commitizen/cz-cli: The commitizen command line utility.

Oct 4, 2021 6:11 PM

Commitizen for contributors

When you commit with Commitizen, you'll be prompted to fill out any required commit fields at commit time. No more waiting until later for a git commit hook to run and reject your commit (though that can still be helpful). No more digging through to find what the preferred format is. Get instant feedback on your commit message formatting and be prompted for required fields.


Installing the command line tool

Commitizen is currently tested against node 10 and 12 although it may work in older node. You should also have npm 6 or greater.

Installation is as simple as running the following command (if you see EACCES error, reading fixing npm permissions may help):

npm install -g commitizen

Using the command line tool

If your repo is Commitizen-friendly:

Simply use git cz or just cz instead of git commit when committing. You can also use git-cz, which is an alias for cz.

Alternatively, if you are using NPM 5.2+ you can use npx instead of installing globally:

npx cz

or as an npm script:

 "scripts": {
 "commit": "cz"

When you're working in a Commitizen friendly repository, you'll be prompted to fill in any required fields and your commit messages will be formatted according to the standards defined by project maintainers.


If your repo is NOT Commitizen-friendly

If you're not working in a Commitizen friendly repository, then git cz will work just the same as git commit but npx cz will use the cz-conventional-changelog adapter. To fix this, you need to first make your repo Commitizen-friendly.

Making your repo Commitizen-friendly

For this example, we'll be setting up our repo to use Conventional Commits convention through the conventional-changelog commitizen adapter.

First, install the Commitizen cli tools:

npm install commitizen -g

Next, initialize your project to use the cz-conventional-changelog adapter by typing:

commitizen init cz-conventional-changelog --save-dev --save-exact

Or if you are using Yarn:

commitizen init cz-conventional-changelog --yarn --dev --exact

Note that if you want to force install over the top of an old adapter, you can apply the -force argument. For more information on this, just run commitizen help.

The above command does three things for you.

  1. Installs the cz-conventional-changelog adapter npm module
  2. Saves it to package.json's dependencies or devDependencies
  3. Adds the config.commitizen key to the root of your package.json as shown here:
 "config": {
 "commitizen": {
 "path": "cz-conventional-changelog"

Alternatively, commitizen configs may be added to a .czrc or .cz.json file:

 "path": "cz-conventional-changelog"

This just tells Commitizen which adapter we actually want our contributors to use when they try to commit to this repo.

commitizen.path is resolved via require.resolve and supports

  • npm modules
  • directories relative to process.cwd() containing an index.js file
  • file base names relative to process.cwd() with js extension
  • full relative file names
  • absolute paths.

Please note that in the previous version of Commitizen we used czConfig. czConfig has been deprecated and you should migrate to the new format before Commitizen 3.0.0.

Optional: Install and run Commitizen locally

Installing and running Commitizen locally allows you to make sure that developers are running the exact same version of Commitizen on every machine.

Install Commitizen with npm install --save-dev commitizen.

On NPM 5.2+ you can use npx to initialize the conventional changelog adapter:

npx commitizen init cz-conventional-changelog --save-dev --save-exact

For previous versions of NPM (< 5.2) you can execute ./node_modules/.bin/commitizen or ./node_modules/.bin/cz in order to actually use the commands.

You can then initialize the conventional changelog adapter using: ./node_modules/.bin/commitizen init cz-conventional-changelog --save-dev --save-exact

And you can then add some nice npm run scripts in your package.json pointing to the local version of commitizen:

 "scripts": {
 "commit": "cz"

This will be more convenient for your users because then if they want to do a commit, all they need to do is run npm run commit and they will get the prompts needed to start a commit!

NOTE: if you are using precommit hooks thanks to something like husky, you will need to name your script some thing other than "commit" (e.g. "cm": "cz"). The reason is because npm-scripts has a "feature" where it automatically runs scripts with the name prexxx where xxx is the name of another script. In essence, npm and husky will run "precommit" scripts twice if you name the script "commit", and the work around is to prevent the npm-triggered precommit script.

Optional: Running Commitizen on git commit

This example shows how to incorporate Commitizen into the existing git commit workflow by using git hooks and the -hook command-line option. This is useful for project maintainers who wish to ensure the proper commit format is enforced on contributions from those unfamiliar with Commitizen.

Once either of these methods is implemented, users running git commit will be presented with an interactive Commitizen session that helps them write useful commit messages.

NOTE: This example assumes that the project has been set up to use Commitizen locally.

Traditional git hooks

Update .git/hooks/prepare-commit-msg with the following code:

exec < /dev/tty && node_modules/.bin/cz --hook || true


For husky users, add the following configuration to the project's package.json:

"husky": {
 "hooks": {
 "prepare-commit-msg": "exec < /dev/tty && git cz --hook || true",
Why exec < /dev/tty? By default, git hooks are not interactive. This command allows the user to use their terminal to interact with Commitizen during the hook.

Congratulations your repo is Commitizen-friendly. Time to flaunt it!

Add the Commitizen-friendly badge to your README using the following markdown:

[![Commitizen friendly](](

Your badge will look like this:


It may also make sense to change your or to include or link to the Commitizen project so that your new contributors may learn more about installing and using Commitizen.

Conventional commit messages as a global utility

Install commitizen globally, if you have not already.

npm install -g commitizen

Install your preferred commitizen adapter globally, for example cz-conventional-changelog

npm install -g cz-conventional-changelog

Create a .czrc file in your home directory, with path referring to the preferred, globally installed, commitizen adapter

echo '{ "path": "cz-conventional-changelog" }' > ~/.czrc

You are all set! Now cdinto any git repository and use git cz instead of git commit and you will find the commitizen prompt.

Protip: You can use all the git commit options with git cz, for example: git cz -a.

If your repository is a nodejs project, making it Commitizen-friendly is super easy.

If your repository is already Commitizen-friendly, the local commitizen adapter will be used, instead of globally installed one.

Commitizen for multi-repo projects

As a project maintainer of many projects, you may want to standardize on a single commit message format for all of them. You can create your own node module which acts as front-end for commitizen.

1. Create your own entry point script

// my-cli.js

#!/usr/bin/env node
"use strict";

const path = require('path');
const bootstrap = require('commitizen/dist/cli/git-cz').bootstrap;

 cliPath: path.join(__dirname, '../../node_modules/commitizen'),
 // this is new
 config: {
 "path": "cz-conventional-changelog"

2. Add script to package.json

// package.json

 "name": "company-commit",
 "bin": "./my-cli.js",
 "dependencies": {
 "commitizen": "^2.7.6",
 "cz-conventional-changelog": "^1.1.5",

3. Publish it to npm and use it!

npm install --save-dev company-commit



We know that every project and build process has different requirements so we've tried to keep Commitizen open for extension. You can do this by choosing from any of the pre-build adapters or even by building your own. Here are some of the great adapters available to you:

To create an adapter, just fork one of these great adapters and modify it to suit your needs. We pass you an instance of Inquirer.js but you can capture input using whatever means necessary. Just call the commit callback with a string and we'll be happy. Publish it to npm, and you'll be all set!

Retrying failed commits

As of version 2.7.1, you may attempt to retry the last commit using the git cz --retry command. This can be helpful when you have tests set up to run via a git precommit hook. In this scenario, you may have attempted a Commitizen commit, painstakingly filled out all of the commitizen fields, but your tests fail. In previous Commitizen versions, after fixing your tests, you would be forced to fill out all of the fields again. Enter the retry command. Commitizen will retry the last commit that you attempted in this repo without you needing to fill out the fields again.

Please note that the retry cache may be cleared when upgrading commitizen versions, upgrading adapters, or if you delete the commitizen.json file in your home or temp directory. Additionally, the commit cache uses the filesystem path of the repo, so if you move a repo or change its path, you will not be able to retry a commit. This is an edge case, but might be confusing if you have scenarios where you are moving folders that contain repos.

It is important to note that if you are running cz from a npm script (let's say it is called commit) you will need to do one of the following:

  • Pass - --retry as an argument for your script. i.e: npm run commit -- --retry
  • Use npx to find and call cz executable directly. i.e: npx cz --retry

Note that the last two options do not require you to pass - before the args but the first does.

Commitizen for project maintainers

As a project maintainer, making your repo Commitizen friendly allows you to select pre-existing commit message conventions or to create your own custom commit message convention. When a contributor to your repo uses Commitizen, they will be prompted for the correct fields at commit time.

Go further

Commitizen is great on its own, but it shines when you use it with some other amazing open source tools. Kent C. Dodds shows you how to accomplish this in his series, How to write an open source javascript library. Many of the concepts can be applied to non-javascript projects as well.


About Commitizen

Commitizen is an open source project that helps contributors be good open source citizens. It accomplishes this by prompting them to follow commit message conventions at commit time. It also empowers project maintainers to create or use predefined commit message conventions in their repos to better communicate their expectations to potential contributors.

Commitizen or Commit Hooks

Both! Commitizen is not meant to be a replacement for git commit hooks. Rather, it is meant to work side-by-side with them to ensure a consistent and positive experience for your contributors. Commitizen treats the commit command as a declarative action. The contributor is declaring that they wish to contribute to your project. It is up to you as the maintainer to define what rules they should be following.

We accomplish this by letting you define which adapter you'd like to use in your project. Adapters just allow multiple projects to share the same commit message conventions. A good example of an adapter is the cz-conventional-changelog adapter.

Related projects

Authors and Contributors

@JimTheDev (Jim Cummins, author) @kentcdodds @accraze @kytwb @Den-dp

Special thanks to @stevelacy, whose gulp-git project makes commitizen possible.


This project exists thanks to all the people who contribute. [Contribute].



Thank you to all our backers!


[Become a backer]



Support this project by becoming a sponsor. Your logo will show up here with a link to your website. [Become a sponsor]