Automating Tasks with Aap

Aap is a flexible tool that can do what make does and much more. Learn how to write portable recipes for maintaining your Web sites and building programs.

Normally, you don't need to use much Python in your recipe, but it is good to know that complicated tasks are possible to accomplish when they arise.

Installing Packages

We already mentioned that Aap can install rsync for you if it cannot be found on your system. The package install mechanism also can be invoked directly. For example, to install Agide use the command aap --install agide. Agide is the A-A-P GUI IDE, another part of the A-A-P Project. You can use it to build and debug programs with Vim and gdb. It still is in an early stage of development, but it is good enough to develop and debug C programs.

Several packages currently are available, and more will be added over time. A list of the current packages can be found on Aap itself also can be installed. Updating to the latest version can be done with aap --install aap. This command overwrites any existing Aap version. If your system has a package manager, you probably should use that instead.


You now have an idea of the tasks that you can automate with Aap. When you start experimenting you can find a lot of help in the comprehensive documentation. You can find it on the Aap Web site in several forms (see Resources). These pages explain many things that could not be included in this article, such as using CVS for version control, automatic configuration and so on.

Resources for this article: /article/7458.

Bram Moolenaar is the project leader and main author of Aap. He is known mostly for his work on Vim, the text editor. Bram's work on Aap was funded by Stichting NLnet You can find his home page at



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Anonymous's picture

Hi Bram
Thank you for your great tutorials.
I Use a lot of it myself and you have been a great help to turn to whenever i am stuck on a project.
Please keep up the good job.
Founder of
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