config - Obtain credentials and create configuration file

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 installed gsutil as a standalone tool. If you installed gsutil via the Cloud SDK, gsutil config will fail 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 will configure OAuth2 credentials that gcloud implicitly passes to gsutil at runtime.

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 will exit. 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 configuration file. See the list of settings below for supported settings.

Configuring Service Account Credentials

Service accounts are useful for authenticating on behalf of a service or application (as opposed to a user). You can configure credentials for service accounts using the -e option:

gsutil config -e

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

When you run gsutil config -e, you will be 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, along with "gs_service_client_id" and "gs_service_key_file_password" if not using a JSON key file.

Note that your service account will NOT be 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.

Configuration File Selection Procedure

By default, gsutil will look for the configuration file in /etc/boto.cfg and ~/.boto. You can override this choice by setting the BOTO_CONFIG environment variable. This is also useful if you have several different identities or cloud storage environments: By setting up the credentials and any additional configuration in separate files for each, you can switch environments by changing environment variables.

You can also set up a path of configuration files, by setting the BOTO_PATH environment variable to contain a ":" delimited path (or ";" for Windows). For example setting the BOTO_PATH environment variable to:


will cause gsutil to load each configuration file found in the path in order. This is useful if you want to set up some shared configuration state among many users: The shared state can go in the central shared file ( /etc/projects/my_group_project.boto.cfg) and each user's individual credentials can be placed in the configuration file in each of their home directories. For security reasons, users should never share credentials via a shared configuration file.

Configuration File Structure

The configuration file contains a number of sections: [Credentials], [Boto], [GSUtil], and [OAuth2]. If you edit the file, make sure to edit the appropriate section (discussed below), and to be careful not to mis-edit any of the setting names (like "gs_access_key_id") and not to remove the section delimiters (like [Credentials]).

Additional Configuration-Controllable Features

With the exception of setting up gsutil to work through a proxy, most users won't need to edit values in the boto configuration file; values found in the file tend to be of more specialized use than command line option-controllable features. For information on setting up gsutil to work through a proxy, see the comments preceding the proxy settings in your .boto file.

The following are the currently defined configuration settings, broken down by section. Their use is documented in comments preceding each, in the configuration file. If you see a setting you want to change that's not listed in your current file, see the section below on Updating to the Latest Configuration File.

The currently supported settings, are, by section:




  decryption_key1 ... 100
  resumable_tracker_dir (deprecated in 4.6, use state_dir)


Updating To The Latest Configuration File

We add new configuration controllable features to the boto configuration file over time, but most gsutil users create a configuration file once and then keep it for a long time, so new features aren't apparent when you update to a newer version of gsutil. If you want to get the latest configuration file (which includes all the latest settings and documentation about each) you can rename your current file (e.g., to '.boto_old'), run gsutil config, and then edit any configuration settings you wanted from your old file into the newly created file. Note, however, that if you're using OAuth2 credentials and you go back through the OAuth2 configuration dialog it will invalidate your previous OAuth2 credentials.


-a Prompt for Cloud Storage access key and secret (the older authentication method before OAuth2 was supported) instead of obtaining an OAuth2 token.
-b 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.
-e Prompt for service account credentials. This option requires that -a is not set.
-f 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).
-n Write the configuration file without authentication configured. This flag is mutually exlusive with all flags other than -o.
-o <file> Write the configuration to <file> instead of ~/.boto. Use - for stdout.
-r Request token with read-only access (devstorage.read_only scope).
--reauth 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 conjuction with other flags that request a specific scope.
-w Request token with read-write access (devstorage.read_write scope).
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