Getting Started with the cf CLI

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This topic describes configuring and getting started with the Cloud Foundry Command Line Interface (cf CLI). This page assumes you have the latest version of the cf CLI. See the Installing the Cloud Foundry Command Line Interface topic for installation instructions.


The cf CLI translates terminal output into the language that you select. The default language is en-US. The cf CLI supports the following languages:

  • Chinese (simplified): zh-Hans
  • Chinese (traditional): zh-Hant
  • English: en-US
  • French: fr-FR
  • German: de-DE
  • Italian: it-IT
  • Japanese: ja-JP
  • Korean: ko-KR
  • Portuguese (Brazil): pt-BR
  • Spanish: es-ES

Use cf config to set the language. To set the language with cf config, use the syntax: $ cf config --locale YOUR_LANGUAGE .

For example, to set the language to Portuguese and confirm the change by running cf help:

$ cf config --locale pt-BR
$ cf help
   cf - Uma ferramenta de linha de comando para interagir com Cloud Foundry

   cf [opções globais] comando [argumentos...] [opções de comando]


Note: Localization with cf config --locale affects only messages that the cf CLI generates.


Use cf login to log in to PAS. The cf login command uses the following syntax to specify a target API endpoint, an org (organization), and a space: $ cf login [-a API_URL] [-u USERNAME] [-p PASSWORD] [-o ORG] [-s SPACE] .

  • API_URL: This is your API endpoint, the URL of the Cloud Controller in your PAS instance.
  • USERNAME: Your username.
  • PASSWORD: Your password. Use of the -p option is discouraged as it may record your password in your shell history.
  • ORG: The org where you want to deploy your apps.
  • SPACE: The space in the org where you want to deploy your apps.

The cf CLI prompts for credentials as needed. If you are a member of multiple orgs or spaces, cf login prompts you for which ones to log into. Otherwise it targets your org and space automatically.

$ cf login -a -u
API endpoint:


Select an org (or press enter to skip):
1. example-org
2. example-other-org

Org> 1
Targeted org example-org

Select a space (or press enter to skip):
1. development
2. staging
3. production

Space> 1
Targeted space development

Alternatively, you can write a script to log in and set your target using the non-interactive cf api, cf auth, and cf target commands.

Upon successful login, the cf CLI saves a config.json file containing your API endpoint, org, space values, and access token. If you change these settings, the config.json file is updated accordingly.

By default, config.json is located in your ~/.cf directory. The CF_HOME environment variable allows you to locate the config.json file wherever you like.

Users and Roles

The cf CLI includes commands that list users and assign roles in orgs and spaces. See the Orgs, Spaces, Roles, and Permissions topic.

Commands for Listing Users

These commands take an org or space as an argument:

For example, to list the users who are members of an org:

$ cf org-users example-org
Getting users in org example-org as




Commands for Managing Roles

These commands require PAS admin permissions and take username, org or space, and role as arguments:

Available roles are OrgManager, BillingManager, OrgAuditor, SpaceManager, SpaceDeveloper, and SpaceAuditor. For example, to grant the Org Manager role to a user within an org:

$ cf set-org-role example-org OrgManager

Assigning role OrgManager to user in org example-org as

Note: If you are not a PAS admin, you see this message when you try to run these commands: error code: 10003, message: You are not authorized to perform the requested action

Identical Usernames in Multiple Origins

If a username corresponds to multiple accounts from different user stores, such as both the internal UAA store and an external SAML or LDAP store, the set and unset role commands above return an error: The user exists in multiple origins. Specify an origin for the requested user from: ‘uaa’, ‘other’

To resolve this ambiguity, the operator can construct a curl command that uses the CF API to perform the desired role-management function. For an example, see the PUT v2/organizations/:guid/auditors API function.


The cf push command pushes a new app or syncs changes to an existing app.

If you do not provide a hostname (also known as subdomain), cf push routes your app to a URL of the form APPNAME.DOMAIN based on the name of your app and your default domain. If you want to map a different route to your app, see the Routes and Domains topic for information about creating routes.

The cf push command supports many options that determine how and where the app instances are deployed. For details about the cf push command, see the push page in the Cloud Foundry CLI Reference Guide.

The following example pushes an app called my-awesome-app to the URL and specifies the Ruby buildpack with the -b flag.

Note: When you push an app and specify a buildpack with the -b flag, the app remains permanently linked to that buildpack. To use the app with a different buildpack, you must delete the app and re-push it.

$ cf push my-awesome-app -b ruby_buildpack
Creating app my-awesome-app in org example-org / space development as

Creating route

1 of 1 instances running

App started

requested state: started
instances: 1/1
usage: 1G x 1 instances
last uploaded: Wed Jun 8 23:43:15 UTC 2016
stack: cflinuxfs3
buildpack: ruby_buildpack

     state     since                    cpu    memory    disk      details
#0   running   2016-06-08 04:44:07 PM   0.0%   0 of 1G   0 of 1G

For more information about available buildpacks, see the Buildpacks topic.

User-Provided Service Instances

To create or update a user-provided service instance, you need to supply basic parameters. For example a database service might require a username, password, host, port, and database name.

The cf CLI has three ways of supplying these parameters to create or update an instance of a service: interactively, non-interactively, and in conjunction with third-party log management software as described in RFC 6587. When used with third-party logging, the cf CLI sends data formatted according to RFC 5424.

You create a service instance with cf cups and update one with cf uups as described below.

The cf create-user-provided-service (cups) Command

Use cf create-user-provided-service (alias cf cups) creates a new service instance.

To supply service instance parameters interactively: Specify parameters in a comma-separated list after the -p flag. This example command-line session creates a service instance for a database service.

$ cf cups sql-service-instance -p "host, port, dbname, username, password"
port> 1433
dbname> mysqldb
username> admin
password> Pa55w0rd
Creating user provided service sql-service-instance in org example-org / space development as

To supply service instance parameters to cf cups non-interactively: Pass parameters and their values in as a JSON hash, bound by single quotes, after the -p tag. This example is a non-interactive version of the cf cups session above.

$ cf cups sql-service-instance -p '{"host":"", "port":"1433", "dbname":"mysqldb", "username":"admin","password":"pa55woRD"}'
Creating user provided service sql-service-instance in org example-org / space development as

To create a service instance that sends data to a third-party: Use the -l option followed by the external destination URL. This example creates a service instance that sends log information to the syslog drain URL of a third-party log management service. For specific log service instructions, see the Service-Specific Instructions for Streaming Application Logs topic.

$ cf cups mylog -l syslog://
Creating user provided service mylog in org example-org / space development as

After you create a user-provided service instance, you bind it to an app with cf bind-service, unbind it with cf unbind-service, rename it with cf rename-service, and delete it with cf delete-service.

The cf update-user-provided-service (uups) Command

Use cf update-user-provided-service (alias cf uups) to update one or more of the parameters for an existing user-provided service instance. The cf uups command uses the same syntax as cf cups above to set parameter values. The cf uups command does not update any parameter values that you do not supply.

cf CLI Return Codes

The cf CLI uses exit codes, which help with scripting and confirming that a command has run successfully. For example, after you run a cf CLI command, you can retrieve its return code by running echo $? (on Windows, echo %ERRORLEVEL%). If the return code is 0, the command was successful.

The cf help Command

The cf help command lists the cf CLI commands and a brief description of each. Passing the -h flag to any command lists detailed help, including any aliases. For example, to see detailed help for cf delete, run:

$ cf delete -h
   delete - Delete an app

   cf delete APP_NAME [-f -r]


   -f       Force deletion without confirmation
   -r       Also delete any mapped routes