Baptiste Fontaine’s Blog  (back to the website)

Per-project gsutil service accounts

When using any library for Google Cloud you can specify a service account with GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS, but unfortunately that doesn’t work when using gsutil in shell scripts. The documentation suggests to use gcloud auth activate-service-account, but that “activates” the service account for all gsutil invocations, and doesn’t work if you installed a standalone version of gsutil —without gcloud.

I wanted to have one service account per project so that each project has access to the relevant resources only. The solution I found is to use a Boto file: this is a ini-like file format used for AWS configuration, but gsutil also supports it. You can tell gsutil to find such file with BOTO_CONFIG or give it a list of paths to look in with BOTO_PATH.

In a simple project where the main code is a shell script, the setup would look like this:

$ ls -a

In .boto:



#!/bin/env bash -e
export BOTO_CONFIG=/app/.boto
gsutil ...

This is a bit cumbersome compared to GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS but it works well.