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, such as soft delete and managed folders.

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

Migrating to the gcloud CLI

If you are a gsutil user wanting to migrate to the gcloud CLI, you should first check if you're using a standalone version of gsutil by running the following command:

gsutil version -l
  • If the result of the command includes using cloud sdk: False, then you are using a standalone version of gsutil. To migrate to the gcloud CLI, start by Installing the gcloud CLI.

  • If the result of the command includes using cloud sdk: True, then you already have the gcloud CLI installed.

Once the gcloud CLI is installed, you can use gcloud storage commands just like you use gsutil commands. The following resources can help you get started:

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.

To get information about a specific command or topic, use gsutil help followed by the intended command or topic name. For example, gsutil help cp and gsutil help 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 subsequently 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.

What's next