FPM (Fantom Pod Manager)User Guide


Fantom Pod Manager (FPM) provides a targeted environment for building, testing, and running Fantom applications.

It provides tools to:

  • query repositories for pods
  • install / delete pods to / from repositories
  • update dependencies for pods and Fantom projects

It is one of those boring system libraries you can't do without!

A typical Fantom installation only allows one version of any given pod. This works fine when developing or running just one application. But when developing multiple projects, each requiring different versions of the same pod; then you either need multiple Fantom environments (one for each application) ... or you need FPM.

FPM maintains a local fanr file repository of Fantom pods, where it can keep multiple versions of the same pod. When a Fantom application is built, test, or run via FPM; then from that repository, FPM cherry picks just the pod versions you need.

Quick Start

Install FPM via fanr, then run the setup command:

C:\> fan afFpm setup

The setup command creates an fpm.bat file and a default fpm.props file. You can now use fpm from the command line to download, install, and run Fantom apps:

To install a library and all its dependencies:

C:\> fpm install afIoc

To run an application:

C:\> fpm run myApp

To update dependencies:

C:\> fpm update myApp

The update command in particular is very helpful. If no pod or app is given, it looks for a build.fan in the current directory and parses it for dependencies.

If you've just cloned a code repository from BitBucket or GitHub, then a quick fpm update from the project directory is all you need to download all the required dependencies!

FPM How To...

These assume you have a remote fanr repository configured in fpm.props. Note that Eggbox is configured by default.

Note that in any command below, update may be used as an alias for install.

...download a new library

Use the install command:

C:\> fpm install podName

If the pod doesn't exist locally, it will be downloaded along with any (transient) dependencies it needs.

...update a library

Use the install command:

C:\> fpm install podName

If a newer version exists online, it will be downloaded along with any (transient) dependencies it needs.

...update dependencies for a library

Use the install command with a specific version:

C:\> fpm install podName/2.0.0

If newer dependencies exists online, they will be downloaded.

...update dependencies for a project

Use the install command, on its own or specify a build file:

C:\> fpm install
C:\> fpm install build.fan

The build file will be parsed for project dependencies, which are queried and downloaded should newer versions exist online.

...copy dependencies in to a directory

Use the install command, specifying the directory as the target repository:

C:\> fpm install podName -r /lib/fan/

podName.pod and all its dependencies will be copied into the target directory.

...install a directory of library files

Use the install command, specifying the directory the source:

C:\> fpm install /lib/fan/

All the pods found in /lib/fan/ will be installed for future use.

This is handy for absorbing a new installation of SkySpark to develop against.

FPM Environment

FPM needs to know where it can find different pod versions. This is the FPM Environment and is highly configurable to suit many needs.

Pods may be found in:

  • Directory Repositories - arbitrary directories that contain pods. Work directories and the Fantom Home directories are added to this list.
  • Fanr Repositories - named local or remote fanr repositories.

To see how the FPM environment is configured on your system, type fpm on it's own:

C:\> fpm

Fantom Pod Manager

FPM Environment:
      Home Dir : C:\Apps\fantom-1.0.70
     Work Dirs : C:\Repositories\Fantom
      Pod Dirs : (none)

FPM Config

FPM gathers config for its environment from a series of fpm.props files. These files are looked for in the following locations:

  • <FAN_HOME>/etc/afFpm/fpm.props
  • <WORK_DIR>/etc/afFpm/fpm.props
  • <currentDir>/fpm.props

Note that the config files are additive but the values are not. If all 3 files exist, then all 3 files are merged together, with config values from a more specific file replacing (or overriding) values found in less specific one.

<WORK_DIR> may be specified with the FPM_ENV_PATH environment variable. This means that ALL the config for FPM may live outside of the Fantom installation. The only FPM file that needs to live in the Fantom installation is the afFpm.pod file itself.

Have a read of your fpm.props file, it contains lots of useful comments and instructions!

Note: To get the most out of FPM, you should edit fpm.props and add a local fanr repository for default:

fanrRepo.default  = ${fanHome}repo-default

FPM Commands

To build, test, or run a fantom application (or script), FPM needs to know which pod or application it should provide dependencies for. This is known as the target pod.

It is possible to use environment variables to set this up (See Behind the scenes), but it is far easier to launch your application using fpm itself. See build, test, and run commands for details. Note these commands spawn extra processes that launch your Fantom build / program / test.

So there are two types of commands:

  • those that execute Fantom code: build, test, run
  • those that manage repositories: query, install, delete


Sets up FPM in the current Fantom environment.

C:\> fan afFpm setup

Setup performs the following operations:

  1. Creates fpm.bat in the bin/ directory of the current Fantom installation. Or creates an fpm executable script on nix systems.
  2. Creates a default fpm.props config file in the Fantom etc/afFpm/ directory.

After setup you should be able to run FPM from the command prompt with the fpm command.


fpm setup
fpm help setup


Builds a Fantom application.

Runs build tasks from build.fan within an FPM environment.

The targeted environment is derived from the depends pod list defined in build.fan.

build.fan should be in the current directory.

If (and only if) a repository is specified, then any pod built is installed into it.


C:\> fpm build
C:\> fpm build compileTask -r release


Tests a Fantom application.

Executes tests via fant within an FPM environment.

The target environment is taken to be the containing pod of the executed test. It may be explicitly overridden using the -target option.


C:\> fpm test myPod
C:\> fpm test -js -target myPod myPod::TestClass


Runs a Fantom application.

Executes a pod / method, within an FPM environment.

The target environment is taken to be the containing pod of the executed method. It may be explicitly overridden using the -target option.


C:\> fpm run myPod
C:\> fpm run -js -target myPod2 myPod::MyClass


Queries repositories for pods.

The whole FPM environment is queried, including all local file and remote fanr repositories.


C:\> fpm query myPod
C:\> fpm query myPod/2.0+
C:\> fpm query "myPod 2.0+"


Installs pods to a repository.

The pod may be:

  • a file location (e.g. lib/myGame.pod or C:\lib\myGame.pod)
  • a simple search query (e.g. afIoc/3.0 or "afIoc 3.0")
  • a directory of pods (e.g. lib/ or C:\lib\)
  • a build file (e.g. build.fan - use to update dependencies)

The repository may be:

  • a named repository (e.g. eggbox)
  • a local directory (e.g. lib/ or C:\lib\)
  • a remote fanr URL (e.g. http://eggbox.fantomfactory.org/fanr/)

All the above makes the install command very versatile.

To download and install the latest pod from a remote repository:

C:\> fpm install myPod

To download and install a specific pod version to a local repository:

C:\> fpm install -r release "myPod 2.0.10"

To upload and publish a pod to the eggbox repository:

C:\> fpm install -r eggbox lib/myPod.pod


Deletes a pod from a local repository. (Remote fanr repositories don't support pod deletion.)

The repository may be:

  • a named local repository (e.g. default)
  • the location of directory (e.g. C:\lib-release\)


C:\> fpm delete myPod
C:\> fpm delete myPod/2.0.10 -r release

Javascript Environments

FPM lets you run Fantom applications and tests in a Javascript environment; which for quick tests, is easier than sparking up a web server and browser! Use the -js option available in the run and test commands:

C:\> fpm run -js myPod

C:\> fpm test -js myPod

Note the Javascript environment requires NodeJS to be installed on your system.

Behind the Scenes

For FPM to do its thing, Fantom programs need have afFpm::FpmEnv as their current environment. This can only be configured at boot time via the FPM_ENV environment variable.

C:\> set FAN_ENV=afFpm::FpmEnv

To build, test, or run a Fantom application, FPM needs to know which pod it should resolve dependencies for. This is known as the target pod.

In most common cases FPM is able to infer the target pod from what is being run, usually from inspecting Env.mainMethod(). In other cases you can set the FPM_TARGET environment variable.

C:\> set FPM_TARGET=myPod

FPM will always use the FPM_TARGET environment variable if it is set.

You can then run your Fantom program as normal.

C:\> fan myPod

If FPM fails to resolve a target pod then it falls back to providing the latest versions of all pods.

Continually setting up environment variables can be tiresome. That is why FPM comes bundled with the helper commands build, test, and run. These commands don't need env vars to be set up, because they parse and inspect the command line, and spawn a new Fantom process with all the required env vars pre-set.


Providing a targeted environment is a tricky business and sometimes doesn't herald the results you expect - especially if you have a couple of fpm.props files and / or multiple local repositories. To combat this, you can turn on FPM debugging for any command by using the debug or -d option:

C:\> fpm build -debug

Then when invoked, FPM dumps a full trace of the resolved environment. The resolved pods section is great for seeing where pod versions are loaded from.

C:\Projects>fpm run -d flux

FPM running flux
[debug] [afFpm]
[debug] [afFpm] Fantom Pod Manager (FPM) v0.2.0
[debug] [afFpm] -------------------------------
[debug] [afFpm]
[debug] [afFpm] Resolving pods for flux 0+
[debug] [afFpm] Found 6 versions of 6 different pods
[debug] [afFpm] Calculated   1 dependency pod permutation
[debug] [afFpm] Collapsed to 1 dependency group permutation
[debug] [afFpm] Stated problem space in 35ms
[debug] [afFpm] Solving...
[debug] [afFpm]           ...Done
[debug] [afFpm] Cached 0 bad dependency groups
[debug] [afFpm] Found 1 solution in 3ms
[debug] [afFpm]

FPM (0.2.0) Environment:

    Target Pod : flux 0+
      Base Dir : C:\
  Fan Home Dir : C:\Apps\fantom-1.0.70
     Work Dirs : C:\Repositories-Fantom\workDir
      Temp Dir : C:\Repositories-Fantom\workDir\temp
  Config Files : C:\Repositories-Fantom\workDir\etc\afFpm\fpm.props

     Dir Repos :
       workDir = C:\Repositories-Fantom\workDir\lib\fan
       fanHome = C:\Apps\fantom-1.0.70\lib\fan

    Fanr Repos :
       default = file:/C:/Repositories-Fantom/repo-default/
        eggbox = http://eggbox.fantomfactory.org/fanr/

Resolved 6 pods:
    compiler 1.0.70 - C:\Apps\fantom-1.0.70\lib\fan\compiler.pod
  concurrent 1.0.70 - C:\Apps\fantom-1.0.70\lib\fan\concurrent.pod
        flux 1.0.70 - C:\Apps\fantom-1.0.70\lib\fan\flux.pod
         fwt 1.0.70 - C:\Apps\fantom-1.0.70\lib\fan\fwt.pod
         gfx 1.0.70 - C:\Apps\fantom-1.0.70\lib\fan\gfx.pod
         sys 1.0.70 - C:\Apps\fantom-1.0.70\lib\fan\sys.pod

Debug may also be enabled by setting the FPM_DEBUG environment variable to true:

C:\> set FPM_DEBUG = true

Debug can also be turned on by adding this line to %FAN_HOME%/etc/sys/log.props:


Environment Variables

A list of environment variables used by FPM:

FAN_ENV_PODS - a list of pod files (their OS path locations) that should always be resolved and trump all other versions. This var is provided by F4 when launching Runtimes.

FPM_ALL_PODS - set to true to force the environement to resolve (the latest versions of) all known pods, after resolving the target.

FPM_CONFIG_FILENAME - filename of the config files to look for, should be prefixed with the FPM version. Used for developing new versions of FPM, whilst still using an older one.

FPM_DEBUG - set to true to enable FPM debugging. It's often easier to set this than alter the logging config.

FPM_RESOLVE_TIMEOUT_1 - if resolving takes longer than this, and at least one solution has been found, then resolving stops and a potentially sub-optimal solution is returned. Defaults to 5sec.

FPM_RESOLVE_TIMEOUT_2 - if resolving takes longer than this, then resolving stops and reports no solution could be found. Defaults to 10sec.

FPM_TARGET - the target pod to resolve an environment for.

FPM_TRACE - set to true to have the resolver save a file detailing the problem space that can subsequently be used in testing / debugging. The file defaults to fpm-trace-deps.txt in the current directory.


FPM_ALL_PODS          = true
FPM_CONFIG_FILENAME   = 0.2.0/fpm2.props
FPM_DEBUG             = true
FPM_TARGET            = afIoc/3.0.6
FPM_TRACE             = true

Note an cmd line argument of -fpmTarget can be used to set the target pod in place of the FPM_TARGET environment variable.

F4 IDE Plugin

What use is a pod manager if you can't use it in your favourite IDE?

See the Alien-Factory F4 Features to install an FPM plugin for F4, enabling F4 to resolve pods from FPM repositories.