Using gsutil to Perform Operations on Buckets and Objects

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Using gsutil to Perform Operations on Buckets and Objects

45 minutes 1 Credit


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In this lab, you will use gsutil to create a bucket and perform operations on objects. gsutil is a Python application that lets you access Cloud Storage from the command line. The gsutil tool has commands such as mb and cp to perform operations. Each command has a set of options that are used to customize settings further.

What you'll learn to do

  • Create a bucket
  • Copy files from a local folder to a bucket
  • Synchronize the contents of the local folder with the contents of the bucket
  • Change access control permissions on objects
  • Delete a bucket.


Before you click the Start Lab button

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Note: If you already have your own personal Google Cloud account or project, do not use it for this lab to avoid extra charges to your account.

How to start your lab and sign in to the Google Cloud console

  1. Click the Start Lab button. If you need to pay for the lab, a pop-up opens for you to select your payment method. On the left is the Lab Details panel with the following:

    • The Open Google Cloud console button
    • Time remaining
    • The temporary credentials that you must use for this lab
    • Other information, if needed, to step through this lab
  2. Click Open Google Cloud console (or right-click and select Open Link in Incognito Window if you are running the Chrome browser).

    The lab spins up resources, and then opens another tab that shows the Sign in page.

    Tip: Arrange the tabs in separate windows, side-by-side.

    Note: If you see the Choose an account dialog, click Use Another Account.
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    {{{user_0.username | "Username"}}}

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After a few moments, the Google Cloud console opens in this tab.

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Activate Cloud Shell

Cloud Shell is a virtual machine that is loaded with development tools. It offers a persistent 5GB home directory and runs on the Google Cloud. Cloud Shell provides command-line access to your Google Cloud resources.

  1. Click Activate Cloud Shell Activate Cloud Shell icon at the top of the Google Cloud console.

When you are connected, you are already authenticated, and the project is set to your Project_ID, . The output contains a line that declares the Project_ID for this session:

Your Cloud Platform project in this session is set to {{{project_0.project_id | "PROJECT_ID"}}}

gcloud is the command-line tool for Google Cloud. It comes pre-installed on Cloud Shell and supports tab-completion.

  1. (Optional) You can list the active account name with this command:
gcloud auth list
  1. Click Authorize.


ACTIVE: * ACCOUNT: {{{user_0.username | "ACCOUNT"}}} To set the active account, run: $ gcloud config set account `ACCOUNT`
  1. (Optional) You can list the project ID with this command:
gcloud config list project


[core] project = {{{project_0.project_id | "PROJECT_ID"}}} Note: For full documentation of gcloud, in Google Cloud, refer to the gcloud CLI overview guide.
  1. In Cloud Shell session execute the following command to download sample data for this lab from a git repository:
git clone
  1. Change to the blogs directory:
cd training-data-analyst/blogs

Task 1. Working with buckets and objects

  • First, set some environment variables:
PROJECT_ID=`gcloud config get-value project` BUCKET=${PROJECT_ID}-bucket

Task 2. Create a bucket

  • Create a bucket and multi-regional storage class:
gsutil mb -c multi_regional gs://${BUCKET}

Click Check my progress to verify the objective.

Create a bucket

Task 3. Upload objects to your bucket

  • Run the following to copy the endpointslambda object to your bucket:
gsutil -m cp -r endpointslambda gs://${BUCKET}

Click Check my progress to verify the objective.

Upload objects to your bucket

If you have a large number of files to transfer, you might want to use the -m option, to perform a parallel (multi-threaded/multi-processing) copy for faster performance. The -r option allows gsutil to recurse through directories.

Task 4. List objects

  • To list objects in your bucket, execute the following command:
gsutil ls gs://${BUCKET}/*

Task 5. Sync changes with bucket

  1. Use the following commands to rename and delete some files:
mv endpointslambda/Apache2_0License.txt endpointslambda/old.txt rm endpointslambda/aeflex-endpoints/app.yaml
  1. Now synchronize the local changes with the bucket:
gsutil -m rsync -d -r endpointslambda gs://${BUCKET}/endpointslambda

In this command, the -d option deletes files from the target if they're missing in the source (in this case, it deletes app.yaml from the bucket). The -r option runs the command recursively on directories.

  1. To verify that the bucket is now in sync with your local changes, list the files in the bucket again:
gsutil ls gs://${BUCKET}/*

Task 6. Make objects public

  1. To allow public access to all files under the endpointslambda folder in your bucket, execute the following command:
gsutil -m acl set -R -a public-read gs://${BUCKET}

Click Check my progress to verify the objective.

Make objects public
  1. To confirm files are viewable by the public, open the following link in a new incognito or private browser window, replacing <your-bucket-name> with the full name of your bucket, not the environment variable:<your-bucket-name>/endpointslambda/old.txt

This URL uses the Cloud Storage API link to view the object without authentication. Learn more about accessing public data from the Accessing public data documentation.

Task 7. Copy with different storage class

gsutil cp -s nearline ghcn/ghcn_on_bq.ipynb gs://${BUCKET}

Task 8. Check storage classes

  1. Run the following to check the storage classes and view other detailed information about the objects in your bucket:
gsutil ls -Lr gs://${BUCKET} | more
  1. Press the space key to continue viewing the rest of the command's output.

The output shows that the ghcn_on_bq.ipynb object has NEARLINE storage class while the other objects have MULTI_REGIONAL storage class.


gs://qwiklabs-gcp-90345ac124778ed8-bucket/ghcn_on_bq.ipynb: Creation time: Tue, 13 Aug 2019 20:19:27 GMT Update time: Tue, 13 Aug 2019 20:19:27 GMT Storage class: NEARLINE Content-Length: 980176 Content-Type: application/octet-stream ... gs://qwiklabs-gcp-90345ac124778ed8-bucket/endpointslambda/: gs://qwiklabs-gcp-90345ac124778ed8-bucket/endpointslambda/ Creation time: Tue, 13 Aug 2019 20:03:29 GMT Update time: Tue, 13 Aug 2019 20:15:43 GMT Storage class: MULTI_REGIONAL Content-Length: 452 Content-Type: text/markdown ...
  1. You can use Ctrl + c to return to the command line.

Task 9. Delete your bucket

  1. Before deleting a bucket, you must first delete all objects in the bucket. To delete all objects, execute the following command:
gsutil rm -rf gs://${BUCKET}/*
  1. Now delete the bucket:
gsutil rb gs://${BUCKET}

Click Check my progress to verify the objective.

Delete the bucket


You have now learned how to perform operations on Cloud Storage buckets and objects!

Finish your quest

This self-paced lab is part of the Qwiklabs Using the Cloud SDK Command Line quest. A quest is a series of related labs that form a learning path. Completing this quest earns you a badge to recognize your achievement. You can make your badge or badges public and link to them in your online resume or social media account. Enroll in this Quest and get immediate completion credit. See the Google Cloud Skills Boost catalog for all available quests.

Take your next lab

Continue your Quest with BigQuery: Qwik Start - Command Line or try one of these suggestions:

Next steps/learn more

For complete information about the gsutil command-line options, see:

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Manual Last Updated October 06, 2023

Lab Last Tested October 06, 2023

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