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Version: 4.x

Shell Scripts

Sometimes we have to execute some tasks from the command line. These tasks can serve different purposes such as populating a database (user creation, etc) for instance. They often need to access some of the app classes and functions. This is when shell scripts come into play.

Create Scripts

A shell script is just a TypeScript file located in the src/scripts. It must export a main function that is then called when running the script.

Let's create a new one with the command line: foal g script display-users. A new file with a default template should appear in you src/scripts directory.

Write Scripts

Remove the content of src/scripts/display-users.ts and replace it with the code below.

// 3p
import { createService } from '@foal/core';

// App
import { dataSource } from '../db';
import { User } from '../app/entities';
import { Logger } from '../app/services';

export async function main() {
await dataSource.initialize();

try {
const users = await User.find();
const logger = createService(Logger);
} finally {

As you can see, we can easily establish a connection to the database in the script as well as import some of the app components (the User in this case).

Encapsulating your code in a main function without calling it directly in the file has several benefits:

  • You can import and test your main function in a separate file.
  • Using a function lets you easily use async/await keywords when dealing with asynchronous code.

Build and Run Scripts

To run a script you first need to build it.

npm run build

Then you can execute it with this command:

foal run my-script # or foal run-script my-script

You can also provide additionnal arguments to your script (for example: foal run my-script foo=1 bar='[ 3, 4 ]'). The default template in the generated scripts shows you how to handle such behavior.

If you want your script to recompile each time you save the file, you can run npm run dev in a separate terminal.