Using Shadow to Package Gradle Plugins

In some scenarios, writing a Gradle plugin can be problematic because your plugin may depend on a version that conflicts with the same dependency provided by the Gradle runtime. If this is the case, then you can utilize Shadow to relocate your dependencies to a different package name to avoid the collision.

Configuring the relocation has always been possible, but the build author is required to know all the package names before hand. Shadow v2.0 corrects this by introducing a new task type ConfigureShadowRelocation. Tasks of this type are configured to target an instance of a ShadowJar task and run immediately before it.

The ConfigureShadowRelocation task, scans the dependencies from the configurations specified on the associated ShadowJar task and collects the package names contained within them. It then configures relocation for these packages using the specified prefix on the associated ShadowJar task.

While this is useful for developing Gradle plugins, nothing about the ConfigureShadowRelocation task is tied to Gradle projects. It can be used for standard Java or Groovy projects.

A simple Gradle plugin can use this feature by applying the shadow plugin and configuring the relocation task to execute before the shadowJar tasks:

import com.github.jengelman.gradle.plugins.shadow.tasks.ConfigureShadowRelocation

plugins {
  id 'com.github.johnrengelman.shadow' version '4.0.4'
  id 'java'

dependencies {
    shadow localGroovy()
    shadow gradleApi()

    compile 'org.jdom:jdom2:2.0.6'
    compile 'org.ow2.asm:asm:6.0'
    compile 'org.ow2.asm:asm-commons:6.0'
    compile 'commons-io:commons-io:2.4'
    compile 'org.apache.ant:ant:1.9.4'
    compile 'org.codehaus.plexus:plexus-utils:2.0.6'

task relocateShadowJar(type: ConfigureShadowRelocation) {
    target = tasks.shadowJar

tasks.shadowJar.dependsOn tasks.relocateShadowJar

Note that the localGroovy() and gradleApi() dependencies are added to the shadow configuration instead of the normal compile configuration. These 2 dependencies are provided by Gradle to compile your project but are ultimately provided by the Gradle runtime when executing the plugin. Thus, it is not advisable to bundle these dependencies with your plugin.