Getting started with authentication

This topic shows how to quickly authenticate to a Google Cloud API for testing purposes. It does not show how to authenticate to non-Google Cloud APIs, such as the Google Maps Platform APIs. For information about API keys for Google Maps Platform APIs and SDKs, see the Google Maps documentation.

Before proceeding, we recommend that all Google Cloud developers first read the Authentication overview topic to understand how authentication works in Google Cloud, including common scenarios and strategies. Additionally, before deploying an application to a production environment, ensure that you've read Authenticating as a service account.

Creating a service account

Cloud Console

Create a service account:

  1. In the Cloud Console, go to the Create service account page.

    Go to Create service account
  2. Select a project.
  3. In the Service account name field, enter a name. The Cloud Console fills in the Service account ID field based on this name.

    In the Service account description field, enter a description. For example, Service account for quickstart.

  4. Click Create.
  5. Click the Select a role field.

    Under Quick access, click Basic, then click Owner.

  6. Click Continue.
  7. Click Done to finish creating the service account.

    Do not close your browser window. You will use it in the next step.

Create a service account key:

  1. In the Cloud Console, click the email address for the service account that you created.
  2. Click Keys.
  3. Click Add key, then click Create new key.
  4. Click Create. A JSON key file is downloaded to your computer.
  5. Click Close.

Command line

You can run the following commands using the Cloud SDK on your local machine, or in Cloud Shell.

  1. Create the service account. Replace NAME with a name for the service account.

    gcloud iam service-accounts create NAME
  2. Grant permissions to the service account. Replace PROJECT_ID with your project ID.

    gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding PROJECT_ID --member="serviceAccount:NAME@PROJECT_ID.iam.gserviceaccount.com" --role="roles/owner"
  3. Generate the key file. Replace FILE_NAME with a name for the key file.

    gcloud iam service-accounts keys create FILE_NAME.json --iam-account=NAME@PROJECT_ID.iam.gserviceaccount.com

Setting the environment variable

To use service accounts with the Cloud SDK, you need to set an environment variable where your code runs.

Provide authentication credentials to your application code by setting the environment variable GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS. This variable only applies to your current shell session, so if you open a new session, set the variable again.

Linux or macOS

export GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS="KEY_PATH"

Replace KEY_PATH with the path of the JSON file that contains your service account key.

For example:

export GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS="/home/user/Downloads/service-account-file.json"

Windows

For PowerShell:

$env:GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS="KEY_PATH"

Replace KEY_PATH with the path of the JSON file that contains your service account key.

For example:

$env:GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS="C:\Users\username\Downloads\service-account-file.json"

For command prompt:

set GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS=KEY_PATH

Replace KEY_PATH with the path of the JSON file that contains your service account key.

Setting the environment variable allows you to provide credentials separately from your application, without making changes to application code when you deploy. Alternately, you can explicitly specify the path to the service account key file in your code. For more information, see Authenticating as a service account.

Verifying authentication

After setting the environment variable, you don't need to explicitly specify your credentials in code when using a Google Cloud client library. The client library can determine your credentials implicitly. For this reason, you can verify that authentication works by setting the environment variable, and then running client library code, such as the following example. If the request succeeds, authentication works.

C#

public object AuthImplicit(string projectId)
{
    // If you don't specify credentials when constructing the client, the
    // client library will look for credentials in the environment.
    var credential = GoogleCredential.GetApplicationDefault();
    var storage = StorageClient.Create(credential);
    // Make an authenticated API request.
    var buckets = storage.ListBuckets(projectId);
    foreach (var bucket in buckets)
    {
        Console.WriteLine(bucket.Name);
    }
    return null;
}

Go


// implicit uses Application Default Credentials to authenticate.
func implicit() {
	ctx := context.Background()

	// For API packages whose import path is starting with "cloud.google.com/go",
	// such as cloud.google.com/go/storage in this case, if there are no credentials
	// provided, the client library will look for credentials in the environment.
	storageClient, err := storage.NewClient(ctx)
	if err != nil {
		log.Fatal(err)
	}
	defer storageClient.Close()

	it := storageClient.Buckets(ctx, "project-id")
	for {
		bucketAttrs, err := it.Next()
		if err == iterator.Done {
			break
		}
		if err != nil {
			log.Fatal(err)
		}
		fmt.Println(bucketAttrs.Name)
	}

	// For packages whose import path is starting with "google.golang.org/api",
	// such as google.golang.org/api/cloudkms/v1, use NewService to create the client.
	kmsService, err := cloudkms.NewService(ctx)
	if err != nil {
		log.Fatal(err)
	}

	_ = kmsService
}

Java

static void authImplicit() {
  // If you don't specify credentials when constructing the client, the client library will
  // look for credentials via the environment variable GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS.
  Storage storage = StorageOptions.getDefaultInstance().getService();

  System.out.println("Buckets:");
  Page<Bucket> buckets = storage.list();
  for (Bucket bucket : buckets.iterateAll()) {
    System.out.println(bucket.toString());
  }
}

Node.js

// Imports the Google Cloud client library.
const {Storage} = require('@google-cloud/storage');

// Instantiates a client. If you don't specify credentials when constructing
// the client, the client library will look for credentials in the
// environment.
const storage = new Storage();
// Makes an authenticated API request.
async function listBuckets() {
  try {
    const results = await storage.getBuckets();

    const [buckets] = results;

    console.log('Buckets:');
    buckets.forEach(bucket => {
      console.log(bucket.name);
    });
  } catch (err) {
    console.error('ERROR:', err);
  }
}
listBuckets();

PHP

// Imports the Cloud Storage client library.
use Google\Cloud\Storage\StorageClient;

function auth_cloud_implicit($projectId)
{
    $config = [
        'projectId' => $projectId,
    ];

    # If you don't specify credentials when constructing the client, the
    # client library will look for credentials in the environment.
    $storage = new StorageClient($config);

    # Make an authenticated API request (listing storage buckets)
    foreach ($storage->buckets() as $bucket) {
        printf('Bucket: %s' . PHP_EOL, $bucket->name());
    }
}

Python

def implicit():
    from google.cloud import storage

    # If you don't specify credentials when constructing the client, the
    # client library will look for credentials in the environment.
    storage_client = storage.Client()

    # Make an authenticated API request
    buckets = list(storage_client.list_buckets())
    print(buckets)

Ruby

# project_id = "Your Google Cloud project ID"

require "google/cloud/storage"

# If you don't specify credentials when constructing the client, the client
# library will look for credentials in the environment.
storage = Google::Cloud::Storage.new project: project_id

# Make an authenticated API request
storage.buckets.each do |bucket|
  puts bucket.name
end

What's next

Try it for yourself

If you're new to Google Cloud, create an account to evaluate how our products perform in real-world scenarios. New customers also get $300 in free credits to run, test, and deploy workloads.

Get started for free