A command line interface for USB connected Helium Atoms
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The Helium Command Line Interface (CLI)

The Helium CLI enables USB-connected Helium Atoms to connect, send data to, and receive data from the Helium network via the command line. This document covers the setup of the helium-cli tool, its basic funtionality, and demonstrated use.

Building the Helium CLI

Downloading and building the CLI is quick and painless.

  1. Clone this repo (and don't forget --recursive).
$ git clone --recursive https://github.com/helium/helium-cli.git
  1. Navigate into this directory and run make.
$ cd path/to/helium-cli
$ make 
  1. Once this is complete, and your Atom is connected to your workstation via the USB Adapter, you can the test the connection by using the info command and specifying the port you're connected. For example:
$ ./helium -p /dev/tty.usbserial-DN01IQCC info

CLI Commands

Once the CLI has been successfully built, running ./helium --help will provide a list of options, commands, and descriptions which are also shown below.

The format for a CLI command is:

$ ./helium [OPTIONS] [cmd [arg [arg ...]]]

Top Level Commands

connect - Connect the Helium Atom to the Helium Network. Use -f to specify quick connect data from file.

$ ./helium -p <port> connect

connected - Check if the Atom is connected. This will return 0 if connected.

$ ./helium -p <port> connected

sleep - Disconnect from the netork, saving quick connect data.

$ ./helium -p <port> sleep

info - Print the Atom's information.

$ ./helium -p <port> info

reset - Reset the Atom.

$ ./helium -p <port> reset

create channel - Create a channel with a given name. If the Channel was created successfully, it prints the ID - a number between 1 and 255.

$ ./helium -p <port> channel create "Helium MQTT"" 
$ Channel created: 1

channel send - Sends the supplied text to the channel specified in the id.

$ ./helium -p <port> channel send <id> [text]

channel poll - Poll the specified channel of a given id for all downlink data.

$ ./helium -p <port> channel poll <id>

channel ping - Ping the specified channel.

$ ./helium -p <port> channel ping <id>

channel config

There are three variations for the channel config command: get, set, and poll.

  • channel config get - Get a channel configuration value for the given id and key.
$ ./helium -p <port> channel config get <id> <key>
  • channel config set - Set a configuration value for a given key. Values must be expressed as JSON null, numbers (such as int and float), booleans (true or false), and strings.
$ ./helium -p <port> channel config set <id> <key> <value>
  • channel config poll - Poll a channel configuration for a stale config indicator every 5 seconds.
$ ./helium -p <port> channel config poll <id>

CLI Command Options:

The following options (or "flags") can all be passed with applicable commands from above:

  • -h/--help - This help message.
  • -p/--port - The (USB) device to talk to.
  • -b/--baud - The baud rate to use on the port (default 9600).
  • -f/--file - The file to use for connect/sleep data or channel send.

CLI Examples

Here are a series of commands and responses for standard CLI interface use. This example will connect, check connection, create channel, and send a string.

// Connect your Helium Atom to the Network via the "tty.usbserial-DN01IQCC" port 

$ ./helium -p /dev/tty.usbserial-DN01IQCC connect
// Check if you Helium Atom is connected to the Network while plugged into port "tty.usbserial-DN01IQCC" 

$ ./helium -p /dev/tty.usbserial-DN01IQCC connected
// Create a channel named "Helium MQTT" 

$ ./helium -p /dev/tty.usbserial-DN01IQCC channel create "Helium MQTT"
$ Channel created: 1
// Send the string "hello world" to the Helium MQTT Channel (which was given the ID "1" in the previous command).

$ ./helium -p /dev/tty.usbserial-DN01IQCC channel send 1 "hello world"

Further Reading and Support