Maven Command to Build Project

In this quick guide, we'll explore how to use Maven to build your project effectively.

Introduction to Maven Build Lifecycle 

Maven’s build process is based on a lifecycle. This lifecycle comprises several phases like compile, test, package, install, and deploy. When you execute a command, Maven runs all the lifecycle phases up to and including that command. 

The Basic Maven Build Command 

The most straightforward command to build your Maven project is:

mvn clean install

Let's break it down: 

clean: This phase removes the target/ directory created previously during the build. It ensures that you start with a fresh build.

install: This phase compiles, tests, and packages your code, and then installs the packaged artifact (e.g., a JAR file) into your local Maven repository.

Skipping the Tests 

Sometimes, during development or debugging, you might want to skip the testing phase:

mvn clean install -DskipTests

The -DskipTests flag tells Maven to not run the tests. However, it still compiles the test classes. If you want to skip compiling tests altogether, use:

mvn clean install -Dmaven.test.skip=true

Building for Different Environments 

If your project uses profiles for different environments like dev, test, or prod, you can specify the profile during the build:

mvn clean install -Pdev

Replace dev with the profile name you want to activate. 

Specifying a Different Build Output

By default, Maven packages Java projects as JAR files. If you're developing a web application, you might want a WAR file instead. You can specify this in your pom.xml:


Then, running mvn clean install will produce a WAR file in the target/ directory. 

Debugging the Build 

If you run into issues while building, you can ask Maven to produce a lot of debugging output using:

mvn clean install -X

This command will provide detailed information about what Maven is doing, which can be helpful in diagnosing issues. 


Maven offers a robust and flexible build system for Java projects. By understanding its core commands and lifecycle, you can efficiently compile, package, and manage your projects, ensuring consistency and reliability across development environments.