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 GitHub Releases page. Select a release, then download bob/bob.jar. If you are using Defold 1.4.8, you will need OpenJDK 17 to run it. For older versions of Defold, you will need openJDK 11.

Compatible OpenJDK 17 mirrors (from Defold 1.4.8):

  • /

Compatible OpenJDK 11 mirrors (up to Defold 1.4.7):

  • /

If you are on Windows you want the .msi file installer for OpenJDK.


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
    --archive-resource-padding <arg>     The alignment of the resources in
                                         the game archive. Default is 4
 -bf,--bundle-format <arg>               Which formats to create the
                                         application bundle in. Comma
                                         separated list. (Android: 'apk'
                                         and 'aab')
    --binary-output <arg>                Location where built engine
                                         binary will be placed. Default is
 -bo,--bundle-output <arg>               Bundle output directory
 -br,--build-report <arg>                DEPRECATED in Defold 1.4.6! Use
                                         --build-report-json instead
 -brhtml,--build-report-html <arg>       Filepath where to save a build
                                         report as HTML
 -brjson,--build-report-json <arg>       Filepath where to save a build
                                         report as JSON (from Defold 1.4.6)
    --build-artifacts <arg>              If left out, will default to
                                         build the engine. Choices:
                                         'engine', 'plugins'. Comma
                                         separated list.
    --build-server <arg>                 The build server (when using
                                         native extensions)
    --build-server-header <arg>          Additional build server header to
 -ce,--certificate <arg>                 DEPRECATED! Use --keystore
 -d,--debug                              DEPRECATED! Use --variant=debug
    --debug-ne-upload                    Outputs the files sent to build
                                         server as
    --defoldsdk <arg>                    What version of the defold sdk
                                         (sha1) to use
 -e,--email <arg>                        User email
 -ea,--exclude-archive                   Exclude resource archives from
                                         application bundle. Use this to
                                         create an empty Defold
                                         application for use as a build
    --exclude-build-folder <arg>         DEPRECATED from Defold 1.5.1! Use
                                         '.defignore' file instead
 -h,--help                               This help message
 -i,--input <arg>                        Source directory. Default is
                                         current directory
    --identity <arg>                     Sign identity (iOS)
 -k,--keep-unused                        Keep unused resources in archived
 -kp,--key-pass <arg>                    Password of the deployment key if
                                         different from the keystore
                                         password (Android)
 -ks,--keystore <arg>                    Deployment keystore used to sign
                                         APKs (Android)
 -ksa,--keystore-alias <arg>             The alias of the signing key+cert
                                         you want to use (Android)
 -ksp,--keystore-pass <arg>              Password of the deployment
                                         keystore (Android)
 -l,--liveupdate <arg>                   Yes if liveupdate content should
                                         be published
    --manifest-private-key <arg>         Private key to use when signing
                                         manifest and archive.
    --manifest-public-key <arg>          Public key to use when signing
                                         manifest and archive.
    --max-cpu-threads <arg>              Max count of threads that bob.jar
                                         can use (from Defold 1.4.6)
 -mp,--mobileprovisioning <arg>          mobileprovisioning profile (iOS)
 -o,--output <arg>                       Output directory. Default is
 -p,--platform <arg>                     Platform (when building and
 -pk,--private-key <arg>                 DEPRECATED! Use --keystore
 -r,--root <arg>                         Build root directory. Default is
                                         current directory
    --resource-cache-local <arg>         Path to local resource cache.
    --resource-cache-remote <arg>        URL to remote resource cache.
    --resource-cache-remote-pass <arg>   Password/token to authenticate
                                         access to the remote resource
    --resource-cache-remote-user <arg>   Username to authenticate access
                                         to the remote resource cache.
    --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
 -tc,--texture-compression <arg>         Use texture compression as
                                         specified in texture profiles
 -tp,--texture-profiles <arg>            DEPRECATED! Use
                                         --texture-compression instead
 -u,--auth <arg>                         User auth token
    --use-async-build-server             DEPRECATED! Asynchronous build
                                         is now the default.
    --use-lua-bytecode-delta             Use byte code delta compression
                                         when building for multiple
    --use-uncompressed-lua-source        Use uncompressed and unencrypted
                                         Lua source code instead of byte
    --use-vanilla-lua                    DEPRECATED! Use
 -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:

x86_64-darwin (Defold 1.3.5 and older)
x86_64-macos (Defold 1.3.6 and newer)
macOS 64 bit
arm64-macos (Defold 1.5.0 and older)
macOS Apple Silicon (ARM)
Windows 64 bit
Windows 32 bit
Linux 64 bit
iOS macOS 64 bit (iOS Simulator)
armv7-darwin (Defold 1.3.5 and older)
armv7-ios (Defold 1.3.6 and newer)
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