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Flexible Taxonomy

If you'd like for your customers to execute commands without adhereing to the defined command taxonomy, you can enable flexibleTaxonomy and add a hook to the oclif section of your package.json:

"oclif": {
"flexibleTaxonomy": true,
"hooks": {
"command_incomplete": "./dist/hooks/command_incomplete.js"

There are two main benefits to enabling flexible taxonomy:

  1. It makes your CLI more user-friendly. For example, you might have a command, my-cli foobars:list. If a user mistakenly enters my-cli list:foobars then oclif will automatically know that it should execute foobars:list instead of throwing an error.
  2. It gives you the opportunity to prompt a user for the right command if they only provide part of a command. This makes individual commands more discoverable, especially if you have a large number of commands. See Hook Implementation for more details.

Hook Implementation

When flexibleTaxonomy is enabled, oclif will run the command_incomplete hook anytime a user enters an incomplete command (e.g. the command is one:two:three but they only entered two). This hook gives you the opportunity to create an interactive user experience.

This example shows how you can use the inquirer package to prompt the user for which command they would like to run:

import { Hook, toConfiguredId, toStandardizedId } from "@oclif/core";
import { prompt } from "inquirer";

const hook: Hook.CommandIncomplete = async function ({
}) {
const { command } = await prompt<{ command: string }>([
name: "command",
type: "list",
message: "Which of these commands would you like to run?",
choices: => toConfiguredId(, config)),

if (argv.includes("--help") || argv.includes("-h")) {
return config.runCommand("help", [toStandardizedId(command, config)]);

return config.runCommand(toStandardizedId(command, config), argv);

export default hook;

This is the prompt that the user would see:

$ my-cli list
? Which of these commands did you mean (Use arrow keys)
❯ foobars list
config list
env list