The Spring Boot Command-Line Interface (CLI) is a powerful tool for developing and testing Spring Boot applications directly from the command line. It provides a convenient way to create, build, run, and test Spring Boot projects without the need for complex configurations. In this guide, we'll explore the Spring Boot CLI, how it works, and provide sample code and explanations for command-line development.

Key Features of the Spring Boot CLI

The Spring Boot CLI offers several key features that make it a valuable tool for developers:

  • Project Creation: You can create a new Spring Boot project with minimal setup using the spring init command.
  • Auto-Configuration: Spring Boot's auto-configuration features are available in the CLI, allowing your applications to configure themselves based on the classpath.
  • Dependency Management: Easily manage project dependencies using the CLI's dependencies command.
  • Scripting: You can write Groovy scripts to build and test your applications using the CLI.
  • Live Reload: The CLI offers a development server with live reload capabilities for efficient development.

Getting Started with the CLI

To get started with the Spring Boot CLI, follow these steps:

  1. Install the Spring Boot CLI by downloading it from the official website and following the installation instructions for your platform.
  2. Open your terminal or command prompt and use the spring --version command to verify the installation.
  3. Create a new Spring Boot project using the spring init command. For example:
    spring init --dependencies=web my-spring-boot-app
    This command creates a new Spring Boot project named "my-spring-boot-app" with the "web" dependency.
  4. Navigate to the project directory and run your application using the ./mvnw spring-boot:run command. Your Spring Boot application will start, and you can access it at http://localhost:8080.

Sample Code: Creating a Spring Boot Project

Here's a sample script to create a new Spring Boot project using the Spring Boot CLI:

spring init --dependencies=web my-spring-boot-app
cd my-spring-boot-app
./mvnw spring-boot:run

This script creates a Spring Boot project with the "web" dependency and starts the application using the Maven wrapper.

Scripting and Custom Commands

The Spring Boot CLI allows you to write Groovy scripts for custom commands and tasks. You can use these scripts to automate repetitive tasks or create custom development workflows. For example, you can write scripts for database migrations, deployment, or testing.


The Spring Boot CLI is a valuable tool for command-line development and rapid prototyping of Spring Boot applications. This guide introduced the CLI's key features, installation, project creation, and the use of Groovy scripts for customization. As you become more familiar with the Spring Boot CLI, you'll find it to be a powerful asset for your Spring Boot development projects.