gsutil tool

gsutil is a Python application that lets you access Cloud Storage from the command line. You can use gsutil to do a wide range of bucket and object management tasks, including:

  • Creating and deleting buckets.
  • Uploading, downloading, and deleting objects.
  • Listing buckets and objects.
  • Moving, copying, and renaming objects.
  • Editing object and bucket ACLs.

gsutil performs all operations, including uploads and downloads, using HTTPS and transport-layer security (TLS).

Should you use gsutil?

Generally, you should use gcloud storage commands instead of gsutil commands:

  • The gsutil tool is a legacy Cloud Storage CLI and minimally maintained.

  • The gsutil tool does not support working with newer Cloud Storage features.

  • gcloud storage commands require less manual optimization in order to achieve the fastest upload and download rates.

Getting started

The best way to get started with the gsutil tool is to follow the gsutil Quickstart. The quickstart shows you how to set up a Google Cloud project, enable billing, install gsutil, and run basic commands with the tool.

If another individual has already set up a Cloud Storage account and has added you to the project as a team member, or if you have been granted access to an object or bucket, you can get gsutil as part of the Google Cloud CLI to access the protected data. You do not need to activate Cloud Storage or set up billing.

Accessing public data

If you only want to access public data, follow the instructions in Accessing Public Data. By following the steps found in the gsutil tab, you can immediately access freely available, publicly accessible data; you do not need to sign up for a Google account or authenticate to Cloud Storage to use gsutil for this purpose.

Syntax for accessing resources

gsutil uses the prefix gs:// to indicate a resource in Cloud Storage:


In addition to specifying exact resources, gsutil supports the use of wildcards in your commands.

Built-in help

gsutil contains thorough built-in help about every command as well as a number of topics, which you can list and read with the gsutil help command.

The gsutil help pages are also available online. For example, gsutil cp and gsutil options are a command help page and a topic help page, respectively.

To get information about your gsutil installation, use the gsutil version command:

gsutil version -l

Usage statistics

During the installation process, you can opt-in to tracking usage statistics which helps improve the gsutil tool. If you susbequently decide that you want to disable these usage statistics, see Usage statistics.

About gsutil

gsutil is an open-source project. To download the developer version of gsutil or volunteer to help develop gsutil, visit the gsutil project on GitHub.


  • When using gsutil with Windows, commands that use the -m global flag cannot be canceled using Ctrl-C.

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