Configuration Files

The behavior of bacon is defined by a global prefs.toml file and project specific bacon.toml files.

All configuration files are optional but you'll fast need specific jobs for your targets, examples, etc.

All accept the same properties (preferences, keybindings, jobs, etc.). The properties of the global prefs.toml file are overriden by the workspace level bacon.toml file, then by the package level bacon.toml file.

When you modified those files and bacon evolved since, you may want to have a look at the current default ones and pick the changes you like:

Global Preferences

bacon --prefs creates the preferences file if it doesn't exist and returns its path (which is system dependent).

You may run $EDITOR $(bacon --prefs) to edit it directly.

The default configuration file contains already possible entries that you may uncomment and modify.

Project Settings

bacon --init creates the bacon.toml file if it doesn't exist.

This file usually contains project specific jobs and shortcuts and should be saved and shared using your version control system.

It's a good idea to put here the triggers for specific jobs.

The default bacon.toml is used when you don't create a file.

Configuration Properties

summary, wrap, reverse

You can change the summary, wrapping, and reverse mode at launch (see bacon --help), in the application using keys, and you may set the initial values in this preferences file:

# Uncomment and change the value (true/false) to
# specify whether bacon should start in summary mode
# summary = true

# Uncomment and change the value (true/false) to
# specify whether bacon should start with lines wrapped
# wrap = true

# In "reverse" mode, the focus is at the bottom, item
# order is reversed, and the status bar is on top
# reverse = true

Key Bindings

This section lets you change the key combinations to use to trigger actions.

For example:

h = "job:clippy"
shift-F9 = "toggle-backtrace"
ctrl-r = "toggle-raw-output"

Note that you may have keybindings for jobs which aren't defined in your project, this isn't an error, and it's convenient to help keep define your personal keybindings in one place.

Another example, if you want vim-like shortcuts:

esc = "back"
g = "scroll-to-top"
shift-g = "scroll-to-bottom"
k = "scroll-lines(-1)"
j = "scroll-lines(1)"
ctrl-u = "scroll-page(-1)"
ctrl-d = "scroll-page(1)"

Your operating system and console intercept many key combinations. If you want to know which one are available, and the key syntax to use, you may find print_key useful.


A job is a command which is ran by bacon in background, and whose result is analyzed and displayed on end.

It's defined by the following fields:

field optional  meaning
command no the tokens making the command to execute (first one is the executable)
watch yes a list of directories that will be watched if the job is run on a package. src, tests, examples, and benches are implicitly included unles default_watch is set to false
default_watch yes whether to watch default directories (src, tests, examples, and benches). true by default. When it's set to false, only the directories in watch are watched (none if watch is empty or not supplied)
need_stdout yes whether we need to capture stdout too (stderr is always captured). Default is false
on_success yes the action to run when there's no error, warning or test failures
allow_warnings yes if true, the action is considered a success even when there are warnings. Default is false but the standard run job is configured with allow_warnings=true
allow_failures yes if true, the action is considered a success even when there are test failures. Default is false
apply_gitignore yes if true (which is default) the job isn't triggered when the modified file is excluded by gitignore rules
env yes a map of environment vars, for example env.LOG_LEVEL="die"
background yes compute in background and display only on end. Default is true


command = ["cargo", "run", "--example", "simple", "--color", "always"]
need_stdout = true

Don't forget to include --color always in most jobs, because bacon uses style information to parse the output of cargo.

Beware of job references in on_success: you must avoid loops with 2 jobs calling themselves mutually, which would make bacon run all the time.

Default Job

The default job is the one which is launched when you don't specify one in argument to the bacon command (ie bacon test). It's also the one you can run with the job:default action.

export locations

If you use neovim, you probably want to use the nvim-bacon plugin.

This plugin needs location export to be enabled in your configuration:

enabled = true
path = ".bacon-locations"
line_format = "{kind} {path}:{line}:{column} {message}"

You may change the path or line format for other tools.


Actions are launched

  • on key presses, depending on key-binding
  • when triggered by a job ending success

Actions are parsed from strings, for example quit (long form: internal:quit) is the action of quitting bacon and can be bound to a key.

An action is either an internal, based on a hardcoded behavior of bacon, or a job reference


internal default binding meaning
back Esc get back to the previous page or job
help h or ? open the help page
quit q or ctrlq or ctrlc quit
refresh F5 clear output then run current job again
rerun run current job again
toggle-raw-output display the untransformed command output
toggle-backtrace b enable rust backtrace (for example on test failing)
toggle-summary s display results as abstracts
toggle-wrap w toggle line wrapping
scroll-to-top Home scroll to top
scroll-to-bottom End scroll to bottom
scroll-lines(-1) move one line up
scroll-lines(1) move one line down
scroll-pages(-1) PageUp move one page up
scroll-pages(1) PageDown move one page down

The scroll-lines and scroll-pages internals are parameterized. You can for example define a shortcut to move down 5 lines:

shift-d = "scroll-lines(5)"

Job References

Job references are useful as actions, which can be bound to key combinations.

They're either role based or name based.

To refer to the job called test, you use a name based reference: job:test.

To refer to a job based on a cargo alias, add alias:, for example job:alias:r.

Role based job references are the following ones:

job reference meaning
job:default the job defined as default in the bacon.toml file
job:initial the job specified as argument, or the default one if there was none explicit
job:previous the job which ran before, if any (or we would quit). The back internal has usually the same effect