Maven vs Gradle equivalent commands

I’ve seen Gradle becoming more popular in recent years, but it wasn’t too long ago that Maven was the tool for managing dependencies and building/packaging apps.

From my own experience with both, here’s the commonly used equivalent commands:

mvn compileNo equivalent as gradle build compiles and packages?
mvn packagegradle build
mvn install (see note below)gradle build
mvn testgradle test

There is no direct equivalent to ‘mvn install’ in gradle, but if you depend on a local Maven repo, there is a Gradle plugin to publish packaged artifacts to a Maven repo – see here.

Initializing new Java projects with Gradle

I’ve used Maven for years for dependency management, but Gradle has better support for initializing a new Java source project compared to Maven. Although Maven has archetypes, I can never remember the syntax so usually just copy and paste a pom.xml file from somewhere else.

With Gralde you can ‘gradle init’ a new project and just follow the prompts:

> gradle init

Welcome to Gradle 8.1.1!

Here are the highlights of this release:
 - Stable configuration cache
 - Experimental Kotlin DSL assignment syntax
 - Building with Java 20

For more details see

Starting a Gradle Daemon (subsequent builds will be faster)

Select type of project to generate:
  1: basic
  2: application
  3: library
  4: Gradle plugin
Enter selection (default: basic) [1..4] 2

Select implementation language:
  1: C++
  2: Groovy
  3: Java
  4: Kotlin
  5: Scala
  6: Swift
Enter selection (default: Java) [1..6] 3

Generate multiple subprojects for application? (default: no) [yes, no] n                          nolease enter 'yes' or 'no': 
Select build script DSL:
  1: Groovy
  2: Kotlin
Enter selection (default: Groovy) [1..2] 1

Select test framework:
  1: JUnit 4
  2: TestNG
  3: Spock
  4: JUnit Jupiter
Enter selection (default: JUnit Jupiter) [1..4] 1

Project name (default: java21playground): 
Source package (default: java21playground): 
Enter target version of Java (min. 7) (default: 21): 
Generate build using new APIs and behavior (some features may change in the next minor release)? (no

> Task :init
Get more help with your project:

2 actionable tasks: 2 executed

With Maven you add your dependencies to a <dependencies> block in your pom.xml, like


Dependencies with the default scope are considered part of your compile and runtime classpath, <scope>test</scope> indicates on the test classpath only.

With Gradle you do the same with your build.gradle properties file, in the dependencies section:

dependencies {
    testImplementation 'junit:junit:4.13.2'

    implementation ''

implementation dependencies are for runtime, testimplementation are for test only.