Command line tutorial

Some developers like using the command line extensively. Godot is designed to be friendly to them, so here are the steps for working entirely from the command line. Given the engine relies on little to no external libraries, initialization times are pretty fast, making it suitable for this workflow.


It is recommended that your godot binary is in your PATH environment variable, so it can be executed easily from any place by typing godot. You can do so on Linux by placing the Godot binary in /usr/local/bin and making sure it is called godot.

Creating a project

Creating a project from the command line is simple, just navigate the shell to the desired place and just make an engine.cfg file exist, even if empty.

user@host:~$ mkdir newgame
user@host:~$ cd newgame
user@host:~/newgame$ touch engine.cfg

That alone makes for an empty Godot project.

Running the editor

Running the editor is done by executing godot with the -e flag. This must be done from within the project directory, or a subdirectory, otherwise the command is ignored and the project manager appears.

user@host:~/newgame$ godot -e

If a scene has been created and saved, it can be edited later by running the same code with that scene as argument.

user@host:~/newgame$ godot -e scene.xml

Erasing a scene

Godot is friends with your filesystem, and will not create extra metadata files, simply use rm to erase a file. Make sure nothing references that scene, or else an error will be thrown upon opening.

user@host:~/newgame$ rm scene.xml

Running the game

To run the game, simply execute Godot within the project directory or subdirectory.

user@host:~/newgame$ godot

When a specific scene needs to be tested, pass that scene to the command line.

user@host:~/newgame$ godot scene.xml


Catching errors in the command line can be a difficult task because they just fly by. For this, a command line debugger is provided by adding -d. It works for both running the game or a simple scene.

user@host:~/newgame$ godot -d
user@host:~/newgame$ godot -d scene.xml


Exporting the project from the command line is also supported. This is specially useful for continuous integration setups. The version of Godot that is headless (server build, no video) is ideal for this.

user@host:~/newgame$ godot -export "Linux X11" /var/builds/project
user@host:~/newgame$ godot -export Android /var/builds/project.apk

The platform names recognized by the -export switch are the same as displayed in the export wizard of the editor. To get a list of supported platforms from the command line, just try exporting to a non-recognized platform and the full listing of platforms your configuration supports will be shown.

To export a debug version of the game, use the -export_debug switch instead of -export. Their parameters and usage are the same.

Running a script

It is possible to run a simple .gd script from the command line. This feature is specially useful in very large projects, for batch conversion of assets or custom import/export.

The script must inherit from SceneTree or MainLoop.

Here is a simple example of how it works:
extends SceneTree

func _init():

And how to run it:

user@host:~/newgame$ godot -s

If no engine.cfg exists at the path, current path is assumed to be the current working directory (unless -path is specified).