Provided by: task_2.0.0.release-0ubuntu2_i386 bug


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


       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?
              Taskwarrior 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:


              or by temporarily overriding the value on the command line:

                  task ... rc._forcecolor=on

              There is an additional problem using pagers such as  'less'  and
              'more',  because  color  control codes are stripped.  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?
              Taskwarrior writes all data to files in this location:


              You  may  have overridden this location with the 'data.location'
              configuration setting, in which case backup that  instead.   All
              files in this location should be backed up.  Making sure all the
              files in this location are backed  up,  and  not  just  a  named
              subset  will  ensure that you properly backup future versions of
              taskwarrior, which will likely  introduce  more  files  in  this

              Don't forget there is also the ~/.taskrc file that contains your
              taskwarrior configuration data.

       Q: How can I separate my work tasks from my home  tasks?  Specifically,
       can I keep them completely separate?
              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.   Bash shell
              functions are a good alternative.

       Q: Can I revert to a previous version of taskwarrior? How?
              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: Can I have two separate versions of taskwarrior installed? How?
              Yes, and here is one simple way to do that.  Install  the  older
              version  of  taskwarrior,  and  then rename the 'task' binary to
              something like 't194'  to  reflect  the  version  number.   Then
              install  the newer version, which will be named 'task'.  Now you
              have 't194' and 'task'  both  installed,  both  using  the  same
              configuration and data.

              Note  that  the  older  version  will  not  be  aware of any new
              configuration settings and so will complain about  them  in  the
              'show'  command.   This  can  be  ignored.   Likewise  the newer
              version   may   complain   about   obsolete   entries   in   the

              Note  also that the man pages will overwrite, which is why it is
              suggested that the older version be installed first, so that you
              benefit from improved documentation.

       Q: How do I build a Darwin 32bit version of task
              The   taskwarrior  packages  will  not  work  on  a  32-bit  OSX
              installation on Core Duo  hardware.   You  will  need  to  build
              Taskwarrior from source, and use this configure command:

                    ./configure "CFLAGS=-m32" "CXXFLAGS=-m32" "LDFLAGS=-m32"


       Q: How do I build taskwarrior under Cygwin?
              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?
              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' page for more details on which colors
              can be used.

       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

              This  lists  all the currently known settings.  If you have just
              created a 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 do, like all your other files.  You should back  up  all
              the  files  in  your  ~/.task directory, and your ~/.taskrc file

       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 want to use dropbox. Is there another way to synchronize my
              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.

              It is not recommended that you delete 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
              Just set the following value in your .taskrc file:


       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 Document list

              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 modify /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 12 done
                  task add Pay the rent
                  task 31 delete

              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
              Taskwarrior's filters are  all  by  default  combined  with  and
              implicit logical AND operator, so if you were to try this:

                  task priority:H priority:M list

              There  would  be  no  results,  because  the  priority could not
              simultaneously be 'H' AND 'M'.  Instead, you have a choice.  You
              can do this:

                  task '(priority:H or priority:M)' list

              Note  that the quotes are one way of escaping the ( ) characters
              that are otherwise interpreted by the shell  before  taskwarrior
              sees them.  You can also do this:

                  task priority.not:L priority.any: list

              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
               - Write add-on scripts, and share them
               - Fix bugs


       Copyright (C) 2006 - 2012 P. Beckingham, F. Hernandez.

       Taskwarrior   is   distributed   under    the    MIT    license.    See       for       more


       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