Configure CumulusCI#

The cumulusci.yml file is located in the project root directory. This is where you define project dependencies, configure new tasks and flows, customize standard tasks and flows for your project, and so much more!

cumulusci.yml Structure#

A cumulusci.yml file contains these top-level sections.

  • project: Contains information about the project’s associated package (if any) and GitHub repository. This section is largely generated by running cci project init.

    If you need custom markup that’s unique to your project, you can store it in a section called custom under project.

  • tasks: Defines the tasks that are available to run in your project. See Task Configurations for configuration options in this section.

  • flows: Defines the flows that are available to run in your project. See Flow Configurations for configuration options in this section.

  • sources: Defines other CumulusCI projects whose tasks and flows you can use in automation. See Tasks and Flows from a Different Project for more information.

  • orgs: Defines the scratch org configurations that are available for your project. See Scratch Org Configurations for configuration options in this section.

  • plans: Contains any custom plans defined to install your project into a customer org. See the metadeploy_publish task for more information.

Task Configurations#

Each task configuration under the tasks section of your cumulusci.yml file defines a task that can be run using the cci task run command, or included in a flow step. With a few simple changes to this section, you can configure build automation functionality to suit your project’s specific needs.

Override a Task Option#

If you repeatedly specify the same value for an option while running a task, you can configure CumulusCI to use that value as a default value.

For example: Let’s enforce a 90% code coverage requirement for Apex code in your project. The run_tests task, which executes all Apex tests in a target org, can enforce code coverage at a given percentage by passing the --required_org_code_coverage_percent option.

        required_org_code_coverage_percent: 90

When the tasks section of the cumulusci.yml file specifies this option, CumulusCI overrides the default option with a value of 90. Whenever this task is executed, its customized options apply, unless it’s further configured for a particular flow step.

Verify the change by looking for a default option value when running cci task info <name>.

$ cci task info run_tests

Description: Runs all apex tests

Class: cumulusci.tasks.apex.testrunner.RunApexTests

Command Syntax

    $ cci task run run_tests

  -o required_org_code_coverage_percent PERCENTAGE
    Require at least X percent code coverage across the org following the test run.
    Default: 90

Add a Custom Task#

To define a new task for your project, add the task name under the tasks section of your cumulusci.yml file.

For example, let’s create a custom task named deploy_reports that deploys a set of reports stored in your project’s unpackaged metadata located in unpackaged/config/reports.

First, look up the Python class associated with the standard task deploy. From there we see that the deploy task has a class_path value of cumulusci.tasks.salesforce.Deploy.

Store the task under the tasks section of the cumulusci.yml file.

    description: Deploy Reports
    class_path: cumulusci.tasks.salesforce.Deploy
    group: projectName
        path: unpackaged/config/reports


Be sure to include the value we retrieved for class_path. Also, consider adding a common group attribute to make it easier to see the tasks specific to your project when running cci task list.

Congratulations! You created a new custom task in CumulusCI.

If you’ve built a custom task in Python, you can make it available to the project by adding the task under the tasks section of the cumulusci.yml file. (Let’s assume that your task’s class is named MyNewTaskClassName and exists in the file tasks/

        description: Description of the task
        class_path: tasks.task_file.MyNewTaskClassName
        group: projectName

Use Variables for Task Options#

To reference a project configuration value within the tasks section of the cumulusci.yml file, use the $project_config variable.

For example, NPSP uses a variable for the project’s namespace by setting a value of $project_config.project__package__namespace. This variable is then referenced in the project’s custom deploy_qa_config task where it’s passed as the value for the namespace_inject option.


A double underscore (__) refers to a subsequent level in the cumulusci.yml file.

    description: Deploys additional fields used for QA purposes only
    class_path: cumulusci.tasks.salesforce.Deploy
    group: Salesforce Metadata
        path: unpackaged/config/qa
        namespace_inject: $project_config.project__package__namespace

In this instance, CumulusCI replaces the variable with the value under project -> package -> namespace in the cumulusci.yml file. Here is the project section of NPSP’s cumulusci.yml file specifying npsp as the namespace value.

    name: Cumulus
        name: Cumulus
        name_managed: Nonprofit Success Pack
        namespace: npsp
        api_version: 48.0
        install_class: STG_InstallScript
        uninstall_class: STG_UninstallScript

Flow Configurations#

Each flow configuration listed under the flows section of your cumulusci.yml file defines a flow that can be run using the cci flow run command, or included as a step in another flow. With a few simple changes to this section, you can configure sophisticated build automation that execute workflows throughout your development lifecycle.

Add a Custom Flow#

To define a new flow for your project, add the flow name under the flows section of your cumulusci.yml file. Let’s define a new greet_and_sleep flow:

    group: projectName
    description: Greets the user and then sleeps for 5 seconds.
            task: command
                command: echo 'Hello there!'
            task: util_sleep

This flow is comprised of two tasks: command greets the user by echoing a string, and util_sleep then tells CumulusCI to sleep for five seconds.

You can reference how flows are defined in the universal cumulusci.yml file.

Add a Flow Step#

To add a step to a flow, first run cci flow info <name> to see the existing steps. In the following example we run this for the dev_org flow.

$ cci flow info dev_org
Description: Set up an org as a development environment for unmanaged metadata
1) flow: dependencies [from current folder]
    1) task: update_dependencies
    2) task: deploy_pre
2) flow: deploy_unmanaged
    0) task: dx_convert_from
    when: project_config.project__source_format == "sfdx" and not org_config.scratch
    1) task: unschedule_apex
    2) task: update_package_xml
    when: project_config.project__source_format != "sfdx" or not org_config.scratch
    3) task: deploy
    when: project_config.project__source_format != "sfdx" or not org_config.scratch
    3.1) task: dx_push
        when: project_config.project__source_format == "sfdx" and org_config.scratch
    4) task: uninstall_packaged_incremental
    when: project_config.project__source_format != "sfdx" or not org_config.scratch
3) flow: config_dev
    1) task: deploy_post
    2) task: update_admin_profile
4) task: snapshot_changes

Of this flow’s four steps, the first three are themselves flows, and the last is a task.

All non-negative numbers and decimals are valid as step numbers in a flow. You can add steps before, between, or after existing flow steps.

The following shows examples of values that you would use for the various scenarios:

  • Add a step before step 1 by inserting a step number greater than or equal to zero and less than 1 (such as 0, 0.3, or even 0.89334).

  • Add a step between steps 2 and 3 by inserting a step number greater than 2 or less than 3.

  • Add a step after all steps in the flow by inserting a step number greater than 4.

You could also customize the dev_org flow to output an additional log line as its final step:

            task: log
                line: dev_org flow has completed

Skip a Flow Step#

To skip a flow step, set the task or flow for that step number to the value of None.

For example, to skip the fourth step of the dev_org flow, insert this code under the flows section of your cumulusci.yml file.

            task: None


The key task must be used when skipping a flow step that is a task. The key flow must be used when skipping a flow step that corresponds to a flow.

When CumulusCI detects a task or flow with a value of None, the task or flow is skipped.


Replace a Flow Step#

Replacing a flow step is easy; just note the name of the flow, step number, and task or flow you would like to run on the given step.

For example, to replace the default fourth step of the dev_org flow with a custom task that loads data into a dev environment, specify the custom task to run instead.

            task: load_data_dev

Configure Options on Tasks in Flows#

Specify options on specific tasks in a flow with this syntax:

            flow: <sub_flow_name>
                    <option_name>: <value>

Replace all objects with <> with the desired values.

For example, let’s examine the definition of the ci_master flow from the universal cumulusci.yml file.

    group: Continuous Integration
    description: Deploy the package metadata to the packaging org and prepare for managed package version upload.  Intended for use against main branch commits.
            flow: dependencies
                    resolution_strategy: production
            flow: deploy_packaging
            flow: config_packaging

This flow specifies that when the subflow dependencies runs, the resolution_strategy option has a value of production for the update_dependencies task (which itself executes in the dependencies subflow).

when Clauses#

Specify a when clause in a flow step to conditionally run that step. A when clause is written in a Pythonic syntax that should evaluate to a boolean (True or False) result.

You can use the project_config object to reference values from the cumulusci.yml file to help with creation of the when clause’s condition. You can use the double underscore (__) syntax to indicate values at subsequent levels of the file. For example, you can reference a project’s namespace with project_config.project__package__namespace.

You can also reference values on the org_config object in when clauses. For example, it’s common to reference org_config.scratch when building automation that needs to behave differently in a scratch org and a persistent org.

when clauses are frequently used in CumulusCI’s standard library to conditionally run a step in a flow based on the source code format of the project. Below is the configuration for the standard library flow build_feature_test_package. The update_package_xml task will execute only if the project’s source code format is not equal to “sfdx”.

    group: Release Operations
    description: Create a 2gp managed package version
            task: update_package_xml
            when: project_config.project__source_format != "sfdx"
            task: create_package_version
                package_type: Managed
                package_name: $project_config.project__package__name Managed Feature Test
                version_base: latest_github_release
                version_type: minor
                skip_validation: True

See Use Variables for Task Options for more information.

Tasks and Flows from a Different Project#

It’s also possible to use tasks and flows from another project with CumulusCI. The other project must be named under the sources section of the project cumulusci.yml file.

For example, when tasks or flows are referenced using the npsp namespace, CumulusCI fetches the source from the NPSP GitHub repository.


By default, CumulusCI uses the resolution strategy production, which will fetch the most recent production release, or the default branch if there are no releases. By specifying resolution_strategy, the behavior can be changed to match desired dependency resolution behavior, such as using beta releases or retrieving feature test packages from a commit status. See for more details about resolution strategies.


This feature requires that the referenced repository be readable (for example, it’s public, or CumulusCI’s GitHub service is configured with the token of a user who has read access to it).

It’s also possible to fetch a specific tag or release, where release is one of latest, previous, or latest_beta. For example:

        release: latest
        tag: rel/3.163

You can also select a specific commit or branch. We recommend that most projects, however, use a resolution strategy.

When the repo is listed under sources, it’s possible to run a task from NPSP…

$ cci task run npsp:robot

Or a flow…

$ cci flow run npsp:install_prod

Or even create a new flow that uses a flow from NPSP:

                flow: npsp:install_prod
                flow: dev_org

This flow uses NPSP’s install_prod flow to install NPSP as a managed package, and then run this project’s own dev_org flow.

Scratch Org Configurations#

This section defines the scratch org configurations that are available without explicitly running cci org scratch to create a new configuration. For more information on using scratch orgs with CumulusCI, see Manage Scratch Orgs.

Override Default Values#


These overrides pertain only to scratch orgs.

You can override these values for your org.

  • days (integer): Number of days for the scratch org to persist.

  • namespaced (boolean): Is the scratch org namespaced or not. Applies only to managed package projects.

  • config_file (string): Path to the org definition file to use when building the scratch org.

            <key>: <value>

Replace all objects with <> with the desired values.

For example, override the default number of days from 7 to 15 in the dev org.

        days: 15

Configuration Scopes#

CumulusCI merges multiple YAML files that enable configuration at several distinct scopes. All of these files have the same name, cumulusci.yml, but live in different locations in the file system.

You can configure files at these scope levels: Project, Local Project and Global. Configurations have an order of override precedence (from highest to lowest):

  1. Project

  2. Local Project

  3. Global

One override only cascades over another when two configurations set a value for the same element on a task or flow.

Take for example, task T which takes two options, opt1 and opt2.

You can specify a default value for opt1 in your project cumulusci.yml file and a default value for opt2 in your global cumulusci.yml file, and you’ll see the expected result: both values are available in the project. (The default of opt1 is not exposed to other projects.)

If you change your project cumulusci.yml file to also specify a default value for opt2, this new default opt2 value takes precedence over the default opt2 value specified in your global cumulusci.yml file.

Project Configurations#

macOS/Linux: .../path/to/project/cumulusci.yml

Windows: ...\path\to\project\cumulusci.yml

This cumulusci.yml file lives in the project root directory and applies solely to this project. Changes here are committed back to a remote repository so other team members can benefit from the customizations. Configurations in this file apply solely to this project, and take precedence over any configurations specified in the global cumulusci.yml file, but are overridden by configurations in the local project cumulusci.yml file.

Local Project Configurations#

macOS/Linux: ~/.cumulusci/project_name/cumulusci.yml

Windows: %homepath%\.cumulusci\project_name\cumulusci.yml

Configurations in this cumulusci.yml file apply solely to the project with the given <projectname>, and take precedence over _all other configuration scopes. If you want to make customizations to a project, but don’t need them to be available to other team members, make those customizations here.

Global Configurations#

macOS/Linux: ~/.cumulusci/cumulusci.yml

Windows: %homepath%\.cumulusci\cumulusci.yml

Configuration of all CumulusCI projects on your machine. Configurations in this file have a low precedence, and are overridden by all other configurations except for those that are in the universal cumulusci.yml file.

Universal Configurations#

There is one more configuration file that exists: the universal cumulusci.yml file that ships with CumulusCI itself. This file actually holds the lowest precedence of all, as all other scopes override this file’s contents. That said, it contains all of the definitions for the tasks, flows, and org configurations that come standard with CumulusCI.

The commands cci task info and cci flow info display all of the information about a task’s or flow’s configuration. They display the information in the standard library alongside any customizations defined in your cumulusci.yml file.

Advanced Configurations#

Reference Task Return Values#


Current task return values are not documented, so finding return values set by a specific task (if any) requires you to read the source code for the given task.

It is sometimes useful for return values to be used as input by a subsequent task in the context of a flow. Tasks can set arbitrary return values on themselves while executing. These values can then be referenced by subsequent tasks in a flow.

To reference a return value on a previous task use the following syntax:


To discover what’s available for return_value, find the source code for an individual task in the CumulusCI repository.

For example, let’s examine how CumulusCI defines the standard upload_beta task in the universal cumulusci.yml file.

    description: Uploads a beta release of the metadata currently in the packaging org
    class_path: cumulusci.tasks.salesforce.PackageUpload
    group: Release Operations

To see if anything is being set on self.return_values, find the file that defines the class cumulusci.tasks.salesforce.PackageUpload. A little digging yields that this class is defined in the file and has a method called _set_return_values(). This method sets self.return_values to a dictionary with these keys: version_number, version_id, and package_id.

Now look at the standard release_beta flow defined in the universal cumulusci.yml file:

    description: Upload and release a beta version of the metadata currently in packaging
            task: upload_beta
                name: Automated beta release
            task: github_release
                version: ^^upload_beta.version_number
            task: github_release_notes
            ignore_failure: True ## Attempt to generate release notes but don't fail build
                link_pr: True
                publish: True
                tag: ^^github_release.tag_name
                include_empty: True
                version_id: ^^upload_beta.version_id
            task: github_master_to_feature

This flow shows how subsequent tasks can reference the return values of a prior task. In this case, the github_release task uses the version_numer set by the upload_beta task as an option value with the ^^upload_beta.version_number syntax. Similarly, the github_release_notes task uses the version_id set by the upload_beta task as an option value with the ^^upload_beta.version_id syntax.

Troubleshoot Configurations#

Use cci task info <name> and cci flow info <name> to see how a given task or flow behaves with current configurations.

For example, the util_sleep task has a seconds option with a default value of 5 seconds.

$ cci task info util_sleep

Description: Sleeps for N seconds

Class: cumulusci.tasks.util.Sleep

Command Syntax

    $ cci task run util_sleep


    -o seconds SECONDS
    The number of seconds to sleep
    Default: 5

To change the default value to 30 seconds for all projects on your machine, add the desired value in your global cumulusci.yml file.

            seconds: 30

Now cci task info util_sleep shows a default of 30 seconds.

$ cci task info util_sleep

Description: Sleeps for N seconds

Class: cumulusci.tasks.util.Sleep

Command Syntax

    $ cci task run util_sleep


    -o seconds SECONDS
    The number of seconds to sleep
    Default: 30

Displaying the active configuration for a given task or flow can help with cross-correlating which configuration scope affects a specific scenario.


The cci task info and cci flow info commands show information about how a task or flow is currently configured. The information output by these commands change as you make further customizations to your project’s cumulusci.yml file.