Unified CLI for Synse
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Synse Command Line Interface

A CLI for for Vapor IO's Synse Server and Synse Plugins.


Synse Server provides a programmatic API for bi-directional access to hardware and other components via its configured plugins. For more information, see the README for Synse Server.

The Synse CLI provides a command line interface to Synse Server instances as well as direct access to plugins. It allows for real-time queries and interaction with the hardware that is managed by Synse Server, and is meant to have feature parity with the Synse Server HTTP API. Although it is not designed to be programmed against directly (for that, the Synse Server HTTP API should be used), it can be used as a tool for local access and debugging of Synse components and may serve as an example on how to interface other applications with Synse Server.

Quick Start

The Synse CLI is provided as a single pre-compiled binary, available for use on most platforms. To get it, simply download the binary that matches your architecture (e.g. x86 or amd64).

For example, if running on macOS, you could do the following:

wget https://github.com/vapor-ware/synse-cli/releases/download/<version number>/synse_darwin_amd64 -O /usr/local/bin/synse
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/synse


curl -L -H "Accept: application/octet-stream" https://github.com/vapor-ware/synse-cli/releases/download/<version number>/synse_darwin_amd64 -o /usr/local/bin/synse
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/synse

To save the binary to /usr/local/bin/. The binary can be saved to any location you wish.

NOTE: We recommend that you save the binary with the name synse as it is easier to remember. All commands in this guide will use this name.

You are now ready to run synse cli. To see a list of commands, type synse -h.

Slightly Longer Way

Building from Source

Synse CLI is written in Go and is provided as source. It can be compiled directly from source and built into a binary for any supported system.

NOTE: Windows is not supported at this time, due to incompatibilities in some utilized libraries. If there is enough interest this may be added in the future.

To get the code and compile it, clone this repository into your GOPATH. Then, get the vendored dependencies with dep and build.

git clone https://github.com/vapor-ware/synse-cli
cd synse-cli
dep ensure
go build

This should produce a binary in the same directory that matches the system architecture that it was built on. You can also use go install to build the binary and install it in your PATH.

Alternatively, you can use go's built in package management system to fetch the source code and place it in your GOPATH.

go get github.com/vapor-ware/synse-cli
cd $GOPATH/src/github.com/vapor-ware/synse-cli
dep ensure
go build

Makefile targets exist to make it easy to get dependencies, build, lint, format and test. Once you have the source, either by git clone or go get, you can simply

make setup build

This will install dep and gometalinter, if not already installed, ensure the vendored dependencies exist, then build the CLI and output a synse binary to the build/ subdirectory. From there, it can be moved onto your PATH.

Running Commands

The Synse CLI is built to run commands with multiple verbs (git-like). Each command has it's own help documentation which shows what it does and how it should be used. A more detailed description of command structure and how they are used is available in the documentation.

For example the help output for the top-level command is printed by running synse -h or simply synse.

There are different groups of commands. In general, those are:

  • configuration management, e.g. managing Synse Server instances to interface with
  • Synse Server commands, e.g. reading, writing, etc. via the Synse Server HTTP API
  • Synse Plugin commands, e.g. reading, writing, etc. via the internal gRPC API


Configuration options for customizing synse CLI can be input in a number of different ways. Synse CLI uses a standard cascading order of precedence when evaluating configuration options. Options with the highest priority are first.

  • Command line flags (e.g. --debug)
  • Environment variables (e.g. SYNSE_DEBUG)
  • Configuration file settings (e.g. debug: true)

Configuration Options

The default configuration for the Synse CLI looks like:

debug: false
  name: local
  address: localhost:5000
    name: local
    address: localhost:5000

When running the CLI, it will parse configuration options in the precedence order listed above. When looking for configuration files, it will first look for the .synse.yml (note the leading dot) file in the current directory the command is being run from (e.g. .). If not found there, it will look in the current user's home directory (e.g. ~). If the file does not exist in either location, it will be created in the home directory upon command termination.

  • debug enables debug logging to STDOUT, printing debug information to the screen.
  • activehost specifies which of the hosts is currently set as active. This host will be the one used when issuing any subsequent command against Synse Server. This value can either be updated manually or via the hosts change command.
  • hosts specifies a list of all Synse Server hosts which the user can choose to interface with. by default a host named local at address localhost:5000 is added and set as the active host. Hosts can be added manually or by the hosts add command.

Bash Completion

Bash/Zsh completion can be setup for the Synse CLI using the completion command, e.g.

$ # completion for bash -- updates .bashrc
$ synse completion bash

$ # completion for zsh -- updates .zshrc
$ synse completion zsh


We happily accept issues and pull requests logged in this repository. Please just be nice and follow appropriate rules when submitting anything.

Any code in this repository is governed under the license given therein.


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