How to display Maven plugin goals and parameters

How do you know what is the available goals of a maven plugin, for example maven-eclipse plugin – mvn eclipse:goals?. In this article, we will show you how to display the entire goals of a Maven plugin.

Plugin Documentation
The best solution is Googling and visit the plugin documentation, for maven-eclipse, visit this maven-eclipse plugin documentation page

1. help:describe

Alternatively, you can use this maven-help plugin to display a list of available goals and parameters of a plugin. For example,

1.1. List all of the available goals of maven-eclipse plugin.

$ mvn help:describe -Dplugin=eclipse


$ mvn help:describe -Dplugin=eclipse

Name: Maven Eclipse Plugin
Description: The Eclipse Plugin is used to generate Eclipse IDE files
  (.project, .classpath and the .settings folder) from a POM.
Group Id: org.apache.maven.plugins
Artifact Id: maven-eclipse-plugin
Version: 2.9
Goal Prefix: eclipse

This plugin has 13 goals:

  Description: Generates MyEclipse configuration files

  Description: Deletes configuration files used by MyEclipse

  Description: Generates the rad-6 configuration files.

  Description: Deletes the config files used by Rad-6. the files .j2ee and
    the file .websettings

  Description: Removes the not-available marker files from the repository.


1.2 Display the detail of maven-eclipse, “eclipse” goal and all its parameters.

$ mvn help:describe -Dplugin=eclipse -Dmojo=eclipse -Dfull=true


$ mvn help:describe -Dplugin=eclipse -Dmojo=eclipse -Dfull=true

  Description: Generates the following eclipse configuration files:
    - .project and .classpath files
    - .setting/org.eclipse.jdt.core.prefs with project specific compiler

  Available parameters:

    addGroupIdToProjectName (Default: false)
      Expression: ${eclipse.addGroupIdToProjectName}
      If set to true, the groupId of the artifact is appended to the name of
      the generated Eclipse project. See projectNameTemplate for other options.

      List of eclipse build commands to be added to the default ones. Old


1.3. Few help:describe examples to describe maven-archetype plugin :

$ mvn help:describe -Dplugin=archetype

$ mvn help:describe -Dplugin=archetype -Dmojo=generate -Ddetail


  1. Maven Eclipse Plugin
  2. Configuring Describe Goal
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Binh Thanh Nguyen
Binh Thanh Nguyen

Thanks, nice tips