Nova Run Tasks

Run Tasks provide a highly-configurable interface for running external operations from inside Nova. You can create your own Run Tasks, or they may be provided by Extensions you have installed.

Custom Tasks

Out of the box, Nova offers Custom Tasks – small scripts that can be invoked on-demand without having to open a terminal.

We’ll focus on creating Custom Tasks for the rest of this article, but many of the concepts will apply to extension-provided tasks as well.


Custom Tasks, like any other task, can define behavior for up to three different actions:

  • Build
  • Run
  • Clean

Each action type can be defined however you need. For example, you could:

  • Start a local web server
  • Kick off a build script
  • Run a processor or preprocessor
  • Clean up build artifacts

Depending on your project requirements, you might define only one action for your task, but any combination of Build, Run, and Clean may be defined as needed.

Invoking Actions

Once you have a task configured, Nova provides several different methods for invoking the actions it defines:


Build and Run actions are available in the Tasks section of the toolbar:

build and run buttons in Nova's toolbar

Build, Run, and Clean are all available under the Project menu and can also be invoked using their keyboard shortcuts.

  • Command-B to Build
  • Command-R to Run
  • Command-Shift-K to clean

Command Palette

Build, Run, and Clean are all available from the Command Palette:

tasks showing in command palette

Let’s take a closer look at how you might configure a new Custom Task to work with an existing project.

Part 2: Taskifying NPM Scripts

This article was last updated on July 27, 2020