pcf Command Line Utility

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The pcf utility provides a command line interface to Ops Manager for the purpose of deploying and testing tiles. Its primary reason for existence is to enable Ops Manager access from CI pipelines, but developers also find it convenient to use this CLI rather than the Ops Manager UI.

The pcf utility also allows you to test your tile’s BOSH errands directly from your CLI, without going through Ops Manager and BOSH. This greatly reduces the time it takes to deploy/test each iteration of your software components.


The pcf utility comes bundled with the Tile Generator tool. To install the pcf utility, follow the Tile Generator installation instructions.


The pcf utility looks for a file called metadata in the current directory. This file is expected to provide the URL and credentials to connect to Ops Manager, in the following format:

    url: https://opsmgr.example.com
    username: admin
    password: <redacted>

The reason for this file naming is because this is how Concourse passes credentials of a “claimed” Ops Manager pool resource to the CI pipeline scripts. For interactive use, this means that you will have to create a metadata file in the directory where you run the pcf command.

VMware recommends that you do not create this file inside your git or other version control system repository, as you do not want to accidentally commit these credentials to version control.


The pcf utility implements many different commands. To see available commands:

$ pcf --help
Usage: pcf [OPTIONS] COMMAND [ARGS]...

  --help  Show this message and exit.


Checking Ops Manager Settings

To see which products are currently available and installed in Ops Manager:

$ pcf products
- p-bosh (installed)
- cf 1.7.0-build.258 (installed)
- test-tile 0.3.95

To test if a specific product is available or installed from within a script:

$ pcf is-available test-tile && echo "Product test-tile is available"
$ pcf is-installed test-tile && echo "Product test-tile is installed"

You can retrieve the settings for a specific product (this will give you a lot of json):

$ pcf settings test-tile
    "network_reference": "669e213111ab5aa1008a",
    "guid": "test-tile-be3e50cf26c530acca6e",
    "jobs": [
            "instance": {
                "identifier": "instances"
            "identifier": "compilation",
            "guid": "compilation-066a85d82fbcd936f9d7",
            "installation_name": "compilation",
            "vm_credentials": {
                "password": <redacted>,
                "salt": <redacted>,
                "identity": "vcap"
            "guid": "deploy-all-b83a7cb7be00ebfd26d6",
            "vm_credentials": {

Deploying Tiles

After your software works and correctly deploys using test-errand, you can go through the real Ops Manager deployment process from the CLI, as you would normally do through the Ops Manager UI.

Import your .pivotal file into Ops Manager:

$ pcf import sample/product/test-tile-0.0.2.pivotal

Install the uploaded version of your product:

$ pcf install test-tile 0.0.2

Where you would normally configure the tile settings in the UI, the configure command lets you pass in any user-specified properties as a .yml file. This command also sets the stemcell for the tile to the same one used by VMware Tanzu Application Service for VMs (TAS for VMs), to avoid the need to upload a tile-specific stemcell.

$ pcf configure test-tile sample/missing-properties.yml
- Using stemcell bosh-vsphere-esxi-ubuntu-trusty-go_agent version 3215

The property file looks like this:

customer_name: Jimmy's Johnnys
street_address: Cartaway Alley
city: New Jersey
country: US
username: SpongeBob
password: { 'secret': Square'Pants }
  persistence_store_type: none
# In Ops Manager (formerly PCF) 1.8+, BOSH-job-specific configuration is supported:
    # Job resource configuration:
        size_mb: "10240"
    # Job-specific property configuration:
    job_property: property_value

You must define any secret type property value as a hash, in curly brackets. Specifying a simple string value for a field of this type results in a 500 System Error being returned from pcf configure. The secret type property values can contain special characters.

To see what changes are ready to be applied:

$ pcf changes
install: test-tile-207b165fcb7dc8b2597b

To apply these changes:

$ pcf apply-changes
  ===== 2016-04-21 18:45:05 UTC Running "bosh-init deploy /var/tempest/workspaces/default/deployments/bosh.yml"
  Deployment manifest: '/var/tempest/workspaces/default/deployments/bosh.yml'
  Deployment state: '/var/tempest/workspaces/default/deployments/bosh-state.json'

  Started validating
    Validating release 'bosh'... Finished (00:00:08)
    Validating release 'bosh-vsphere-cpi'... Finished (00:00:00)
    Validating release 'uaa'... Finished (00:00:06)
    Validating cpi release... Finished (00:00:00)
    Validating deployment manifest... Finished (00:00:00)

pcf apply-changes automatically tails the logs for the installation process it started. If this gets canceled for any reason, you can tail the logs of the most recent installation:

$ pcf logs

Removing Tiles

To uninstall a tile:

$ pcf uninstall test-tile

If you accumulate a lot of uninstalled tiles or old versions, you can clean up Ops Manager’s available products (and disk space):

$ pcf delete-unused-products

Accessing TAS for VMs

To see details about the TAS for VMs of your Ops Manager environment:

$ pcf cf-info
- admin_password: <redacted>
- admin_username: admin
- apps_domain: cfapps-04.example.com
- system_domain: run-04.example.com
- system_services_password: <redacted>
- system_services_username: system_services

To target your cf command line at this TAS for VMs environment:

$ pcf target
Setting api endpoint to api.example.com...

API endpoint:   https://api.example.com (API version: 2.52.0)
User:           admin
Org:            my-org
Space:          my-space
API endpoint: https://api.example.com