This page contains an overview of the Google Cloud CLI and its common command patterns and capabilities.
What is the gcloud CLI?
The Google Cloud CLI is a set of tools to create and manage Google Cloud resources. You can use these tools to perform many common platform tasks from the command line or through scripts and other automation.
For example, you can use the gcloud CLI to create and manage the following:
- Compute Engine virtual machine instances and other resources
- Cloud SQL instances
- Google Kubernetes Engine clusters
- Dataproc clusters and jobs
- Cloud DNS managed zones and record sets
- Cloud Deployment Manager deployments
You can also use the gcloud CLI to deploy App Engine applications, manage authentication, customize local configuration, and perform other tasks.
The gcloud CLI cheat sheet
For a quick introduction to the gcloud CLI, a list of commonly used commands, and a look at how these commands are structured, see the gcloud CLI cheat sheet.
Download and install the gcloud CLI
If you're using Cloud Shell, the gcloud CLI is available automatically and you don't need to install it. Otherwise, download and install the gcloud CLI and then initialize it.
By default, the gcloud CLI installs
commands that are at the General Availability level. Additional functionality is
available in gcloud CLI
beta. These components
allow you to use the gcloud CLI to work with Cloud Bigtable,
Dataflow, and other parts of the Google Cloud at earlier release
levels than General Availability.
The current gcloud CLI version is 423.0.0. You can download and install previous versions of the gcloud CLI from the download archive.
The gcloud CLI commands have the following release levels:
|General Availability||None||Commands are considered fully stable and available for production use. For advance notice of changes to commands that break current functionality, see the release notes.|
||Commands are functionally complete, but could still have some outstanding issues. Breaking changes to these commands can be made without notice.|
||Commands are in early release and may change without notice.|
beta components are not installed by default when you install
the gcloud CLI. You must install these components
separately using the
gcloud components install command. If you try to run an
alpha or beta command and the corresponding component is not installed,
the gcloud CLI prompts you to install it.
Within each release level, gcloud CLI commands are organized into a nested hierarchy of command groups, each of which represents a product or feature of Google Cloud or its functional subgroups.
||Commands related to Compute Engine in general availability|
||Commands related to Compute Engine instances in general availability|
||Commands related to Compute Engine in Beta|
||Commands related to managing App Engine deployments in Alpha|
Running gcloud CLI commands
You can run gcloud CLI commands from the command line and from scripts and other automations—for example, when using Jenkins to automate Google Cloud tasks.
The gcloud CLI properties are settings that affect the behavior of the gcloud CLI tools. Some of these properties can be set by either global or command options—in which case, the value set by the option takes precedence.
Enabling accessibility features
For a more streamlined screen reader experience, the gcloud CLI
comes with an
To enable the accessibility property, run:
gcloud config set accessibility/screen_reader true
For more details about the accessibility features that come with the gcloud command-line tool, see the Enabling accessibility features guide.
A configuration is a set of gcloud CLI properties. A configuration works like a profile.
When you start using the gcloud CLI, you'll work with a single
default and you can set properties by running
gcloud init or
gcloud config set. This single default configuration is
suitable for most use cases.
To work with multiple projects or authorization accounts, you can set up
multiple configurations with
gcloud config configurations create and switch
among the configurations. Within a configuration, you can customize properties.
For example, to set your project within an active configuration
gcloud config set project <project-id>
For a detailed account of these concepts, see the Configurations guide.
The gcloud CLI provides a set of gcloud CLI options that govern the behavior of commands on a per-invocation level. Options override values set in gcloud CLI properties.
Positional arguments and options
While positional arguments and options affect the output of a gcloud CLI command, there is a subtle difference in their use cases. A positional argument is used to define an entity on which a command operates while an options is required to set a variation in a command's behavior.
The output of successful gcloud CLI commands is written to
stdout. All other types of responses—prompts, warnings, and errors—are
stderr. Do not script against responses written to
these responses aren't stable.
For guidelines on handling output, refer to the Scripting guide.
To protect against unintended destructive actions, the gcloud CLI
confirms your intentions before executing commands such as
gcloud projects delete.
You might be prompted when additional information is needed.
For example you will be asked to choose a zone when you create a Compute Engine
virtual machine instance using
gcloud compute instances create test-instance.
To disable prompting, use the
Do not script against the wording of prompts because the wording can change.
Suppressing prompting, writing to the terminal, and logging
--quiet option (also,
-q) for the
disables all interactive prompts when running gcloud CLI commands
and is useful for scripting. If input is needed, defaults are used. If there
isn't a default, an error is raised.
To suppress printing of command output to standard output and standard error in
the terminal, use the
To adjust verbosity of logs, specify a verbosity level (debug, info, warning,
error, critical, or none) using the
Determining output structure
By default, when a gcloud CLI command returns a list of resources,
the resources are pretty-printed to standard output. To produce more meaningful
projection options allow you to fine-tune
To define just the format of your output, use the
--format option to produce a tabulated
or flattened version of your output (for interactive display) or
a machine-readable version of the output (
To format a list of keys that select resource data values, use
projections. To further refine
your output to criteria you define, use
To familiarize yourself with filter and format functionality, you can complete a quick interactive tutorial by clicking Open in Cloud Shell.
- Learn more about gcloud CLI commands in the gcloud CLI reference.