Command Line Interface

Purpose and capabilities of the Workbench Command Line Interface

Purpose: High-level understanding of what capabilities the Workbench CLI provides, what are the key components involved and what is involved in using it.

What is a Command Line Interface?

A command-line interface is a text-based interface that uses defined commands to execute user actions. Using Verily Workbench via the command line requires more computational knowledge than a graphical user interface (GUI), but the CLI can offer some distinct advantages. For example, familiarity with the CLI can greatly increase the efficiency of performing repetitive tasks, or automate them entirely through the use of scripts.

CLIs were the first type of user interface in computing, and they are still used today by system administrators, software developers, and other technical users.

CLIs offer a number of advantages over graphical user interfaces (GUIs), including:

  • Speed: CLIs can be much faster than GUIs for tasks that require a lot of repetitive input, such as file management and system administration.
  • Power: CLIs offer more power and flexibility than GUIs, allowing users to perform complex tasks that would be difficult or impossible with a GUI.
  • Number of options: CLIs make it possible to offer more options to customize operations without cluttering the graphical interface.

What can you do with the CLI in Verily Workbench?

The Workbench CLI allows you to interact with Verily Workbench programmatically. This makes it possible to script certain operations to occur automatically based on certain triggers, on a schedule, or as part of a broader process, for example.

Most operations that can be done through the GUI can also be done through the CLI. In addition, the CLI also enables you to perform some operations that are not available through the GUI, such as modifying the compute configuration of a cloud environment.

For a list of available commands, please see the List of Commands. You can find context-specific CLI usage examples in the CLI Usage Examples section.

Installing and running the Workbench CLI

You can use the Workbench CLI from Linux or MacOS, or from a variety of virtual machines, including cloud environments in Workbench itself. The Workbench CLI package is pre-installed in all cloud environment images offered by Workbench.

To use the CLI directly from your own computer or virtual machine, you will need to install the Workbench CLI package as explained in Installing and running the Workbench CLI.

At times you may find it useful to use the Workbench CLI from within a Docker container. This might be the case, for example, if you wanted to automate some aspect of workspace management programmatically using the CLI. For detailed instructions, see Using the Workbench CLI from a container.

Detailed documentation

Installing and running the Workbench CLI

Getting started with installing and running the Workbench CLI

Workbench CLI commands

Detailed explanations about the Workbench CLI commands and their options

Command Line Usage Examples

Examples for using the Workbench CLI in specific contexts.

Working with workspace context environment variables

Using the workspace context environment variables via the Workbench CLI

Using the Workbench CLI from a container

Building a custom container and using it to run Workbench CLI commands

Last Modified: 21 May 2024