Langue: en

Version: 362061 (ubuntu - 24/10/10)

Section: 5 (Format de fichier)


taskrc - Configuration file for the task(1) command


task rc:<directory-path>/.taskrc


task obtains its configuration data from a file called .taskrc . This file is normally located in the user's home directory:

The default location can be overridden using the rc: attribute when running task:

$ task rc:<directory-path>/.taskrc

Individual option can be overridden by using the rc.<name>: attribute when running task:

$ task rc.<name>:<value> ...

If task is run without an existing configuration file it will ask if it should create a default, sample .taskrc file in the user's home directory.

The task configuration file consists of a series of "assignments" in each line. The "assignments" have the syntax:



is one of the variables described below
is the value the variable is to be set to.

and set a configuration variable to a certain value. The equal sign ("=") is used to separate the variable name from the value to be set.

The hash mark, or pound sign ("#") is used as a "comment" character. It can be used to annotate the configuration file. All text after the character to the end of the line is ignored.

Note that task is flexible about the values used to represent Boolean items. You can use "on", "yes", "y", "1", "true", "t", "+", "enabled". Anything else means "off".


You can edit your .taskrc file by hand if you wish, or you can use the 'config' command. To permanently set a value in your .taskrc file, use this command:
$ task config nag "You have higher priority tasks!"

To delete an entry, use this command:

$ task config nag

Task will then use the default value. To explicitly set a value to blank, and therefore avoid using the default value, use this command:

$ task config nag ""

Task will also display all your settings with this command:

$ task config

and in addition, will also perform a check of all the values in the file, warning you of anything it finds amiss.


The .taskrc can include other files containing configuration settings by using the include statement:
include <path/to/the/configuration/file/to/be/included>

By using include files you can divide your main configuration file into several ones containing just the relevant configuration data like colors, etc.

There are two excellent uses of includes in your .taskrc, shown here:

include /usr/local/share/doc/task/rc/holidays-US.rc
include /usr/local/share/doc/task/rc/dark-16.theme

This includes two standard files that are distributed with task, which define a set of US holidays, and set up a 16-color theme for task to use, to color the reports and calendar.


Valid variable names and their default values are:


This is a path to the directory containing all the task files. By default, it is set up to be ~/.task, for example: /home/paul/.task

Note that you can use the ~ shell meta character, which will be properly expanded.

Determines whether task uses file locking when accessing the pending.data and completed.data files. Defaults to "on". Solaris users who store the task data files on an NFS mount may need to set locking to "off". Note that there is danger in setting this value to "off" - another program (or another instance of task) may write to the task.pending file at the same time.


Determines whether task uses ncurses to establish the size of the window you are using, for text wrapping.
The width of tables used when ncurses support is not available. Defaults to 80.
Specifies which text editor you wish to use for when the task edit <ID> command is used. Task will first look for this configuration variable. If found, it is used. Otherwise task will look for the $VISUAL or $EDITOR environment variables, before it defaults to using "vi".


The locale is a combination of ISO 639-1 language code and ISO 3166 country code. If not specified, task will assume en-US. If specified, task will locate the correct file of localized strings and proceed. It is an error to specify a locale for which there is no strings file.
May be "yes" or "no", and determines whether task will ask for confirmation before deleting a task or doing bulk changes. The default value is "yes".
May be "yes" or "no", and causes task to display the ID and description of any task when you run the start, stop, do, undo or delete commands. The default value is "yes".
Controls the display of annotations in reports. Defaults to full - all annotations are displayed. Set to "sparse" only the last (newest) annotation is displayed and if there are more than one present for a task a "+" sign is added to the description. Set to "none" the output of annotations is disabled and a "+" sign will be added if there are any annotations present. The default value is "full".
Is a number, defaulting to 2, which is the number of tasks for each project that are shown in the task next command.
Is a number, defaulting to 2. When more than this number of tasks are modified in a single command, confirmation will be required, unless the confirmation variable is "no".

This is useful for preventing large-scale unintended changes.

nag=You have higher priority tasks.
This may be a string of text, or blank. It is used as a prompt when a task is started or completed that is not considered high priority. The "task next" command lists important tasks, and completing one of those does not generate this nagging. Default value is: You have higher priority tasks. It is a gentle reminder that you are contradicting your own priority settings.
May be yes or no, and determines whether the tab completion scripts consider all the project names you have used, or just the ones used in active tasks. The default value is "no".
May be yes or no, and determines whether 'projects' command lists all the project names you have used, or just the ones used in active tasks. The default value is "no".
May be yes or no, and determines whether the tab completion scripts consider all the tag names you have used, or just the ones used in active tasks. The default value is "no".
May be yes or no, and determines whether the 'tags' command lists all the tag names you have used, or just the ones used in active tasks. The default value is "no".
May be yes or no, and determines whether keyword lookup and substitutions on the description and annotations are done in a case sensitive way. Defaults to yes.
Task shuts off color automatically when the output is not sent directly to a a TTY. For example, this command:
$ task list > file

will not use any color. To override this, use:

$ task rc._forcecolor=yes list > file
Turning this value off causes task to generate a more vertically compact output.
The task shell command uses this value as a prompt. You can change it to any string you like.
The character or string to show in the active column. Defaults to *.
The character or string to show in the tag_indicator column. Defaults to +.
The character or string to show in the recurrence_indicator column. Defaults to R.
The number of future recurring tasks to show. Defaults to 1. For example, if a weekly recurring task is added with a due date of tomorrow, and recurrence.limit is set to 2, then a report will list 2 pending recurring tasks, one for tomorrow, and one for a week from tomorrow.
When the 'undo' command is run, task presents a before and after comparison of the data. This can be in either the 'side' style, which compares values side-by-side in a table, or 'diff' style, which uses a format similar to the 'diff' command.
Task has a debug mode that causes diagnostic output to be displayed. Typically this is not something anyone would want, but when reporting a bug, debug output can be useful. It can also help explain how the command line is being parsed, but the information is displayed in a developer-friendly, not a user-friendly way.
Task supports command aliases. This alias provides an alternate name (rm) for the delete command. You can use aliases to provide alternate names for any of task's commands. Several commands you may use are actually aliases - 'history', for example, or 'export'.


This is a string of characters that define how task formats date values. The precedence order for the configuration variable is report.X.dateformat then reportdateformat then dateformat. While report.X.dateformat only formats the due date in reports, reportdateformat formats the due date both in reports and "task info". If both of these are not set then dateformat will be applied to the due date. Entered dates as well as all other displayed dates in reports are formatted according to dateformat.

The default value is: m/d/Y. The string should contain the characters:

m minimal-digit month, for example 1 or 12
d minimal-digit day, for example 1 or 30
y two-digit year, for example 09
D two-digit day, for example 01 or 30
M two-digit month, for example 01 or 12
Y four-digit year, for example 2009
a short name of weekday, for example Mon or Wed
A long name of weekday, for example Monday or Wednesday
b short name of month, for example Jan or Aug
B long name of month, for example January or August
V weeknumber, for example 03 or 37
H two-digit hour, for example 03 or 11
N two-digit minutes, for example 05 or 42
S two-digit seconds, for example 07 or 47
The string may also contain other characters to act as spacers, or formatting. Examples for other values of dateformat:

d/m/Y would use for input and output 24/7/2009
yMD would use for input and output 090724
M-D-Y would use for input and output 07-24-2009
Examples for other values of reportdateformat:

a D b Y (V) would do an output as "Fri 24 Jul 2009 (30)"
A, B D, Y would do an output as "Friday, July 24, 2009"
vV a Y-M-D would do an output as "v30 Fri 2009-07.24"
Determines the day a week starts. Valid values are Sunday or Monday only. The default value is "Sunday".
Determines if week numbers are displayed when using the "task calendar" command. The week number is dependent on the day a week starts. The default value is "yes".
This is the number of days into the future that define when a task is considered due, and is colored accordingly. The default value is 7.
If set to full running "task calendar" will display the details of tasks with due dates that fall into the calendar period. The corresponding days will be color-coded in the calendar. If set to sparse only the corresponding days will be color coded and no details will be displayed. The displaying of due dates with details is turned off by setting the variable to none. The default value is "sparse".
The report to run when displaying the details of tasks with due date when running the "task calendar" command. The default value is "list".
If set to full running "task calendar" will display holidays in the calendar by color-coding the corresponding days. A detailed list with the dates and names of the holidays is also shown. If set to sparse only the days are color-coded and no details on the holidays will be displayed. The displaying of holidays is turned off by setting the variable to none. The default value is "none".
Holidays are entered either directly in the .taskrc file or via an include file that is specified in .taskrc. For each holiday the name and the date is required to be given:

holiday.towel.name=Day of the towel
holiday.sysadmin.name=System Administrator Appreciation Day
Dates are to be entered according to the setting in the dateformat.holiday variable.
The following holidays are computed automatically: Good Friday (goodfriday), Easter (easter), Easter monday (eastermonday), Ascension (ascension), Pentecost (pentecost). The date for these holidays is the given keyword:


Note that the task distribution contains example holiday files that can be included like this:

include /usr/local/share/doc/task/rc/holidays-US.rc
Determines how many months the "task calendar" command renders across the screen. Defaults to however many will fit. If more months than will fit are specified, task will only show as many that will fit.


May be "on" or "off". Determines whether task uses color. When "off", task will use dashes (-----) to underline column headings.
Determines if font underlines or ASCII dashes should be used to underline headers, even when color is enabled.

Task has a number of coloration rules. They correspond to a particular attribute of a task, such as it being due, or being active, and specifies the automatic coloring of that task. A list of valid colors, depending on your terminal, can be obtained by running the command:

task color
The coloration rules and their defaults are:
color.overdue=bold red The color for overdue tasks.
color.due.today=bold magenta The color of tasks due today.
color.due=bold yellow The color of due tasks.
color.pri.H=bold The color of priority:H tasks.
color.pri.M=on yellow The color of priority:M tasks. No default value.
color.pri.L=on green The color of priority:L tasks. No default value.
color.pri.none=white on blue The color of priority: tasks. No default value.
color.active=bold cyan The color of active tasks.
color.tagged=yellow The color of tagged tasks.
color.recurring=on red The color for recurring tasks.
To disable a coloration rule for which there is a default, set the value to nothing, for example:

See the task-color(5) man pages for color details.

Certain attributes like tags, projects and keywords can have their own coloration rules.

Colors any task that has the tag X.
color.project.X=on green
Colors any task assigned to project X.
color.keyword.X=on blue
Colors any task where the description or any annotation contains X.
Colors any of the messages printed prior to the report output.
Colors any of the messages printed last.
color.summary.bar=on green
Colors the summary progress bar. Should consist of a background color.
color.summary.background=on black
Colors the summary progress bar. Should consist of a background color.
color.calendar.today=black on cyan
Color of today in calendar.
color.calendar.due=black on green
Color of days with due tasks in calendar.
color.calendar.due.today=black on magenta
Color of today with due tasks in calendar.
color.calendar.overdue=black on red
Color of days with overdue tasks in calendar.
color.calendar.weekend=bright white on black
Color of weekend days in calendar.
color.calendar.holiday=black on bright yellow
Color of holidays in calendar.
color.calendar.weeknumber=black on white
Color of weeknumbers in calendar.
color.alternate=on rgb253
Color of alternate tasks. This is to apply a specific color to every other task in a report, which can make it easier to visually separate tasks. This is especially useful when tasks are displayed over multiple lines due to long descriptions or annotations.
color.history.add=on red

color.history.done=on green
color.history.delete=on yellow
Colors the bars on the ghistory report graphs. Defaults to red, green and yellow bars.

Colors used by the undo command, to indicate the values both before and after a change that is to be reverted.


If specified, designates a file path that will be automatically written to by task, whenever the task database changes. In other words, it is automatically kept up to date. The shadow.command configuration variable is used to determine which report is written to the shadow file. There is no color used in the shadow file. This feature can be useful in maintaining a current file for use by programs like GeekTool, Conky or Samurize.
This is the command that is run to maintain the shadow file, determined by the shadow.file configuration variable. The format is identical to that of default.command . Please see the corresponding documentation for that command.
When this value is set to "on", task will display a message whenever the shadow file is updated by some task command.


Provides a default project name for the task add command, if you don't specify one. The default is blank.
Provides a default priority for the task add command, if you don't specify one. The default is blank.
Provides a default command that is run every time task is invoked with no arguments. For example, if set to:
default.command=list project:foo
then task will run the "list project:foo" command if no command is specified. This means that by merely typing
$ task
[task list project:foo]

ID Project Pri Description
 1 foo     H   Design foo
 2 foo         Build foo


The reports can be customized by using the following configuration variables. The output columns, their labels and the sort order can be set using the corresponding variables for each report. Each report name is used as a "command" name. For example

task overdue
The description for report X when running the "task help" command.
The columns that will be used when generating the report X. Valid columns are: id, uuid, project, priority, entry, start, due, recur, recur_indicator, age, age_compact, active, tags, tag_indicator, description, description_only, countdown, countdown_compact. The IDs are separated by commas.
The labels for each column that will be used when generating report X. The labels are a comma separated list.
The sort order of the tasks in the generated report X. The sort order is specified by using the column ids post-fixed by a "+" for ascending sort order or a "-" for descending sort order. The sort IDs are separated by commas
This adds a filter to the report X so that only tasks matching the filter criteria are displayed in the generated report.
This adds a dateformat to the report X that will be used by the "due date" column. If it is not set then reportdateformat and dateformat will be used in this order. See the DATES section for details on the sequence placeholders.
This adds the possibility to control the output of annotations for a task in a report. See the annotations variable for details on the possible values.
An optional value to a report limiting the number of displayed tasks in the generated report.
Task comes with a number of predefined reports in its default configuration
file. These reports are:
Lists all task, all data, matching the specified criteria.
Lists all tasks matching the specified criteria.
Short listing of all tasks matching the specified criteria.
Minimal listing of all tasks matching the specified criteria.
Shows the newest tasks.
Shows the oldest tasks.
Lists overdue tasks matching the specified criteria.
Lists active tasks matching the specified criteria.
Lists completed tasks matching the specified criteria.
Lists recurring tasks matching the specified criteria.
Lists all waiting tasks matching the specified criteria.
Lists all tasks matching the specified criteria.
Lists all tasks with upcoming due dates matching the specified criteria.


task was written by P. Beckingham <paul@beckingham.net>.
Copyright (C) 2006 - 2010 P. Beckingham

This man page was originally written by Federico Hernandez.

task is distributed under the GNU General Public License. See http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.txt for more information.


task(1), task-tutorial(5), task-faq(5) task-color(5)

For more information regarding task, the following may be referenced:

The official site at
The official code repository at
You can contact the project by writing an email to


Bugs in task may be reported to the issue-tracker at