Pub Commands

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The pub tool has commands for managing packages, running and serving apps, and building and deploying web apps.

Flutter has its own commands for managing and updating packages. For more information, see Using Packages and Upgrading Flutter on the Flutter website.

Quick links to the pub commands:

Pub’s commands fall into the following categories:

Managing apps

Pub provides a number of commands that support the creation and maintenance of a Dart application.

In this group, the most commonly used commands are pub get and pub upgrade, which retrieve or upgrade dependencies used by a project. Every time you modify a pubspec file, run pub get to make sure the dependencies are up to date. Some IDEs perform this step automatically on the creation of a package, or any modification of the pubspec.

pub cache
Manages pub’s local package cache. Use this command to add packages to your cache, or to perform a clean reinstall of all packages in your cache.
pub deps
Lists all dependencies used by a package.
pub downgrade
Retrieves the lowest versions of all the packages that are listed as dependencies used by the application. Used for testing the lower range of your package’s dependencies.
pub get
Retrieves the packages that are listed as the dependencies for the application. If a pubspec.lock file already exists, fetches the version of each dependency (if possible) as listed in the lock file. Creates or updates the lock file, as needed.
pub upgrade
Retrieves the latest version of each package listed as dependencies used by the application. If a pubspec.lock file exists, ignores the versions listed in the lock file and fetches the newest versions that honor the constraints in the pubspec. Creates or updates the lock file, as needed.

Running and serving apps

Pub supports development for running web apps and command-line apps.

Web apps

If your web app’s directory structure follows pub’s package layout conventions, you can use the pub development server (pub serve) to continuously build and serve the app’s assets. This server can be accessed via the browser on localhost and allows you to view your web-based app.

IDEs such as WebStorm also use pub serve to serve all of the Dart scripts and assets (HTML, images, CSS) to the browser.

Command-line apps

There are two commands that you can use to run Dart scripts from the command line. Each command first runs any needed transformers before invoking the specified script.

  • The pub run command invokes a Dart script in your package, or in one of its dependencies.

  • The pub global command lets you work with globally available packages that can be run when you are not currently inside a package.

Building and deploying apps and packages

With pub you can publish packages, build deployable web apps, and deploy command-line apps.

Sharing packages

To share your Dart packages with the world, you can use the pub publish command to upload the package to The pub uploader command enables specific users to modify and upload new versions of your package.

Web apps

Once you’re ready to deploy a web app, use pub build to generate the final files. This command creates the build directory, compiles the Dart code, and places all necessary files into the build directory.

Command-line apps

For any package that contains scripts (anything under the bin/ directory), consider adding the executables tag to the pubspec file. When a script is listed under executables, users can run pub global activate to make it directly available from the command line.

Global options

Several command-line options work with all of the pub commands. These include:

--help or -h
Print usage information.
Print version of pub.
Print debugging information when an error occurs.
The specified level determines the amount of information that is displayed:
  • all
    Show all output, including internal tracing messages.
  • io
    Show I/O operations.
  • normal
    Show errors, warnings, and user messages.
  • solver
    Show steps during version resolution.
-verbose or -v
Equivalent to --verbosity=all.