Maven Commands

Maven is a powerful build automation tool used primarily for Java projects. Understanding Maven commands is crucial for managing and building your Java projects efficiently. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most essential Maven commands that every Java developer should know.

1. Setting Up Maven

Before we dive into Maven commands, make sure you have Maven installed and set up on your system. You can download Maven from the official website and follow the installation instructions.

To verify the installation, open a terminal and run the following command:

mvn -version

This should display the installed Maven version along with Java details.

2. Creating a New Maven Project

To create a new Maven project, use the archetype:generate command:

mvn archetype:generate -DgroupId=com.example -DartifactId=my-app -DarchetypeArtifactId=maven-archetype-quickstart -DinteractiveMode=false

This command generates a simple Maven project with a basic structure.

3. Building a Maven Project

To compile and build the project, use the compile and package commands:

mvn compile
mvn package
  • compile: Compiles the source code of the project.
  • package: Packages the compiled code into a JAR or WAR file.

4. Cleaning a Maven Project

To clean the project, remove all files generated by the previous build, use the clean command:

mvn clean

This deletes the target directory where compiled and packaged files are stored.

5. Installing the Project

To install the built project into your local Maven repository, use the install command:

mvn install

This makes the project available for use as a dependency in other local projects.

6. Skipping Tests

Sometimes, you might want to skip tests during the build process. You can do this by adding the -DskipTests parameter:

mvn install -DskipTests

This skips the execution of tests but still compiles them.

7. Running the Application

For a simple Maven project with a main method, you can use the exec:java goal to run the application:

mvn exec:java -Dexec.mainClass="com.example.App"

Ensure the exec-maven-plugin is configured in your pom.xml.

8. Generating Project Documentation

Maven can generate project documentation using the site command:

mvn site

This command generates a site with reports and project information.

9. Dependency Management

To list all the dependencies of your project, use the dependency:tree command:

mvn dependency:tree

This helps in understanding the dependency hierarchy and resolving conflicts.

10. Building a WAR File

To package your web application as a WAR file, use the package command along with the WAR plugin configuration in your pom.xml.

mvn package

11. Creating a Multi-Module Project

To create a multi-module project, start by creating a parent project:

mvn archetype:generate -DgroupId=com.example -DartifactId=my-multi-module -DarchetypeArtifactId=maven-archetype-quickstart -DinteractiveMode=false

Then, add modules to the parent project:

cd my-multi-module
mvn archetype:generate -DgroupId=com.example -DartifactId=module1 -DarchetypeArtifactId=maven-archetype-quickstart -DinteractiveMode=false
mvn archetype:generate -DgroupId=com.example -DartifactId=module2 -DarchetypeArtifactId=maven-archetype-quickstart -DinteractiveMode=false

Update the parent project's pom.xml to include the modules:


12. Running Maven in Batch Mode

To run Maven without any interactive input (useful in CI environments), use the -B or --batch-mode option:

mvn -B install

13. Debugging Maven Builds

To debug Maven builds and get more detailed output, use the -X or --debug option:

mvn clean install -X

14. Updating Dependencies

To force Maven to update snapshots and releases, use the -U or --update-snapshots option:

mvn clean install -U

15. Checking Effective POM

To see the effective POM configuration after inheritance and interpolation, use the help:effective-pom command:

mvn help:effective-pom

16. Generating Source JAR

To generate a source JAR file for your project, use the source:jar goal:

mvn source:jar

Ensure the maven-source-plugin is configured in your pom.xml.

17. Creating an Assembly

To create a distributable assembly (like a ZIP or TAR file), use the assembly:single goal:

mvn assembly:single

Ensure the maven-assembly-plugin is configured in your pom.xml.


These are some of the essential Maven commands that can help you efficiently manage your Java projects. Mastering these commands will enhance your productivity and streamline your development workflow. Maven’s powerful plugin system and comprehensive command set make it an indispensable tool for Java developers.