hh_server (1) - Linux Manuals

hh_server: Hack language typechecker daemon


hh_server - Hack language typechecker daemon


hh_server [--check [--json]] DIRECTORY


hh_server(1) is the actual typechecker that enforces the Hack type system. It is typically accessed via hh_client(1); see the documentation for that tool for more information on the Hack type system and how to interface with hh_server(1).

Directly invoking hh_server(1) is of minimal use, since hh_client(1) will start and stop it as needed. The only widely useful manual invocation is --check mode.

With no options, hh_server(1) will start up, do an initial typecheck of DIRECTORY, and continue running, waiting for connections from hh_client(1). Again, this is not the normal way the server should be invoked -- just running hh_client(1) and ignoring the existence of this server binary is sufficient for common use.


Start up, check the DIRECTORY, print type errors in a human-readable format, and then exit. This "batch mode" might be useful in cases where a single check is needed and so starting a long-running daemon is not appropriate, such as in a pre-commit hook. The output is intended for human consumption, not tools; for tool consumption, see --json below.

If --check is specified, generate machine-readable JSON output instead of the human-readable output generated by default.

--check TARGET
Start up and check DIRECTORY in the same manner as --check mode. Then, re-check TARGET and attempt to add type annotations to locations in those files that are missing. The analysis process is slow and imperfect, but often useful. This process can change the code in ways that fail at runtime; see http://docs.hhvm.com/hack/tools/introduction for detailed information on how to combine this mode with hackificator(1) and hack_remove_soft_types(1) to do a full and safe conversion from PHP to Hack.


If --check is specified, exits with 0 if there are no type errors, nonzero otherwise. Other exit values are undefined.


Uses the same scheme for constructing a path to a socket for client/server communication that hh_client(1) uses. See its documentation for a description.


It might be useful to have a pre-commit hook to make sure that type errors don't sneak into trunk. A hook might want to directly invoke hh_server(1) so that it doesn't need a running daemon. That can be done with something like

hh_server --check /var/www

and, if that fails, printing its output and rejecting the commit. For tool usage, something like

hh_server --check --json /var/www

might be more appropriate; the JSON output can be passed up to a code review tool and displayed there.

This is only for cases where having a long-running daemon is inappropriate. For normal development usage, invoking hh_client(1) and allowing it to use the server itself will be much faster to check code and return type errors.


The Hack language is part of the HHVM project. Known bugs can be found at that tracker, and new ones should be reported there as well: https://github.com/facebook/hhvm/issues