files property:

this.files.forEach(function(file) {
  var contents = file.src.filter(function(filepath) {
    // Remove nonexistent files (it's up to you to filter or warn here).
    if (!grunt.file.exists(filepath)) {
      grunt.log.warn('Source file "' + filepath + '" not found.');
      return false;
    } else {
      return true;
    }
  }).map(function(filepath) {
    // Read and return the file's source.
    return grunt.file.read(filepath);
  }).join('\n');
  // Write joined contents to destination filepath.
  grunt.file.write(file.dest, contents);
  // Print a success message.
  grunt.log.writeln('File "' + file.dest + '" created.');
});

If you need the original file object properties, they are available on each individual file object under the orig property, but there is no known use-case for accessing the original properties.

this.filesSrc

In a multi task, all src files files specified via any file format are reduced to a single array. If your task is "read only" and doesn't care about destination filepaths, use this array instead of this.files.

This example shows how a simple "lint" task might use the this.filesSrc property:

// Lint specified files.
var files = this.filesSrc;
var errorCount = 0;
files.forEach(function(filepath) {
  if (!lint(grunt.file.read(filepath))) {
    errorCount++;
  }
});

// Fail task if errors were logged.
if (errorCount > 0) { return false; }

// Otherwise, print a success message.
grunt.log.ok('Files lint free: ' + files.length);

this.data

In a multi task, this is the actual data stored in the Grunt config object for the given target. For example, if a "sample" multi task was run as grunt sample:foo with the config data {sample: {foo: "bar"}}, inside the task function, this.data would be "bar".

It is recommended that this.options this.files and this.filesSrc are used instead of this.data, as their values are normalized.