If you’re running in Compute Engine or App Engine, authentication should “just work”.
If you’re developing locally, the easiest way to authenticate is using the Google Cloud SDK:
$ gcloud auth login
If you’re running your application elsewhere, you should download a service account JSON keyfile and point to it using an environment variable:
$ export GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS="/path/to/keyfile.json"
Every package uses a
as a base for interacting with an API.
from gcloud import datastore client = datastore.Client()
Passing no arguments at all will “just work” if you’ve followed the instructions in the Overview. The credentials are inferred from your local environment by using Google Application Default Credentials.
Credential Discovery Precedence#
When loading the Application Default Credentials, the library will check properties of your local environment in the following order:
- Application running in Google App Engine
- JSON or PKCS12/P12 keyfile pointed to by
- Credentials provided by the Google Cloud SDK (via
gcloud auth login)
- Application running in Google Compute Engine
The Application Default Credentials discussed above can be useful if your code needs to run in many different environments or if you just don’t want authentication to be a focus in your code.
However, you may want to be explicit because
- your code will only run in one place
- you may have code which needs to be run as a specific service account every time (rather than with the locally inferred credentials)
- you may want to use two separate accounts to simultaneously access data from different projects
client = Client(credentials=credentials)
Google App Engine Environment#
just for Google App Engine:
from oauth2client.contrib.appengine import AppAssertionCredentials credentials = AppAssertionCredentials()
Google Compute Engine Environment#
just for Google Compute Engine:
from oauth2client.contrib.gce import AppAssertionCredentials credentials = AppAssertionCredentials()
A service account can be used with both a JSON keyfile and a PKCS12/P12 keyfile.
credentials in oauth2client for a service
account is a rather complex process,
so as a convenience, the
factories are provided to create a
service account credentials.
For example, with a JSON keyfile:
client = Client.from_service_account_json('/path/to/keyfile.json')
Unless you have a specific reason to use a PKCS12/P12 key for your service account, we recommend using a JSON key.
User Accounts (3-legged OAuth 2.0) with a refresh token#
The majority of cases are intended to authenticate machines or workers rather than actual user accounts. However, it’s also possible to call Google Cloud APIs with a user account via OAuth 2.0.
A production application should use a service account,
but you may wish to use your own personal user account when first
getting started with the
The simplest way to use credentials from a user account is via
Application Default Credentials using
gcloud auth login
(as mentioned above):
from oauth2client.client import GoogleCredentials credentials = GoogleCredentials.get_application_default()
This will still follow the precedence described above, so be sure none of the other possible environments conflict with your user provided credentials.
Advanced users of oauth2client can also use custom flows to
create credentials using client secrets or using a
can be serialized with
and stored in a file and then and deserialized with
Setting up a Service Account#
If your application is not running on Google Compute Engine, you need a Google Developers Service Account.
Visit the Google Developers Console.
Create a new project or click on an existing project.
Navigate to APIs & auth > APIs and enable the APIs that your application requires.
You may need to enable billing in order to use these services.
- BigQuery API
- Google Cloud Datastore API
- Google Cloud Pub/Sub
- Google Cloud Search API
- Google Cloud Storage
- Google Cloud Storage JSON API
Navigate to APIs & auth > Credentials.
You should see a screen like one of the following:
Find the “Add credentials” drop down and select “Service account” to be guided through downloading a new JSON keyfile.
If you want to re-use an existing service account, you can easily generate a new keyfile. Just select the account you wish to re-use, and click Generate new JSON key:
Using Google Compute Engine#
If your code is running on Google Compute Engine, using the inferred Google Application Default Credentials will be sufficient for retrieving credentials.
However, by default your credentials may not grant you access to the services you intend to use. Be sure when you set up the GCE instance, you add the correct scopes for the APIs you want to access:
gcloud-python library defaults to using oauth2client
to sign requests and
httplib2 for sending requests,
it is not a strict requirement.
Client constructor accepts an optional
http argument in place of a
If passed, all HTTP requests made by the client will use your
custom HTTP object.
In order for this to be possible,
http object must do two things:
- Handle authentication on its own
- Define a method
request()that can subsitute for
The entire signature from
httplib2 need not be implemented,
we only use it as
http.request(uri, method=method_name, body=body, headers=headers)
As for handling authentication on your own,
it may be easiest just to re-use bits from
Unfortunately, these parts have a hard dependency on
We hope to enable using custom HTTP libraries with