Create service accounts

This page explains how to create service accounts using the Identity and Access Management (IAM) API, the Google Cloud console, and the gcloud command- line tool.

By default, each project can have up to 100 service accounts that control access to your resources. You can request a quota increase if necessary. Learn more about quotas and limits.

Before you begin

  • Enable the IAM API.

    Enable the API

  • Set up authentication.

    Select the tab for how you plan to use the samples on this page:

    Console

    When you use the Google Cloud console to access Google Cloud services and APIs, you don't need to set up authentication.

    gcloud

    You can use the gcloud CLI samples on this page from either of the following development environments:

    • Cloud Shell: To use an online terminal with the gcloud CLI already set up, activate Cloud Shell.

      At the bottom of this page, a Cloud Shell session starts and displays a command-line prompt. It can take a few seconds for the session to initialize.

    • Local shell: To use the gcloud CLI in a local development environment, install and initialize the gcloud CLI.

    C++

    To use the C++ samples on this page from a local development environment, install and initialize the gcloud CLI, and then set up Application Default Credentials with your user credentials.

    1. Install the Google Cloud CLI.
    2. To initialize the gcloud CLI, run the following command:

      gcloud init
    3. Create local authentication credentials for your Google Account:

      gcloud auth application-default login

    For more information, see Set up authentication for a local development environment in the Google Cloud authentication documentation.

    C#

    To use the .NET samples on this page from a local development environment, install and initialize the gcloud CLI, and then set up Application Default Credentials with your user credentials.

    1. Install the Google Cloud CLI.
    2. To initialize the gcloud CLI, run the following command:

      gcloud init
    3. Create local authentication credentials for your Google Account:

      gcloud auth application-default login

    For more information, see Set up authentication for a local development environment in the Google Cloud authentication documentation.

    Go

    To use the Go samples on this page from a local development environment, install and initialize the gcloud CLI, and then set up Application Default Credentials with your user credentials.

    1. Install the Google Cloud CLI.
    2. To initialize the gcloud CLI, run the following command:

      gcloud init
    3. Create local authentication credentials for your Google Account:

      gcloud auth application-default login

    For more information, see Set up authentication for a local development environment in the Google Cloud authentication documentation.

    Java

    To use the Java samples on this page from a local development environment, install and initialize the gcloud CLI, and then set up Application Default Credentials with your user credentials.

    1. Install the Google Cloud CLI.
    2. To initialize the gcloud CLI, run the following command:

      gcloud init
    3. Create local authentication credentials for your Google Account:

      gcloud auth application-default login

    For more information, see Set up authentication for a local development environment in the Google Cloud authentication documentation.

    Python

    To use the Python samples on this page from a local development environment, install and initialize the gcloud CLI, and then set up Application Default Credentials with your user credentials.

    1. Install the Google Cloud CLI.
    2. To initialize the gcloud CLI, run the following command:

      gcloud init
    3. Create local authentication credentials for your Google Account:

      gcloud auth application-default login

    For more information, see Set up authentication for a local development environment in the Google Cloud authentication documentation.

    REST

    To use the REST API samples on this page in a local development environment, you use the credentials you provide to the gcloud CLI.

      Install the Google Cloud CLI, then initialize it by running the following command:

      gcloud init

  • Understand IAM service accounts

Required roles

To get the permissions that you need to create service accounts, ask your administrator to grant you the Create Service Accounts (roles/iam.serviceAccountCreator) IAM role on the project. For more information about granting roles, see Manage access.

You might also be able to get the required permissions through custom roles or other predefined roles.

If you want to grant newly created service accounts access to your project, you also need the Project IAM admin (roles/resourcemanager.projectIamAdmin) role.

Create a service account

When you create a service account, you must provide an alphanumeric ID (SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAME in the samples below), such as my-service-account. The ID must be between 6 and 30 characters, and can contain lowercase alphanumeric characters and dashes. After you create a service account, you cannot change its name.

The service account's name appears in the email address that is provisioned during creation, in the format SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAME@PROJECT_ID.iam.gserviceaccount.com.

Each service account also has a permanent, unique numeric ID, which is generated automatically.

You also provide the following information when you create a service account:

  • DESCRIPTION is an optional description for the service account.
  • DISPLAY_NAME is a friendly name for the service account.
  • PROJECT_ID is the ID of your Google Cloud project.

After you create a service account, you might need to wait for 60 seconds or more before you use the service account. This behavior occurs because read operations are eventually consistent; it can take time for the new service account to become visible. If you try to read or use a service account immediately after you create it, and you receive an error, you can retry the request with exponential backoff.

Console

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

    Go to Create service account

    The remaining steps will appear automatically in the Google Cloud console.

  2. Select a Google Cloud project.
  3. Enter a service account name to display in the Google Cloud console.

    The Google Cloud console generates a service account ID based on this name. Edit the ID if necessary. You cannot change the ID later.

  4. Optional: Enter a description of the service account.
  5. If you don't want to set access controls now, click Done to finish creating the service account. To set access controls now, click Create and continue and continue to the next step.
  6. Optional: Choose one or more IAM roles to grant to the service account on the project.
  7. When you are done adding roles, click Continue.
  8. Optional: In the Service account users role field, add members that can impersonate the service account.
  9. Optional: In the Service account admins role field, add members that can manage the service account.
  10. Click Done to finish creating the service account.

gcloud

  1. In the Google Cloud console, activate Cloud Shell.

    Activate Cloud Shell

    At the bottom of the Google Cloud console, a Cloud Shell session starts and displays a command-line prompt. Cloud Shell is a shell environment with the Google Cloud CLI already installed and with values already set for your current project. It can take a few seconds for the session to initialize.

  2. To create the service account, run the gcloud iam service-accounts create command:

    gcloud iam service-accounts create SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAME 
    --description="DESCRIPTION"
    --display-name="DISPLAY_NAME"

    Replace the following values:

    • SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAME: the name of the service account

    • DESCRIPTION: an optional description of the service account

    • DISPLAY_NAME: a service account name to display in the Google Cloud console

  3. Optional: To grant your service account an IAM role on your project, run the gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding command:

    gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding PROJECT_ID 
    --member="serviceAccount:SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAME@PROJECT_ID.iam.gserviceaccount.com"
    --role="ROLE_NAME"

    Replace the following values:

    • PROJECT_ID: the project ID

    • SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAME: the name of the service account

    • ROLE_NAME: a role name, such as roles/compute.osLogin

  4. Optional: To allow users to impersonate the service account, run the gcloud iam service-accounts add-iam-policy-binding command to grant a user the Service Account User role (roles/iam.serviceAccountUser) on the service account:

    gcloud iam service-accounts add-iam-policy-binding 
    SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAME@PROJECT_ID.iam.gserviceaccount.com
    --member="user:USER_EMAIL"
    --role="roles/iam.serviceAccountUser"

    Replace the following values:

    • PROJECT_ID: the project ID

    • SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAME: the name of the service account

    • USER_EMAIL: the email address for the user

C++

To learn how to install and use the client library for IAM, see IAM client libraries. For more information, see the IAM C++ API reference documentation.

To authenticate to IAM, set up Application Default Credentials. For more information, see Before you begin.

namespace iam = ::google::cloud::iam_admin_v1;
[](std::string const& project_id, std::string const& account_id,
   std::string const& display_name, std::string const& description) {
  iam::IAMClient client(iam::MakeIAMConnection());
  google::iam::admin::v1::ServiceAccount service_account;
  service_account.set_display_name(display_name);
  service_account.set_description(description);
  auto response = client.CreateServiceAccount("projects/" + project_id,
                                              account_id, service_account);
  if (!response) throw std::move(response).status();
  std::cout << "ServiceAccount successfully created: "
            << response->DebugString() << "\n";
}

C#

To learn how to install and use the client library for IAM, see IAM client libraries. For more information, see the IAM C# API reference documentation.

To authenticate to IAM, set up Application Default Credentials. For more information, see Before you begin.


using System;
using Google.Apis.Auth.OAuth2;
using Google.Apis.Iam.v1;
using Google.Apis.Iam.v1.Data;

public partial class ServiceAccounts
{
    public static ServiceAccount CreateServiceAccount(string projectId,
        string name, string displayName)
    {
        var credential = GoogleCredential.GetApplicationDefault()
            .CreateScoped(IamService.Scope.CloudPlatform);
        var service = new IamService(new IamService.Initializer
        {
            HttpClientInitializer = credential
        });

        var request = new CreateServiceAccountRequest
        {
            AccountId = name,
            ServiceAccount = new ServiceAccount
            {
                DisplayName = displayName
            }
        };
        var serviceAccount = service.Projects.ServiceAccounts.Create(
            request, "projects/" + projectId).Execute();
        Console.WriteLine("Created service account: " + serviceAccount.Email);
        return serviceAccount;
    }
}

Go

To learn how to install and use the client library for IAM, see IAM client libraries. For more information, see the IAM Go API reference documentation.

To authenticate to IAM, set up Application Default Credentials. For more information, see Before you begin.

import (
	"context"
	"fmt"
	"io"

	iam "google.golang.org/api/iam/v1"
)

// createServiceAccount creates a service account.
func createServiceAccount(w io.Writer, projectID, name, displayName string) (*iam.ServiceAccount, error) {
	ctx := context.Background()
	service, err := iam.NewService(ctx)
	if err != nil {
		return nil, fmt.Errorf("iam.NewService: %w", err)
	}

	request := &iam.CreateServiceAccountRequest{
		AccountId: name,
		ServiceAccount: &iam.ServiceAccount{
			DisplayName: displayName,
		},
	}
	account, err := service.Projects.ServiceAccounts.Create("projects/"+projectID, request).Do()
	if err != nil {
		return nil, fmt.Errorf("Projects.ServiceAccounts.Create: %w", err)
	}
	fmt.Fprintf(w, "Created service account: %v", account)
	return account, nil
}

Java

To learn how to install and use the client library for IAM, see IAM client libraries. For more information, see the IAM Java API reference documentation.

To authenticate to IAM, set up Application Default Credentials. For more information, see Before you begin.

import com.google.api.client.googleapis.javanet.GoogleNetHttpTransport;
import com.google.api.client.json.gson.GsonFactory;
import com.google.api.services.iam.v1.Iam;
import com.google.api.services.iam.v1.IamScopes;
import com.google.api.services.iam.v1.model.CreateServiceAccountRequest;
import com.google.api.services.iam.v1.model.ServiceAccount;
import com.google.auth.http.HttpCredentialsAdapter;
import com.google.auth.oauth2.GoogleCredentials;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.security.GeneralSecurityException;
import java.util.Collections;

public class CreateServiceAccount {

  // Creates a service account.
  public static void createServiceAccount(String projectId, String serviceAccountName) {
    // String projectId = "my-project-id";
    // String serviceAccountName = "my-service-account-name";

    Iam service = null;
    try {
      service = initService();
    } catch (IOException | GeneralSecurityException e) {
      System.out.println("Unable to initialize service: \n" + e.toString());
      return;
    }

    try {
      ServiceAccount serviceAccount = new ServiceAccount();
      serviceAccount.setDisplayName("your-display-name");
      CreateServiceAccountRequest request = new CreateServiceAccountRequest();
      request.setAccountId(serviceAccountName);
      request.setServiceAccount(serviceAccount);

      serviceAccount =
          service.projects().serviceAccounts().create("projects/" + projectId, request).execute();

      System.out.println("Created service account: " + serviceAccount.getEmail());
    } catch (IOException e) {
      System.out.println("Unable to create service account: \n" + e.toString());
    }
  }

  private static Iam initService() throws GeneralSecurityException, IOException {
    // Use the Application Default Credentials strategy for authentication. For more info, see:
    // https://cloud.google.com/docs/authentication/production#finding_credentials_automatically
    GoogleCredentials credential =
        GoogleCredentials.getApplicationDefault()
            .createScoped(Collections.singleton(IamScopes.CLOUD_PLATFORM));
    // Initialize the IAM service, which can be used to send requests to the IAM API.
    Iam service =
        new Iam.Builder(
                GoogleNetHttpTransport.newTrustedTransport(),
                GsonFactory.getDefaultInstance(),
                new HttpCredentialsAdapter(credential))
            .setApplicationName("service-accounts")
            .build();
    return service;
  }
}

Python

To learn how to install and use the client library for IAM, see IAM client libraries. For more information, see the IAM Python API reference documentation.

To authenticate to IAM, set up Application Default Credentials. For more information, see Before you begin.

import os

from google.oauth2 import service_account  # type: ignore
import googleapiclient.discovery  # type: ignore

def create_service_account(project_id: str, name: str, display_name: str) -> dict:
    """Creates a service account."""

    credentials = service_account.Credentials.from_service_account_file(
        filename=os.environ["GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS"],
        scopes=["https://www.googleapis.com/auth/cloud-platform"],
    )

    service = googleapiclient.discovery.build("iam", "v1", credentials=credentials)

    my_service_account = (
        service.projects()
        .serviceAccounts()
        .create(
            name="projects/" + project_id,
            body={"accountId": name, "serviceAccount": {"displayName": display_name}},
        )
        .execute()
    )

    print("Created service account: " + my_service_account["email"])
    return my_service_account

REST

The serviceAccounts.create method creates a service account.

Before using any of the request data, make the following replacements:

  • PROJECT_ID: Your Google Cloud project ID. Project IDs are alphanumeric strings, like my-project.
  • SA_NAME: The alphanumeric ID of your service account. This name must be between 6 and 30 characters, and can contain lowercase alphanumeric characters and dashes.
  • SA_DESCRIPTION: Optional. A description for the service account.
  • SA_DISPLAY_NAME: A human-readable name for the service account.

HTTP method and URL:

POST https://iam.googleapis.com/v1/projects/PROJECT_ID/serviceAccounts

Request JSON body:

{
  "accountId": "SA_NAME",
  "serviceAccount": {
    "description": "SA_DESCRIPTION",
    "displayName": "SA_DISPLAY_NAME"
  }
}

To send your request, expand one of these options:

You should receive a JSON response similar to the following:

{
  "name": "projects/my-project/serviceAccounts/my-service-account@my-project.iam.gserviceaccount.com",
  "projectId": "my-project",
  "uniqueId": "123456789012345678901",
  "email": "my-service-account@my-project.iam.gserviceaccount.com",
  "displayName": "My service account",
  "etag": "BwUp3rVlzes=",
  "description": "A service account for running jobs in my project",
  "oauth2ClientId": "987654321098765432109"
}

After you create a service account, grant one or more roles to the service account so that it can act on your behalf.

Also, if the service account needs to access resources in other projects, you usually must enable the APIs for those resources in the project where you created the service account.

What's next

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