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More about the BlackSheep-CLI

The second version of the web framework offers a command-line interface (CLI) to bootstrap new projects using templates, inspired by similar CLIs of popular front-end web frameworks.

This page describes the CLI in detail, covering the following subjects:

  • How to install the blacksheep-cli.
  • How to use its help.
  • How to create a new project.
  • How to configure new templates.

Installing the CLI

The CLI is distributed as a separate package, and can be installed from the Python Package Index:

pip install blacksheep-cli

Once installed, the CLI can be used to bootstrap new projects using interactive prompts.

Beware of dependencies

It is recommended to use the blacksheep-cli only to bootstrap new projects, and to not include it as a dependency for web projects, because it includes several dependencies that are not necessary to run a web server.

Using the help

The blacksheep-cli is a Click application with auto-generated help. Type blacksheep or blacksheep --help to display the help, with the list of command groups:

CLI help

To display the help of a specific command group, use the command group name followed by --help, like in the following example:

blacksheep templates --help

Listing available templates

The blacksheep-cli is pre-configured with official templates. To list the available templates, use the blacksheep templates list, or the blacksheep templates details commands.

$ blacksheep templates list

To display details about the templates, which are stored in a configuration file in the user's folder, use the blacksheep templates details command:

blacksheep templates details

Available templates

At the time of this writing, there are two officially maintained templates. More can be added in the future, and users can configure additional templates using the blacksheep templates add command.

Creating a new project

Use the blacksheep create command to bootstrap a project using one of the supported templates. The command will prompt for the necessary input to bootstrap a new project. Aside from the project name and template type, each project template defines the parameters that are needed.

blacksheep create command

The CLI includes a help, and supports custom templates, using the same sources supported by Cookiecutter.

Templates commands

Command Description
add Adds a new template to the list of available templates. This information is stored in a configuration file in the user's folder (this is an implementation detail and might change in the future).
remove Removes a template from the list of available templates.
list Lists the names of the available templates.
details Displays details about the available templates.

Creating a new template

To create a new project template, define a new cookiecutter template.

To offer a better prompt, include a questions.json file for Python questionary, whose questions match the parameters described in cookiecutter.json; like in the API template.

The BlackSheep CLI supports all sources that are supported by cookiecutter.

Then include it in the list of available templates, using the templates add command, like in:

blacksheep templates add foo -d 'Some nice template! 🐃'

To use a specific git tag, add a ${tag} suffix to the source, like:

blacksheep templates add foov2 '$v2'


The blacksheep-cli uses Cookiecutter under the hood, with questionary to offer better prompts.

The official templates are cookiecutter templates, that can be used in a non-interactive way if desired, using the cookiecutter CLI. This can be useful to bootstrap new projects in automated jobs (CI/CD).

For example, to bootstrap a new project using the API template, with the name "foo" and using TOML files for application settings:

cookiecutter --no-input project_name=foo app_settings_format=TOML

Last modified on: 2023-12-18 17:52:09