Provided by: task_1.9.4-0ubuntu4_i386 bug


       task-faq - A FAQ for the task(1) command line todo manager.


       Taskwarrior is a command line TODO list manager. It maintains a list of
       tasks that you want to do, allowing you to  add/remove,  and  otherwise
       manipulate  them.   Taskwarrior  has a rich list of commands that allow
       you to do various things with it.


       Welcome to the taskwarrior FAQ.  If  you  have  would  like  to  see  a
       question    answered    here,    please    send    us    a    note   at

       Q: When I redirect the output to a file, I lose all the colors. How  do
       I fix this?
              A: Taskwarrior knows (or thinks it knows) when the output is not
              going directly to a terminal,  and  strips  out  all  the  color
              control  characters.   This  is based on the assumption that the
              color control codes are not wanted in the  file.   Prevent  this
              with the following entry in your .taskrc file:


              There  is an additional problem with using pagers such as 'less'
              and 'more'.  When using less, these options  will  preserve  the
              color codes:

                  task ... | less -FrX

              There  have  been problems reported with the Linux 'more' pager,
              which inserts newline characters.

       Q: How do I backup my taskwarrior data files? Where are they?
              A: Taskwarrior writes all pending tasks to the file


              and all completed and deleted tasks to


              They are text files, so they  can  just  be  copied  to  another
              location  for  safekeeping.   Don't  forget  there  is  also the
              ~/.taskrc file  that  contains  your  taskwarrior  configuration
              data.   To  be  sure,  and to future-proof your backup, consider
              backing up all the files in the ~/.task directory.

       Q: How can I separate my work tasks from my home  tasks?  Specifically,
       can I keep them completely separate?
              A:  You  can do this by creating an alternate .taskrc file, then
              using shell aliases. Here are example Bash commands  to  achieve

                  % cp ~/.taskrc ~/.taskrc_home
                  %   (now   edit   .taskrc_home   to   change  the  value  of
                  % alias wtask="task"
                  % alias htask="task rc:~/.taskrc_home"

              This gives you two commands, 'wtask' and  'htask'  that  operate
              using two different sets of task data files.

       Q: Can I revert to a previous version of taskwarrior? How?
              A:  Yes, you can revert to a previous version of task, simply by
              downloading an older version and installing it. If  you  find  a
              bug  in  task,  then this may be the only way to work around the
              bug, until a patch release is made.

              Note that it is possible that the taskwarrior file  format  will
              change.  For  example, the format changed between versions 1.5.0
              and 1.6.0. Taskwarrior will automatically upgrade the  file  but
              if  you  need  to  revert  to a previous version of taskwarrior,
              there is the file format to consider. This is yet  another  good
              reason to back up your task data files!

       Q: How do I build taskwarrior under Cygwin?
              A:  Take  a  look  at  the  file, where the latest
              information on build issues is kept.  Taskwarrior is  built  the
              same  way everywhere. But under Cygwin, you'll need to make sure
              you have the following packages available first:


              The gcc and make packages allow you to compile the code, and are
              therefore required.

       Q: Do colors work under Cygwin?
              A:  They  do,  but  only  in  a limited way. You can use regular
              foreground colors (black, red, green ...) and  you  can  regular
              background   colors   (on_black,   on_red,  on_green  ...),  but
              underline and bold are not supported.

              If you run the command:

                  % task colors

              Taskwarrior will display all the colors it can use, and you will
              see which ones you can use.

              Note  that if you install the 'mintty' shell in Cygwin, then you
              can use 256 colors.

              See the 'man task-color' for more details on which colors can be

       Q: Where does taskwarrior store the data?
              By  default,  taskwarrior  creates  a  .taskrc file in your home
              directory and populates  it  with  defaults.   Taskwarrior  also
              creates  a  .task directory in your home directory and puts data
              files there.

       Q: Can I edit that data?
              Of course you can.  It is a simple text file, and looks somewhat
              like  the  JSON  format, and if you are careful not to break the
              format, there is no reason not  to  edit  it.   But  taskwarrior
              provides  a rich command set to do that manipulation for you, so
              it is probably best to leave those files alone.

       Q: How do I restore my .taskrc file to defaults?
              If you delete (or rename) your .taskrc  file,  taskwarrior  will
              offer  to  create a default one for you.  Another way to do this
              is with the command:

                  $ task rc:new-file version

              Taskwarrior will create 'new-file' if it doesn't already  exist.
              There will not be much in it though - taskwarrior relies heavily
              on default values, which can be seen with this command:

                  $ task show

              which lists all the currently known settings.  If you have  just
              created new-file, then this command lists only the defaults.

              Note  that  this  is a good way to learn about new configuration
              settings, particularly if your .taskrc file was  created  by  an
              older version.

       Q: Do I need to back up my taskwarrior data?
              Yes.   You  should  back up your ~/.task directory, and probably
              your ~/.taskrc file too.

       Q: Can I share my tasks between different machines?
              Yes, you can.  Most people have success with a DropBox - a  free
              and  secure file synching tool.  Simply configure taskwarrior to
              store it's data in a dropbox folder, by modifying the:


              configuration    variable.      Check     out     DropBox     at

       Q: I don't like dropbox. Is there another way to synchronize my tasks?
              Of  course.  Especially  if  you want to modify tasks offline on
              both machines and synchronize them later on.  For  this  purpose
              there  is  a  'merge'  command  which  is  is able to insert the
              modifications you made to one of  your  task  databases  into  a
              second database.

              Here is a basic example of the procedure:

                  $ task merge ssh://user@myremotehost/.task/
                  $ task push ssh://user@myremotehost/.task/

              The  first  command  fetches  the file from the remote
              system, reads the changes made and updates the  local  database.
              When this merge command completes, you should copy all the local
              .data files to the  remote  system  either  by  using  the  push
              command  explicitly  or by activating the merge.autopush feature
              in the ~/.taskrc file. This way you ensure that both systems are
              fully synchronized.

       Q: The file gets very large - do I need it?
              You  need  it  if  you  want  the  undo capability, or the merge
              capability mentioned above.  But  if  it  gets  large,  you  can
              certainly  truncate  it to save space, just be careful to delete
              lines from the top of the file, up to and including a  separator
              '---'.  The simplest way is to simply delete the file.
              Note that it does not slow down taskwarrior, because it is never
              read until you want to undo.  Otherwise taskwarrior only appends
              to the file.

       Q: How do I know whether my terminal support 256 colors?
              You will need to make sure your TERM environment variable is set
              to  xterm-color,  otherwise  the  easiest way is to just try it!
              With version 1.9 or later, you simply run

                  $ task color

              and a full color palette is displayed.  If you see only 8 or  16
              colors,  perhaps  with those colors repeated, then your terminal
              does not support 256 colors.

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

       Q: How do I make use of all these colors?
              Use one of our provided color themes, or create your own - after
              all, they are just collections of color settings.

              See  the  task-color(5)  man page for an in-depth explanation of
              the color rules.

       Q: How can I make taskwarrior put the command in  the  terminal  window
              You  cannot.  But you can make the shell do it, and you can make
              the shell call the task program.  Here is  a  Bash  script  that
              does this:

                  #! /bin/bash

                  printf "\033]0;task $*"
                  /usr/local/bin/task $*

              You  just  need  to run the script, and let the script run task.
              Here is a Bash function that does the same thing:

                  t ()
                    printf "\033]0;task $*"
                    /usr/local/bin/task $*

       Q: Taskwarrior searches in a case-sensitive  fashion  -  can  I  change
              You can.  Just set the following value in your .taskrc file:


              This will affect searching for keywords:

                  $ task list Document

              taskwarrior  will  perform  a caseless search in the description
              and any annotations for the keyword 'Document'.  It also affects
              description and annotation substitutions:

                  $ task 1 /teh/the/

              The pattern on the left will now be a caseless search term.

       Q: Why do the ID numbers change?
              Taskwarrior does this to always show you the smallest numbers it
              can.  The idea is that if your tasks are numbered 1  -  33,  for
              example,  those  are  easy  to  type in.  If instead task kept a
              rolling sequence number, after  a  while  your  tasks  might  be
              numbered  481  -  513,  which  makes it more likely to enter one
              incorrectly, because there are more digits.

              When you run a report (such as "list"), the numbers are assigned
              before display.  For example, you can do this:

                  $ task list
                  $ task do 12
                  $ task add Pay the rent
                  $ task delete 31

              Those  id  numbers  are  then good until the next report is run.
              This is because taskwarrior performs a garbage-collect operation
              on  the pending tasks file when a report is run, which moves the
              deleted and completed tasks from the  file  to  the
      file.   This keeps the pending tasks file small,
              and therefore keeps taskwarrior fast.  The completed  data  file
              is  the  one  that  grows unbounded with use, but that one isn't
              accessed as much, so it doesn't matter as much.  So in all,  the
              ID number resequencing is about efficiency.

       Q:  How  do  I  list tasks that are either priority 'H' or 'M', but not
              Taskwarriors filters are all combined with and implicit  logical
              AND operator, so if you were to try this:

                  $ task list priority:H priority:M

              There  would  be  no  results,  because  the  priority could not
              simultaneously be 'H' AND 'M'.  What is required is some way  to
              use OR instead of an AND operator. The solution is to invert the
              filter in this way:

                  $ task list priority.not:L priority.any:

              This filter states that the priority must not be 'L', AND  there
              must  be  a  priority assigned.  This filter then properly lists
              tasks that are 'H' or 'M', because the two logical  restrictions
              are not mutually exclusive as in the original filter.

              Some of you may be familiar with DeMorgan's laws of formal logic
              that relate the AND and OR operators in terms of each other  via
              negation, which can be used to construct task filters.

       Q: How do I delete an annotation?
              Taskwarrior  now has a 'denotate' command to remove annotations.
              Here is an example:

                  $ task add Original task
                  $ task 1 annotate foo
                  $ task 1 annotate bar
                  $ task 1 annotate foo bar

              Now to delete the first annotation, use:

                  $ task 1 denotate foo

              This takes the fragment 'foo' and compares it  to  each  of  the
              annotations.   In   this  example,  it  will  remove  the  first
              annotation, not the third, because it is  an  exact  match.   If
              there  are  no exact matches, it will remove the first non-exact

                  $ task 1 denotate ar

              This will remove the second annotation  -  the  first  non-exact

       Q: Why Lua as an extension language?
              Lua has many positive attributes:

              - Lua is written using tight, fast, standard C - Lua is a breeze
              to  integrate  into  any  product  -  The  Lua  source  code  is
              beautifully written - Lua is a small language

              Guile, Scheme and Neko were also considered.

       Q: How can I help?
              There are lots of ways.  Here are some:

               - Provide feedback on what works, what does not
               - Tell us how task does or does not fit your workflow
               - Tell people about task
               - Report bugs when you see them
               - Contribute to our Wiki
               - Suggest features
               - Write unit tests
               - Fix bugs


       Taskwarrior was written by P. Beckingham <>.
       Copyright (C) 2006 - 2011 P. Beckingham

       This man page was originally written by P. Beckingham.

       Taskwarrior  is  distributed under the GNU General Public License.  See for more information.


       task(1), taskrc(5), task-tutorial(5), task-color(5), task-sync(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 taskwarrior may be reported to the issue-tracker at