Compute Engine

gcutil Tool

This document describes installation and usage of the gcutil tool. gcutil is a command-line tool that is used to manage your Google Compute Engine resources.

If you haven't already activated Google Compute Engine, you must follow the Sign Up steps.


System requirements

gcutil runs on UNIX-based operating systems such as Linux and Mac OS X. To use gcutil, you must have Python 2.6.x or 2.7.x installed on your computer. gcutil does not support Python 3.x. Python is installed by default on most Linux distributions and Mac OS X.

Installing gcutil

This section discusses how to install gcutil on your computer.

gcutil is distributed as part of the Cloud SDK, which contains tools and libraries for managing resources on Google Cloud Platform.

Installing on Linux or Mac OS X

  1. Download and install the Cloud SDK.

    You can download and install the Cloud SDK using the following command:

    $ curl https://sdk.cloud.google.com | bash

    Alternatively, if you do not want to use curl, you can download and unzip the package manually:

    1. Download google-cloud-sdk.zip
    2. Unzip the file:
      $ unzip google-cloud-sdk.zip
    3. Run the installation script:
      $ ./google-cloud-sdk/install.sh

    Follow the prompts to complete the setup. When prompted if you would like to update your system path, select y.

  2. Restart your terminal to allow changes to your PATH to take affect.

    You can also run source ~/.<bash-profile-file> if you want to avoid restarting your terminal.

  3. Authenticate to the Google Cloud platform by running:
    $ gcloud auth login

Installing on Windows

  1. Download the Cloud SDK and install it.
  2. Authenticate to the Google Cloud platform by running the following command:
    gcloud auth login

For additional information on authenticating with the Cloud SDK, such as if you are working in a terminal session on another machine, see the following section.

Authenticating to Google Compute Engine

Google Compute Engine uses OAuth2 to authenticate and authorize access. Before you can use gcutil, you must first authorize the Cloud SDK on your behalf to access your project and acquire an auth token. You won't need to repeat these steps unless you delete your stored credentials file or remove Google Compute Engine access to your Google account.

  1. Run gcloud auth login to request a token. This command prints a URL and opens a browser window to request access to your project.

    $ gcloud auth login Your browser has been opened to
    Created new window in existing browser session.

    You can also provide the --no-launch-browser flag if your browser doesn't automatically load the URL. If you provide this flag, the tool will print out a verification code that you can copy and paste into a browser, instead of opening a new browser window.

    $ gcloud auth login --no-launch-browser
    Go to the following link in your browser:
    Enter verification code:
  2. Grant access.

    In the browser window, review the application permissions and click Accept when you are ready. If you used the --no-launch-browser flag, copy and paste the printed code on the next page onto the command line. Otherwise, the code will automatically be sent to the command line without any additional action on your part.

  3. (Optional) Next, the tool will prompt you for a project ID to use as your default project. Enter the ID of the project you want to use for Google Compute Engine:

    You can list your projects and create new ones in the Google Cloud
    console at https://cloud.google.com/console. If you have a project
    ready, you can enter it now.
    Enter a cloud project id (or leave blank
    to not set): your_project_id

    If you do not want to select a default project at this time, you can leave the prompt blank. To set your project ID later, run the following command at any time:

    $ gcloud config set project <new-project-id>

    Similarly, to unset your project ID, run:

    $ gcloud config unset project

    You can also view your settings, including your project ID:

    $ gcloud config list
  4. Try a quick example, such as a gcutil listinstances command:

    $ gcutil listinstances

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Upgrading gcutil on Compute Engine instances

Currently, Compute Engine instances come preinstalled with the Cloud SDK. If you need to keep the stand-alone gcutil version, use the following instructions to keep the tool updated to the latest version.

  1. Download the latest gcutil-1.14.2.tar.gz file.

    wget https://dl.google.com/dl/cloudsdk/release/artifacts/gcutil-1.14.2.tar.gz
  2. Extract the files.

    Run the following command to extract the tar file. This unpacks a directory named gcutil-1.14.2 in /usr/local/share.

    sudo tar xzvpf gcutil-1.14.2.tar.gz -C /usr/local/share
  3. Create a symbolic link to the gcutil binary.

    sudo ln -sf /usr/local/share/gcutil-1.14.2/gcutil /usr/local/bin/gcutil
  4. Start using gcutil.

    If you modified your system path, restart your shell before continuing so the changes can take effect. To see a list of available gcutil commands, run:

    $ gcutil help

Next steps

That's it, you can now start using gcutil! Here are some ideas to get you started: