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Service CLI#

Huma ships with a built-in lightweight utility to wrap your service with a CLI, enabling you to run it with different arguments and easily write custom commands to do things like print out the OpenAPI or run on-demand database migrations.

The CLI options use a similar strategy to input & output structs, enabling you to use the same pattern for validation and documentation of command line arguments. It uses Cobra under the hood, enabling custom commands and including automatic environment variable binding and more.

// First, define your input options.
type Options struct {
	Debug bool   `doc:"Enable debug logging"`
	Host  string `doc:"Hostname to listen on."`
	Port  int    `doc:"Port to listen on." short:"p" default:"8888"`

func main() {
	// Then, create the CLI.
	cli := humacli.New(func(hooks humacli.Hooks, opts *Options) {
		fmt.Printf("I was run with debug:%v host:%v port%v\n",
			opts.Debug, opts.Host, opts.Port)

	// Run the thing!

You can then run the CLI and see the results:

// Run with defaults
$ go run main.go
I was run with debug:false host: port:8888

// Run with options
$ go run main.go --debug=true --host=localhost --port=8000
I was run with debug:true host:localhost port:8000

To do useful work, you will want to register a handler for the default start command and optionally a way to gracefully shutdown the server:

cli := humacli.New(func(hooks humacli.Hooks, opts *Options) {
	// Set up the router and API
	// ...

	// Create the HTTP server.
	server := http.Server{
		Addr:    fmt.Sprintf(":%d", options.Port),
		Handler: router,

	hooks.OnStart(func() {
		// Start your server here

	hooks.OnStop(func() {
		// Gracefully shutdown your server here
		ctx, cancel := context.WithTimeout(context.Background(), 5*time.Second)
		defer cancel()


Option fields are automatically converted to --kebab-casing for use on the command line. If you want to use a different name, use the name struct tag to override the default behavior!

Passing Options#

Options can be passed explicitly as command-line arguments to the service or they can be provided by environment variables prefixed with SERVICE_. For example, to run the service on port 8000:

# Example passing command-line args
$ go run main.go --port=8000

# Short arguments are also supported
$ go run main.go -p 8000

# Example passing by environment variables
$ SERVICE_PORT=8000 go run main.go


If both environment variable and command-line arguments are present, then command-line arguments take priority.

Custom Options#

Custom options are defined by adding to your options struct. The following types are supported:

Type Example Inputs
bool true, false
int / int64 1234, 5, -1
string prod, http://api.example.tld/
time.Duration 500ms, 3s, 1h30m

The following struct tags are available:

Tag Description Example
default Default value (parsed automatically) default:"123"
doc Describe the option doc:"Who to greet"
name Override the name of the option name:"my-option-name"
short Single letter short name for the option short:"p" for -p

Here is an example of how to use them:

type Options struct {
	Debug bool   `doc:"Enable debug logging"`
	Host  string `doc:"Hostname to listen on."`
	Port  int    `doc:"Port to listen on." short:"p" default:"8888"`

Custom Commands#

You can access the root cobra.Command via cli.Root() and add new custom commands via cli.Root().AddCommand(...). For example, to have a command print out the generated OpenAPI:

var api huma.API

// ... set up the CLI, create the API wrapping the router ...

	Use:   "openapi",
	Short: "Print the OpenAPI spec",
	Run: func(cmd *cobra.Command, args []string) {
		b, _ := yaml.Marshal(api.OpenAPI())

Now you can run your service and use the new command: go run . openapi. Notice that it never starts the server; it just runs your command handler code. Some ideas for custom commands:

  • Print the OpenAPI spec
  • Print JSON Schemas
  • Run database migrations
  • Run customer scenario tests
  • Bundle common actions into a single utility command, like adding a new user

Custom Commands with Options#

If you want to access your custom options struct with custom commands, use the huma.WithOptions(func(cmd *cobra.Command, args []string, options *YourOptions)) func(cmd *cobra.Command, args []string) utitity function. It ensures the options are parsed and available before running your command.

More Customization

You can also overwite cli.Root().Run to completely customize how you run the server. Or just ditch the cli package altogether!

App Name & Version#

You can set the app name and version to be used in the help output and version command. By default, the app name is the name of the binary and the version is unset. You can set them using the root cobra.Command's Use and Version fields:

// cli := humacli.New(...)

cmd := cli.Root()
cmd.Use = "appname"
cmd.Version = "1.0.1"


Then you will see something like this:

$ go run ./demo --help
  appname [flags]

  -h, --help            help for appname
  -p, --port int         (default 8888)
  -v, --version         version for appname

$ go run ./demo --version
appname version 1.0.1

Dive Deeper#