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config - Obtain credentials and create configuration file


gsutil [-D] config [-a] [-b] [-e] [-f] [-n] [-o <file>] [-r] [-s <scope>] [-w]


The gsutil config command applies to users who have legacy stand-alone installations of gsutil. If you installed gsutil via the Cloud SDK, gsutil config fails unless you are specifically using the -a flag or have configured gcloud to not pass its managed credentials to gsutil (via the command gcloud config set pass_credentials_to_gsutil false). For all other use cases, Cloud SDK users should use the gcloud auth group of commands instead, which configures OAuth2 credentials that gcloud implicitly passes to gsutil at runtime. To check if you are using gsutil from the Cloud SDK or as a legacy stand-alone, use gsutil version -l and in the output look for "using cloud sdk".

The gsutil config command obtains access credentials for Cloud Storage and writes a boto/gsutil configuration file containing the obtained credentials along with a number of other configuration-controllable values.

Unless specified otherwise (see OPTIONS), the configuration file is written to ~/.boto (i.e., the file .boto under the user's home directory). If the default file already exists, an attempt is made to rename the existing file to ~/.boto.bak; if that attempt fails the command exits. A different destination file can be specified with the -o option (see OPTIONS).

Because the boto configuration file contains your credentials you should keep its file permissions set so no one but you has read access. (The file is created read-only when you run gsutil config.)


By default gsutil config obtains OAuth2 credentials and writes them to the [Credentials] section of the configuration file. Unless otherwise specified, it requests a token allowing full control of resources in several services, e.g. Cloud Storage, Cloud KMS (used for the 'kms' command), and Cloud Pub/Sub (used for the 'notification' command). To request a token with more limited scopes, you can specify additional options (see the OPTIONS section below for the full list). Some examples include:

Create a token with read-only access for storage resources:

gsutil config -r

Create a token with read-write access for storage resources:

gsutil config -w

Create a token with full-control access for storage resources:

gsutil config -f

In addition, -s <scope> can be specified multiple times to request additional scopes, where <scope> is specified using the full URL of the desired scope as listed on

If you want to use credentials based on access key and secret (the older authentication method before OAuth2 was supported) instead of OAuth2, see help about the -a option in the OPTIONS section.

If you wish to use gsutil with other providers (or to copy data back and forth between multiple providers) you can edit their credentials into the [Credentials] section after creating the initial boto configuration file.

Configuring Service Account Credentials

Service accounts are useful for authenticating on behalf of a service or application (as opposed to a user). If you use gsutil as a legacy stand-alone tool, you configure credentials for service accounts using the -e option:

gsutil config -e

Note that if you use gsutil through the Cloud SDK, you instead activate your service account via the gcloud auth activate-service-account command.

When you run gsutil config -e, you are prompted for the path to your private key file and, if not using a JSON key file, your service account email address and key file password. To get this data, follow the instructions on Service Accounts. Using this information, gsutil populates the "gs_service_key_file" attribute in the boto configuration file. If not using a JSON key file, gsutil also populates the "gs_service_client_id" and "gs_service_key_file_password" attributes.

Note that your service account is NOT considered an Owner for the purposes of API access (see gsutil help creds for more information about this). See for further information on service account authentication.



Prompt for Cloud Storage access key and secret (the older authentication method before OAuth2 was supported) instead of obtaining an OAuth2 token.


Causes gsutil config to launch a browser to obtain OAuth2 approval and the project ID instead of showing the URL for each and asking the user to open the browser. This will probably not work as expected if you are running gsutil from an ssh window, or using gsutil on Windows.


Prompt for service account credentials. This option requires that -a is not set.


Request token with full control (devstorage.full_control scope). Note that this does not provide non-storage scopes, such as those needed to edit Pub/Sub and KMS resources (used with the 'notification' and 'kms' commands).


Write the configuration file without authentication configured. This flag is mutually exclusive with all flags other than -o.

-o <file>

Write the configuration to <file> instead of ~/.boto. Use - for stdout.


Request token with read-only access (devstorage.read_only scope).


Request token with reauth access (accounts.reauth scope).

-s <scope>

Request a specific OAuth2 <scope> instead of the default(s). This option may be repeated to request multiple scopes, and may be used in conjunction with other flags that request a specific scope.


Request token with read-write access (devstorage.read_write scope).