Buck: Build Target Pattern

Build Target Pattern

A build target pattern is a string that describes a set of one or more build targets. You can use build target patterns as arguments to commands, such as buck build and buck query. You can also use build target patterns in the Visibility argument of your build rules.

The simplest build target pattern matches the build target of the same name:

# Matches //apps/myapp:app

A build target pattern that ends with a colon matches all build targets in the build file at the preceding directory path. For example, suppose that the build file


defines the rules: app_debug and app_release, then the following build target pattern would match both of those rules:

# Matches //apps/myapp:app_debug and //apps/myapp:app_release

A build target pattern that ends with an ellipsis (/...) matches all build targets in the build file in the directory that precedes the ellipsis and also all build targets in build files in subdirectories. For example, suppose that you have the following build files:


then the following pattern would match all build targets in both of those files:

# Matches (for example) //apps:common and //apps/myapp:app

Build target patterns are not allowed in the deps argument

Build target patterns cannot be used with the deps argument of a build rule. Buck requires that you specify all dependencies explicitly as either fully-qualified or relative build targets.

By making dependencies explicit, Buck prevents build rules from inadvertently adding new dependencies, which can result in non-reproducible builds. In addition, if the added dependencies are not actually required, they can unnecessarily drive up the computational cost of the build.

Target aliases

Buck supports the ability to define aliases for build targets; using aliases can improve brevity when specifying targets on the Buck command line. For more information, see the [alias] section in the documentation for .buckconfig.