Guard is a command line tool to easily handle events on file system modifications.

This project is maintained by guard


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Guard Icon Guard automates various tasks by running custom rules whenever file or directories are modified.

It’s frequently used by software developers, web designers, writers and other specialists to avoid mundane, repetitive actions and commands such as “relaunching” tools after changing source files or configurations.

Common use cases include: an IDE replacement, web development tools, designing “smart” and “responsive” build systems/workflows, automating various project tasks and installing/monitoring various system services.

For a full categorized list of known Guard plugins, look here:

If you have any questions about Guard or want to share some information with the Guard community, please go to one of the following places:

Before you file an issue, make sure you have read the known issues and file an issue sections that contains some important information.



Two nice screencasts are available to help you get started:


The simplest way to install Guard is to use Bundler.

Add Guard (and any other dependencies) to a Gemfile in your project’s root:

group :development do
  gem 'guard'

then install it by running Bundler:

$ bundle

Generate an empty Guardfile with:

$ bundle exec guard init

Run Guard through Bundler with:

$ bundle exec guard

If you are on Mac OS X and have problems with either Guard not reacting to file changes or Pry behaving strange, then you should add proper Readline support to Ruby on macOS.

Avoiding gem/dependency problems

It’s important that you always run Guard through Bundler to avoid errors.

If you’re getting sick of typing bundle exec all the time, try one of the following:

(To upgrade RubyGems from RVM, use the rvm rubygems command).

NOTE: this Rubygems feature is still under development still lacks many features of bundler

Add Guard plugins

Guard is now ready to use and you should add some Guard plugins for your specific use. Start exploring the many Guard plugins available by browsing the Guard organization on GitHub or by searching for guard- on RubyGems.

When you have found a Guard plugin of your interest, add it to your Gemfile:

group :development do
  gem '<guard-plugin-name>'

See the init section of the Guard usage below to see how to install the supplied plugin template that you can install and to suit your needs.


Guard is run from the command line. Please open your terminal and go to your project work directory.

Look here for a full list of Guard commands


Just launch Guard inside your Ruby or Rails project with:

$ bundle exec guard

Guard will look for a Guardfile or guardfile.rb in your current directory. If it does not find one, it will look in your $HOME directory for a .Guardfile.

Please look here to see all the command line options for Guard


Please read how to interact with Guard on the console and which signals Guard accepts

Guardfile DSL

For details on extending your Guardfile look at Guardfile examples or look at a list of commands Guardfile-DSL / Configuring-Guard


Before reporting a problem, please read how to File an issue.

Development / Contributing

See the Contributing Guide.



How to release

  1. Determine which would be the correct next version number according to semver.
  2. Update the version in ./lib/guard/version.rb.
  3. Commit the version in a single commit, the message should be “Bump VERSION to X.Y.Z”.
  4. Push and open a pull request.
  5. Once CI is green, merge the pull request.
  6. Pull the changes locally and run bundle exec rake release:full; this will tag, push to GitHub, publish to, and publish the release notes .


Thibaud Guillaume-Gentil (@thibaudgg)

Core Team