Globus CLI


This page refers to the beta version of the new Globus CLI, which is an application you download and locally install. Please try out the new CLI, and send us your feedback at

This CLI is still in beta and updates and changes to the interfaces are expected as newer versions are released.

If you are looking for the current CLI available in production please see

This CLI provides a convenient shell interface to Globus APIs, including the Transfer API and the Globus Auth API.

Documentation for the APIs is available at

You can always view CLI help by passing the –help flag to a command. That will show you any subcommands and options supported by that command.

Source code is available at


The Globus CLI is maintained as a python package, built on the Globus Python SDK. Like the SDK, it therefore requires Python 2.7+ or 3.3+. If a supported version of Python is not already installed on your system, see this Python installation guide.

For macOS Users

For macOS, you must install pip first:

which pip || sudo easy_install pip

For All Platforms

To install, run the following commands:

which virtualenv || sudo pip install virtualenv
virtualenv "$HOME/.globus-cli-virtualenv"
source "$HOME/.globus-cli-virtualenv/bin/activate"
pip install globus-cli
export PATH="$PATH:$HOME/.globus-cli-virtualenv/bin"
echo 'export PATH="$PATH:$HOME/.globus-cli-virtualenv/bin"' >> "$HOME/.bashrc"

This will install the CLI and its dependencies into $HOME/.globus-cli-virtualenv, and add it to your shell.

See that the CLI is installed:

globus --help

Note on Other Shells

If you shell is not Bash, you will have to add export PATH="$PATH:$HOME/.globus-cli-virtualenv/bin" to your shell’s initialization file.

Updating and Removing

For more info, see the instructions on Updating and Removing CLI Versions.

Getting Started

Installing the globus-cli python packge will provide you with the globus command. However, most CLI commands will require authentication to Globus services, so start out by getting logged in:

$ globus login
# follow instructions to get setup

You can check that you can correctly authenticate to the Globus APIs with two quick commands.

First, check that you can access Globus Auth:

$ globus get-identities ''
ID                                   | Full Name      | Username        | Organization | Email Address
------------------------------------ | -------------- | --------------- | ------------ | ------------------
c699d42e-d274-11e5-bf75-1fc5bf53bb24 | | | Globus       |

Your output should be the same as above. If you are not authenticated, you will see a message similar to:

$ globus get-identities ''
Globus CLI Error: A GLobus API Error Occurred.
HTTP status:      401
code:             UNAUTHORIZED
message:          Call must be authenticated

Next, check that you can reach the Globus Transfer API:

# --filter-owner-id is the ID of '', fetched above
$ globus endpoint search 'Globus Tutorial Endpoint' \
    --filter-owner-id 'c699d42e-d274-11e5-bf75-1fc5bf53bb24'
Owner           | ID                                   | Display Name
--------------- | ------------------------------------ | --------------------------- | ddb59aef-6d04-11e5-ba46-22000b92c6ec | Globus Tutorial Endpoint 1 | ddb59af0-6d04-11e5-ba46-22000b92c6ec | Globus Tutorial Endpoint 2 | cf9bcaa5-6d04-11e5-ba46-22000b92c6ec | Globus S3 Tutorial Endpoint

If you are not authenticated, you will get an error like the following:

$ globus endpoint search 'Globus Tutorial Endpoint' \
    --filter-owner-id 'c699d42e-d274-11e5-bf75-1fc5bf53bb24'
Globus CLI Error: A Transfer API Error Occurred.
HTTP status:      401
request_id:       1AghTj1F6
code:             AuthenticationFailed
message:          Token is not active

Now we have the endpoint IDs for the tutorial endpoints, and can do a test directory listing:

$ globus ls 'ddb59aef-6d04-11e5-ba46-22000b92c6ec:/'
not shareable

Start exploring the CLI!

Use globus list-commands to see all of the commands in the CLI, and to get more detailed help for a specific information on a command, run that command with the --help flag.

Updating & Removing the CLI


To update your version of the CLI to the latest:

source "$HOME/.globus-cli-virtualenv/bin/activate"
pip install -U globus-cli


To remove the CLI:

rm -r "$HOME/.globus-cli-virtualenv"

You should also edit your $HOME/.bashrc and remove the line that reads export PATH="$PATH:$HOME/.globus-cli-virtualenv/bin".

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Copyright 2016 University of Chicago

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the “License”); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an “AS IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.