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OpenWhisk CLI

OpenWhisk offers a powerful command line interface that allows complete management of all aspects of the system.

Setting up the OpenWhisk CLI

  • Building OpenWhisk from a cloned repository results in the generation of the command line interface. The generated CLIs are located in openwhisk/bin/. The main CLI is located in openwhisk/bin/wsk that runs on the operating system, and CPU architecture on which it was built. Executables for other operating system, and CPU architectures are located in the following directories: openwhisk/bin/mac/, openwhisk/bin/linux/, openwhisk/bin/windows/.

  • To download the CLI from an existing deployment, you will need to download the CLI using the deployment's base URL. A list of downloadable CLIs for various operating systems, and CPU architectures can be obtained from the following location {BASE URL}/cli/go/download. The {BASE URL} is the OpenWhisk API hostname or IP address (e.g.,

There are two required properties to configure in order to use the CLI:

  1. API host (name or IP address) for the OpenWhisk deployment you want to use.
  2. Authorization key (username and password) which grants you access to the OpenWhisk API.

The API host can be acquired from the property in file, which is generated during deployment of OpenWhisk. Run the following command from your openwhisk directory to set the API host:

./bin/wsk property set --apihost <openwhisk_baseurl>

Tip: If you are using a local OpenWhisk deployment with a self-signed SSL certificate, you can use --insecure to bypass certificate validation.

If you know your authorization key, you can configure the CLI to use it. Otherwise, you will need to obtain an authorization key for most CLI operations. A guest account is available in local installations with an authorization key located in ansible/files/auth.guest. To configure the CLI to use the guest account, you can run the following command from your openwhisk directory:

./bin/wsk property set --auth `cat ansible/files/auth.guest`

Tip: The OpenWhisk CLI stores the properties set in ~/.wskprops by default. The location of this file can be altered by setting the WSK_CONFIG_FILE environment variable.

To verify your CLI setup, try creating and running an action.

Configure command completion for Openwhisk CLI

For bash command completion to work, bash 4.1 or newer is required. The most recent Linux distributions should have the correct version of bash but Mac users will most likely have an older version.

Mac users can check their bash version and update it by running the following commands:

bash --version
brew install bash

This requires Homebrew to be installed. The updated bash will be installed in /usr/local/bin.

To write the bash command completion to your local directory, run the following command:

wsk sdk install bashauto

The command script will now be in your current directory. To enable command line completion of wsk commands, source the auto completion script into your bash environment.


Alternatively, to install bash command completion, run the following command:

eval "`wsk sdk install bashauto --stdout`"

For Mac users, autocomplete doesn't insert space after using TAB. To workaround this, you need to modify the output script like the following:

eval "`wsk sdk install bashauto --stdout | sed 's/-o nospace//'`"

Note: Every time a new terminal is opened, this command must run to enable bash command completion. Alternatively, adding the previous command to the .bashrc or .profile will prevent this.

Using the OpenWhisk CLI

After you have configured your environment, you can begin using the OpenWhisk CLI to do the following:

Configure the CLI to use an HTTPS proxy

The CLI can be setup to use an HTTPS proxy. To setup an HTTPS proxy, an environment variable called HTTPS_PROXY must be created. The variable must be set to the address of the HTTPS proxy, and its port using the following format: {PROXY IP}:{PROXY PORT}.

Configure the CLI to use client certificate

The CLI has an extra level of security from client to apihost, system provides default client certificate configuration which deployment process generated, then you can refer to below steps to use client certificate:

  • The client certificate verification is off default, you can configure nginx_ssl_verify_client to on or optional to open it for your corresponding environment configuration.
  • Create your own client certificate instead of system provides if you want, after created, you can configure openwhisk_client_ca_cert to your own ca cert path for your corresponding environment configuration.
  • Run the follwing command to pass client certificate:
./bin/wsk property set --cert <client_cert_path> --key <client_key_path>