CUE's cli commands

This section provides a brief overview of CUE’s cli commands and their usage. We will be using many of these throughout and you will find links to the more in depth topics.

Main commands

These are the most common commands used from the cue cli.

cue def

Prints a consolidated representation of your code. Useful for seeing what the evaluator sees before running.

cue eval

The eval command evaluates, validates, and prints a configuration. It can show the evaluated code and more with various flags.

cue export

Evaluates and emits configuration from the arguments. It is typically used to generate Yaml and JSON from CUE for other tools.

cue vet

Validates data with schemas. Use -c to ensure concrete values, -d to select a schema, and file globs to process multiple files.


Import refers to bringing external resources into CUE.

  • cue import turns various data formats to CUE
  • cue get go generates CUE from Go types

See first-steps/import-configuration for more details.


cue mod only has init today. Eventually it will be something that closely aligns with go mod.

See first-steps/modules-and-packages and cueology/futurology/dependency-management for more details.


cue cmd is how commands in the tooling layer are invoked. You can run cue cmd <name> or cue <name> as long as there is not a conflict with any official commands.

See first-steps/scripting for more details.


  • cue version information
  • cue fmt for standardized and consistent code
  • cue completion for bash, zsh, fish, and powershell
  • cue fix for syntax fixes and rewriting
  • cue trim reduces data redundancy base on schemas


While there is of course cue help for all the commands, you can find additional information with the help topics which span the cli.

Additional help topics:
  cue commands   user-defined commands
  cue filetypes  supported file types and qualifiers
  cue flags      common flags for composing packages
  cue injection  inject files or values into specific fields for a build
  cue inputs     package list, patterns, and files

You can also supply the -h flag on any command to learn more.

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