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.

Setting the project path

Depending on where your Godot binary is located and what your current working directory is, you may need to set the path to your project for any of the following commands to work correctly.

This can be done by giving the path to the project.godot file of your project as either the first argument, like this:

user@host:~$ godot path_to_your_project/project.godot [other] [commands] [and] [args]

Or by using the --path argument:

user@host:~$ godot --path path_to_your_project [other] [commands] [and] [args]

For example, the full command for exporting your game (as explained below) might look like this:

user@host:~$ godot --path path_to_your_project --export my_export_preset_name game.exe

Creating a project

Creating a project from the command line can be done by navigating the shell to the desired place and making a project.godot file.

user@host:~$ mkdir newgame
user@host:~$ cd newgame
user@host:~/newgame$ touch project.godot

The project can now be opened with Godot.

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.tscn

Erasing a scene

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

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

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.tscn


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.tscn


Exporting the project from the command line is also supported. This is especially 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, 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 especially useful in 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 project.godot exists at the path, current path is assumed to be the current working directory (unless -path is specified).