sequence tasks#

A Sequence task is defined by an array of other tasks to be run one after the other.

The array items can be sub-tables that declare inline tasks, or strings referencing to other tasks.


test = "pytest --cov=src"
build = "poetry build"
_publish = "poetry publish"
release = ["test", "build", "_publish"]


Task with names prefixed with an underscore _ are excluded from documentation and cannot be run directly from the command line, but can be useful for cases where a task is only needed for referencing from another task.

By default the contents of the array are interpreted as references to other tasks (actually an inline ref task). However, this behaviour can be altered by setting the global default_array_item_task_type option to the name of another task type such as "cmd", or by setting the default_item_type option locally on the sequence task.

Available task options#

sequence tasks support all of the standard task options with the exception of use_exec.

The following options are also accepted:

ignore_failbool | str πŸ“–

If true then the failure (or non-zero return value) of one task in the sequence does not abort the sequence.

default_item_typestr πŸ“–

Change the task type that is applied to string array items in this sequence.

Continue sequence on task failure#

A failure (non-zero result) will result in the rest of the tasks in the sequence not being executed, unless the ignore_fail option is set on the task to true or "return_zero" like so:

attempts.sequence = ["task1", "task2", "task3"]
attempts.ignore_fail = "return_zero"

If you want to run all the subtasks in the sequence but return non-zero result in the end of the sequence if any of the subtasks have failed you can set ignore_fail option to the return_non_zero value like so:

attempts.sequence = ["task1", "task2", "task3"]
attempts.ignore_fail = "return_non_zero"

Changing the default item type#

If you want strings in the array to be interpreted as a task type other than ref you may specify then default_item_type option like so:

release.sequence = [
release.default_item_type = "script"

Sequence task as an array of tables#

When declaring more complex sequences the following syntax is often preferred.


  cmd = "pytest --cov=src"

  script = "devtasks:build"

  ref = "_publish"


Double square brackets in toml specify an array of tables.


Using sequences in this way is sometimes a good alternative to a shell task, which may be less portable.


Note that tasks defined inline within a sequence may not include some options that would otherwise be available to them, for example help and args are forbidden because they don’t make sense in this context.

Sequence task as an array of inline tables#

In some simpler cases a more succinct syntax may be preferred, missing strings (for ref tasks) and inline tables for other task types like so:


release = [
  { cmd = "pytest --cov=src" },
  { script = "devtasks:build" },