The following page documents the Google Cloud Engine (GCE) integration in pycloudlib.


Service Account

The preferred method of connecting to GCE is to use service account credentials. See the GCE Authentication Getting Started page for more information on creating one.

Once a service account is created, generate a key file and download it to your system. Specify the credential file in pycloudlib.toml.

Export the Credentials File (deprecated)

Export the credential file as a shell variable and the Google API will automatically read the environmental variable and discover the credentials:

export GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS="[path to keyfile.json]"

End User (Deprecated)

A secondary method of GCE access is to use end user credentials directly. This is not the recommended method and Google will warn the user and suggest using a service account instead.

If you do wish to continue using end user credentials, then the first step is to install the Google’s Cloud SDK. On Ubuntu, this can be installed quickly as a snap with the following:

sudo snap install google-cloud-sdk --classic

Next, is to authorize the system by getting a token. This command will launch a web-browser, have you login to you Google account, and accept any agreements:

gcloud auth application-default login

The Google API will automatically check first for the above environmental variable for a service account credential and fallback to this gcloud login as a secondary option.

SSH Keys

GCE does not require any special key configuration. See the SSH Key page for more details.

Image Lookup

To find latest daily image for a release of Ubuntu:


The return ID can then be used for launching instances.


The only supported function at this time is launching an instance. No other actions, including deleting the instance are supported.