This error is generated if you try to invoke a build command that Maven does not understand. In general, you have the following options to perform build steps:

  1. Invoke a lifecycle phase, e.g.
    mvn install
    This runs the lifecycle phase install and all its predecessor phases like compile and test. Please see Introduction to the Build Lifecycle for more information about available lifecycle phases.
  2. Invoke a plugin goal via the plugin prefix, e.g.
    mvn compiler:compile
    Eventually, the plugin prefix translates to a group id and artifact id of a plugin. Maven resolves plugin prefixes by first looking at the plugins of the current project's POM and next by checking the metadata of user-defined plugin groups.
  3. Invoke a plugin goal via the versionless plugin coordinates, e.g.
    mvn org.apache.maven.plugins:maven-compiler-plugin:compile
    To resolve the plugin version, Maven will first check the project's POM and fallback to the latest release version of the plugin that was deployed to the configured plugin repositories.
  4. Invoke a plugin goal via the fully qualified plugin coordinates, e.g.
    mvn org.apache.maven.plugins:maven-compiler-plugin:2.0.2:compile

You can freely mix all of these styles within a single command line.

The error described here is usually caused by typo in the command so be sure to check you specified a valid lifecycle phase.

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