The aspect CLI is a drop-in replacement for the bazel CLI that comes with Bazel.

Why Aspect CLI

Every organization has a different engineering culture and developer stack. Bazel was designed for Google's workflows, not yours. Many companies have found they have to write a wrapper around Bazel. This starts out as a small need to shim something in the developer workflow, and is often an untested Bash script living in /tools/bazel which Bazelisk understands as a wrapper script.

Over time, the wrapper accumulates more code, and is a constant source of developer distress.

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Homebrew (MacOS)

On MacOS, you can run

% brew install aspect-build/aspect/aspect

This installs the aspect command and also links it to bazel, just like the bazelisk installer does.

We plan to have a standard "core" homebrew formula so this will just be brew install aspect in the future.

Bazelisk (MacOS / Linux / Windows)

On any platform, so long as you already have bazelisk installed, you can have bazelisk install the Aspect CLI just like it can install the standard Bazel CLI. Add this to your .bazeliskrc in your project folder to install Aspect for all developers:

From the release you wish to use: copy the .bazeliskrc snippet into your .bazeliskrc file to install Aspect for all developers in this repository.

Note that in all cases, the .bazelversion file continues to indicate which version of the Bazel tool is fetched and run beneath the wrapper.

Manual (MacOS / Linux / Windows)

On any platform, you can download the aspect binary for your platform on our Releases page and add it to your PATH manually.

Note, if you manually install for MacOS, you can bypass the "Unknown Developer" dialog by running xattr -c $(which aspect) before launching aspect.


Just run aspect help to see the available commands. Some are the standard ones you know from Bazel, and others are new, such as print and docs.

Write a plugin

Aspect's plugin system allows you to fit Bazel into your team's development process, with custom commands, behaviors, and integrations.

A plugin is any program (written in any language) that serves our gRPC protocol. The easiest way to get started is to clone our starter template repo.

See the Plugin Documentation for more information on how to write a plugin.

Need help or having issues?

If you think you've hit a bug please file a Bug Report.

You can also find us on Bazel Slack on the #aspect-dev channel.

For Enterprise

aspect is sponsored by Aspect Development, a Bazel consulting company. If your organization needs more help to make your Bazel migration a success, come find us at

We also offer a Professional edition of the Aspect CLI. This adds features that big codebases rely on, like BUILD file generation. See our website at to learn more about our offerings.