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This is CircleCI's command-line application.

Documentation | Code of Conduct | Contribution Guidelines | Hacking

CircleCI GitHub release GoDoc License

Getting Started


CircleCI CLI is available on the following package managers:


brew install circleci


sudo snap install circleci


choco install circleci-cli -y

Install script

You can also install the CLI binary by running our install script on most Unix platforms:

curl -fLSs | bash

By default, the circleci app will be installed to the /usr/local/bin directory. If you do not have write permissions to /usr/local/bin, you may need to run the above command with sudo:

curl -fLSs | sudo bash

Alternatively, you can install to an alternate location by defining the DESTDIR environment variable when invoking bash:

curl -fLSs | DESTDIR=/opt/bin bash

You can also set a specific version of the CLI to install with the VERSION environment variable:

curl -fLSs | sudo VERSION=0.1.5222 bash

Take note that additional environment variables should be passed between sudo and invoking bash.

Checksum verification

If you would like to verify the checksum yourself, you can download the checksum file from the GitHub releases page and verify the checksum of the archive using the circleci-cli_<version>_checksums.txt inside the assets of the release you'd like to install:

On macOS and Linux:

shasum -a 256 circleci-cli_<version>_<os>.tar.gz

and on Windows:

Get-FileHash .\circleci-cli_<version>_<os>.tar.gz -Algorithm SHA256 | Format-List

And compare it to the right checksum depending on the downloaded version in the circleci-cli_<version>_checksums.txt file.


If you installed the CLI without a package manager, you can use its built-in update command to check for pending updates and download them:

circleci update check
circleci update install

Configure the CLI

After installing the CLI, you must run setup to configure the tool.

$ circleci setup

You should be prompted to enter the CircleCI API Token you generated from the Personal API Token tab

✔ CircleCI API Token:

API token has been set.

✔ CircleCI Host:

CircleCI host has been set.

Setup complete. Your configuration has been saved.

If you are using this tool on, accept the provided default CircleCI Host.

Server users will have to change the default value to your custom address (e.g.,

Note: Server does not yet support config processing and orbs, you will only be able to use circleci local execute (previously circleci build) for now.

Validate A Build Config

To ensure that the tool is installed, you can use it to validate a build config file.

$ circleci config validate

Config file at .circleci/config.yml is valid


The CLI may also be used without installation by using Docker.

docker run --rm -v $(pwd):/data -w /data circleci/circleci-cli:alpine config validate /data/.circleci/config.yml --token $TOKEN


In order to maintain backwards compatibility with the circleci binary present in builds, some commands are proxied to a program called circleci-agent.

This program must exist in your $PATH as is the case inside of a job.

The following commands are affected:

  • circleci tests split
  • circleci step halt
  • circleci config migrate

Platforms, Deployment and Package Managers

The tool is deployed through a number of channels. The primary release channel is through GitHub Releases. Green builds on the main branch will publish a new GitHub release. These releases contain binaries for macOS, Linux and Windows. These releases are published from (CircleCI)[] using GoReleaser.


We publish the tool to Homebrew. The tool is part of homebrew-core, and therefore the maintainers of the tool are obligated to follow the guidelines for acceptable Homebrew formulae. You should familairise yourself with the guidelines before making changes to the Homebrew deployment system.

The particular considerations that we make are:

  1. Since Homebrew doesn't "like tools that upgrade themselves", we disable the circleci update command when the tool is released through homebrew. We do this by defining the PackageManager constant to homebrew, which allows us to disable the update command at runtime.
  2. We want to avoid every push to main from creating a Pull Request to the circleci formula on Homebrew. We want to avoid overloading the Homebrew team with pull requests to update our formula for small changes (changes to docs or other files that don't change functionality in the tool).


We publish Linux builds of the tool to the Snap package manager.

Further package information is available on Snap website.


Development instructions for the CircleCI CLI can be found in


Please see the documentation or circleci help for more.

Server compatibility

Functionality Impacted commands Change description Compatibility with Server
Config compilation and validation
  • circleci config validate
  • circleci config process
  • circleci local execute
The config validation has been moved from the GraphQL API to a specific API endpoint
  • Server v4.0.5, v4.1.3, v4.2.0 and above: Commands use the new specific endpoint
  • Previous version: Commands use the GraphQL API
Orb compilation and validation of orb using private orbs
  • circleci orb process
  • circleci orb validate
To support the validation of orbs requesting private orbs (see issue). A field ownerId has been added to the GraphQL orb validation endpoint. Thus allowing the Impacted commands to use the --org-id parameter to enable the orb compilation / validation
  • Server v4.2.0 and above: The field is accessible so you can use the parameter
  • Previous versions: The field does not exist making the functionality unavailable


The CircleCI CLI includes a telemetry feature that collects basic errors and feature usage data in order to help us improve the experience for everyone.

Telemetry works on an opt-in basis: when running a command for the first time, you will be asked for consent to enable telemetry. For non-TTY STDIN, telemetry is disabled by default, ensuring that scripts that use the CLI run smoothly.

You can disable or enable telemetry anytime in one of the following ways:

  • Run the commands circleci telemetry enable or circleci telemetry disable

  • Set the CIRCLECI_CLI_TELEMETRY_OPTOUT environment variable to 1 or true to disable it