Bob the builder

Bob is a command line tool for building Defold projects outside of the normal editor workflow.

Bob is able to build data (corresponding to the build step of selecting the editor menu item Project ▸ Build), create data archives and create standalone, distributable application bundles (corresponding to the editor menu item Project ▸ Bundle ▸ ... options)

Bob is distributed as a Java JAR archive containing everything needed to build. You find the latest bob.jar distribution on the Defold Download page and the GitHub Releases page. Select a release, then download bob/bob.jar. To run the Bob tool, you need OpenJDK 11 installed on your computer.


Bob is run from a shell or from the command line by invoking java (or java.exe on Windows) and providing the bob java archive as argument:

$ java -jar bob.jar --help
usage: bob [options] [commands]
  -a,--archive                       Build archive
 -ar,--architectures <arg>           comma separated list of architectures
                                     to include for the platform, for example
  -u,--auth <arg>                    User auth token
     --binary-output <arg>           Location where built engine binary
                                     will be placed. Default is
 -br,--build-report <arg>            Filepath where to save a build report
                                     as JSON
 -brhtml,--build-report-html <arg>   Filepath where to save a build report
                                     as HTML
     --build-server <arg>            The build server (when using native
 -bo,--bundle-output <arg>           Bundle output directory
     --bundle-format <apk|aab>       Which format to generate Android bundle in
  -d,--debug                         Use debug version of dmengine (when
                                     bundling). Deprecated, use --variant
     --debug-ne-upload               Outputs the files sent to build server as
     --defoldsdk <arg>               What version of the defold sdk (sha1)
                                     to use
     --exclude-build-folder          Comma separated list of folders to exclude
                                     from the build
  -e,--email <arg>                   User email
  -h,--help                          This help message
  -i,--input <arg>                   Source directory. Default is current
     --identity <arg>                Sign identity (iOS)
  -k,--keep-unused                   Keep unused resources in archived
     --keystore <arg>                Which keystore file to use when signing the
                                     Android bundle.
     --keystore-pass <arg>           Path to file with keystore password used to
                                     when bundling for Android.
     --keystore-alias <arg>          Name of alias from provided keystore to use
                                     when bundling for Android.
  -l,--liveupdate <arg>              yes if liveupdate content should be
 -mp,--mobileprovisioning <arg>      mobileprovisioning profile (iOS)
  -o,--output <arg>                  Output directory. Default is
  -p,--platform <arg>                Platform (when bundling)
  -r,--root <arg>                    Build root directory. Default is
                                     current directory
     --settings <arg>                Path to a game project settings
                                     file. more than one occurrance are
                                     allowed. the settings files are
                                     applied left to right.
     --strip-executable              Strip the dmengine of debug symbols
                                     (when bundling iOS or Android)
 -tc,--texture-compression <arg>     Use texture compression as specified
                                     in texture profiles
 -tp,--texture-profiles <arg>        Use texture profiles (deprecated)
     --use-vanilla-lua               Only ships vanilla source code (i.e.
                                     no byte code)
  -v,--verbose                       Verbose output
     --variant <arg>                 Specify debug, release or headless
                                     version of dmengine (when bundling)
     --version                       Prints the version number to the
     --with-symbols                  Generate the symbol file (if

Available commands:

Delete built files in the build directory.
Delete all files in the build directory.
Builds all project data. Add the --archive option to build a data archive file (“game.darc” in the build directory).
Creates a platform specific application bundle. Bundling requires that a built archive is present (build with the --archive option) and that a target platform is specified (with the --platform option). Bob creates the bundle in the output directory unless a different directory is specified with the --bundle-output option. The bundle is named according to the project name setting in game.project. The --variant specifies which type of executable to build when bundling and it together with the --strip-executable option replaces the --debug option. If no --variant is specified you will get a release version of the engine (stripped of symbols on Android and iOS). Setting --variant to debug and omitting --strip-executable yields the same type of executable as --debug used to do.
Resolve all external library dependencies.

Available platforms and architectures:

macOS 64 bit
Windows 64 bit
Windows 32 bit
Linux 64 bit
iOS macOS 64 bit (iOS Simulator)
iOS with available 32-bit armv7-darwin and 64-bit arm64-darwin architectures. By default, --architectures argument value is armv7-darwin,arm64-darwin.
Android with available 32 bit armv7-android and 64 bit arm64-android architectures. By default, --architectures argument value is armv7-android,arm64-android.
HTML5 with available js-web and wasm-web architectures. By default, --architectures argument value is js-web,wasm-web.

By default, Bob looks in the current directory for a project to build. If you change the current dir to a Defold project and invoke bob, it builds the data for the project in the default output directory build/default.

$ cd /Applications/Defold-beta/branches/14/4/main
$ java -jar bob.jar

You can string commands together to perform a sequence of tasks in one go. The following example resolves libraries, wipes the build directory, builds archive data and bundles a macOS application (named My

$ java -jar bob.jar --archive --platform x86-darwin resolve distclean build bundle
$ ls -al build/default/
total 70784
drwxr-xr-x   13 sicher  staff       442  1 Dec 10:15 .
drwxr-xr-x    3 sicher  staff       102  1 Dec 10:15 ..
drwxr-xr-x    3 sicher  staff       102  1 Dec 10:15 My
drwxr-xr-x    8 sicher  staff       272  1 Dec 10:15 builtins
-rw-r--r--    1 sicher  staff    140459  1 Dec 10:15 digest_cache
drwxr-xr-x    4 sicher  staff       136  1 Dec 10:15 fonts
-rw-r--r--    1 sicher  staff  35956340  1 Dec 10:15 game.darc
-rw-r--r--    1 sicher  staff       735  1 Dec 10:15 game.projectc
drwxr-xr-x  223 sicher  staff      7582  1 Dec 10:15 graphics
drwxr-xr-x    3 sicher  staff       102  1 Dec 10:15 input
drwxr-xr-x   20 sicher  staff       680  1 Dec 10:15 logic
drwxr-xr-x   27 sicher  staff       918  1 Dec 10:15 sound
-rw-r--r--    1 sicher  staff    131926  1 Dec 10:15 state