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Groovy scripts are a number of statements and class declarations in a text file. Groovy scripts can be used similarly to other scripting languages. There are various ways of running Groovy scripts

Using the interactive console

Groovy has a Swing interactive console that allows you to type in commmands and execute them rather like using an SQL query tool. History is available and such like so you can move forwards and backwards through commands etc.

If you install a binary distribution of Groovy then you can run the Groovy Swing console by typing this on the command line.


For a command line interactive shell type

To run the Swing Groovy console from a source distribution type...

To see how to add things to the classpath see below.

Running Groovy scripts from your IDE

There is a helper class called

Error rendering macro 'link' : Link needs a name and a URL as arguments.

which has a main(String[]) method for running any Groovy script. You can run any groovy script as follows

You can then run the above Groovy main() in your IDE to run or debug any Groovy script.

Running Groovy scripts from the command line

There are shell scripts called 'groovy' or 'groovy.bat' depending on your platform which is part of the Groovy runtime.
Once the runtime is installed you can just run groovy like any other script...


If you are using Groovy built from CVS Head (after Beta-5, see below if you want to upgrade), apart from Groovy scripts, you may also now run different kind of classes from the command-line.

  • Classes with a main method of course,
  • Classes extending GroovyTestCase are run with JUnit's test runner,
  • Classes implementing the Runnable interface are instanciated either with a constructor with String[] as argument, or with a no-args constructor, then their run() method is called.

To work from the latest and greatest Groovy, do a cvs checkout and then type

You'll then have a full binary distribution made for you in groovy/target/install. You can then add groovy/target/install/bin to your path and you can then run groovy scripts easily from the command line.

To see how to add things to the classpath see below

Creating Unix scripts with Groovy

You can write unix scripts with Groovy and execute them directly on the command line as if they were normal unix shell scripts. Providing you have installed the Groovy binary distribution (see above) and 'groovy' is on your PATH then the following should work.
There now follows a sample script which is 

Error rendering macro 'link' : Link needs a name and a URL as arguments.
. Save it as helloWorld.groovy.

Then to run the script from the command line, just make sure the script is executable then you can call it.

Adding things to the classpath

When running command line scripts or interactive shells you might want to add things to your classpath such as JDBC drivers or JMS implementations etc. Do do this you have a few choices

  • add things to your CLASSPATH environment variable
  • pass -classpath (or -cp) into the command you used to create the shell or run the script
  • It's also possible to create a ~/.groovy/lib directory and add whatever jars you need in there. Note: Currently a fix for
    Error rendering macro 'link' : Link needs a name and a URL as arguments.

    means this option is disabled by default. You'll need to edit the xxx-classworlds.conf files in your Groovy conf directory and remove the comments for the "Load required libraries" settings. See
    Error rendering macro 'link' : Link needs a name and a URL as arguments.

    for more details.

Readline support in groovysh

  1. Add the attached groovysh-readline.jar into ~/.groovy/lib
  2. Build javareadline and move jar and dll/so/jnilib into ~/.groovy/lib
  3. Edit conf/groovysh-classworlds.conf and uncomment the ~/.groovy/lib line.
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