View on Github

The Manifest Format

The .amp.toml file for each character is called its manifest. It is written in the TOML format. Every manifest file consists of the following sections:

  • meta — Defines a character.
    • name — The name of the character.
    • version — The version of the character.
    • authors — The authors of the character.
    • description — A description of the character.
    • documentation — URL of the character documentation.
    • readme — Path to the character's README file.
    • homepage — URL of the character homepage.
    • repository — URL of the character source repository.
    • license — The character license.
    • license-file — Path to the text of the license.
    • keywords — Keywords for the character.
    • categories — Categories of the character.
    • exclude — Files to exclude when publishing.
    • include — Files to include when publishing.
    • publish — Can be used to prevent publishing the character.
  • [partners] — Partner dependencies.

The meta section

The first section in a .amp.toml is metadata.

name = "hello_world" # the name of the character
version = "0.1.0"    # the current version, obeying semver
authors = ["Alice <>", "Bob <>"]

The only fields required by Amphitheatre are name and version. If publishing to a registry, the registry may require additional fields. See the notes below and the publishing chapter for requirements for publishing to Registry.

The name field

The character name is an identifier used to refer to the character. It is used when listed as a partner in another character, and as the default name of inferred target.

The name must use only alphanumeric characters or - or _, and cannot be empty. Note that amp init impose some additional restrictions on the character name, such as enforcing that it is a valid Rust identifier and not a keyword. Registry imposes even more restrictions, such as enforcing only ASCII characters, not a reserved name, not a special Windows name such as "nul", is not too long, etc.

The version field

Amphitheatre bakes in the concept of Semantic Versioning, so make sure you follow some basic rules:

  • Use version numbers with three numeric parts such as 1.0.0 rather than 1.0.

The authors field

The optional authors field lists people or organizations that are considered the "authors" of the character. The exact meaning is open to interpretation — it may list the original or primary authors, current maintainers, or owners of the character. An optional email address may be included within angled brackets at the end of each author entry.

Warning: Character manifests cannot be changed once published, so this field cannot be changed or removed in already-published versions of a character.

The description field

The description is a short blurb about the character. Registry will display this with your character. This should be plain text (not Markdown).

# ...
description = "A short description of my character"

Note: Registry requires the description to be set.

The documentation field

The documentation field specifies a URL to a website hosting the character’s documentation.

# ...
documentation = ""

The readme field

The readme field should be the path to a file in the character root (relative to this .amp.toml) that contains general information about the character. This file will be transferred to the registry when you publish. Registry will interpret it as Markdown and render it on the character's page.

# ...
readme = ""

If no value is specified for this field, and a file named, README.txt or README exists in the character root, then the name of that file will be used. You can suppress this behavior by setting this field to false. If the field is set to true, a default value of will be assumed.

The homepage field

The homepage field should be a URL to a site that is the home page for your character.

# ...
homepage = ""

The repository field

The repository field should be a URL to the source repository for your character.

# ...
repository = ""

The license and license-file fields

The license field contains the name of the software license that the character is released under. The license-file field contains the path to a file containing the text of the license (relative to this .amp.toml).

Registry interprets the license field as an SPDX 2.3 license expression. The name must be a known license from the SPDX license list 3.20. Parentheses are not currently supported. See the SPDX site for more information.

SPDX license expressions support AND and OR operators to combine multiple licenses.

# ...
license = "MIT OR Apache-2.0"

Using OR indicates the user may choose either license. Using AND indicates the user must comply with both licenses simultaneously. The WITH operator indicates a license with a special exception. Some examples:

  • MIT OR Apache-2.0
  • LGPL-2.1-only AND MIT AND BSD-2-Clause
  • GPL-2.0-or-later WITH Bison-exception-2.2

If a character is using a nonstandard license, then the license-file field may be specified in lieu of the license field.

# ...
license-file = "LICENSE.txt"

Note: Registry requires either license or license-file to be set.

The keywords field

The keywords field is an array of strings that describe this character. This can help when searching for the character on a registry, and you may choose any words that would help someone find this character.

# ...
keywords = ["gamedev", "graphics"]

Note: Registry has a maximum of 5 keywords. Each keyword must be ASCII text, start with a letter, and only contain letters, numbers, _ or -, and have at most 20 characters.

The categories field

The categories field is an array of strings of the categories this character belongs to.

categories = ["command-line-utilities", "development-tools::build-plugins"]

Note: Registry has a maximum of 5 categories. Each category should match one of the strings available at, and must match exactly.

The exclude and include fields

The exclude and include fields can be used to explicitly specify which files are included when packaging a character to be published, and certain kinds of change tracking (described below). The patterns specified in the exclude field identify a set of files that are not included, and the patterns in include specify files that are explicitly included.

# ...
exclude = ["/ci", "images/", ".*"]
# ...
include = ["/src", "COPYRIGHT", "/examples", "!/examples/big_example"]

The default if neither field is specified is to include all files from the root of the character, except for the exclusions listed below.

If include is not specified, then the following files will be excluded:

  • If the character is not in a git repository, all "hidden" files starting with a dot will be skipped.
  • If the character is in a git repository, any files that are ignored by the gitignore rules of the repository and global git configuration will be skipped.

Regardless of whether exclude or include is specified, the following files are always excluded:

  • Any sub-character will be skipped (any subdirectory that contains a .amp.toml file).
  • A directory named target in the root of the character will be skipped.

The following files are always included:

  • The .amp.toml file of the character itself is always included, it does not need to be listed in include.
  • A minimized .amp.playbook is automatically included if the character contains a binary or example target.
  • If a license-file is specified, it is always included.

The options are mutually exclusive; setting include will override an exclude. If you need to have exclusions to a set of include files, use the ! operator described below.

The patterns should be gitignore-style patterns. Briefly:

  • foo matches any file or directory with the name foo anywhere in the character. This is equivalent to the pattern **/foo.
  • /foo matches any file or directory with the name foo only in the root of the character.
  • foo/ matches any directory with the name foo anywhere in the character.
  • Common glob patterns like *, ?, and [] are supported:
    • * matches zero or more characters except /. For example, *.html matches any file or directory with the .html extension anywhere in the character.
    • ? matches any character except /. For example, foo? matches food, but not foo.
    • [] allows for matching a range of characters. For example, [ab] matches either a or b. [a-z] matches letters a through z.
  • **/ prefix matches in any directory. For example, **/foo/bar matches the file or directory bar anywhere that is directly under directory foo.
  • /** suffix matches everything inside. For example, foo/** matches all files inside directory foo, including all files in subdirectories below foo.
  • /**/ matches zero or more directories. For example, a/**/b matches a/b, a/x/b, a/x/y/b, and so on.
  • ! prefix negates a pattern. For example, a pattern of src/*.rs and ! would match all files with the .rs extension inside the src directory, except for any file named

The publish field

The publish field can be used to prevent a character from being published to a character registry (like Registry) by mistake, for instance to keep a character private in a company.

# ...
publish = false

The value may also be an array of strings which are registry names that are allowed to be published to.

# ...
publish = ["some-registry-name"]

If publish array contains a single registry, amp publish command will use it when --registry flag is not specified.

The [partners] section

Your character can depend on other characters from Registry or other registries, git repositories, or subdirectories of project. You can have different partners for different platforms, and partners that are only used during development. Let’s take a look at how to do each of these.

Specifying partners from registries

Sharing common software components in a registry streamlines development, saving time and effort. It boosts code reuse, reduces complexity, and ensures reliable resource management. This enhances development speed, minimizes errors, and elevates software stability through centralized issue resolution.

### The `mysql` partner from the `catalog` registry.
mysql = { version = "8.0", registry = "catalog" }

### The `my-storage-service` partner from the `hub` registry.
my-storage-service = { version = "v1", registry = "hub" }

Specifying partners from git repositories

To depend on a character located in a git repository, the minimum information you need to specify is the location of the repository with the repo key:

bar = { repo = "" }

Amphitheatre will fetch the git repository at this location then look for a .amp.toml for the requested character anywhere inside the git repository (not necessarily at the root — for example, specifying a path of project).

Since we haven’t specified any other information, Amphitheatre assumes that we intend to use the latest commit on the default branch to build our character, which may not necessarily be the main branch. You can combine the repo key with the rev, tag, or branch keys to specify something else. Here’s an example of specifying that you want to use the latest commit on a branch named next:

bar = { repo = "", branch = "next" }

Anything that is not a branch or tag falls under rev. This can be a commit hash like rev = "4c59b707", or a named reference exposed by the remote repository such as rev = "refs/pull/493/head". What references are available varies by where the repo is hosted; GitHub in particular exposes a reference to the most recent commit of every pull request as shown, but other git hosts often provide something equivalent, possibly under a different naming scheme.

Specifying path partners

Amphitheatre supports path partners which are typically sub-character that live within one repository.

hello_utils = { path = "hello_utils" }

This tells Amphitheatre that we depend on a character called hello_utils which is found in the hello_utils folder (relative to root).

And that’s it! The next amp build will automatically build hello_utils and all of its own partners, and others can also start using the character as well.

Sample .amp.toml file

This sample amp.toml demonstrates how you can combine multiple settings in a single file. It’s not a comprehensive example of all available configuration options.

name = "amp-example-go"
version = "0.0.2"
authors = ["Eguo Wang <>"]
edition = "v1"
description = "A simple Golang example app"
documentation = ""
readme = ""
homepage = ""
repository = ""
license = "Apache-2.0"
license-file = "LICENSE"
keywords = ["example", "golang", "getting-started"]
categories = ["example"]

mysql = { version = "8.0", registry = "catalog" }
my-storage-service = { version = "v1", registry = "hub" }
bar = { repo = "", branch = "master" }
another-local-service = { path = "pkg/another-local-service" }