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CLI Installation


This is a draft

With brainlife CLI, you can ..

  • Upload/download datasets from your computer.
  • Upload datasets stored in BIDS format.
  • Submit Apps, and monitor (you can fully script data processing through Brainlife)
  • Query projects, datasets, datatypes, etc.

Brainlife CLI is distributed through npm(node package manager) which is a part of nodejs. You will need to have nodejs/npm installed on your machine before you can install brainlife CLI command. Most operation systems support nodejs through their software distribution systems. You can find the nodejs installation document here.


On IU Karst / Carbonate / RED, brainlife CLI is already installed as part of nodejs module. Please run module load nodejs and skip this installation step.

Once you have nodejs/npm installed, you can then run the following command to install brainlife CLI on your environment.

$ sudo npm install -g brainlife

You can then check the installation by

$ bl --version

$ bl -h
Usage: bl [options] [command]


  -V, --version  output the version number
  -h, --help     output usage information


  login          login to brainlife and generate a temporary access token
  profile        query the available list of profiles
  resource       query the available list of resources
  datatype       query the available list of datatypes
  project        create and view brainlife projects
  dataset        view and utilize stored datasets
  app            query and run brainlife apps
  help [cmd]     display help for [cmd]

Updating the CLI

We are making a lot of bug fixes/updates. If you run into any problem, please try updating the CLI by running the following.

$ sudo npm update -g brainlife


Before you can start using bl tool, you should login to Brainlife by running the following command.


If you don't have a brainlife account, please Sign Up before proceeding.

$ bl login --ttl 7
username:  hayashis
Successfully logged in for 6 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes, 59 seconds

The --ttl 7 will request Brainlife to keep you logged in for 7 days. Please adjust this number if necessary.


bl login command will store your access token under the following path


brainlife CLI itself does not provide a capability to signout natively, but you can remove this file if you wish to signout before your token expires.