CLI and shell for the Linux SCSI Target
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TargetCLI is the LIO commmand-line administration tool for managing the Linux SCSI Target, and its third-party target fabric modules and backend storage objects.

Based on RTSLib, it allows direct manipulation of all SCSI Target objects like storage objects, SCSI targets, TPGs, LUNs and ACLs, as well as manage startup system configuration for the SCSI Target subsystem.

TargetCLI can be used either as a regular CLI tool, one command at a time, or as an interactive shell based on the python configshell CLI framework, with full auto-complete support and inline documentation.

TargetCLI is part of the Linux Kernel's SCSI Target's userspace management tools.


TargetCLI is currently part of several Linux distributions. In most cases, simply installing the version packaged by your favorite Linux distribution is the best way to get it running.

Migrating away from a targetcli < 3.0 setup

Prior to version 3.x, TargetCLI relied on lio-utils for managing the target's startup configuration. Unfortunately, rtslib.Config - now used by targetcli and the /etc/init.d/target initscript for startup config save and restore operations - is incompatible with the legacy lio-utils config files.

However, the new initscript has a special provision for this case. When attempting to start the target service when there is no /etc/target/scsi_target.lio configuration file present, a check is made to see if there is a target configuration currently running on the system. If there is, it is assumed to be a keeper, and the initscript will attempt to dump it to the system startup configuration file /etc/target/scsi_target.lio.

When migrating from a lio-utils install, the trick is to prevent the old lio-utils package removal from stopping the service. For this, you can simply empty the lio-utils version of /etc/init.d/target - or the equivalent location for your Linux distribution.

Example on Debian:

    echo > /etc/init.d/target
    dpkg --purge lio-utils
    apt-get install targetcli

Building from source

The packages are very easy to build and install from source as long as you're familiar with your Linux Distribution's package manager:

  1. Clone the github repository for TargetCLI using git clone

  2. Make sure build dependencies are installed. To build TargetCLI, you will need:

    • GNU Make.
    • python 2.6 or 2.7
    • A few python libraries: rtslib, configshell, lio-utils
    • Your favorite distribution's package developement tools, like rpm for Redhat-based systems or dpkg-dev and debhelper for Debian systems.
  3. From the cloned git repository, run make deb to generate a Debian package, or make rpm for a Redhat package.

  4. The newly built packages will be generated in the dist/ directory.

  5. To cleanup the repository, use make clean or make cleanall which also removes dist/* files.


A manpage is provided with this packages, simply use man targetcli to get more information.

An other good source of information is the wiki, offering many resources such as a the TargetCLI User's Guide, online at


All contributions, suggestions and bugfixes are welcome!

To report a bug, submit a patch or simply stay up-to-date on the Linux SCSI Target developments, you can subscribe to the Linux Kernel SCSI Target development mailing-list by sending an email message containing only subscribe target-devel to

The archives of this mailing-list can be found online at


LIO was developed by Datera, Inc.

The original author and current maintainer is Jerome Martin