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Command line interface for IBM Aspera products


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Command Line Interface for IBM Aspera products

Gem Version unit tests CII Best Practices


Version : 4.17.0


This gem provides the ascli CLI (Command Line Interface) to IBM Aspera software.

ascli is a also great tool to learn Aspera APIs.

Ruby Gem:

Ruby Doc:

Minimum required Ruby version: >= 2.6.

Deprecation notice: the minimum Ruby version will be 3.0 in a future version.

Aspera APIs on IBM developer Link 2

Release notes: see

A PDF version of this documentation is available here: docs/Manual.pdf.


Refer to and

When to use and when not to use

ascli is designed to be used as a command line tool to:

  • Execute commands remotely on Aspera products
  • Transfer to/from Aspera products

It is designed for:

  • Interactive operations on a text terminal (typically, VT100 compatible), e.g. for maintenance
  • Scripting, e.g. batch operations in (shell) scripts (e.g. cron job)

ascli can be seen as a command line tool integrating:

  • A configuration file (config.yaml)
  • Advanced command line options (Extended Value)
  • curl (for REST calls)
  • Aspera transfer (ascp)

If the need is to perform operations programmatically in languages such as: C, Go, Python, nodejs, ... then it is better to directly use Aspera APIs

  • Product APIs (REST) : e.g. AoC, Faspex, node
  • Transfer SDK : with gRPC interface and language stubs (C, C++, Python, .NET/C#, java, Ruby, etc...)

Using APIs (application REST API and transfer SDK) will prove to be easier to develop and maintain. Code examples here:

For scripting and ad'hoc command line operations, ascli is perfect.

Notations, Shell, Examples

Command line operations examples are shown using a shell such as: bash or zsh.

Command line parameters in examples beginning with my_, e.g. my_param_value, are user-provided value and not fixed value commands.

ascli is an API Client toward the remote Aspera application Server (Faspex, HSTS, etc...)

Some commands will start an Aspera-based transfer (e.g. upload). The transfer is not directly implemented in ascli, rather ascli uses one of the external Aspera Transfer Clients called Transfer Agents.

Note: A Transfer Agents is a client for the remote Transfer Server (HSTS). The Transfer Agents may be local or remote... For example a remote Aspera Server may be used as a transfer agent (using node API). i.e. using option --transfer=node

Quick Start

This section guides you from installation, first use and advanced use.

First, follow section: Installation (Ruby, Gem, FASP) to start using ascli.

Once the gem is installed, ascli shall be accessible:

$ ascli --version

First use

Once installation is completed, you can proceed to the first use with a demo server:

If you want to test with Aspera on Cloud, jump to section: Wizard.

To test with Aspera demo transfer server, setup the environment and then test:

ascli config initdemo
ascli server browse /
| zmode      | zuid   | zgid      | size  | mtime                     | name                  |
| drwxr-xr-x | aspera | asperaweb | 90112 | 2023-04-05 15:31:21 +0200 | Upload                |
| dr-xr-xr-x | aspera | asperaweb | 4096  | 2022-10-27 16:08:16 +0200 | aspera-test-dir-large |
| dr-xr-xr-x | aspera | asperaweb | 4096  | 2022-10-27 16:08:17 +0200 | aspera-test-dir-small |
| dr-xr-xr-x | aspera | asperaweb | 4096  | 2022-10-27 16:08:17 +0200 | aspera-test-dir-tiny  |

If you want to use ascli with another server, and in order to make further calls more convenient, it is advised to define a Option Preset' for the server's authentication options. The following example will:

  • Create a Option Preset'
  • Define it as default for the server plugin
  • List files in a folder
  • Download a file
ascli config preset update myserver --url=ssh:// --username=asperaweb --password=my_password_here
Updated: myserver
Saving config file.
ascli config preset set default server myserver
Updated: default: server <- myserver
Saving config file.
ascli server browse /aspera-test-dir-large
| zmode      | zuid      | zgid      | size         | mtime                     | name  |
| -r-xr-x--- | asperaweb | asperaweb | 104857600    | 2022-10-27 16:06:38 +0200 | 100MB |
| -r-xr-x--- | asperaweb | asperaweb | 10737418240  | 2022-10-27 16:08:12 +0200 | 10GB  |
| -r-xr-x--- | asperaweb | asperaweb | 500000000000 | 2022-10-27 16:06:26 +0200 | 500GB |
| -r-xr-x--- | asperaweb | asperaweb | 524288000    | 2022-10-27 14:53:00 +0200 | 500MB |
| -r-xr-x--- | asperaweb | asperaweb | 1048576000   | 2022-10-27 16:06:37 +0200 | 1GB   |
| -r-xr-x--- | asperaweb | asperaweb | 5368709120   | 2022-10-27 14:53:47 +0200 | 5GB   |
| -r-xr-x--- | asperaweb | asperaweb | 209715200    | 2022-10-27 14:52:56 +0200 | 200MB |
ascli server download /aspera-test-dir-large/200MB
Time: 00:00:02 ============================================= 100% 100 Mbps Time: 00:00:00

Going further

Get familiar with configuration, options, commands : Command Line Interface.

Then, follow the section relative to the product you want to interact with ( Aspera on Cloud, Faspex, ...) : Application Plugins


It is possible to install either directly on the host operating system (Linux, macOS, Windows) or as a container (docker, podman, singularity).

The direct installation is recommended and consists in installing:

  • Ruby
  • aspera-cli
  • Aspera SDK (ascp)

Ruby version: >= 2.6.

Deprecation notice: the minimum Ruby version will be 3.0 in a future version.

The following sections provide information on the various installation methods.

An internet connection is required for the installation. If you don't have internet for the installation, refer to section Installation without internet access.

A package with pre-installed Ruby, gem and ascp may also be provided.


Use this method to install on the native host (e.g. your Windows, macOS or Linux system).

A Ruby interpreter is required to run ascli.

Required Ruby version: >= 2.6.

Deprecation notice: the minimum Ruby version will be 3.0 in a future version.

Ruby can be installed using any method : rpm, yum, dnf, rvm, brew, Windows installer, ... .

In priority, refer to the official Ruby documentation:

For convenience, you may refer to the following sections for a proposed method for specific operating systems.

Unix-like: RVM: Single user installation (not root)

Install rvm. Follow

Execute the shell/curl command. As regular user, it installs in the user's home: ~/.rvm .

\curl -sSL | bash -s stable

Follow on-screen instructions to install keys, and then re-execute the command.

Upon RVM installation, open a new terminal or initialize with:

source ~/.rvm/scripts/rvm

It is advised to get one of the pre-compiled Ruby version, you can list with:

rvm list --remote

Install the chosen pre-compiled Ruby version:

rvm install 3.2.2

Ruby is now installed for the user, go to Gem installation.

Alternatively RVM can be installed system-wide, for this execute as root. It then installs by default in /usr/local/rvm for all users and creates /etc/profile.d/ One can install in another location with:

curl -sSL | bash -s -- --path /usr/local

As root, make sure this will not collide with other application using Ruby (e.g. Faspex). If so, one can rename the environment script so that it is not loaded by default:

mv /etc/profile.d/ /etc/profile.d/

To activate Ruby (and ascli) later, source it:

source /etc/profile.d/
rvm version

Windows: Installer

Manual installation:

  • Navigate to
  • Download the latest Ruby installer "with devkit". (Msys2 is needed to install some native extensions, such as grpc)
  • Execute the installer which installs by default in: C:\RubyVV-x64 (VV is the version number)
  • At the end of the installation procedure, the Msys2 installer is automatically executed, select option 3 (Msys2 and mingw)
  • Then install the aspera-cli gem and Aspera SDK (see next sections)

Automated installation, with internet access:

The Ruby installer supports silent installation, to see the options, execute it with /help, or refer to the Ruby Installer FAQ

Download the Ruby installer executable from and then install:

rubyinstaller-devkit-3.2.2-1-x64.exe /silent /currentuser /noicons /dir=C:\aspera-cli

Installation without network:

It is essentially the same procedure, but instead of retrieving files from internet, copy the files from a machine with internet access, and then install from those archives:

Create a Zip with all those files, and transfer to the target system.

Then, on the target system:

  • Unzip the archive
  • Execute the installer:
rubyinstaller-devkit-3.2.2-1-x64.exe /silent /currentuser /noicons /dir=C:\aspera-cli
  • Install the gems:
gem install --force --local *.gem
  • Install the SDK
ascli config ascp install --sdk-url=file:///

Note: An example of installation script is provided: docs/install.bat

macOS: brew

macOS come with Ruby. Nevertheless, Apple has deprecated it, and it will be removed in the future, so better not to rely on it.

The recommended way is to either user RVM or use Homebrew.

brew install ruby

Linux: Package

If your Linux distribution provides a standard Ruby package, you can use it provided that the version supported.

Example: RHEL 8+, Rocky Linux 8+, Centos 8 Stream: with extensions to compile native gems

  • Check available Ruby versions:

    dnf module list ruby
  • If Ruby was already installed with an older version, remove it:

    dnf module -y reset ruby
  • Install packages needed to build native gems:

    dnf install -y make automake gcc gcc-c++ kernel-devel
  • Enable the Ruby version you want:

    dnf module -y enable ruby:3.1
    dnf install -y ruby-devel

Other examples:

yum install -y ruby ruby-devel rubygems ruby-json
apt install -y ruby ruby-dev rubygems ruby-json

One can remove all installed gems, for example to start fresh:

gem uninstall -axI $(ls $(gem env gemdir)/gems/|sed -e 's/-[^-]*$//'|sort -u)

Other Unixes (AIX)

Ruby is sometimes made available as an installable package through third party providers. For example for AIX, one can look at:

If your Unix does not provide a pre-built Ruby, you can get it using one of those methods.

For instance to build from source and install in /opt/ruby :


gzip -d ruby-2.7.2.tar.gz

tar xvf ruby-2.7.2.tar

cd ruby-2.7.2

./configure --prefix=/opt/ruby

make ruby.imp


make install


ascli can also run with the JRuby interpreter. All what is needed is a JVM (Java Virtual Machine) on your system (java). The JRuby package comes pre-complied and does not require compilation of native extensions. Use a version of JRuby compatible with Ruby version supported by ascli. Refer to the wikipedia page to match JRuby and Ruby versions. Choose the latest version from:

Note: The startup time is slightly longer using jruby than the native Ruby, refer to the JRuby wiki for details. This can be reduced by using the --dev option. The transfer speed is not impacted (executed by ascp binary).

Note: JRuby can be installed using rvm.

Example: start ascli with JRuby and reduce startup time:

export JRUBY_OPTS=--dev
ascli -v


JRUBY_OPTS=--dev ascli -v

Optional gems

Some additional gems can be installed to provide additional features:

  • rmagick : to generate thumbnails of images
  • grpc : to use the transfer SDK (gRPC)
  • mimemagic : to detect MIME type of files for preview command

Install like this:

gem install rmagick grpc mimemagic

Note: Those are not installed as part of dependencies because they involve compilation of native code.

Ruby Gem

Once you have Ruby and rights to install gems, install the aspera-cli gem and its dependencies:

gem install aspera-cli

To upgrade to the latest version:

gem update aspera-cli

During its execution, ascli checks every week if a new version is available and notifies the user in a WARN log. To de-activate this feature, globally set the option version_check_days to 0, or specify a different period in days.

To check if a new version is available (independently of version_check_days):

ascli config check_update

FASP Protocol

Most file transfers will be executed using the FASP protocol, using ascp. Only two additional files are required to perform an Aspera Transfer, which are part of Aspera SDK:

  • ascp
  • aspera-license (in same folder, or ../etc)

This can be installed either be installing an Aspera transfer software, or using an embedded command:

ascli config ascp install

If a local SDK installation is preferred instead of fetching from internet: one can specify the location of the SDK file:

curl -Lso
ascli config ascp install --sdk-url=file:///

The format is: file:///<path>, where <path> can be either a relative path (not starting with /), or an absolute path.

If the embedded method is not used, the following packages are also suitable:

  • IBM Aspera Connect Client (Free)
  • IBM Aspera Desktop Client (Free)
  • IBM Aspera High Speed Transfer Server (Licensed)
  • IBM Aspera High Speed Transfer EndPoint (Licensed)

For instance, Aspera Connect Client can be installed by visiting the page:

ascli will detect most of Aspera transfer products in standard locations and use the first one found by default. Refer to section FASP for details on how to select a client or set path to the FASP protocol.

Several methods are provided to start a transfer. Use of a local client (direct transfer agent) is one of them, but other methods are available. Refer to section: Transfer Agents

Installation in air gapped environment

Note: No pre-packaged version is provided yet.

A method to build one is provided here:

The procedure:

  • Follow the non-root installation procedure with RVM, including gem

  • Archive (zip, tar) the main RVM folder (includes ascli):

cd $HOME && tar zcvf rvm-ascli.tgz .rvm
  • Show the Aspera SDK URL
ascli --show-config --fields=sdk_url
  • Download the SDK archive from that URL
curl -Lso
  • Transfer those 2 files to the target system

  • On target system

cd $HOME

tar zxvf rvm-ascli.tgz

source ~/.rvm/scripts/rvm

ascli config ascp install --sdk-url=file:///
  • Add those lines to shell init (.profile)
source ~/.rvm/scripts/rvm

Note: Alternatively, to download all necessary gems in folder my_gems, execute:

gem install aspera-cli -N -i my_gems


The container image is: martinlaurent/ascli. The container contains: Ruby, ascli and the Aspera Transfer SDK. To use the container, ensure that you have podman (or docker) installed.

podman --version

Container: Quick start

Wanna start quickly ? With an interactive shell ? Execute this:

podman run --rm --tty --interactive --entrypoint bash martinlaurent/ascli:latest

Note: This command changes the entrypoint to an interactive shell instead of direct execution of ascli.

Then, execute individual ascli commands such as:

ascli config init
ascli config preset overview
ascli config ascp info
ascli server ls /

That is simple, but there are limitations:

  • Everything happens in the container
  • Any generated file in the container will be lost on container (shell) exit. Including configuration files and downloaded files.
  • No possibility to upload files located on the host system

Container: Details

The container image is built from this Dockerfile. The entry point is ascli and the default command is help.

The container can be executed for individual commands like this: (add ascli commands and options at the end of the command line, e.g. -v to display the version)

podman run --rm --tty --interactive martinlaurent/ascli:latest

For more convenience, you may define a shell alias:

alias ascli='podman run --rm --tty --interactive martinlaurent/ascli:latest'

Then, you can execute the container like a local command:

ascli -v

In order to keep persistency of configuration on the host, you should specify your user's configuration folder as a volume for the container. To enable write access, a possibility is to run as root in the container (and set the default configuration folder to /home/cliuser/.aspera/ascli). Add options:

--user root --env ASCLI_HOME=/home/cliuser/.aspera/ascli --volume $HOME/.aspera/ascli:/home/cliuser/.aspera/ascli

Note: If you are using a podman machine, e.g. on macOS , make sure that the folder is also shared between the VM and the host, so that sharing is: container → VM → Host: podman machine init ... --volume="/Users:/Users"

As shown in the quick start, if you prefer to keep a running container with a shell and ascli available, you can change the entry point, add option:

--entrypoint bash

You may also probably want that files downloaded in the container are directed to the host. In this case you need also to specify the shared transfer folder as a volume:

--volume $HOME/xferdir:/xferfiles

Note: ascli is run inside the container, so transfers are also executed inside the container and do not have access to host storage by default.

And if you want all the above, simply use all the options:

alias asclish="podman run --rm --tty --interactive --user root --env ASCLI_HOME=/home/cliuser/.aspera/ascli --volume $HOME/.aspera/ascli:/home/cliuser/.aspera/ascli --volume $HOME/xferdir:/xferfiles --entrypoint bash martinlaurent/ascli:latest"
export xferdir=$HOME/xferdir
mkdir -p $xferdir
chmod -R 777 $xferdir
mkdir -p $HOME/.aspera/ascli

Container: Sample start script

A convenience sample script is also provided: download the script dascli from the GIT repo :

Note: If you have installed ascli, the script dascli can also be found: cp $(ascli config gem path)/../examples/dascli ascli

Some environment variables can be set for this script to adapt its behavior:

env var Description Default Example
ASCLI_HOME Configuration folder (persistency) $HOME/.aspera/ascli $HOME/.ascli_config
docker_args Additional options to podman <empty> --volume /Users:/Users
image Container image name martinlaurent/ascli
version Container image version Latest 4.8.0.pre

The wrapping script maps the folder $ASCLI_HOME on host to /home/cliuser/.aspera/ascli in the container. (value expected in the container). This allows having persistent configuration on the host.

To add local storage as a volume, you can use the env var docker_args:

Example of use:

curl -o ascli
chmod a+x ascli
export xferdir=$HOME/xferdir
mkdir -p $xferdir
chmod -R 777 $xferdir
export docker_args="--volume $xferdir:/xferfiles"

./ascli config init

echo 'Local file to transfer' > $xferdir/samplefile.txt
./ascli server upload /xferfiles/samplefile.txt --to-folder=/Upload

Note: The local file (samplefile.txt) is specified relative to storage view from container (/xferfiles) mapped to the host folder $HOME/xferdir

Note: Do not use too many volumes, as the legacy aufs limits the number. (anyway, prefer to use overlay2)

Container: Offline installation

  • First create the image archive:
podman pull martinlaurent/ascli
podman save martinlaurent/ascli|gzip>ascli_image_latest.tar.gz
  • Then, on air-gapped system:
podman load -i ascli_image_latest.tar.gz

Container: aspera.conf

ascp's configuration file aspera.conf is located in the container at: /aspera_sdk/aspera.conf (see Dockerfile). As the container is immutable, it is not recommended to modify this file. If one wants to change the content, it is possible to tell ascp to use another file using ascp option -f, e.g. by locating it on the host folder $HOME/.aspera/ascli mapped to the container folder /home/cliuser/.aspera/ascli:

echo '<CONF/>' > $HOME/.aspera/ascli/aspera.conf

Then, tell ascp to use that other configuration file:


Container: Singularity

Singularity is another type of use of container.

On Linux install:

dnf install singularity-ce

Build an image like this:

singularity build ascli.sif docker://martinlaurent/ascli

Then, start ascli like this:

singularity run ascli.sif

Or get a shell with access to ascli like this:

singularity shell ascli.sif

Command Line Interface

The command line tool is: ascli

The aspera-cli gem provides a command line interface (CLI) which interacts with Aspera Products (mostly using REST APIs):

  • IBM Aspera High Speed Transfer Server (FASP and Node)
  • IBM Aspera on Cloud (including ATS)
  • IBM Aspera Faspex
  • IBM Aspera Shares
  • IBM Aspera Console
  • IBM Aspera Orchestrator
  • And more...

ascli provides the following features:

  • Supports commands to Aspera server products (on-premise and SaaS)
  • Any command line options (products URL, credentials or any option) can be provided on command line, in configuration file, in env var, in files, ...
  • Supports Commands, Option values and Parameters shortcuts
  • FASP Transfer Agents can be: local ascp, or Connect Client, or any transfer node
  • Transfer parameters can be altered by modification of transfer-spec, this includes requiring multi-session
  • Allows transfers from products to products, essentially at node level (using the node transfer agent)
  • Supports FaspStream creation (using Node API)
  • Supports Watchfolder creation (using Node API)
  • Additional command plugins can be written by the user
  • Supports download of faspex and Aspera on Cloud "external" links
  • Supports Legacy SSH based FASP transfers and remote commands (ascmd)

Basic usage is displayed by executing:

ascli -h

Refer to sections: Usage.

Note: ascli features are not fully documented here, the user may explore commands on the command line.

ascp command line

If you want to use ascp directly as a command line, refer to IBM Aspera documentation of either Desktop Client, Endpoint or Transfer Server where a section on ascp can be found.

Using ascli with plugin server for command line gives advantages over ascp:

  • Automatic resume on error
  • Configuration file
  • Choice of transfer agents
  • Integrated support of multi-session

Moreover all ascp options are supported either through transfer spec parameters (listed with conf ascp spec) and with the possibility to provide ascp arguments directly when the direct agent is used (ascp_args in transfer_info).

Command line parsing, Special Characters

ascli is typically executed in a shell, either interactively or in a script. ascli receives its arguments from this shell (through the Operating System).

Shell parsing for Unix-like systems: Linux, macOS, AIX

Linux command line parsing is easy: It is fully documented in the shell's documentation.

On Unix-like environments, this is typically a POSIX shell (bash, zsh, ksh, sh). A c-shell (csh, tcsh) or other shell can also be used. In this environment the shell parses the command line, possibly replacing variables, etc... See bash shell operation. The shell builds the list of arguments and then fork/exec Ruby with that list. Ruby receives a list parameters from shell and gives it to ascli. Special character handling (quotes, spaces, env vars, ...) is handled by the shell for any command executed.

Shell parsing for Windows

Command line parsing first depends on the shell used. MS Windows command line parsing is not like Unix-like systems simply because Windows does not provide a list of arguments to the executable (Ruby): it provides the whole command line as a single string, but the shell may interpret some special characters.

So command line parsing is not handled by the shell (cmd.exe), not handled by the operating system, but it is handled by the executable. Typically, Windows executables use the microsoft library for this parsing.

As far as ascli is concerned: the executable is Ruby. It has its own parsing algorithm, close to a Linux shell parsing.

Thankfully, ascli provides a command to check the value of an argument after parsing: config echo. One can also run ascli with option --log-level=debug to display the command line after parsing.

It is also possible to display arguments received by Ruby using this command:

C:> ruby -e 'puts ARGV' "Hello World" 1 2
Hello World

Once the shell has dealt with the command line "special" characters for it, the shell calls Windows' CreateProcess with just the whole command line as a single string. (Unlike Unix-like systems where the command line is split into arguments by the shell.)

It's up to the program to split arguments:

is a Ruby program, so Ruby parses the command line into arguments and provides them to the program. Ruby vaguely follows the Microsoft C/C++ parameter parsing rules. (See w32_cmdvector in Ruby source win32.c) :

  • Space characters: split arguments (space, tab, newline)
  • Backslash: \ escape single special character
  • Globing characters: *?[]{} for file globing
  • Double quotes: "
  • Single quotes: '

Shell parsing for Windows: cmd.exe

The following examples give the same result on Windows using cmd.exe:

  • Single quote protects the double quote

    ascli config echo @json:'{"url":"https://..."}'
  • Triple double quotes are replaced with a single double quote

    ascli config echo @json:{"""url""":"""https://..."""}
  • Double quote is escaped with backslash within double quotes

    ascli config echo @json:"{\"url\":\"https://...\"}"

cmd.exe handles some special characters: ^"<>|%&. Basically it handles I/O redirection (<>|), shell variables (%), multiple commands (&) and handles those special characters from the command line. Eventually, all those special characters are removed from the command line unless escaped with ^ or ". " are kept and given to the program.

Shell parsing for Windows: Powershell

For Powershell, it actually depends on the version of it.

A difficulty is that Powershell parses the command line for its own use and manages special characters, but then it passes the command line to the program (Ruby) as a single string, possibly without the special characters.

Details can be found here:

The following examples give the same result on Windows using Powershell:

PS C:\> echo $psversiontable.psversion

Major  Minor  Build  Revision
-----  -----  -----  --------
5      1      19041  4046

PS C:\> ascli conf echo  --% @json:'{"k":"v","x":"y"}'

PS C:\> ascli conf echo @json:'{"""k""":"""v""","""x""":"""y"""}'

Note: The special powershell argument --% places powershell in legacy parsing mode.

Extended Values (JSON, Ruby, ...)

Some of the ascli parameters are expected to be Extended Values, i.e. not a simple String, but a composite structure (Hash, Array). Typically, the @json: modifier is used, it expects a JSON string. JSON itself has some special syntax: for example " is used to enclose a String.

Testing Extended Values

In case of doubt of argument values after parsing, one can test using command config echo. config echo takes exactly one argument which can use the Extended Value syntax. Unprocessed command line arguments are shown in the error message.

Example: The shell parses three arguments (as String: 1, 2 and 3), so the additional two arguments are not processed by the echo command.

ascli config echo 1 2 3
ERROR: Argument: unprocessed values: ["2", "3"]

config echo displays the value of the first argument using Ruby syntax: it surrounds a string with " and add \ before special characters.

Note: It gets its value after shell command line parsing and ascli extended value parsing.

In the following examples (using a POSIX shell, such as bash), several equivalent commands are provided. For all example, most of special character handling is not specific to ascli: It depends on the underlying syntax: shell , JSON, etc... Depending on the case, a different format option is used to display the actual value.

For example, in the simple string Hello World, the space character is special for the shell, so it must be escaped so that a single value is represented.

Double quotes are processed by the shell to create a single string argument. For POSIX shells, single quotes can also be used in this case, or protect the special character (space) with a backslash.

ascli config echo "Hello World" --format=text
ascli config echo 'Hello World' --format=text
ascli config echo Hello\ World --format=text
Hello World

Using a shell variable, parsed by shell, in an extended value

To be evaluated by shell, the shell variable must not be in single quotes. Even if the variable contains spaces it results only in one argument for ascli because word parsing is made before variable expansion by shell.

Note: We use a shell variable here: the variable is not necessarily an environment variable (export).

MYVAR="Hello World"
ascli config echo @json:'{"title":"'$MYVAR'"}' --format=json
ascli config echo @json:{\"title\":\"$MYVAR\"} --format=json
{"title":"Hello World"}

Double quote in strings in command line

Double quote is a shell special character. Like any shell special character, it can be protected either by preceding with a backslash or by enclosing in a single quote.

ascli config echo \"
ascli config echo '"'

Double quote in JSON is a little tricky because " is special both for the shell and JSON. Both shell and JSON syntax allow to protect ", but only the shell allows protection using single quote.

ascli config echo @json:'"\""' --format=text
ascli config echo @json:\"\\\"\" --format=text
ascli config echo @ruby:\'\"\' --format=text

Here a single quote or a backslash protects the double quote to avoid shell processing, and then an additional \ is added to protect the " for JSON. But as \ is also shell special, then it is protected by another \.

Shell and JSON or Ruby special characters in extended value

Construction of values with special characters is done like this:

  • First select a syntax to represent the extended value, e.g. JSON or Ruby

  • Write the expression using this syntax, for example, using JSON:

{"title":"Test \" ' & \\"}

or using Ruby:

{"title"=>"Test \" ' & \\"}
{'title'=>%q{Test " ' & \\}}

Both " and \ are special characters for JSON and Ruby and can be protected with \ (unless Ruby's extended single quote notation %q is used).

  • Then, since the value will be evaluated by shell, any shell special characters must be protected, either using preceding \ for each character to protect, or by enclosing in single quote:
ascli config echo @json:{\"title\":\"Test\ \\\"\ \'\ \&\ \\\\\"} --format=json
ascli config echo @json:'{"title":"Test \" '\'' & \\"}' --format=json
ascli config echo @ruby:"{'title'=>%q{Test \" ' & \\\\}}" --format=json
{"title":"Test \" ' & \\"}

Reading special characters interactively

If ascli is used interactively (a user typing on terminal), it is easy to require the user to type values:

ascli config echo @ruby:"{'title'=>gets.chomp}" --format=json

gets is Ruby's method of terminal input (terminated by \n), and chomp removes the trailing \n.

Command line arguments from a file

If you need to provide a list of command line argument from lines that are in a file, on Linux you can use the xargs command:

xargs -a lines.txt -d \\n ascli config echo

This is equivalent to execution of:

ascli config echo [line1] [line2] [line3] ...

If there are spaces in the lines, those are not taken as separator, as we provide option -d \\n to xargs.

Extended value using special characters read from environmental variables or files

Using a text editor or shell: create a file title.txt (and env var) that contains exactly the text required: Test " ' & \ :

export MYTITLE='Test " '\'' & \'
echo -n $MYTITLE > title.txt

Using those values will not require any escaping of characters since values do not go through shell or JSON parsing.

If the value is to be assigned directly to an option of ascli, then you can directly use the content of the file or env var using the @file: or @env: readers:

ascli config echo @file:title.txt --format=text
ascli config echo @env:MYTITLE --format=text
Test " ' & \

If the value to be used is in a more complex structure, then the @ruby: modifier can be used: it allows any Ruby code in expression, including reading from file or env var. In those cases, there is no character to protect because values are not parsed by the shell, or JSON or even Ruby.

ascli config echo @ruby:"{'title'=>'title.txt')}" --format=json
ascli config echo @ruby:"{'title'=>ENV['MYTITLE']}" --format=json
{"title":"Test \" ' & \\"}

Commands, Options, Positional Arguments

Command line arguments are the units of command line typically separated by spaces (the argv of C). The tokenization of the command line is typically done by the shell, refer to the previous section Command Line Parsing.

ascli handles three types of command line arguments:

  • Commands
  • Positional Arguments
  • Options

For example:

ascli command subcommand --option-name=VAL1 VAL2
  • Executes command: command subcommand
  • With one option: option_name and its value: VAL1
  • The command has one additional positional argument: VAL2

If the value of a command, option or argument is constrained by a fixed list of values, then it is possible to use a few of the first letters of the value, provided that it uniquely identifies the value. For example ascli config pre ov is the same as ascli config preset overview.

The value of options and arguments is evaluated with the Extended Value Syntax.


Commands are typically entity types or verbs to act on those entities. Its value is a String that must belong to a fixed list of values in a given context.


ascli config ascp info
  • ascli is the executable executed by the shell
  • conf is the first level command: name of the plugin to be used
  • ascp is the second level command: name of the component (singleton)
  • info is the third level command: action to be performed

Typically, commands are located at the beginning of the command line. Order is significant. The provided command must match one of the supported commands in the given context. If wrong, or no command is provided when expected, an error message is displayed and the list of supported commands is displayed.

Some sub-commands appear after entity selection, e.g. ascli aoc admin res node do 8669 browse /: browse is a sub-command of node.

Positional Arguments

Positional Arguments are typically mandatory values for a command, such as entity creation data.

It could also be designed as an option, but since it is mandatory and typically creation parameters need not be set in a configuration file, then it is better to use a positional argument, and not define specific options.

The advantages of using a positional argument instead of an option for the same are that the command line is shorter(no option name, just the position) and the value is clearly mandatory.

The disadvantage is that it is not possible to define a default value in a configuration file or environment variable like for options. Nevertheless, Extended Values syntax is supported, so it is possible to retrieve a value from the configuration file or environment variable (using @preset:).

If a Positional Arguments begins with -, then either use the @val: syntax (see Extended Values), or use the -- separator (see below).

A few positional arguments are optional, they are located at the end of the command line.


All options, e.g. --log-level=debug, are command line arguments that:

  • Start with --
  • Have a name, in lowercase, using - as word separator in name (e.g. --log-level=debug)
  • Have a value, separated from name with a =
  • Can be used by prefix (avoid), provided that it is unique. E.g. --log-l=debug is the same as --log-level=debug


  • Some options accept a short form, e.g. -Ptoto is equivalent to --preset=toto, refer to the manual or -h.
  • Some options (flags) don't take a value, e.g. -N
  • The special option -- stops option processing and is ignored, following command line arguments are taken as arguments, including the ones starting with a -.


ascli config echo -- --sample

Note: Here, --sample is taken as an argument, and not as an option, due to --.

Options may have a (hardcoded) default value.

Options can be placed anywhere on command line and are evaluated in order.

Options are typically optional: to change the default behavior. But some are mandatory, so they can be placed in a configuration file, for example: connection information.

The value for any options can come from the following locations (in this order, last value evaluated overrides previous value):

  • Configuration file
  • Environment variable
  • Command line

Environment variable starting with prefix: ASCLI_ are taken as option values, e.g. ASCLI_OPTION_NAME is for --option-name.

Option show_config dry runs the configuration, and then returns currently set values for options. ascli --show-config outputs global options only, and ascli [plugin] --show-config outputs global and plugin default options. In addition, option --show-config can be added at the end of any full command line, this displays the options that would be used for the command.

A parameter is typically designed as option if:

  • It is optional, or
  • It is a mandatory parameter that would benefit from being set persistently (i.e. in a configuration file or environment variable, e.g. URL and credentials).

Interactive Input

Some options and parameters are mandatory and other optional. By default, ascli will ask for missing mandatory options or parameters for interactive execution.

The behavior can be controlled with:

  • --interactive=<yes|no> (default=yes if STDIN is a terminal, else no)
    • yes : missing mandatory parameters/options are asked to the user
    • no : missing mandatory parameters/options raise an error message
  • --ask-options=<yes|no> (default=no)
    • optional parameters/options are asked to user


Command execution will result in output (terminal, stdout/stderr). The information displayed depends on the action.

To redirect results to a file, use option output.

Types of output data

Depending on action, the output will contain:

  • single_object : displayed as a 2 dimensional table: one line per attribute, first column is attribute name, and second is attribute value. Nested hashes are collapsed.
  • object_list : displayed as a 2 dimensional table: one line per item, one column per attribute.
  • value_list : a table with one column.
  • empty : nothing
  • status : a message
  • other_struct : a complex structure that cannot be displayed as an array

Format of output

By default, result of type single_object and object_list are displayed using format table. The table style can be customized with parameter: table_style (horizontal, vertical and intersection characters) and is :.: by default.

In a table format, when displaying Objects (single, or list), by default, sub object are flattened (option flat_hash). So, object {"user":{"id":1,"name":"toto"}} will have attributes: and Setting flat_hash to false will only display one field: user and value is the sub Hash. When in flatten mode, it is possible to filter fields by compound field name using dot as separator.

Object lists are displayed one per line, with attributes as columns. Single objects are transposed: one attribute per line. If transposition of single object is not desired, use option: transpose_single set to no.

The style of output can be set using the format parameter, supporting:

  • text : Value as String
  • table : Text table
  • ruby : Ruby code
  • json : JSON code
  • jsonpp : JSON pretty printed
  • yaml : YAML
  • csv : Comma Separated Values

Verbosity of output

Output messages are categorized in 3 types:

  • info output contain additional information, such as number of elements in a table
  • data output contain the actual output of the command (object, or list of objects)
  • erroroutput contain error messages

The option display controls the level of output:

  • info displays all messages: info, data, and error
  • data display data and error messages
  • error display only error messages.

By default, secrets are removed from output: option show_secrets defaults to no, unless display is data, to allows piping results. To hide secrets from output, set option show_secrets to no.

Option: fields: Selection of output object properties

By default, a table output will display one line per entry, and columns for each properties. Depending on the command, columns may include by default all properties, or only some selected properties. It is possible to define specific columns to be displayed, by setting the fields option.

The fields option can be either a comma separated list, or an extended value array.

Elements of the list can be:

  • DEF : default display of columns (that's the default, when not set)
  • ALL : all columns available
  • -property : remove property from the current list
  • property : add property to the current list
  • A Ruby RegEx : using @ruby:'/.../'


  • a,b,c : the list of attributes specified as a comma separated list
  • @json:'["a","b","c"]' : Array extended value: same as above
  • DEF,-a,b : default property list, remove a and add b
  • @ruby:'/^server/' : Display all properties whose name begin with server

Option: select

Table output (object_list) can be filtered using option select. This parameter is either a Hash or Proc. The Proc takes as argument a line (Hash) in the table and is a Ruby lambda expression that returns true or false.


ascli aoc admin res user list --fields=name,email,ats_admin --query=@json:'{"sort":"name"}' --select=@json:'{"ats_admin":true}'
|             name              |              email               | ats_admin |
| John Curtis                   |                 | true      |
| Laurent Martin                |              | true      |

Note: select filters elements from the result of command, while the query parameters gives filtering parameters to the API when listing elements.

In above example, the same result is obtained with option:


Percent selector

The percent selector allows identification of an entity by another unique identifier other than the native identifier.

When a command is executed on a single entity, the entity is identified by a unique identifier that follows the command: e.g. ascli aoc admin res user show 1234 where 1234 is the user's identifier.

Some commands provide the following capability: If the entity can also be uniquely identified by a name, then the name can be used instead of the identifier, using the percent selector: ascli aoc admin res user show %name:john where john is the user name.

Syntax: %<field>:<value>

Note: The legacy option id is deprecated: --id=1234 (options have a single value and thus do not provide the possibility to identify sub-entities)

Extended Value Syntax

Most options and arguments are specified by a simple string (e.g. username or url). Sometime it is convenient to read a value from a file: for example read the PEM value of a private key, or a list of files. Some options expect a more complex value such as Hash or Array.

The Extended Value Syntax allows to specify such values and even read values from other sources than the command line itself.

The syntax is:

<0 or more decoders><some text value or nothing>

Decoders act like a function with its parameter on right hand side and are recognized by the prefix: @ and suffix :

The following decoders are supported:

Decoder Parameter Returns Description
base64 String String Decode a base64 encoded string
csvt String Array Decode a titled CSV value
env String String Read from a named env var name, e.g. --password=@env:MYPASSVAR
file String String Read value from specified file (prefix ~/ is replaced with the users home folder), e.g. --key=@file:~/.ssh/mykey
json String Any Decode JSON values (convenient to provide complex structures)
lines String Array Split a string in multiple lines and return an array
list String Array Split a string in multiple items taking first character as separator and return an array
none None Nil A null value
path String String Performs path expansion on specified path (prefix ~/ is replaced with the users home folder), e.g. --config-file=@path:~/sample_config.yml
preset String Hash Get whole option preset value by name. Sub-values can also be used using . as separator. e.g. is conf[foo][bar]
extend String String Evaluates embedded extended value syntax in string
re String Regexp Ruby Regular Expression (short for @ruby:/.../)
ruby String Any Execute specified Ruby code
secret None String Ask password interactively (hides input)
stdin None String Read from stdin (no value on right)
uri String String Read value from specified URL, e.g. --fpac=@uri:http://serv/f.pac
val String String Prevent decoders on the right to be decoded. e.g. --key=@val:@file:foo sets the option key to value @file:foo.
yaml String Any Decode YAML
zlib String String Un-compress zlib data

Note: A few commands support a value of type Proc (lambda expression). For example, the Extended Value @ruby:'->(i){i["attr"]}' is a lambda expression that returns the value of attribute attr of the Hash i.

To display the result of an extended value, use the config echo command.

The extend decoder is useful to evaluate embedded extended value syntax in a string. It expects a @ to close the embedded extended value syntax.

Example: Create a Hash value with the convenient @json: decoder:

ascli config echo @json:'{"key1":"value1","key2":"value2"}'

Example: read the content of the specified file, then, base64 decode, then unzip:

ascli config echo @zlib:@base64:@file:myfile.dat

Example: Create a Hash value with one key and the value is read from a file:

ascli config echo @ruby:'{"token_verification_key"=>"mykey.txt")}'

Example: read a csv file and create an Array of Hash for bulk provisioning:

cat test.csv
ascli config echo @csvt:@file:test.csv
| name |        email        |
| lolo | |
| toto | titi@tutu.tata      |

Example: create a Hash with values coming from a preset named config

ascli config echo @json:@extend:'{"hello":true,"version":"@preset:config.version@"}'
| key     | value     |
| hello   | true      |
| version | 4.14.0    |

Example: Create a Hash from YAML provided as heredoc:

ascli config echo @yaml:@stdin: --format=json<<EOF
key1: value1
- item1
- item2
  key4: value4
  key5: value5

Configuration and Persistency Folder

ascli configuration and other runtime files (token cache, file lists, persistency files, SDK) are stored by default in [User's home folder]/.aspera/ascli.

Note: [User's home folder] is found using Ruby's Dir.home (rb_w32_home_dir). It uses the HOME env var primarily, and on MS Windows it also looks at %HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH% and %USERPROFILE%. ascli sets the env var %HOME% to the value of %USERPROFILE% if set and exists. So, on Windows %USERPROFILE% is used as it is more reliable than %HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH%.

The configuration folder can be displayed using :

ascli config folder

It can be overridden using option home.

Example (Windows):

set ASCLI_HOME=C:\Users\Kenji\.aspera\ascli

ascli config folder


When OAuth is used (AoC, Faspex4 api v4, Faspex5) ascli keeps a cache of generated bearer tokens in folder persist_store in configuration folder by default. Option cache_tokens (yes/no) allows to control if Oauth tokens are cached on file system, or generated for each request. The command config flush_tokens clears that cache. Tokens are kept on disk for a maximum of 30 minutes (TOKEN_CACHE_EXPIRY_SEC) and garbage collected after that. When a token has expired, then a new token is generated, either using a refresh_token if it is available, or by the default method.

Temporary files

Some temporary files may be needed during runtime. The temporary folder may be specified with option: temp_folder. Temporary files are deleted at the end of execution unless option: clean_temp is set to no.

Configuration file

On the first execution of ascli, an empty configuration file is created in the configuration folder. Nevertheless, there is no mandatory information required in this file, the use of it is optional as any option can be provided on the command line.

Although the file is a standard YAML file, ascli provides commands to read and modify it using the config command.

All options for ascli can be set on command line, or by env vars, or using Option Preset' in the configuration file.

A configuration file provides a way to define default values, especially for authentication parameters, thus avoiding to always having to specify those parameters on the command line.

The default configuration file is: $HOME/.aspera/ascli/config.yaml (this can be overridden with option --config-file=path or equivalent env var).

The configuration file is simply a catalog of pre-defined lists of options, called: Option Preset'. Then, instead of specifying some common options on the command line (e.g. address, credentials), it is possible to invoke the ones of a Option Preset' (e.g. mypreset) using the option: -Pmypreset or --preset=mypreset.

Option Preset

A Option Preset' is simply a collection of parameters and their associated values in a named section in the configuration file.

A named Option Preset' can be modified directly using ascli, which will update the configuration file :

ascli config preset set|delete|show|initialize|update <option preset>

The command update allows the easy creation of Option Preset' by simply providing the options in their command line format, e.g. :

ascli config preset update demo_server --url=ssh:// --username=asperaweb --password=my_password_here --ts=@json:'{"precalculate_job_size":true}'
  • This creates a Option Preset' demo_server with all provided options.

The command set allows setting individual options in a Option Preset'.

ascli config preset set demo_server password my_password_here

The command initialize, like update allows to set several parameters at once, but it deletes an existing configuration instead of updating it, and expects a Hash Extended Value.

ascli config preset initialize demo_server @json:'{"url":"ssh://","username":"asperaweb","password":"my_pass_here","ts":{"precalculate_job_size":true}}'

A full terminal based overview of the configuration can be displayed using:

ascli config preset over

A list of Option Preset' can be displayed using:

ascli config preset list

A good practice is to not manually edit the configuration file and use modification commands instead. If necessary, the configuration file can opened in a text editor with:

ascli config open

Note: This starts the editor specified by env var EDITOR if defined.

Older format for commands are still supported:

ascli config preset set|delete|show|initialize|update <name>
ascli config preset over
ascli config preset list

Special Option Preset: config

This preset name is reserved and contains a single key: version. This is the version of ascli which created the file.

Special Option Preset: default

This preset name is reserved and contains an array of key-value , where the key is the name of a plugin, and the value is the name of another preset.

When a plugin is invoked, the preset associated with the name of the plugin is loaded, unless the option --no-default (or -N) is used.

Note: Special plugin name: config can be associated with a preset that is loaded initially, typically used for default values.

Operations on this preset are done using regular config operations:

ascli config preset set default _plugin_name_ _default_preset_for_plugin_
ascli config preset get default _plugin_name_

Plugin: config: Configuration

Plugin config provides general commands for ascli:

  • Option Preset, configuration file operations
  • wizard
  • vault
  • ascp

The default preset for config is read for any plugin invocation, this allows setting global options, such as --log-level or --interactive. When ascli starts, it looks for the default Option Preset and checks the value for config. If set, it loads the options independently of the plugin used.

Note: If no global default is set by the user, ascli will use global_common_defaults when setting global parameters (e.g. config ascp use)

Note: If you don't know the name of the global preset, you can use GLOBAL to refer to it.

Show current default (global) Option Preset (config plugin):

$ ascli config preset get default config
ascli config preset set GLOBAL version_check_days 0

If the default global Option Preset is not set, and you want to use a different name:

ascli config preset set GLOBAL version_check_days 0
ascli config preset set default config my_common_defaults

Config sample commands

Note: Add ascli config in front of the commands:

ascp connect info 'Aspera Connect for Windows'
ascp connect list
ascp connect version 'Aspera Connect for Windows' download 'Windows Installer' --to-folder=.
ascp connect version 'Aspera Connect for Windows' list
ascp connect version 'Aspera Connect for Windows' open documentation
ascp errors
ascp info --sdk-folder=sdk_test_dir
ascp install
ascp install --sdk-folder=sdk_test_dir
ascp products list
ascp products use 'IBM Aspera Connect'
ascp show
ascp spec
ascp use /usr/bin/ascp
coffee --ui=text
coffee --ui=text --query=@json:'{"text":"true"}'
detect shares
detect my_org aoc
doc transfer-parameters
echo -- --special-string
echo @base64:SGVsbG8gV29ybGQK
echo @csvt:@stdin:
echo @env:USER
echo @lines:@stdin:
echo @list:,1,2,3
echo @secret:
echo @uri:/etc/hosts
echo @uri:file:/etc/hosts
echo @uri:
echo @uri:
echo @vault:my_preset.password
echo @zlib:@stdin:
echo hello
email_test --notify-to=my_email_external
gem name
gem path
gem version
genkey my_key
genkey my_key 4096
plugin create my_command
plugin list
preset delete conf_name
preset initialize conf_name @json:'{"p1":"v1","p2":"v2"}'
preset list
preset overview
preset set conf_name param value
preset set default shares conf_name
preset show conf_name
preset unset conf_name param
preset update conf_name --p1=v1 --p2=v2
proxy_check --fpac=@file:examples/proxy.pac --proxy-credentials=@list:,user,pass
pubkey @file:my_key
remote_certificate chain
remote_certificate name
remote_certificate only
vault create my_label @json:'{"password":"my_password_here","description":"my secret"}'
vault delete my_label
vault list
vault show my_label
wizard console
wizard faspex --username=test --password=test
wizard faspex5 --key-path=my_private_key
wizard node --username=test --password=test
wizard orchestrator --username=test --password=test
wizard shares --username=test --password=test
wizard my_org aoc --key-path=my_private_key --username=my_user_email
wizard my_org aoc --key-path=my_private_key --username=my_user_email --use-generic-client=yes

Format of file

The configuration file is a Hash in a YAML file. Example:

  version: 0.3.7
  config: cli_default
  server: demo_server
  interactive: no
  url: ssh://
  username: asperaweb
  password: my_password_here

We can see here:

  • The configuration was created with ascli version 0.3.7
  • The default Option Preset' to load for server plugin is : demo_server
  • The Option Preset' demo_server defines some parameters: the URL and credentials
  • The default Option Preset' to load in any case is : cli_default

Two Option Preset' are reserved:

  • config contains a single value: version showing the version used to create the configuration file. It is used to check compatibility.
  • default is reserved to define the default Option Preset' name used for known plugins.

The user may create as many Option Preset' as needed. For instance, a particular Option Preset' can be created for a particular application instance and contain URL and credentials.

Values in the configuration also follow the Extended Value Syntax.

Note: If the user wants to use the Extended Value Syntax inside the configuration file, using the config preset update command, the user shall use the @val: prefix. Example:

ascli config preset set my_aoc_org private_key @val:@file:"$HOME/.aspera/ascli/my_private_key"

This creates the Option Preset':

  private_key: "@file:/Users/laurent/.aspera/ascli/my_private_key"

So, the key file will be read only at execution time, but not be embedded in the configuration file.

Evaluation order of options

Some options are global, some options are available only for some plugins. (the plugin is the first level command).

Options are loaded using this algorithm:

  • If option --no-default (or -N) is specified, then no default value is loaded for the plugin
  • Else it looks for the name of the plugin as key in section default, the value is the name of the default Option Preset' for it, and loads it.
  • If option --preset=<name or extended value hash> is specified (or -Pxxxx), this reads the Option Preset' specified from the configuration file, or if the value is a Hash, it uses it as options values.
  • Environment variables are evaluated
  • Command line options are evaluated

Parameters are evaluated in the order of command line.

To avoid loading the default Option Preset' for a plugin, use: -N

On command line, words in parameter names are separated by a dash (-). In configuration file, separator is an underscore. E.g. --xxx-yyy on command line gives xxx_yyy in configuration file.

The main plugin name is config, so it is possible to define a default Option Preset' for the main plugin with:

ascli config preset set cli_default interactive no
ascli config preset set default config cli_default

A Option Preset' value can be removed with unset:

ascli config preset unset cli_default interactive

Example: Define options using command line:

ascli -N --url=_url_here_ --password=my_password_here --username=_name_here_ node --show-config

Example: Define options using a Hash:

ascli -N --preset=@json:'{"url":"_url_here_","password":"my_password_here","username":"_name_here_"}' node --show-config


The wizard is a command that asks the user for information and creates a Option Preset' with the provided information.

It takes an optional argument: the URL of the application, and an option: query which allows limiting the detection to a given plugin.

The simplest invocation is:

ascli config wizard

Example of configuration for a plugin

For Faspex, Shares, Node (including ATS, Aspera Transfer Service), Console, only username/password and url are required (either on command line, or from configuration file). Those can usually be provided on the command line:

ascli shares repo browse / --url= --username=john --password=my_password_here

This can also be provisioned in a configuration file:

  • Build Option Preset'
ascli config preset set shares06 url
ascli config preset set shares06 username john
ascli config preset set shares06 password my_password_here

This can also be done with one single command:

ascli config preset init shares06 @json:'{"url":"","username":"john","password":"my_password_here"}'


ascli config preset update shares06 --url= --username=john --password=my_password_here
  • Define this Option Preset' as the default Option Preset' for the specified plugin (shares)
ascli config preset set default shares shares06
  • Display the content of configuration file in table format
ascli config preset overview
  • Execute a command on the shares application using default parameters
ascli shares repo browse /

Secret Vault

Secrets (e.g. passwords) are usually command options. They can be provided on command line, env vars, files etc.

For security reasons, those secrets shall not be exposed in clear, either:

  • On terminal during input
  • In logs
  • In command output

Instead, they shall be hidden or encrypted.

Terminal output secret removal is controlled by option show_secrets (default: no). Log secret removal is controlled by option log_secrets (default: no). Mandatory command line options can be requested interactively (e.g. password) using option interactive. Or it is possible to use extended value @secret:[name] to ask for a secret interactively. It is also possible to enter an option as an environment variable, e.g. ASCLI_PASSWORD for option password and read the env var like this:


Another possibility is to retrieve values from a secret vault.

The vault is used with options vault and vault_password.

vault shall be a Hash describing the vault:


vault_password specifies the password for the vault.

Although it can be specified on command line, for security reason you should avoid exposing the secret. For example it can be securely specified on command line like this:


Vault: System key chain

Note: macOS only

It is possible to manage secrets in macOS key chain (only read supported currently).


Vault: Encrypted file

It is possible to store and use secrets encrypted in a file using option vault set to:


name is the file path, absolute or relative to the configuration folder ASCLI_HOME.

Vault: Operations

For this use the config vault command.

Then secrets can be manipulated using commands:

  • create
  • show
  • list
  • delete
ascli config vault create mylabel @json:'{"password":"my_password_here","description":"for this account"}'

Configuration Finder

When a secret is needed by a sub command, the command can search for existing configurations in the configuration file.

The lookup is done by comparing the service URL and username (or access key).

Securing passwords and secrets

A passwords can be saved in clear in a Option Preset' together with other account information (URL, username, etc...). Example:

ascli config preset update myconf --url=... --username=... --password=...

For a more secure storage one can do:

ascli config preset update myconf --url=... --username=... --password=@val:@vault:myconf.password
ascli config vault create myconf @json:'{"password":"my_password_here"}'

Note: Use @val: in front of @vault: so that the extended value is not evaluated.

Private Key

Some applications allow the user to be authenticated using a private key (Server, AoC, Faspex5, ...). It consists in using a pair of keys: the private key and its associated public key. The same key can be used for multiple applications. Technically, a private key contains the public key, which can be extracted from it. The file containing the private key can optionally be protected by a passphrase. If the key is protected by a passphrase, then it will be prompted when used. (some plugins support option passphrase)

The following commands use the shell variable PRIVKEYFILE. Set it to the desired safe location of the private key. Typically, located in folder $HOME/.ssh or $HOME/.aspera/ascli:


Several methods can be used to generate a key pair.

The format expected for private keys is PEM.

ascli for key generation

The generated key is of type RSA, by default: 4096 bit. For convenience, the public key is also extracted with extension .pub. The key is not passphrase protected.

ascli config genkey ${PRIVKEYFILE} 4096

Note: ascli uses the openssl library.

To display the public key of a private key:

ascli config pubkey @file:${PRIVKEYFILE}

To display the version of openssl used in ascli:

ascli config echo @ruby:OpenSSL::OPENSSL_VERSION --format=text


Both private and public keys are generated, option -N is for passphrase.

ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -m PEM -N '' -f ${PRIVKEYFILE}


To generate a private key with a passphrase the following can be used on any system:

openssl genrsa -passout pass:_passphrase_here_ -out ${PRIVKEYFILE} 4096
openssl rsa -pubout -in ${PRIVKEYFILE} -out ${PRIVKEYFILE}.pub

openssl is sometimes compiled to support option -nodes (no DES, i.e. no passphrase, e.g. on macOS). In that case, add option -nodes instead of -passout pass:_passphrase_here_ to generate a key without passphrase.

If option -nodes is not available, the passphrase can be removed using this method:

openssl rsa -passin pass:_passphrase_here_ -in ${PRIVKEYFILE} -out ${PRIVKEYFILE}.no_des

To change (or add) the passphrase for a key do:

openssl rsa -des3 -in ${PRIVKEYFILE} -out ${PRIVKEYFILE}.with_des

SSL CA certificate bundle

The SSL CA certificate bundle can be specified using option cert_stores, which is a list of files or folders, by default it uses Ruby's default certificate store.

To display trusted certificate store locations:

ascli --show-config --fields=cert_stores

Use option cert_stores to modify the locations of certificate stores (files or folders). If you use this option, then default locations are not used. Default locations can be added using special value DEF. The value can be either an Array or String (path). Successive options add paths incrementally. All files of a folders are added.

ascli uses the Ruby openssl gem. By default it uses the system's openssl library, but JRuby uses its own implementation.

For example, on Linux to use the system's certificate store:

--cert-stores=$(openssl version -d|cut -f2 -d'"')/cert.pem

Certificates are checked against the Ruby default certificate store OpenSSL::X509::DEFAULT_CERT_FILE and OpenSSL::X509::DEFAULT_CERT_DIR, which are typically the ones of openssl on Unix-like systems (Linux, macOS, etc..). Ruby's default values can be overridden using env vars: SSL_CERT_FILE and SSL_CERT_DIR.

One can display those default values:

ascli config echo @ruby:OpenSSL::X509::DEFAULT_CERT_DIR --format=text
ascli config echo @ruby:OpenSSL::X509::DEFAULT_CERT_FILE --format=text

ascp also needs to validate certificates when using WSS for transfer TCP part (instead of SSH).

By default,ascp uses an hardcoded root location OPENSSLDIR. Original ascp's hardcoded locations can be found using:

ascli config ascp info --fields=openssldir

E.g. on macOS: /Library/Aspera/ssl. Then trusted certificates are taken from [OPENSSLDIR]/cert.pem and files in [OPENSSLDIR]/certs. ascli overrides the default hardcoded location used by ascp for WSS and uses the same locations as specified in cert_stores (using the -i option of ascp).

To update trusted root certificates for ascli: Display the trusted certificate store locations used by ascli. Typically done by updating the system's root certificate store.

An up-to-date version of the certificate bundle can also be retrieved with:

ascli config echo @uri: --format=text

To download that certificate store:

ascli config echo @uri: --format=text --output=/tmp/cacert.pem

Then, use this store by setting the option cert_stores (or env var SSL_CERT_FILE).

To trust a specific certificate (e.g. self-signed), provided that the CN is correct, save the certificate chain to a file:

ascli config remote_certificate chain https://localhost:9092 --insecure=yes --output=myserver.pem

Note: Use command name to display the remote common name of the remote certificate.

Then, use this file as certificate store (e.g. here, Node API):

ascli config echo @uri:https://localhost:9092/ping --cert-stores=myserver.pem

Image and video thumbnails

ascli can display thumbnails for images and videos in the terminal. This is available with the thumbnail command of node when using gen4/access key API. It's also available when using the show command of preview plugin.

The following options can be specified in the option query:

Option Description
text Display text instead of image (Bool)
double Display double text resolution (half characters) (Bool)
font_ratio Font height/width ratio in terminal (Float)

Graphical Interactions: Browser and Text Editor

Some actions may require the use of a graphical tool:

  • A browser for Aspera on Cloud authentication (web auth method)
  • A text editor for configuration file edition

By default ascli assumes that a graphical environment is available on Windows, and on other systems, rely on the presence of the DISPLAY environment variable. It is also possible to force the graphical mode with option --ui :

  • --ui=graphical forces a graphical environment, a browser will be opened for URLs or a text editor for file edition.
  • --ui=text forces a text environment, the URL or file path to open is displayed on terminal.

Logging, Debugging

The gem is equipped with traces, mainly for debugging and learning APIs. By default logging level is warn and the output channel is stderr. To increase debug level, use parameter log_level (e.g. using command line --log-level=xx, env var ASCLI_LOG_LEVEL, or a parameter in the configuration file).

It is also possible to activate traces before log facility initialization using env var ASCLI_LOG_LEVEL.

By default passwords and secrets are removed from logs. Use option log_secrets set to yes to reveal secrets in logs.

Available loggers: stdout, stderr, syslog.

Available levels: debug, info, warn, error.

Note: When using the direct agent (ascp), additional transfer logs can be activated using ascp options and ascp_args, see direct.


  • Display debugging log on stdout:
ascli config pre over --log-level=debug --logger=stdout
  • Log errors to syslog:
ascli config pre over --log-level=error --logger=syslog

When ascli is used interactively in a shell, the shell itself will usually log executed commands in the history file.

Learning Aspera Product APIs (REST)

ascli uses mainly REST APIs to interact with Aspera applications.

To get traces of execution, with dump of API calls, use argument : --log-level=debug.

To display HTTP/S traffic set option log_level to trace2: --log-level=trace2. It will display the exact content of HTTP requests and responses.

HTTP socket parameters

To ignore SSL certificate for any address/port, use option: insecure, i.e. --insecure=yes. To ignore SSL certificate for a list of specific address/port, use option ignore_certificate, set to an Array of URL for which certificate will be ignored (only the address and port are matched), e.g. --ignore-certificate=@list:,

Note: Ignoring certificate also applies to ascp's wss.

Ignoring a certificate is not recommended, it is better to add the certificate to the trusted store. So, a warning is displayed when a certificate is ignored. To disable the warning, use option silent_insecure set to no.

HTTP connection parameters (not ascp wss) can be adjusted using option http_options:

Parameter Default
read_timeout 60
write_timeout 60
open_timeout 60
keep_alive_timeout 2

Values are in set seconds and can be of type either integer or float. Default values are the ones of Ruby: For a full list, refer to the Ruby library: Net::HTTP.

Like any other option, those can be set either on command line, or in configuration file, either in a global preset or server-specific one.


ascli aoc admin res package list --http-options=@json:'{"read_timeout":10.0}'


There are several types of network connections, each of them use a different mechanism to define a (forward) proxy:

  • REST calls (APIs) and HTTP Gateway
  • ascp WSS and Legacy Aspera HTTP/S Fallback
  • ascp SSH and UDP (Aspera FASP)

Refer to the following sections.

Proxy for REST and HTTP Gateway

REST API calls and transfers based on HTTP Gateway both use Ruby Net::HTTP gem.

There are two possibilities to define an HTTP proxy to be used when Ruby HTTP is used.

The http_proxy environment variable (lower case, preferred) can be set to the URL of the proxy. E.g. Refer to Ruby find proxy.

Note: Ruby expects a URL and alone is not accepted.

export http_proxy=

Alternatively, the fpac option (function for proxy auto config) can be set to a Proxy Auto Configuration (PAC) javascript value. To read the script from a URL (http:, https: and file:), use prefix: @uri:. A minimal script can be specified to define the use of a local proxy:

ascli --fpac='function FindProxyForURL(url, host){return "PROXY localhost:3128"}' ...

The result of a PAC file can be tested with command: config proxy_check. Example, using command line option:

ascli config proxy_check --fpac='function FindProxyForURL(url, host) {return "PROXY;DIRECT";}'
ascli config proxy_check --fpac=@file:./proxy.pac
ascli config proxy_check --fpac=@uri:http://server/proxy.pac

If the proxy requires credentials, then use option proxy_credentials with username and password provided as an Array:

ascli --proxy-credentials=@json:'["__username_here__","__password_here__"]' ...
ascli --proxy-credentials=@list::__username_here__:__password_here__ ...

Proxy for Legacy Aspera HTTP/S Fallback

Only supported with the direct agent: To specify a proxy for legacy HTTP fallback, use ascp native option -x and ascp_args: --transfer-info=@json:'{"ascp_args":["-x","url_here"]}'.

FASP proxy (forward) for transfers

To specify a FASP proxy (forward), set the transfer-spec parameter: proxy (only supported with the direct agent).

For example, for an Aspera forward proxy not encrypted (HTTP) without authentication running on port 9091, the option would be:


Or, alternatively, (prefer transfer spec like above, generally):


FASP configuration

The config plugin also allows specification for the use of a local FASP client. It provides the following commands for ascp subcommand:

  • show : shows the path of ascp used
  • use : specify the ascp path to use
  • products : list Aspera transfer products available locally
  • connect : list and download connect client versions available on internet

Show path of currently used ascp

ascli config ascp show
ascli config ascp info
| key                | value                                                     |
| ascp               | /Users/laurent/.aspera/ascli/sdk/ascp                     |

Selection of ascp location for direct agent

By default, ascli uses any found local product with ascp, including Transfer SDK.

To temporarily use an alternate ascp path use option ascp_path (--ascp-path=)

For a permanent change, the command config ascp use sets the same parameter for the global default.

Using a POSIX shell:

ascli config ascp use @path:'~/Applications/Aspera CLI/bin/ascp'
ascp version:
Updated: global_common_defaults: ascp_path <- /Users/laurent/Applications/Aspera CLI/bin/ascp
Saved to default global preset global_common_defaults


ascli config ascp use C:\Users\admin\.aspera\ascli\sdk\ascp.exe
ascp version:
Updated: global_common_defaults: ascp_path <- C:\Users\admin\.aspera\ascli\sdk\ascp.exe
Saved to default global preset global_common_defaults

If the path has spaces, read section: Shell and Command line parsing.

List locally installed Aspera Transfer products

Locally installed Aspera products can be listed with:

ascli config ascp products list
| name                                  | app_root                               |
| IBM Aspera SDK                        | /Users/laurent/.aspera/ascli/sdk       |
| Aspera Connect                        | /Applications/Aspera       |
| IBM Aspera CLI                        | /Users/laurent/Applications/Aspera CLI |
| IBM Aspera High-Speed Transfer Server | /Library/Aspera                        |

Selection of local client for ascp for direct agent

If no ascp is selected, this is equivalent to using option: --use-product=FIRST.

Using the option use_product finds the ascp binary of the selected product.

To permanently use the ascp of a product:

ascli config ascp products use 'Aspera Connect'
saved to default global preset /Users/laurent/Applications/Aspera

Installation of Connect Client on command line

ascli config ascp connect list
| id                                            | title                                | version   |
| urn:uuid:589F9EE5-0489-4F73-9982-A612FAC70C4E | Aspera Connect for Windows           | |
| urn:uuid:A3820D20-083E-11E2-892E-0800200C9A66 | Aspera Connect for Windows 64-bit    | |
| urn:uuid:589F9EE5-0489-4F73-9982-A612FAC70C4E | Aspera Connect for Windows XP        | |
| urn:uuid:55425020-083E-11E2-892E-0800200C9A66 | Aspera Connect for Windows XP 64-bit | |
| urn:uuid:D8629AD2-6898-4811-A46F-2AF386531BFF | Aspera Connect for Mac Intel         | |
| urn:uuid:97F94DF0-22B1-11E2-81C1-0800200C9A66 | Aspera Connect for Linux 64          | |
ascli config ascp connect version 'Aspera Connect for Mac Intel' list
| title                                     | type                     | href                                                                                    | hreflang | rel                 |
| Mac Intel Installer                       | application/octet-stream | bin/IBMAsperaConnectInstaller-                                             | en       | enclosure           |
| Mac Intel Installer                       | application/octet-stream | bin/IBMAsperaConnectInstallerOneClick-                                     | en       | enclosure-one-click |
| Aspera Connect for Mac HTML Documentation | text/html                |   | en       | documentation       |
| Aspera Connect for Mac Release Notes      | text/html                | | en       | release-notes       |
ascli config ascp connect version 'Aspera Connect for Mac Intel' download enclosure --to-folder=.
Time: 00:00:02 ============================================= 100% 27766 KB/sec Time: 00:00:02
Downloaded: IBMAsperaConnectInstaller-

Transfer Clients: Agents

Some of the actions on Aspera Applications lead to file transfers (upload and download) using the FASP protocol (ascp).

When a transfer needs to be started, a transfer-spec has been internally prepared. This transfer-spec will be executed by a transfer client, here called Transfer Agent.

There are currently 3 agents, set with option transfer:

  • direct : execution of ascp
  • trsdk : use of Aspera Transfer SDK (local)
  • connect : use Connect Client (local)
  • alpha : use the new Desktop Client (local)
  • node : use an Aspera Transfer Node (remote).
  • httpgw : use an Aspera HTTP Gateway (remote)

Note: All transfer operations are seen from the point of view of the agent. For example, a node agent executing an upload, or package send operation will effectively push files to the related server from the agent node.

ascli standardizes on the use of a transfer-spec instead of native ascp options to provide parameters for a transfer session, as a common method for those three Transfer Agents.

Specific options for agents are provided with option transfer_info, cumulatively.

Agent: Direct

The direct agent directly executes a local ascp. This is the default agent for ascli (option --transfer=direct). ascli will search locally installed Aspera products, including SDK, and use ascp from that component. Refer to section FASP.

The transfer_info option accepts the following optional parameters to control multi-session, Web Socket Session and Resume policy:

Name Type Description
wss Bool Web Socket Session
Enable use of web socket session in case it is available
Default: true
ascp_args Array Array of strings with native ascp arguments.
Default: []
spawn_timeout_sec Float Multi session
Verification time that ascp is running
Default: 3
spawn_delay_sec Float Multi session
Delay between startup of sessions
Default: 2
multi_incr_udp Bool Multi Session
Increment UDP port on multi-session
If true, each session will have a different UDP port starting at fasp_port (or default 33001)
Else, each session will use fasp_port (or ascp default)
Default: true
trusted_certs Array List of repositories for trusted certificates.
resume Hash Resume parameters. See below
resume.iter_max int Max number of retry on error
Default: 7
resume.sleep_initial int First Sleep before retry
Default: 2
resume.sleep_factor int Multiplier of sleep period between attempts
Default: 2
resume.sleep_max int Default: 60

In case of transfer interruption, the agent will resume a transfer up to iter_max time. Sleep between iterations is given by the following formula where iter_index is the current iteration index, starting at 0:

max( sleep_max , sleep_initial * sleep_factor ^ iter_index )

By default, Ruby's root CA store is used to validate any HTTPS endpoint used by ascp (e.g. WSS). In order to use a custom certificate store, use the trusted_certs parameter. To use ascp's default, use option: --transfer-info=@json:'{"trusted_certs":null}'.

Some transfer errors are considered retry-able (e.g. timeout) and some other not (e.g. wrong password). The list of known protocol errors and retry level can be listed:

ascli config ascp errors


ascli ... --transfer-info=@json:'{"wss":true,"resume":{"iter_max":20}}'
ascli ... --transfer-info=@json:'{"spawn_delay_sec":2.5,"multi_incr_udp":false}'

This can be useful to activate logging using option -L of ascp. For example, to activate debug level 2 for ascp (DD), and display those logs on the terminal (-):


This is useful to debug if a transfer fails.

To store ascp logs in file aspera-scp-transfer.log in a folder, use --transfer-info=@json:'{"ascp_args":["-L","/path/to/folder"]}'.

Note: When transfer agent direct is used, the list of files to transfer is provided to ascp using either --file-list or --file-pair-list and a file list (or pair) file generated in a temporary folder. (unless --file-list or --file-pair-list is provided using transfer_info parameter ascp_args).

In addition to standard methods described in section File List, it is possible to specify the list of file using those additional methods:

  • Using option transfer_info parameter ascp_args
--sources=@ts --transfer-info=@json:'{"ascp_args":["--file-list","myfilelist"]}'

Note: File lists is shown here, there are also similar options for file pair lists.

Note: Those 2 additional methods avoid the creation of a copy of the file list: if the standard options --sources=@lines:@file:... --src-type=... are used, then the file is list read and parsed, and a new file list is created in a temporary folder.

Note: Those methods have limitations: they apply only to the direct transfer agent (i.e. local ascp) and not for Aspera on Cloud.

This agent supports a local configuration file: aspera.conf where Virtual links can be configured:

On a server (HSTS), the following commands can be used to set a global virtual link:

asconfigurator -x 'set_trunk_data;id,1;trunk_name,in;trunk_capacity,45000;trunk_on,true'
asconfigurator -x 'set_trunk_data;id,2;trunk_name,out;trunk_capacity,45000;trunk_on,true'
asconfigurator -x 'set_node_data;transfer_in_bandwidth_aggregate_trunk_id,1'
asconfigurator -x 'set_node_data;transfer_out_bandwidth_aggregate_trunk_id,2'

But this command is not available on clients, so edit the file aspera.conf, you can find the location with: ascli config ascp info --fields=aspera_conf and modify the sections default and trunks like this for a global 100 Mbps virtual link:

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<CONF version="2">
                <schedule format="ranges">1000000</schedule>
                <schedule format="ranges">1000000</schedule>

It is also possible to set a schedule with different time and days, for example for the value of schedule:

start=08 end=19 days=mon,tue,wed,thu capacity=900000;1000000

Agent: Connect Client

By specifying option: --transfer=connect, ascli will start transfers using the locally installed IBM Aspera Connect Client. There are no option for transfer_info.

Agent: Desktop Client

By specifying option: --transfer=alpha, ascli will start transfers using the locally installed IBM Aspera Desktop Client. There are no option for transfer_info.

Agent: Node API

By specifying option: --transfer=node, ascli starts transfers in an Aspera Transfer Server using the Node API, either on a local or remote node. This is especially useful for direct node-to-node transfers. Parameters provided in option transfer_info are:

Name Type Description
url string URL of the node API
username string Node api user or access key
password string Password, secret or bearer token
root_id string Root file id
Mandatory only for bearer token

Like any other option, transfer_info can get its value from a pre-configured Option Preset' :


or be specified using the extended value syntax :


If transfer_info is not specified and a default node has been configured (name in node for section default) then this node is used by default.

If the password value begins with Bearer then the username is expected to be an access key and the parameter root_id is mandatory and specifies the root file id on the node. It can be either the access key's root file id, or any authorized file id underneath it.

Agent: HTTP Gateway

If it possible to send using a HTTP gateway, in case use of FASP is not allowed.

Parameters provided in option transfer_info are:

Name Type Description
url string URL of the HTTP GW
upload_chunk_size int Size in bytes of chunks for upload
Default: 64000
api_version string Force use of version (v1, v2)
Default: v2
synchronous bool Wait for each message acknowledgment
Default: false


ascli faspex package recv 323 --transfer=httpgw --transfer-info=@json:'{"url":""}'

Note: The gateway only supports transfers authorized with a token.

Agent: Transfer SDK

Another possibility is to use the Transfer SDK daemon (asperatransferd). Set option transfer to trsdk.

Options for transfer_info are:

Name Type Description
url string IP address and port listened by the daemon
Default: :0
external bool Use external daemon, do not start
Default: false
keep bool Keep the daemon running after exiting ascli
Default: false

Note: If port zero is specified in the URL, then the daemon will listen on a random available port. If no address is specified, then is used.

The gem grpc was removed from dependencies, as it requires compilation of a native part. So, to use the Transfer SDK you should install this gem:

gem install grpc

On Windows the compilation may fail for various reasons (3.1.1):

  • cannot find -lx64-ucrt-ruby310

    → copy the file [Ruby main dir]\lib\libx64-ucrt-ruby310.dll.a to [Ruby main dir]\lib\libx64-ucrt-ruby310.a (remove the dll extension)

  • conflicting types for 'gettimeofday'

    → edit the file [Ruby main dir]/include/ruby-[version]/ruby/win32.h and change the signature of gettimeofday to gettimeofday(struct timeval *, void *) ,i.e. change struct timezone to void

Transfer Specification

Some commands lead to file transfer (upload/download). All parameters necessary for this transfer are described in a transfer-spec (Transfer Specification), such as:

  • Server address
  • Transfer user name
  • Credentials
  • File list
  • Etc...

ascli builds the transfer-spec internally as a Hash. It is not necessary to provide additional parameters on the command line for this transfer.

It is possible to modify or add any of the supported transfer-spec parameter using the ts option. The ts option accepts a Hash Extended Value containing one or several transfer-spec parameters. Multiple ts options on command line are cumulative, and the Hash value is deeply merged. To remove a (deep) key from transfer spec, set the value to null.

Note: Default transfer spec values can be displayed with command: config ascp info --flat-hash=no under field ts.

It is possible to specify ascp options when the transfer option is set to direct using transfer_info option parameter: ascp_args. Example: --transfer-info=@json:'{"ascp_args":["-l","100m"]}'. This is especially useful for ascp command line parameters not supported in the transfer spec.

The use of a transfer-spec instead of ascp parameters has the advantage of:

  • Common to all Transfer Agent
  • Not dependent on command line limitations (special characters...)

Transfer Parameters

All standard transfer-spec parameters can be specified. transfer-spec can also be saved/overridden in the configuration file.


Parameters can be displayed with commands:

ascli config ascp spec
ascli config ascp spec --select=@json:'{"d":"Y"}' --fields=-d,n,c


  • D=Direct (local ascp execution)
  • N=Node API
  • C=Connect Client
  • T=Transfer SDK
  • H=HTTP Gateway

ascp argument or environment variable is provided in description.

Field Type D N C T H Description
apply_local_docroot bool Y         Apply local docroot to source paths.
authentication string     Y     value=token for SSH bypass keys, else password asked if not provided.
cipher string Y Y Y Y Y In transit encryption type.
Allowed values: none, aes-128, aes-192, aes-256, aes-128-cfb, aes-192-cfb, aes-256-cfb, aes-128-gcm, aes-192-gcm, aes-256-gcm
(-c (conversion){enum})
cipher_allowed string Y Y Y Y Y returned by node API. Valid literals include "aes-128" and "none".
compression int           ascp4 only, 0 / 1?
content_protection string Y Y Y Y Y Enable client-side encryption at rest. (CSEAR, content protection)
Allowed values: encrypt, decrypt
(--file-crypt {enum})
content_protection_password string Y Y Y Y Y Specifies CSEAR password. (content protection)
cookie string Y Y Y Y Y Metadata for transfer specified by application
create_dir bool Y Y Y Y Y Specifies whether to create new directories.
delete_before_transfer bool Y Y Y Y Y Before transfer, delete files that exist at the destination but not at the source.
The source and destination arguments must be directories that have matching names.
Objects on the destination that have the same name but different type or size as objects
on the source are not deleted.
delete_source bool Y Y       Remove SRC files after transfer success
destination_root string Y Y Y Y Y Destination root directory.
destination_root_id string           The file ID of the destination root directory.
Required when using Bearer token auth for the destination node.
dgram_size int Y Y Y Y Y UDP datagram size in bytes
(-Z {int})
direction string Y Y Y Y Y Direction of transfer (on client side)
Allowed values: send, receive
(--mode (conversion){enum})
exclude_newer_than int Y         skip src files with mtime > arg
(--exclude-newer-than {int})
exclude_older_than int Y         skip src files with mtime < arg
(--exclude-older-than {int})
fasp_port int Y Y Y Y Y Specifies fasp (UDP) port.
(-O {int})
fasp_url string           Only used in Faspex.
file_checksum string Y Y       Enable checksum reporting for transferred files by specifying the hash to use.
Allowed values: sha-512, sha-384, sha-256, sha1, md5, none
http_fallback bool
Y Y Y Y Y When true(1), attempts to perform an HTTP transfer if a FASP transfer cannot be performed.
(-y (conversion){bool}
http_fallback_port int Y         Specifies http port when no cipher is used
(-t {int})
https_fallback_port int Y Y Y Y Y Specifies https port when cipher is used
(-t {int})
keepalive bool Y         The session is running in persistent session mode.
lock_min_rate bool Y Y Y Y Y TODO: remove ?
lock_min_rate_kbps bool     Y     If true, lock the minimum transfer rate to the value set for min_rate_kbps.
If false, users can adjust the transfer rate up to the value set for target_rate_cap_kbps.
lock_rate_policy bool     Y     If true, lock the rate policy to the default value.
lock_target_rate bool Y Y Y Y Y TODO: remove ?
lock_target_rate_kbps bool Y Y Y Y Y If true, lock the target transfer rate to the default value set for target_rate_kbps.
If false, users can adjust the transfer rate up to the value set for target_rate_cap_kbps.
min_rate_cap_kbps int Y Y Y Y Y The highest minimum rate that an incoming transfer can request, in kilobits per second.
Client minimum rate requests that exceed the minimum rate cap are ignored.
The default value of unlimited applies no cap to the minimum rate. (Default: 0)
min_rate_kbps int Y Y Y Y Y Set the minimum transfer rate in kilobits per second.
(-m {int})
move_after_transfer string Y Y       The relative path to which the files will be moved after the transfer at the source side. Available as of 3.8.0.
(--move-after-transfer {string})
multi_session int Y Y Y Y Y Use multi-session transfer. max 128.
Each participant on one host needs an independent UDP (-O) port.
Large files are split between sessions only when transferring with resume_policy=none.

multi_session_threshold int Y Y       Split files across multiple ascp sessions if their size in bytes is greater than or equal to the specified value.
(0=no file is split)
(--multi-session-threshold {int})
obfuscate_file_names bool         Y HTTP Gateway obfuscates file names when set to true.
overwrite string Y Y Y Y Y Overwrite destination files with the source files of the same name.
Allowed values: never, always, diff, older, diff+older
(--overwrite {enum})
password string   Y       Password for local Windows user when transfer user associated with node api user is not the same as the one running asperanoded.
Allows impersonating the transfer user and have access to resources (e.g. network shares).
Windows only, node api only.
paths array Y Y Y Y Y Array of path to the source (required) and a path to the destination (optional).
precalculate_job_size bool Y Y Y Y Y Specifies whether to precalculate the job size.
preserve_access_time bool Y Y Y Y Y Preserve the source-file access timestamps at the destination.
Because source access times are updated by the transfer operation,
the timestamp that is preserved is the one just before to the transfer.
preserve_acls string Y         Preserve access control lists.
Allowed values: none, native, metafile
(--preserve-acls {enum})
preserve_creation_time bool Y Y Y Y Y (Windows only) Preserve source-file creation timestamps at the destination.
Only Windows systems retain information about creation time.
If the destination is not a Windows computer, this option is ignored.
preserve_extended_attrs string           Preserve the extended attributes.
Allowed values: none, native, metafile
(--preserve-xattrs {enum})
preserve_file_owner_gid bool Y         Preserve the group ID for a file owner
preserve_file_owner_uid bool Y         Preserve the user ID for a file owner
preserve_modification_time bool Y Y Y Y Y Set the modification time, the last time a file or directory was modified (written), of a transferred file
to the modification of the source file or directory.
Preserve source-file modification timestamps at the destination.
preserve_remote_acls string Y         Preserve remote access control lists.
Allowed values: none, native, metafile
(--remote-preserve-acls {enum})
preserve_source_access_time bool Y         Preserve the time logged for when the source file was accessed
preserve_times bool   Y       Preserve file timestamps.
proxy string Y         Specify the address of the Aspera high-speed proxy server.
Default ports for DNAT and DNATS protocols are 9091 and 9092.
Password, if specified here, overrides the value of environment variable ASPERA_PROXY_PASS.
(--proxy {string})
rate_policy string Y Y Y Y Y The transfer rate policy to use when sharing bandwidth.
Allowed values: low, fair, high, fixed
(--policy {enum})
rate_policy_allowed string     Y     Specifies most aggressive rate policy that is allowed.
Returned by node API.
Allowed values: low, fair, high, fixed
read_threads int           ascp4 only
remote_access_key string           The access key ID of the access key that was used to construct the bearer token that is used to authenticate to the remote node.
remote_host string Y Y Y Y Y IP or fully qualified domain name of the remote server
(--host {string})
remote_password string Y Y Y Y Y SSH session password
remote_user string Y Y Y Y Y Remote user. Default value is "xfer" on node or connect.
(--user {string})
remove_after_transfer bool Y Y       Remove SRC files after transfer success
remove_empty_directories bool Y Y       Specifies whether to remove empty directories.
remove_empty_source_directory bool Y         Remove empty source subdirectories and remove the source directory itself, if empty
remove_skipped bool Y Y Y     Must also have remove_after_transfer set to true, Defaults to false, if true, skipped files will be removed as well.
resume_policy string Y Y Y Y Y If a transfer is interrupted or fails to finish, resume without re-transferring the whole files.
Allowed values: none, attrs, sparse_csum, full_csum
(-k (conversion){enum})
retry_duration string
  Y Y     Specifies how long to wait before retrying transfer. (e.g. "5min")
source_root string Y Y Y Y Y Path to be prepended to each source path.
This is either a conventional path or it can be a URI but only if there is no root defined.
(--source-prefix64 (conversion){string})
source_root_id string   Y       The file ID of the source root directory. Required when using Bearer token auth for the source node.
src_base string Y Y       Specify the prefix to be stripped off from each source object.
The remaining portion of the source path is kept intact at the destination.
Special care must be taken when used with cloud storage.
(--src-base64 (conversion){string})
ssh_args string           Array of arguments to pass to SSH. Use with caution.
ssh_port int Y Y Y Y Y Specifies SSH (TCP) port. Default: local:22, other:33001
(-P {int})
ssh_private_key string Y         Private key used for SSH authentication.
Shall look like: -----BEGIN RSA PRIV4TE KEY-----\nMII...
Note the JSON encoding: \n for newlines.
ssh_private_key_passphrase string Y         The passphrase associated with the transfer user's SSH private key. Available as of 3.7.2.
sshfp string Y Y Y Y Y Check it against server SSH host key fingerprint
(--check-sshfp {string})
symlink_policy string Y Y Y Y Y Handle source side symbolic links
Allowed values: follow, copy, copy+force, skip
(--symbolic-links {enum})
tags hash Y Y Y Y Y Metadata for transfer as JSON
(--tags64 (conversion){hash})
target_rate_cap_kbps int     Y     Returned by upload/download_setup node API.
target_rate_kbps int Y Y Y Y Y Specifies desired speed for the transfer.
(-l {int})
target_rate_percentage string Y Y Y Y Y TODO: remove ?
title string   Y Y     Title of the transfer
token string Y Y Y Y Y Authorization token: Bearer, Basic or ATM (Also arg -W)
use_ascp4 bool Y Y       specify version of protocol
use_system_ssh string           TODO, comment...
write_threads int           ascp4 only
wss_enabled bool Y Y Y Y Y Server has Web Socket service enabled
wss_port int Y Y Y Y Y TCP port used for websocket service feed

Destination folder for transfers

The destination folder is set by ascli by default to:

  • . for downloads
  • / for uploads

It is specified by the transfer-spec parameter destination_root. As such, it can be modified with option: --ts=@json:'{"destination_root":"<path>"}'. The option to_folder provides an equivalent and convenient way to change this parameter: --to-folder=<path> .

List of files for transfers

When uploading, downloading or sending files, the user must specify the list of files to transfer.

By default the list of files to transfer is simply provided on the command line.

The list of (source) files to transfer is specified by (extended value) option sources (default: @args). The list is either simply the list of source files, or a combined source/destination list (see below) depending on value of option src_type (default: list).

In ascli, all transfer parameters, including file list, are provided to the transfer agent in a transfer-spec so that execution of a transfer is independent of the transfer agent (direct, connect, node, transfer sdk...). So, eventually, the list of files to transfer is provided to the transfer agent using the transfer-spec field: "paths" which is a list (array) of pairs of "source" (mandatory) and "destination" (optional). The sources and src_type options provide convenient ways to populate the transfer spec with the source file list.

Possible values for option sources are:

  • @args : (default) the list of files (or file pair) is directly provided on the command line (after commands): unused arguments (not starting with -) are considered as source files. So, by default, the list of files to transfer will be simply specified on the command line. Example:

    ascli server upload ~/first.file secondfile

    This is the same as (with default values):

    ascli server upload --sources=@args --src-type=list ~/mysample.file secondfile
  • An Extended Value with type Array of String

    Note: extended values can be tested with the command config echo


    • Using extended value

      Create the file list:

      echo ~/mysample.file > myfilelist.txt
      echo secondfile >> myfilelist.txt

      Use the file list: one path per line:

    • Using JSON array

    • Using STDIN, one path per line

    • Using Ruby code (one path per line in file)

  • @ts : the user provides the list of files directly in the paths field of transfer spec (option ts). Examples:

    • Using transfer spec
    --sources=@ts --ts=@json:'{"paths":[{"source":"file1"},{"source":"file2"}]}'

The option src_type allows specifying if the list specified in option sources is a simple file list or if it is a file pair list.

Note: Option src_type is not used if option sources is set to @ts

Supported values for src_type are:

  • list : (default) the path of destination is the same as source and each entry is a source file path
  • pair : the first element is the first source, the second element is the first destination, and so on.

Example: Source file 200KB.1 is renamed sample1 on destination:

ascli server upload --src-type=pair ~/Documents/Samples/200KB.1 /Upload/sample1

Note: There are some specific rules to specify a file list when using Aspera on Cloud, refer to the AoC plugin section.

Source directory structure on destination

This section is not specific to ascli it is ascp behavior.

The transfer destination is normally expected to designate a destination folder.

But there is one exception: The destination specifies the new item name when the following are met:

  • There is a single source item (file or folder)
  • Transfer spec create_dir is not set to true (ascp option -d not provided)
  • Destination is not an existing folder
  • The dirname of destination is an existing folder

For this reason it is recommended to set create_dir to true for consistent behavior between single and multiple items transfer, this is the default in ascli.

If a simple source file list is provided (no destination in paths, i.e. no file_pair_list provided), the destination folder is used as destination folder for each source file, and source file folder names are not preserved.

The inner structure of source items that are folder is preserved on destination.

A leading / on destination is ignored (relative to docroot) unless docroot is not set (relative to home).

In the following table source folder d3 contains 2 files: f1 and d4/f2.

Source files Destination Folders on Dest. create_dir Destination Files
f1 d/f - false Error: d does not exist.
f1 d/f d false d/f (renamed)
f1 d/f/. d false d/f (renamed)
f1 d/f d/f false d/f/f1
f1 f2 d d false d/f1 d/f2
d3 d - false d/f1 d/f2 (renamed)
f1 d - true d/f1
f1 f2 d - true d/f1 d/f2
d1/f1 d2/f2 d - true d/f1 d/f2
d3 d - true d/d3/f1 d/d3/d4/f2

If a file par list is provided then it is possible to rename or specify a different destination folder for each source (relative to the destination).

If transfer spec has a src_base, it has the side effect that the simple source file list is considered as a file pair list, and so the lower structure of source folders is preserved on destination.

Source files Destination src_base Destination Files
d1/d2/f2 d1/d3/f3 d d1 d/d2/f2 d/d3/f3

Advanced Example: Send files ./file1 and ./folder2/files2 to server (e.g. /Upload) and keep the original file names and folders, i.e. send file1 to /Upload/file1 and files2 to /Upload/folder2/files2.

  • If files are specified as ./file1 ./folder2/files2,

    then destination will be: /Upload/file1 /Upload/files2

  • One possibility is to specify a file pair list: --src-type=pair file1 file1 folder2/files2 folder2/files2

  • Another possibility is to specify a source base: --src-base=$PWD $PWD/file1 $PWD/folder2/files2

    (note that . cannot be used as source base)

  • Similarly, create a temporary soft link (Linux): ln -s . tmp_base and use --src-base=tmp_base tmp_base/file1 tmp_base/folder2/files2

  • One can also similarly use --sources=@ts and specify the list of files in the paths field of transfer spec with both source and destination for each file.

Multi-session transfer

Multi session, i.e. starting a transfer of a file set using multiple sessions (one ascp process per session) is supported on direct and node agents, not yet on connect.

  • --transfer=node

Multi-session is directly supported by the node daemon.

  • --transfer=direct

Note: resume_policy set to attr may cause problems: none or sparse_csum shall be preferred.

ascli starts multiple ascp for Multi-session using direct agent.

When multi-session is used, one separate UDP port is used per session (refer to ascp manual page).

Content protection

Also known as Client-side encryption at rest (CSEAR), content protection allows a client to send files to a server which will store them encrypted (upload), and decrypt files as they are being downloaded from a server, both using a passphrase, only known by users sharing files. Files stay encrypted on server side.

Activating CSEAR consists in using transfer spec parameters:

  • content_protection : activate encryption (encrypt for upload) or decryption (decrypt for download)
  • content_protection_password : the passphrase to be used.

Example: parameter to download a faspex package and decrypt on the fly


Transfer Spec Examples

  • Change target rate
  • Override the FASP SSH port to a specific TCP port:
  • Force http fallback mode:
  • Activate progress when not activated by default on server

Transfer progress bar

File transfer operations are monitored and a progress bar is displayed on the terminal if option progress_bar (Bool) is set to yes (default if the output is a terminal).

The same progress bar is used for any type of transfer, using ascp, server to server, using HTTPS, etc...

To display the native progress bar of ascp, use --progress-bar=no --transfer-info=@json:'{"quiet":false}'.


It is useful to configure automated scheduled execution. ascli does not provide an internal scheduler. Instead, use the service provided by the Operating system:

Windows Scheduler

Windows provides the Task Scheduler. It can be configured:

Unix-like Scheduler

Unix-like systems (Linux, ...) provide cron, configured using a crontab

Linux also provides anacron, if tasks are hourly or daily.

For example, on Linux it is convenient to create a wrapping script, e.g. cron_ascli that will setup the environment (e.g. Ruby) to properly start ascli:

# load the Ruby environment
. /etc/profile.d/
rvm use 2.6 --quiet
# set a timeout protection, just in case ascli is frozen 
# forward arguments to ascli
exec timeout ${tmout} ascli "${@}"

Example of cronjob created for user xfer.

0    * * * *  /home/xfer/cron_ascli preview scan --logger=syslog --display=error
2-59 * * * *  /home/xfer/cron_ascli preview trev --logger=syslog --display=error

Note: Logging options are kept here in the cron file instead of configuration file to allow execution on command line with output on command line.

Locking for exclusive execution

In some cases one needs to ensure that ascli is not executed several times in parallel.

When ascli is executed automatically on a schedule basis, one generally desires that a new execution is not started if a previous execution is still running because an on-going operation may last longer than the scheduling period:

  • Executing instances may pile-up and kill the system
  • The same file may be transferred by multiple instances at the same time.
  • preview may generate the same files in multiple instances.

Usually the OS native scheduler already provides some sort of protection against parallel execution:

  • The Windows scheduler does this by default
  • Linux cron can leverage the utility flock to do the same:
/usr/bin/flock -w 0 /var/cron.lock ascli ...

ascli natively supports a locking mechanism with option lock_port. (Technically, this opens a local TCP server port, and fails if this port is already used, providing a local lock. Lock is released when process exits).

Testing ascli locking:

Run this same command in two separate terminals within less than 30 seconds:

ascli config echo @ruby:'sleep(30)' --lock-port=12345

The first instance will sleep 30 seconds, the second one will immediately exit like this:

WARN -- : Another instance is already running (Address already in use - bind(2) for "" port 12345).


ascp, the underlying executable implementing Aspera file transfer using FASP, has a capability to not only access the local file system (using system's open,read,write,close primitives), but also to do the same operations on other data storage such as S3, Hadoop and others. This mechanism is called PVCL (from Provençal, a restaurant located in Sophia Antipolis). Several PVCL adapters are available, one is embedded in ascp, the others are provided in shared libraries and must be activated.

The list of supported PVCL adapters can be retrieved with command:

ascli config ascp info --fields=@re:'^pvcl'
process v1
shares v1
noded v1
faux v1
file v1
stdio v1
stdio-tar v1

Here we can see the adapters: process, shares, noded, faux, file, stdio, stdio-tar.

Those adapters can be used wherever a file path is used in ascp including configuration. They act as a pseudo drive.

The simplified format is:

<adapter>:///<sub file path>?<arg1>=<val1>&...

One of the adapters, used in this manual, for testing, is faux. It is a pseudo file system allowing generation of file data without actual storage (on source or destination).

faux: for testing

This is an extract of the man page of ascp. This feature is a feature of ascp, not ascli.

This adapter can be used to simulate a file or a directory.

To discard data at the destination, the destination argument is set to faux://.

To send uninitialized data in place of an actual source file, the source file is replaced with an argument of the form:



  • filename is the name that will be assigned to the file on the destination
  • filesize is the number of bytes that will be sent (in decimal).

Note: Characters ? and & are shell special characters (wildcard and background), so faux file specification on command line should be protected (using quotes or \). If not, the shell may give error: no matches found or equivalent.

For all sizes, a suffix can be added (case insensitive) to the size: k,m,g,t,p,e (values are power of 2, e.g. 1M is 220, i.e. 1 mebibyte, not megabyte). The maximum allowed value is 8*260. Very large faux file sizes (petabyte range and above) will likely fail due to lack of destination storage unless destination is faux://.

To send uninitialized data in place of a source directory, the source argument is replaced with an argument of the form:



  • dirname is the folder name and can contain / to specify a subfolder.
  • Supported arguments are:
Name Type Description
count int Number of files
file string Basename for files
Default: file
size int Size of first file.
Default: 0
inc int Increment applied to determine next file size
Default: 0
seq enum Sequence in determining next file size
Values: random, sequential
Default: sequential
buf_init enum How source data is initialized
Option 'none' is not allowed for downloads.
Values:none, zero, random

The sequence parameter is applied as follows:

  • If seq is random then each file size is:

    • size +/- (inc * rand())
    • Where rand is a random number between 0 and 1
    • Note that file size must not be negative, inc will be set to size if it is greater than size
    • Similarly, overall file size must be less than 8260. If size + inc is greater, inc will be reduced to limit size + inc to 7260.
  • If seq is sequential then each file size is:

    • size + ((file_index - 1) * inc)
    • Where first file is index 1
    • So file1 is size bytes, file2 is size + inc bytes, file3 is size + inc * 2 bytes, etc.
    • As with random, inc will be adjusted if size + (count * inc) is not less then 8*260.

Filenames generated are of the form: <file>_<00000 ... count>_<filesize>


  • Upload 20 gibibyte of random data to file myfile to directory /Upload
ascli server upload faux:///myfile\?20g --to-folder=/Upload
  • Upload a file /tmp/sample but do not save results to disk (no docroot on destination)
ascli server upload /tmp/sample --to-folder=faux://
  • Upload a faux directory mydir containing 1 million files, sequentially with sizes ranging from 0 to 2 Mebibyte - 2 bytes, with the basename of each file being testfile to /Upload
ascli server upload "faux:///mydir?file=testfile&count=1m&size=0&inc=2&seq=sequential" --to-folder=/Upload


ascli -h
        ascli -- a command line tool for Aspera Applications (v4.17.0)

        ascli COMMANDS [OPTIONS] [ARGS]

        Use Aspera application to perform operations on command line.
        Documentation and examples:
        execute: ascli conf doc
        or visit:
        source repo:

        Any option can be set as an environment variable, refer to the manual

        To list first level commands, execute: ascli
        Note that commands can be written shortened (provided it is unique).

        Options begin with a '-' (minus), and value is provided on command line.
        Special values are supported beginning with special prefix @pfx:, where pfx is one of:
        val, base64, csvt, env, file, uri, json, lines, list, none, path, re, ruby, secret, stdin, yaml, zlib, extend, preset, vault
        Dates format is 'DD-MM-YY HH:MM:SS', or 'now' or '-<num>h'

        Some commands require mandatory arguments, e.g. a path.

OPTIONS: global
        --interactive=ENUM           Use interactive input of missing params: [no], yes
        --ask-options=ENUM           Ask even optional options: [no], yes
        --format=ENUM                Output format: text, nagios, ruby, json, jsonpp, yaml, [table], csv
        --output=VALUE               Destination for results (String)
        --display=ENUM               Output only some information: [info], data, error
        --fields=VALUE               Comma separated list of: fields, or ALL, or DEF (String, Array, Regexp, Proc)
        --select=VALUE               Select only some items in lists: column, value (Hash, Proc)
        --table-style=VALUE          Table display style
        --flat-hash=ENUM             Display deep values as additional keys: no, [yes]
        --transpose-single=ENUM      Single object fields output vertically: no, [yes]
        --show-secrets=ENUM          Show secrets on command output: [no], yes
    -h, --help                       Show this message
        --bash-comp                  Generate bash completion for command
        --show-config                Display parameters used for the provided action
    -v, --version                    Display version
    -w, --warnings                   Check for language warnings
        --ui=ENUM                    Method to start browser: text, [graphical]
        --log-level=ENUM             Log level: trace2, trace1, debug, info, [warn], error, fatal, unknown
        --logger=ENUM                Logging method: [stderr], stdout, syslog
        --lock-port=VALUE            Prevent dual execution of a command, e.g. in cron (Integer)
        --once-only=ENUM             Process only new items (some commands): [no], yes
        --log-secrets=ENUM           Show passwords in logs: [no], yes
        --clean-temp=ENUM            Cleanup temporary files on exit: no, [yes]
        --pid-file=VALUE             Write process identifier to file, delete on exit (String)

COMMAND: config
SUBCOMMANDS: ascp check_update coffee detect documentation echo email_test file flush_tokens folder gem genkey initdemo open plugins preset proxy_check pubkey remote_certificate smtp_settings throw vault wizard
        --home=VALUE                 Home folder for tool (String)
        --config-file=VALUE          Path to YAML file with preset configuration
        --secret=VALUE               Secret for access keys
        --vault=VALUE                Vault for secrets (Hash)
        --vault-password=VALUE       Vault password
        --query=VALUE                Additional filter for for some commands (list/delete) (Hash)
        --value=VALUE                Value for create, update, list filter (Hash) (deprecated: (4.14) Use positional value for create/modify or option: query for list/delete)
        --property=VALUE             Name of property to set (modify operation)
        --id=VALUE                   Resource identifier (deprecated: (4.14) Use positional identifier after verb (modify,delete,show))
        --bulk=ENUM                  Bulk operation (only some): [no], yes
        --bfail=ENUM                 Bulk operation error handling: no, [yes]
    -N, --no-default                 Do not load default configuration for plugin
    -P, --presetVALUE                Load the named option preset from current config file
        --version-check-days=VALUE   Period in days to check new version (zero to disable)
        --plugin-folder=VALUE        Folder where to find additional plugins
        --override=ENUM              Wizard: override existing value: [no], yes
        --default=ENUM               Wizard: set as default configuration for specified plugin (also: update): no, [yes]
        --test-mode=ENUM             Wizard: skip private key check step: [no], yes
        --key-path=VALUE             Wizard: path to private key for JWT
        --ascp-path=VALUE            Path to ascp
        --use-product=VALUE          Use ascp from specified product
        --sdk-url=VALUE              URL to get SDK
        --sdk-folder=VALUE           SDK folder path
        --progress-bar=ENUM          Display progress bar: [no], yes
        --smtp=VALUE                 SMTP configuration (Hash)
        --notify-to=VALUE            Email recipient for notification of transfers
        --notify-template=VALUE      Email ERB template for notification of transfers
        --insecure=ENUM              Do not validate any HTTPS certificate: [no], yes
        --ignore-certificate=VALUE   Do not validate HTTPS certificate for these URLs (Array)
        --silent-insecure=ENUM       Issue a warning if certificate is ignored: no, [yes]
        --cert-stores=VALUE          List of folder with trusted certificates (Array, String)
        --http-options=VALUE         Options for HTTP/S socket (Hash)
        --cache-tokens=ENUM          Save and reuse OAuth tokens: no, [yes]
        --fpac=VALUE                 Proxy auto configuration script
        --proxy-credentials=VALUE    HTTP proxy credentials (user and password) (Array)
        --ts=VALUE                   Override transfer spec values (Hash)
        --to-folder=VALUE            Destination folder for transferred files
        --sources=VALUE              How list of transferred files is provided (@args,@ts,Array)
        --src-type=ENUM              Type of file list: [list], pair
        --transfer=ENUM              Type of transfer agent: node, [direct], alpha, httpgw, connect, trsdk
        --transfer-info=VALUE        Parameters for transfer agent (Hash)

COMMAND: shares
SUBCOMMANDS: admin files health
        --url=VALUE                  URL of application, e.g.
        --username=VALUE             User's name to log in
        --password=VALUE             User's password

SUBCOMMANDS: access_keys api_details asperabrowser async basic_token bearer_token browse central delete download events health http_node_download info license mkdir mkfile mklink rename search service simulator slash space ssync stream sync transfer upload watch_folder
        --url=VALUE                  URL of application, e.g.
        --username=VALUE             User's name to log in
        --password=VALUE             User's password
        --validator=VALUE            Identifier of validator (optional for central)
        --asperabrowserurl=VALUE     URL for simple aspera web ui
        --sync-name=VALUE            Sync name
        --default-ports=ENUM         Use standard FASP ports or get from node api (gen4): no, [yes]
        --root-id=VALUE              File id of top folder if using bearer tokens
        --sync-info=VALUE            Information for sync instance and sessions (Hash)

COMMAND: orchestrator
SUBCOMMANDS: health info plugins processes workflow
        --url=VALUE                  URL of application, e.g.
        --username=VALUE             User's name to log in
        --password=VALUE             User's password
        --result=VALUE               Specify result value as: 'work_step:parameter'
        --synchronous=ENUM           Wait for completion: [no], yes
        --ret-style=ENUM             How return type is requested in api: header, [arg], ext
        --auth-style=ENUM            Authentication type: arg_pass, [head_basic], apikey

SUBCOMMANDS: subscription
        --url=VALUE                  URL of application, e.g.
        --username=VALUE             User's name to log in
        --password=VALUE             User's password

SUBCOMMANDS: entitlement
        --url=VALUE                  URL of application, e.g.
        --username=VALUE             User's name to log in
        --password=VALUE             User's password

SUBCOMMANDS: access_key api_key aws_trust_policy cluster
        --ibm-api-key=VALUE          IBM API key, see
        --instance=VALUE             ATS instance in ibm cloud
        --ats-key=VALUE              ATS key identifier (ats_xxx)
        --ats-secret=VALUE           ATS key secret
        --params=VALUE               Parameters access key creation (@json:)
        --cloud=VALUE                Cloud provider
        --region=VALUE               Cloud region

COMMAND: faspex5
SUBCOMMANDS: admin bearer_token gateway health invitations packages postprocessing shared_folders user version
        --url=VALUE                  URL of application, e.g.
        --username=VALUE             User's name to log in
        --password=VALUE             User's password
        --client-id=VALUE            OAuth client identifier
        --client-secret=VALUE        OAuth client secret
        --redirect-uri=VALUE         OAuth redirect URI for web authentication
        --auth=ENUM                  OAuth type of authentication: web, [jwt], boot
        --private-key=VALUE          OAuth JWT RSA private key PEM value (prefix file path with @file:)
        --passphrase=VALUE           OAuth JWT RSA private key passphrase
        --box=VALUE                  Package inbox, either shared inbox name or one of: inbox, inbox_history, inbox_all, inbox_all_history, outbox, outbox_history, pending, pending_history, all or ALL
        --shared-folder=VALUE        Send package with files from shared folder
        --group-type=ENUM            Type of shared box: [shared_inboxes], workgroups

        --bucket=VALUE               Bucket name
        --endpoint=VALUE             Storage endpoint (URL)
        --apikey=VALUE               Storage API key
        --crn=VALUE                  Resource instance id (CRN)
        --service-credentials=VALUE  IBM Cloud service credentials (Hash)
        --region=VALUE               Storage region
        --identity=VALUE             Authentication URL (

COMMAND: faspex
SUBCOMMANDS: address_book dropbox health login_methods me package source v4
        --url=VALUE                  URL of application, e.g.
        --username=VALUE             User's name to log in
        --password=VALUE             User's password
        --link=VALUE                 Public link for specific operation
        --delivery-info=VALUE        Package delivery information (Hash)
        --remote-source=VALUE        Remote source for package send (id or %name:)
        --storage=VALUE              Faspex local storage definition (for browsing source)
        --recipient=VALUE            Use if recipient is a dropbox (with *)
        --box=ENUM                   Package box: [inbox], archive, sent

COMMAND: preview
SUBCOMMANDS: check events scan show test trevents
        --url=VALUE                  URL of application, e.g.
        --username=VALUE             User's name to log in
        --password=VALUE             User's password
        --skip-format=ENUM           Skip this preview format (multiple possible): png, mp4
        --folder-reset-cache=ENUM    Force detection of generated preview by refresh cache: [no], header, read
        --skip-types=VALUE           Skip types in comma separated list
        --previews-folder=VALUE      Preview folder in storage root
        --temp-folder=VALUE          Path to temp folder
        --skip-folders=VALUE         List of folder to skip
        --base=VALUE                 Basename of output for for test
        --scan-path=VALUE            Subpath in folder id to start scan in (default=/)
        --scan-id=VALUE              Folder id in storage to start scan in, default is access key main folder id
        --mimemagic=ENUM             Use Mime type detection of gem mimemagic: [no], yes
        --overwrite=ENUM             When to overwrite result file: always, never, [mtime]
        --file-access=ENUM           How to read and write files in repository: [local], remote
        --max-size=VALUE             Maximum size (in bytes) of preview file
        --thumb-vid-scale=VALUE      Png: video: size (ffmpeg scale argument)
        --thumb-vid-fraction=VALUE   Png: video: time percent position of snapshot
        --thumb-img-size=VALUE       Png: non-video: height (and width)
        --thumb-text-font=VALUE      Png: plaintext: font to render text with imagemagick convert (identify -list font)
        --video-conversion=ENUM      Mp4: method for preview generation: [reencode], blend, clips
        --video-png-conv=ENUM        Mp4: method for thumbnail generation: [fixed], animated
        --video-scale=VALUE          Mp4: all: video scale (ffmpeg)
        --video-start-sec=VALUE      Mp4: all: start offset (seconds) of video preview
        --reencode-ffmpeg=VALUE      Mp4: reencode: options to ffmpeg
        --blend-keyframes=VALUE      Mp4: blend: # key frames
        --blend-pauseframes=VALUE    Mp4: blend: # pause frames
        --blend-transframes=VALUE    Mp4: blend: # transition blend frames
        --blend-fps=VALUE            Mp4: blend: frame per second
        --clips-count=VALUE          Mp4: clips: number of clips
        --clips-length=VALUE         Mp4: clips: length in seconds of each clips

SUBCOMMANDS: admin automation bearer_token files gateway organization packages reminder servers tier_restrictions user
        --url=VALUE                  URL of application, e.g.
        --username=VALUE             User's name to log in
        --password=VALUE             User's password
        --auth=ENUM                  OAuth type of authentication: web, [jwt]
        --client-id=VALUE            OAuth API client identifier
        --client-secret=VALUE        OAuth API client secret
        --scope=VALUE                OAuth scope for AoC API calls
        --redirect-uri=VALUE         OAuth API client redirect URI
        --private-key=VALUE          OAuth JWT RSA private key PEM value (prefix file path with @file:)
        --passphrase=VALUE           RSA private key passphrase
        --workspace=VALUE            Name of workspace (String, NilClass)
        --new-user-option=VALUE      New user creation option for unknown package recipients
        --validate-metadata=ENUM     Validate shared inbox metadata: no, [yes]
        --validator=VALUE            Identifier of validator (optional for central)
        --asperabrowserurl=VALUE     URL for simple aspera web ui
        --sync-name=VALUE            Sync name
        --default-ports=ENUM         Use standard FASP ports or get from node api (gen4): no, [yes]
        --root-id=VALUE              File id of top folder if using bearer tokens
        --sync-info=VALUE            Information for sync instance and sessions (Hash)

COMMAND: server
SUBCOMMANDS: browse cp delete df download du health info ls md5sum mkdir mv rename rm sync upload
        --url=VALUE                  URL of application, e.g.
        --username=VALUE             User's name to log in
        --password=VALUE             User's password
        --ssh-keys=VALUE             SSH key path list (Array or single)
        --passphrase=VALUE           SSH private key passphrase
        --ssh-options=VALUE          SSH options (Hash)
        --sync-info=VALUE            Information for sync instance and sessions (Hash)

COMMAND: console
SUBCOMMANDS: health transfer
        --url=VALUE                  URL of application, e.g.
        --username=VALUE             User's name to log in
        --password=VALUE             User's password
        --filter-from=DATE           Only after date
        --filter-to=DATE             Only before date

Note: Commands and parameter values can be written in short form.

Bulk creation and deletion of resources

Bulk creation and deletion of resources are possible using option bulk (yes,no(default)). In that case, the operation expects an Array of Hash instead of a simple Hash using the Extended Value Syntax. This option is available only for some of the resources: if you need it: try and see if the entities you try to create or delete support this option.


ascli uses a plugin mechanism. The first level command (just after ascli on the command line) is the name of the concerned plugin which will execute the command. Each plugin usually represents commands sent to a specific application. For instance, the plugin faspex allows operations on Aspera Faspex.

Available plugins can be found using command:

ascli config plugin list
| plugin       | detect | wizard | path                                                  |
| shares       | Y      | Y      | .../aspera-cli/lib/aspera/cli/plugins/shares.rb       |
| node         | Y      | Y      | .../aspera-cli/lib/aspera/cli/plugins/node.rb         |

Most plugins will take the URL option: url to identify their location.

REST APIs of Aspera legacy applications (Aspera Node, Faspex 4, Shares, Console, Orchestrator) use simple username/password authentication: HTTP Basic Authentication using options: username and password.

Aspera on Cloud and Faspex 5 rely on Oauth.

By default plugins are looked-up in folders specified by (multi-value) option plugin_folder:

ascli --show-config --select=@json:'{"key":"plugin_folder"}'

You can create the skeleton of a new plugin like this:

ascli config plugin create foo .
Created ./foo.rb
ascli --plugin-folder=. foo

Plugin: aoc: IBM Aspera on Cloud

Aspera on Cloud API requires the use of Oauth v2 mechanism for authentication (HTTP Basic authentication is not supported).

It is recommended to use the wizard to set it up, although manual configuration is also possible.

Configuration: Using Wizard

ascli provides a configuration wizard.

The wizard guides you through the steps to create a new configuration preset for Aspera on Cloud.

The first

Here is a sample invocation :

ascli config wizard
option: url>
Detected: Aspera on Cloud
Preparing preset: aoc_myorg
Please provide path to your private RSA key, or empty to generate one:
option: key_path>
using existing key:
Using global client_id.
option: username>
Updating profile with new key
creating new config preset: aoc_myorg
Setting config preset as default for aspera
saving configuration file
You can test with:
ascli aoc user profile show

Note: In above example, replace with your actual AoC URL.

Optionally, it is possible to create a new organization-specific integration, i.e. client application identification. For this, specify the option: --use-generic-client=no.

If you already know the application, and want to limit the detection to it, provide url and plugin name:

ascli config wizard _your_instance_ aoc

Note: In above example, replace _your_instance_ with the first part of your actual AoC URL:

Configuration: Using manual setup

Note: If you used the wizard (recommended): skip this section.

Configuration details

Several types of OAuth authentication are supported:

  • JSON Web Token (JWT) : authentication is secured by a private key (recommended for ascli)
  • Web based authentication : authentication is made by user using a browser
  • URL Token : external users authentication with url tokens (public links)

The authentication method is controlled by option auth.

For a quick start, follow the mandatory and sufficient section: API Client Registration (auth=web) as well as [Option Preset' for Aspera on Cloud](#configuration-for-aspera-on-cloud).

For a more convenient, browser-less, experience follow the JWT section (auth=jwt) in addition to Client Registration.

In Oauth, a Bearer token is generated to authenticate REST calls. Bearer tokens are valid for a period of time defined (by the AoC app, configurable by admin) at its creation. ascli saves generated tokens in its configuration folder, tries to re-use them or regenerates them when they have expired.

API Client Registration


If you use the built-in client_id and client_secret, skip this and do not set them in next section.

Else you can use a specific OAuth API client_id, the first step is to declare ascli in Aspera on Cloud using the admin interface.

(AoC documentation: Registering an API Client ).

Let's start by a registration with web based authentication (auth=web):

  • Open a web browser, log to your instance: e.g. (use your actual AoC instance URL)
  • Go to Apps → Admin → Organization → Integrations
  • Click Create New
    • Client Name: ascli
    • Redirect URIs: http://localhost:12345
    • Origins: localhost
    • uncheck Prompt users to allow client to access
    • leave the JWT part for now
  • Save

Note: For web based authentication, ascli listens on a local port (e.g. specified by the redirect_uri, in this example: 12345), and the browser will provide the OAuth code there. For ``ascli`, HTTP is required, and 12345 is the default port.

Once the client is registered, a Client ID and Secret are created, these values will be used in the next step.

Configuration for Aspera on Cloud

If you did not use the wizard, you can also manually create a Option Preset' for ascli in its configuration file.

Lets create a Option Preset' called: my_aoc_org using ask for interactive input (client info from previous step):

ascli config preset ask my_aoc_org url client_id client_secret
option: url>
option: client_id> my_client_id_here
option: client_secret> my_client_secret_here
updated: my_aoc_org

Note: In above example, replace with your actual AoC URL.

(This can also be done in one line using the command config preset update my_aoc_org --url=...)

Define this Option Preset' as default configuration for the aspera plugin:

ascli config preset set default aoc my_aoc_org

Note: Default auth method is web and default redirect_uri is http://localhost:12345. Leave those default values.

Authentication with private key

For a Browser-less, Private Key-based authentication, use the following steps.

In order to use JSON Web Token (JWT) for Aspera on Cloud API client authentication, a private/public key pair must be used.

API Client JWT activation

If you are not using the built-in client_id and secret, JWT needs to be authorized in Aspera on Cloud. This can be done in two manners:

  • Graphically

    • Open a web browser, log to your instance: (Use your actual AoC instance URL)
    • Go to Apps → Admin → Organization → Integrations
    • Click on the previously created application
    • select tab : JSON Web Token Auth
    • Modify options if necessary, for instance: activate both options in section Settings
    • Save
  • Using command line

ascli aoc admin res client list
|     id     |  name         |
| my_BJbQiFw | my-client-app |
ascli aoc admin res client modify my_BJbQiFw @json:'{"jwt_grant_enabled":true,"explicit_authorization_required":false}'

User key registration

The public key must be assigned to your user. This can be done in two manners:


Open the previously generated public key located here: $HOME/.aspera/ascli/

  • Open a web browser, log to your instance: (Use your actual AoC instance URL)
  • Click on the user's icon (top right)
  • Select Account Settings
  • Paste the Public Key PEM value in the Public Key section
  • Click on Submit
Using command line
ascli aoc admin res user list
|   id   |      name      |
| 109952 | Tech Support   |
| 109951 | LAURENT MARTIN |
ascli aoc user profile modify @ruby:'{"public_key"=>"~/.aspera/ascli/"))}'

Note: The aspera user info show command can be used to verify modifications.

Option Preset' modification for JWT

To activate default use of JWT authentication for ascli using the Option Preset', do the following:

  • Change auth method to JWT
  • Provide location of private key
  • Provide username to login as (OAuth subject)


ascli config preset update my_aoc_org --auth=jwt --private-key=@val:@file:~/.aspera/ascli/my_private_key

Note: The private key argument represents the actual PEM string. In order to read the content from a file, use the @file: prefix. But if the @file: argument is used as is, it will read the file and set in the configuration file. So, to keep the @file: tag in the configuration file, the @val: prefix is added.

After this last step, commands do not require web login anymore.

Public and private links

AoC gives the possibility to generate public links for both the Files and Packages modules. Public links embed the authorization of access. Provide the public link using option url alone.

In addition, the Files application supports private links. Private links require the user to authenticate. So, provide the same options as for regular authentication, and provide the private link using option url.

A user may not be part of any workspace, but still have access to shared folders (using private links). In that case, it is possible to list those shared folder by using a value for option workspace equal to @none: or @json:null or @ruby:nil.

AoC: First Use

Once client has been registered and Option Preset' created: ascli can be used:

ascli aoc files br /
Current Workspace: Default Workspace (default)

Calling AoC APIs from command line

The command ascli aoc bearer can be used to generate an OAuth token suitable to call any AoC API (use the scope option to change the scope, default is user:all). This can be useful when a command is not yet available.


curl -s -H "Authorization: $(ascli aoc bearer_token)" '[]=dropbox&embed[]=workspace'|jq -r '.[]|( + " -> " +'

It is also possible to get the bearer token for node, as user or as admin using:

ascli aoc files bearer_token_node /
ascli aoc admin res node v4 1234 --secret=_ak_secret_here_ bearer_token_node /


The admin command allows several administrative tasks (and require admin privilege).

It allows actions (create, update, delete) on resources: users, group, nodes, workspace, etc... with the admin resource command.

Listing resources

The command aoc admin res <type> list lists all entities of given type. It uses paging and multiple requests if necessary.

The option query can be optionally used. It expects a Hash using Extended Value Syntax, generally provided using: --query=@json:{...}. Values are directly sent to the API call and used as a filter on server side.

The following parameters are supported:

  • q : a filter on name of resource (case insensitive, matches if value is contained in name)
  • sort: name of fields to sort results, prefix with - for reverse order.
  • max : maximum number of items to retrieve (stop pages when the maximum is passed)
  • pmax : maximum number of pages to request (stop pages when the maximum is passed)
  • page : native api parameter, in general do not use (added by
  • per_page : native api parameter, number of items par api call, in general do not use
  • Other specific parameters depending on resource type.

Both max and pmax are processed internally in ascli, not included in actual API call and limit the number of successive pages requested to API. ascli will return all values using paging if not provided.

Other parameters are directly sent as parameters to the GET request on API.

page and per_page are normally added by ascli to build successive API calls to get all values if there are more than 1000. (AoC allows a maximum page size of 1000).

q and sort are available on most resource types.

Other parameters depend on the type of entity (refer to AoC API).


  • List users with laurent in name:
ascli aoc admin res user list --query=@json:'{"q":"laurent"}'
  • List users who logged-in before a date:
ascli aoc admin res user list --query=@json:'{"q":"last_login_at:<2018-05-28"}'
  • List external users and sort in reverse alphabetical order using name:
ascli aoc admin res user list --query=@json:'{"member_of_any_workspace":false,"sort":"-name"}'

Refer to the AoC API for full list of query parameters, or use the browser in developer mode with the web UI.

Note: The option select can also be used to further refine selection, refer to section earlier.

Selecting a resource

Resources are identified by a unique id, as well as a unique name (case insensitive).

To execute an action on a specific resource, select it using one of those methods:

  • recommended: give id directly on command line after the action: aoc admin res node show 123
  • Give name on command line after the action: aoc admin res node show name abc
  • Provide option id : aoc admin res node show 123
  • Provide option name : aoc admin res node show --name=abc

Creating a resource

New resources (users, groups, workspaces, etc..) can be created using a command like:

ascli aoc admin res create <resource type> @json:'{<...parameters...>}'

Some of the API endpoints are described here. Sadly, not all.

Nevertheless, it is possible to guess the structure of the creation value by simply dumping an existing resource, and use the same parameters for the creation.

ascli aoc admin res group show 12345 --format=json
{"created_at":"2018-07-24T21:46:39.000Z","description":null,"id":"12345","manager":false,"name":"A8Demo WS1","owner":false,"queued_operation_count":0,"running_operation_count":0,"stopped_operation_count":0,"updated_at":"2018-07-24T21:46:39.000Z","saml_group":false,"saml_group_dn":null,"system_group":true,"system_group_type":"workspace_members"}

Remove the parameters that are either obviously added by the system: id, created_at, updated_at or optional.

And then craft your command:

ascli aoc admin res group create @json:'{"description":"test to delete","name":"test 1 to delete","saml_group":false}'

If the command returns an error, example:

| id | status                                                                            |
|    | found unpermitted parameters: :manager, :owner, :system_group, :system_group_type |
|    | code: unpermitted_parameters                                                      |
|    | request_id: b0f45d5b-c00a-4711-acef-72b633f8a6ea                                  |
|    | 422 Unprocessable Entity                                        |

Well, remove the offending parameters and try again.

Note: Some properties that are shown in the web UI, such as membership, are not listed directly in the resource, but instead another resource is created to link a user and its group: group_membership

Access Key secrets

In order to access some administrative actions on nodes (in fact, access keys), the associated secret is required. The secret is provided using the secret option. For example in a command like:

ascli aoc admin res node 123 --secret="my_secret_here" v3 info

It is also possible to store secrets in the secret vault and then automatically find the related secret using the config finder.


The activity app can be queried with:

ascli aoc admin analytics transfers

It can also support filters and send notification using option notify_to. a template is defined using option notify_template :


From: <%=from_name%> <<%=from_email%>>
To: <<%=ev['user_email']%>>
Subject: <%=ev['files_completed']%> files received

Dear <%=ev[:user_email.to_s]%>,
We received <%=ev['files_completed']%> files for a total of <%=ev['transferred_bytes']%> bytes, starting with file:

Thank you.

The environment provided contains the following additional variable:

  • ev : all details on the transfer event


ascli aoc admin analytics transfers --once-only=yes --lock-port=12345 --query=@json:'{"status":"completed","direction":"receive"}' --notify-to=active --notify-template=@file:mytemplate.erb


  • once_only keep track of last date it was called, so next call will get only new events
  • query filter (on API call)
  • notify send an email as specified by template, this could be places in a file with the @file modifier.

Note: This must not be executed in less than 5 minutes because the analytics interface accepts only a period of time between 5 minutes and 6 months. The period is [date of previous execution]..[now].

Transfer: Using specific transfer ports

By default transfer nodes are expected to use ports TCP/UDP 33001. The web UI enforces that. The option default_ports ([yes]/no) allows ascli to retrieve the server ports from an API call (download_setup) which reads the information from aspera.conf on the server.

Using ATS

Refer to section Examples of ATS and substitute command ats with aoc admin ats.

Files with type link

Aspera on Cloud Shared folders are implemented through a special type of file: link. A link is the equivalent of a symbolic link on a file system: it points to another folder (not file).

Listing a link (in terminal position of path) will information on the link itself, not the content of the folder it points to. To list the target folder content, add a / a the end of the path.


$ ascli aoc files br the_link
Current Workspace: Default (default)
| name       | type | recursive_size | size | modified_time        | access_level |
| the_link   | link |                |      | 2021-04-28T09:17:14Z | edit         |
$ ascli aoc files br the_link/
Current Workspace: Default (default)
| name        | type | recursive_size | size | modified_time        | access_level |
| file_inside | file |                |      | 2021-04-26T09:00:00Z | edit         |

Example: Bulk creation of users

ascli aoc admin res user create --bulk=yes @json:'[{"email":""},{"email":""}]'
|  id   | status  |
| 98398 | created |
| 98399 | created |

Example: Find with filter and delete

ascli aoc admin res user list --query='@json:{"q":"dummyuser"}' --fields=id,email
|  id   |         email          |
| 98398 | |
| 98399 | |
ascli aoc admin res user list --query='@json:{"q":"dummyuser"}' --fields=id --display=data --format=csv | ascli aoc admin res user delete @lines:@stdin: --bulk=yes
|  id   | status  |
| 98398 | deleted |
| 98399 | deleted |

Example: Find deactivated users since more than 2 years

ascli aoc admin res user list --query=@ruby:'{"deactivated"=>true,"q"=>"last_login_at:<#{(*365*86400).iso8601}"}'

To delete them use the same method as before

Example: Display current user's workspaces

ascli aoc user workspaces list
|  id  |            name            |
| 16   | Engineering                |
| 17   | Marketing                  |
| 18   | Sales                      |

Example: Create a sub access key in a node

Creation of a sub-access key is like creation of access key with the following difference: authentication to node API is made with accesskey (master access key) and only the path parameter is provided: it is relative to the storage root of the master key. (id and secret are optional)

ascli aoc admin resource node --name=_node_name_ --secret=_secret_ v4 access_key create @json:'{"storage":{"path":"/folder1"}}'

Example: Display transfer events (ops/transfer)

ascli aoc admin res node --secret=_secret_ v3 transfer list --query=@json:'[["q","*"],["count",5]]'

Examples of query:

{"q":"type(file_upload OR file_delete OR file_download OR file_rename OR folder_create OR folder_delete OR folder_share OR folder_share_via_public_link)","sort":"-date"}

Example: Display node events (events)

ascli aoc admin res node --secret=_secret_ v3 events

Example: Display members of a workspace

ascli aoc admin res workspace_membership list --fields=member_type,manager, --query=@json:'{"embed":"member","inherited":false,"workspace_id":11363,"sort":"name"}'
| member_type | manager |            |
| user        | true    |            |
| user        | false   | |
| user        | false   |               |
| user        | false   |         |
| group       | false   |                                  |
| user        | false   |            |

Other query parameters:


Example: Add all members of a workspace to another workspace

a- Get id of first workspace

WS1='First Workspace'
WS1ID=$(ascli aoc admin res workspace list --query=@json:'{"q":"'"$WS1"'"}' --select=@json:'{"name":"'"$WS1"'"}' --fields=id --format=csv)

b- Get id of second workspace

WS2='Second Workspace'
WS2ID=$(ascli aoc admin res workspace list --query=@json:'{"q":"'"$WS2"'"}' --select=@json:'{"name":"'"$WS2"'"}' --fields=id --format=csv)

c- Extract membership information

ascli aoc admin res workspace_membership list --fields=manager,member_id,member_type,workspace_id --query=@json:'{"workspace_id":'"$WS1ID"'}' --format=jsonpp --output=ws1_members.json

d- Convert to creation data for second workspace:

grep -Eve '(direct|effective_manager|_count|storage|"id")' ws1_members.json|sed '/workspace_id/ s/"'"$WS1ID"'"/"'"$WS2ID"'"/g' > ws2_members.json

or, using jq:

jq '[.[] | {member_type,member_id,workspace_id,manager,workspace_id:"'"$WS2ID"'"}]' ws1_members.json > ws2_members.json

e- Add members to second workspace

ascli aoc admin res workspace_membership create --bulk=yes @json:@file:ws2_members.json

Example: Get users who did not log since a date

ascli aoc admin res user list --fields=email --query=@json:'{"q":"last_login_at:<2018-05-28"}'
|             email             |
|          |
|      |

Example: List Limited users

ascli aoc admin res user list --fields=email --select=@json:'{"member_of_any_workspace":false}'

Example: Create a group, add to workspace and add user to group

  • Create the group and take note of id
ascli aoc admin res group create @json:'{"name":"group 1","description":"my super group"}'

Group: 11111

  • Get the workspace id
ascli aoc admin res workspace list --query=@json:'{"q":"myworkspace"}' --fields=id --format=csv --display=data

Workspace: 22222

  • Add group to workspace
ascli aoc admin res workspace_membership create @json:'{"workspace_id":22222,"member_type":"user","member_id":11111}'
  • Get a user's id
ascli aoc admin res user list --query=@json:'{"q":""}' --fields=id --format=csv --display=data

User: 33333

  • Add user to group
ascli aoc admin res group_membership create @json:'{"group_id":11111,"member_type":"user","member_id":33333}'

Example: Perform a multi Gbps transfer between two remote shared folders

In this example, a user has access to a workspace where two shared folders are located on different sites, e.g. different cloud regions.

First, setup the environment (skip if already done)

ascli config wizard --url=
Detected: Aspera on Cloud
Preparing preset: aoc_sedemo
Using existing key:
Using global client_id.
Please Login to your Aspera on Cloud instance.
Navigate to your "Account Settings"
Check or update the value of "Public Key" to be:
-----END PUBLIC KEY-----
Once updated or validated, press enter.

creating new config preset: aoc_sedemo
Setting config preset as default for aspera
saving configuration file
You can test with:
ascli aoc user profile show

This creates the option preset aoc_[org name] to allow seamless command line access and sets it as default for aspera on cloud.

Then, create two shared folders located in two regions, in your files home, in a workspace.

Then, transfer between those:

ascli -Paoc_show aoc files transfer --from-folder='IBM Cloud SJ' --to-folder='AWS Singapore' 100GB.file --ts=@json:'{"target_rate_kbps":"1000000","multi_session":10,"multi_session_threshold":1}'

Example: Create registration key to register a node

ascli aoc admin res client create @json:'{"data":{"name":"laurentnode","client_subject_scopes":["alee","aejd"],"client_subject_enabled":true}}' --fields=token --format=csv

Example: Delete all registration keys

ascli aoc admin res client list --fields=id --format=csv|ascli aoc admin res client delete @lines:@stdin: --bulk=yes
| id  | status  |
| 99  | deleted |
| 100 | deleted |
| 101 | deleted |
| 102 | deleted |

Example: Create a Node

AoC nodes as actually composed with two related entities:

  • An access key created on the Transfer Server (HSTS/ATS)
  • A node resource in the AoC application.

The web UI allows creation of both entities in one shot. For more flexibility, ascli allows this in two separate steps.

Note: When selecting Use existing access key in the web UI, this actually skips access key creation (first step).

So, for example, the creation of a node using ATS in IBM Cloud looks like (see other example in this manual):

  • Create the access key on ATS

    The creation options are the ones of ATS API, refer to the section on ATS for more details and examples.

    ascli aoc admin ats access_key create --cloud=softlayer --region=eu-de --params=@json:'{"storage":{"type":"ibm-s3","bucket":"mybucket","credentials":{"access_key_id":"mykey","secret_access_key":"mysecret"},"path":"/"}}'

    Once executed, the access key id and secret, randomly generated by the node api, is displayed.

    Note: Once returned by the API, the secret will not be available anymore, so store this preciously. ATS secrets can only be reset by asking to IBM support.

  • Create the AoC node entity

    First, Retrieve the ATS node address

    ascli aoc admin ats cluster show --cloud=softlayer --region=eu-de --fields=transfer_setup_url --format=csv --transpose-single=no

    Then use the returned address for the url key to actually create the AoC Node entity:

    ascli aoc admin res node create @json:'{"name":"myname","access_key":"myaccesskeyid","ats_access_key":true,"ats_storage_type":"ibm-s3","url":""}'

Creation of a node with a self-managed node is similar, but the command aoc admin ats access_key create is replaced with node access_key create on the private node itself.

List of files to transfer

Source files are provided as a list with the sources option. Refer to section File list

Note: A special case is when the source files are located on Aspera on Cloud (i.e. using access keys and the file id API).

Source files are located on Aspera on cloud, when :

  • The server is Aspera on Cloud, and executing a download or recv
  • The agent is Aspera on Cloud, and executing an upload or send

In this case:

  • If there is a single file : specify the full path
  • Else, if there are multiple files:
    • All source files must be in the same source folder
    • Specify the source folder as first item in the list
    • followed by the list of file names.


The web-mail-like application.

Send a Package

General syntax:

ascli aoc packages send [package extended value] [other parameters such as file list and transfer parameters]

Package creation parameter are sent as positional argument. Refer to the AoC package creation API, or display an existing package in JSON to list attributes.

List allowed shared inbox destinations with:

ascli aoc packages shared_inboxes list

Use fields: recipients and/or bcc_recipients to provide the list of recipients: user or shared inbox:

  • Provide either ids as expected by API: "recipients":[{"type":"dropbox","id":"1234"}]
  • or just names: "recipients":[{"The Dest"}].

ascli will resolve the list of email addresses and dropbox names to the expected type/id list, based on case insensitive partial match.

If a user recipient (email) is not already registered and the workspace allows external users, then the package is sent to an external user, and:

  • if the option new_user_option is @json:{"package_contact":true} (default), then a public link is sent and the external user does not need to create an account
  • if the option new_user_option is @json:{}, then external users are invited to join the workspace

Example: Send a package with one file to two users, using their email

ascli aoc packages send @json:'{"name":"my title","note":"my note","recipients":["",""]}' my_file.dat

Example: Send a package to a shared inbox with metadata

ascli aoc packages send --workspace=eudemo @json:'{"name":"my pack title","recipients":["Shared Inbox With Meta"],"metadata":{"Project Id":"123","Type":"Opt2","CheckThose":["Check1","Check2"],"Optional Date":"2021-01-13T15:02:00.000Z"}}' ~/Documents/Samples/200KB.1

It is also possible to use identifiers and API parameters:

ascli aoc packages send --workspace=eudemo @json:'{"name":"my pack title","recipients":[{"type":"dropbox","id":"12345"}],"metadata":[{"input_type":"single-text","name":"Project Id","values":["123"]},{"input_type":"single-dropdown","name":"Type","values":["Opt2"]},{"input_type":"multiple-checkbox","name":"CheckThose","values":["Check1","Check2"]},{"input_type":"date","name":"Optional Date","values":["2021-01-13T15:02:00.000Z"]}]}' ~/Documents/Samples/200KB.1

Example: List packages in a given shared inbox

When user packages are listed, the following query is used:


To list packages in a shared inbox, the query has to be specified with the the shared inbox by name or its identifier. Additional parameters can be specified, as supported by the API (to find out available filters, consult the API definition, or use the web interface in developer mode). The current workspace is added unless specified in the query.

Note: By default, exclude_dropbox_packages is set to true for user packages, and to false for shared inbox packages. This can be overridden in the query.

Using shared inbox name:

ascli aoc packages list --query=@json:'{"dropbox_name":"My Shared Inbox","archived":false,"received":true,"has_content":true,"exclude_dropbox_packages":false,"include_draft":false,"sort":"-received_at"}'

Using shared inbox identifier: first retrieve the id of the shared inbox, and then list packages with the appropriate filter.

shared_box_id=$(ascli aoc packages shared_inboxes show --name='My Shared Inbox' --format=csv --display=data --fields=id --transpose-single=no)
ascli aoc packages list --query=@json:'{"dropbox_id":"'$shared_box_id'","archived":false,"received":true,"has_content":true,"exclude_dropbox_packages":false,"include_draft":false,"sort":"-received_at"}'

Example: Receive all packages from a given shared inbox

ascli aoc packages recv ALL --workspace=_workspace_ --once-only=yes --lock-port=12345 --query=@json:'{"dropbox_name":"_shared_inbox_name_","archived":false,"received":true,"has_content":true,"exclude_dropbox_packages":false,"include_draft":false}' --ts=@json:'{"resume_policy":"sparse_csum","target_rate_kbps":50000}'

Example: Send a package with files from the Files app

Find files in Files app:

ascli aoc files browse /src_folder
| name          | type   | recursive_size | size         | modified_time        | access_level |
| sample_video  | link   |                |              | 2020-11-29T22:49:09Z | edit         |
| 100G          | file   |                | 107374182400 | 2021-04-21T18:19:25Z | edit         |
| 10M.dat       | file   |                | 10485760     | 2021-05-18T08:22:39Z | edit         |
| Test.pdf      | file   |                | 1265103      | 2022-06-16T12:49:55Z | edit         |

Let's send a package with the file 10M.dat from subfolder /src_folder in a package:

ascli aoc files node_info /src_folder --format=json --display=data | ascli aoc packages send @json:'{"name":"test","recipients":[""]}' 10M.dat --transfer=node --transfer-info=@json:@stdin:

Receive new packages only (Cargo)

It is possible to automatically download new packages, like using Aspera Cargo:

ascli aoc packages recv ALL --once-only=yes --lock-port=12345
  • ALL (case sensitive) will download all packages
  • --once-only=yes keeps memory of any downloaded package in persistency files located in the configuration folder
  • --lock-port=12345 ensures that only one instance is started at the same time, to avoid running two downloads in parallel

Typically, one would execute this command on a regular basis, using the method of your choice: see Scheduler.


The Files application presents a Home folder to users in a given workspace. Files located here are either user's files, or shared folders.

Note: All commands under files are the same as under access_keys do self for plugin node, i.e. gen4/access key operations.

Download Files

The general download command is:

ascli aoc files download <source folder path> <source filename 1> ...

I.e. the first argument is the source folder, and the following arguments are the source file names in this folder.

If a single file or folder is to be downloaded, then a single argument can be provided.

ascli aoc files download <single file path>

Shared folders

Shared folder created by users are managed through permissions.

For creation, parameters are the same as for node API permissions. ascli expects the same payload for creation, but it will automatically populate required tags if needed.

Also, the pseudo key with is available: it will lookup the name in the contacts and fill the proper type and id. The pseudo parameter link_name allows changing default shared as name.

  • List permissions on a shared folder as user
ascli aoc files perm /shared_folder_test1 list
  • Share a personal folder with other users
ascli aoc files perm /shared_folder_test1 create @json:'{"with":"laurent"}'
  • Revoke shared access
ascli aoc files perm /shared_folder_test1 delete 6161

Public and Private short links can be managed with command:

ascli aoc files short_link private create _path_here_
ascli aoc files short_link private list _path_here_
ascli aoc files short_link public list _path_here_
ascli aoc files short_link public delete _id_

Cross Organization transfers

It is possible to transfer files directly between organizations without having to first download locally and then upload...

Although optional, the creation of Option Preset' is recommended to avoid placing all parameters in the command line.

Procedure to send a file from org1 to org2:

  • Get access to Organization 1 and create a Option Preset': e.g. org1, for instance, use the Wizard
  • Check that access works and locate the source file e.g. mysourcefile, e.g. using command files browse
  • Get access to Organization 2 and create a Option Preset': e.g. org2
  • Check that access works and locate the destination folder mydestfolder
  • Execute the following:
ascli -Porg1 aoc files node_info /mydestfolder --format=json --display=data | ascli -Porg2 aoc files upload mysourcefile --transfer=node --transfer-info=@json:@stdin:


  • -Porg1 aoc use Aspera on Cloud plugin and load credentials for org1
  • files node_info /mydestfolder generate transfer information including node api credential and root id, suitable for the next command
  • --format=json format the output in JSON (instead of default text table)
  • --display=data display only the result, and remove other information, such as workspace name
  • | the standard output of the first command is fed into the second one
  • -Porg2 aoc use Aspera on Cloud plugin and load credentials for org2
  • files upload mysourcefile upload the file named mysourcefile (located in org1)
  • --transfer=node use transfer agent type node instead of default direct
  • --transfer-info=@json:@stdin: provide node transfer agent information, i.e. node API credentials, those are expected in JSON format and read from standard input

Find Files

The command aoc files find allows to search for files in a given workspace.

It works also on node resource using the v4 command:

ascli aoc admin res node --name='my node name' --secret='my_secret_here' v4 find ...

For instructions, refer to section find for plugin node.

Aoc sample commands

Note: Add ascli aoc in front of the commands:

admin analytics transfers nodes
admin analytics transfers organization --query=@json:'{"status":"completed","direction":"receive"}' --notify-to=my_email_external --notify-template=@ruby:'%Q{From: <%=from_name%> <<%=from_email%>>\nTo: <<%=to%>>\nSubject: <%=ev["files_completed"]%> files received\n\n<%=ev.to_yaml%>}'
admin analytics transfers users --once_only=yes
admin ats access_key create --cloud=aws --region=my_region --params=@json:'{"id":"ak_aws","name":"my test key AWS","storage":{"type":"aws_s3","bucket":"my_bucket","credentials":{"access_key_id":"my_access_key","secret_access_key":"my_secret_key"},"path":"/"}}'
admin ats access_key create --cloud=softlayer --region=my_region --params=@json:'{"id":"ak1ibmcloud","secret":"my_secret_here","name":"my test key","storage":{"type":"ibm-s3","bucket":"my_bucket","credentials":{"access_key_id":"my_access_key","secret_access_key":"my_secret_key"},"path":"/"}}'
admin ats access_key delete ak1ibmcloud
admin ats access_key list --fields=name,id
admin ats access_key node ak1ibmcloud --secret=my_secret_here browse /
admin ats cluster clouds
admin ats cluster list
admin ats cluster show --cloud=aws --region=eu-west-1
admin ats cluster show 1f412ae7-869a-445c-9c05-02ad16813be2
admin auth_providers list
admin res application list
admin res client list
admin res client_access_key list
admin res client_registration_token create @json:'{"data":{"name":"test_client_reg1","client_subject_scopes":["alee","aejd"],"client_subject_enabled":true}}'
admin res client_registration_token delete client_reg_id
admin res client_registration_token list
admin res contact list
admin res dropbox list
admin res dropbox_membership list
admin res group list
admin res kms_profile list
admin res node list
admin res operation list
admin res organization show
admin res package list --http-options=@json:'{"read_timeout":120.0}'
admin res saml_configuration list
admin res self show
admin res short_link list
admin res user list
admin res user modify %name:my_user_email @json:'{"deactivated":false}'
admin res workspace_membership list
admin resource node do %name:my_ak_name --secret=my_ak_secret browse /
admin resource node do %name:my_ak_name --secret=my_ak_secret delete /folder1
admin resource node do %name:my_ak_name --secret=my_ak_secret mkdir /folder1
admin resource node do %name:my_ak_name --secret=my_ak_secret v3 access_key create @json:'{"id":"testsub1","storage":{"path":"/folder1"}}'
admin resource node do %name:my_ak_name --secret=my_ak_secret v3 access_key delete testsub1
admin resource node do %name:my_ak_name --secret=my_ak_secret v3 events
admin resource workspace list
admin resource workspace_membership list --fields=ALL --query=@json:'{"page":1,"per_page":50,"embed":"member","inherited":false,"workspace_id":11363,"sort":"name"}'
admin subscription
automation workflow action wf_id create @json:'{"name":"toto"}' \
automation workflow create @json:'{"name":"test_workflow"}'
automation workflow delete wf_id
automation workflow list
automation workflow list --query=@json:'{"show_org_workflows":"true"}' --scope=admin:all
automation workflow list --select=@json:'{"name":"test_workflow"}' --fields=id --format=csv --display=data --output=test
bearer_token --display=data --scope=user:all
files bearer /
files bearer_token_node / --cache-tokens=no
files browse /
files browse / --url=my_private_link
files browse / --url=my_public_link_folder_no_pass
files browse / --url=my_public_link_folder_pass --password=my_public_link_password
files delete /testsrc
files download --transfer=alpha testdst/test_file.bin
files download --transfer=connect testdst/test_file.bin
files find / '\.partial$'
files http_node_download --to-folder=. testdst/test_file.bin
files mkdir /testsrc
files modify my_test_folder
files permission my_test_folder list
files rename /some_folder testdst
files short_link private create /testdst
files short_link private list /testdst
files short_link public create testdst
files show %id:aoc_file_id
files show /
files show testdst/test_file.bin
files sync admin status --sync-info=@json:'{"name":"my_aoc_sync2","reset":true,"direction":"pull","local":{"path":"/data/local_sync"},"remote":{"path":"/testdst"}}'
files sync admin status --sync-info=@json:'{"sessions":[{"name":"my_aoc_sync1","direction":"pull","local_dir":"/data/local_sync","remote_dir":"/testdst","reset":true}]}'
files sync start --sync-info=@json:'{"name":"my_aoc_sync2","reset":true,"direction":"pull","local":{"path":"/data/local_sync"},"remote":{"path":"/testdst"}}'
files sync start --sync-info=@json:'{"sessions":[{"name":"my_aoc_sync1","direction":"pull","local_dir":"/data/local_sync","remote_dir":"/testdst","reset":true}]}'
files thumbnail my_test_folder/video_file.mpg
files thumbnail my_test_folder/video_file.mpg --query=@json:'{"text":true,"double":true}'
files transfer push /testsrc --to-folder=/testdst test_file.bin
files upload --to-folder=/ test_file.bin --url=my_public_link_folder_no_pass
files upload --to-folder=/testsrc test_file.bin
files upload --workspace=my_other_workspace --to-folder=my_other_folder test_file.bin --transfer=node --transfer-info=@json:@stdin:
files v3 info
gateway --pid-file=pid_aocfxgw https://localhost:12345/aspera/faspex &
org --url=my_public_link_recv_from_aoc_user
packages browse package_id3 /contents
packages list
packages list --query=@json:'{"dropbox_name":"my_shared_inbox_name","sort":"-received_at","archived":false,"received":true,"has_content":true,"exclude_dropbox_packages":false}'
packages receive ALL --once-only=yes --to-folder=. --lock-port=12345
packages receive ALL --once-only=yes --to-folder=. --lock-port=12345 --query=@json:'{"dropbox_name":"my_shared_inbox_name","archived":false,"received":true,"has_content":true,"exclude_dropbox_packages":false,"include_draft":false}' --ts=@json:'{"resume_policy":"sparse_csum","target_rate_kbps":50000}'
packages receive INIT --once-only=yes --query=@json:'{"dropbox_name":"my_shared_inbox_name"}'
packages receive package_id3 --to-folder=.
packages send --workspace=my_workspace_shared_inbox --validate-metadata=yes @json:'{"name":"$(notdir test) PACKAGE_TITLE_BASE","recipients":["my_shared_inbox_meta"],"metadata":[{"input_type":"single-text","name":"Project Id","values":["123"]},{"input_type":"single-dropdown","name":"Type","values":["Opt2"]},{"input_type":"multiple-checkbox","name":"CheckThose","values":["Check1","Check2"]},{"input_type":"date","name":"Optional Date","values":["2021-01-13T15:02:00.000Z"]}]}' test_file.bin
packages send --workspace=my_workspace_shared_inbox --validate-metadata=yes @json:'{"name":"$(notdir test) PACKAGE_TITLE_BASE","recipients":["my_shared_inbox_meta"],"metadata":{"Project Id":"456","Type":"Opt2","CheckThose":["Check1","Check2"],"Optional Date":"2021-01-13T15:02:00.000Z"}}' test_file.bin
packages send --workspace=my_workspace_shared_inbox --validate-metadata=yes @json:'{"name":"$(notdir test) PACKAGE_TITLE_BASE","recipients":["my_shared_inbox_meta"],"metadata":{"Type":"Opt2","CheckThose":["Check1","Check2"],"Optional Date":"2021-01-13T15:02:00.000Z"}}' test_file.bin
packages send --workspace=my_workspace_shared_inbox @json:'{"name":"$(notdir test) PACKAGE_TITLE_BASE","recipients":["my_shared_inbox_name"]}' test_file.bin
packages send @json:'{"name":"$(notdir test) PACKAGE_TITLE_BASE","recipients":["my_email_external"]}' --new-user-option=@json:'{"package_contact":true}' test_file.bin
packages send @json:'{"name":"$(notdir test) PACKAGE_TITLE_BASE","recipients":["my_email_internal"],"note":"my note"}' test_file.bin
packages send @json:'{"name":"$(notdir test) PACKAGE_TITLE_BASE"}' test_file.bin --url=my_public_link_send_aoc_user --password=my_public_link_send_use_pass
packages send @json:'{"name":"$(notdir test) PACKAGE_TITLE_BASE"}' test_file.bin --url=my_public_link_send_shared_inbox
packages shared_inboxes list
remind --username=my_user_email
user pref modify @json:'{"default_language":"en-us"}'
user pref show
user profile modify @json:'{"name":"dummy change"}'
user profile show
user workspaces current
user workspaces list

Plugin: ats: IBM Aspera Transfer Service

ATS is usable either :

  • From an AoC subscription : ascli aoc admin ats : use AoC authentication

  • Or from an IBM Cloud subscription : ascli ats : use IBM Cloud API key authentication

IBM Cloud ATS : Creation of api key

This section is about using ATS with an IBM cloud subscription. If you are using ATS as part of AoC, then authentication is through AoC, not IBM Cloud.

First get your IBM Cloud APIkey. For instance, it can be created using the IBM Cloud web interface, or using command line:

ibmcloud iam api-key-create mykeyname -d 'my sample key'
API key mykeyname was created

Please preserve the API key! It cannot be retrieved after it's created.

Name          mykeyname
Description   my sample key
Created At    2019-09-30T12:17+0000
API Key       my_secret_api_key_here
Locked        false
UUID          ApiKey-05b8fadf-e7fe-4bc4-93a9-6fd348c5ab1f


Then, to register the key by default for the ats plugin, create a preset. Execute:

ascli config preset update my_ibm_ats --ibm-api-key=my_secret_api_key_here
ascli config preset set default ats my_ibm_ats
ascli ats api_key instances
| instance                             |
| aaaaaaaa-bbbb-cccc-dddd-eeeeeeeeeeee |
ascli config preset update my_ibm_ats --instance=aaaaaaaa-bbbb-cccc-dddd-eeeeeeeeeeee
ascli ats api_key create
| key    | value                                        |
| id     | ats_XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX                 |

ATS Access key creation parameters

When creating an ATS access key, the option params must contain an extended value with the creation parameters. Those are directly the parameters expected by the ATS API.

Misc. Examples

Example: create access key on IBM Cloud (softlayer):

ascli ats access_key create --cloud=softlayer --region=ams --params=@json:'{"storage":{"type":"softlayer_swift","container":"_container_name_","credentials":{"api_key":"my_secret_here","username":"_name_:_usr_name_"},"path":"/"},"id":"_optional_id_","name":"_optional_name_"}'

Example: create access key on AWS:

ascli ats access_key create --cloud=aws --region=eu-west-1 --params=@json:'{"id":"myaccesskey","name":"laurent key AWS","storage":{"type":"aws_s3","bucket":"my-bucket","credentials":{"access_key_id":"_access_key_id_here_","secret_access_key":"my_secret_here"},"path":"/laurent"}}'

Example: create access key on Azure SAS:

ascli ats access_key create --cloud=azure --region=eastus --params=@json:'{"id":"myaccesskey","name":"laurent key azure","storage":{"type":"azure_sas","credentials":{"shared_access_signature":""},"path":"/"}}'

(Note that the blob name is mandatory after server address and before parameters. and that parameter sr=c is mandatory.)

Example: create access key on Azure:

ascli ats access_key create --cloud=azure --region=eastus --params=@json:'{"id":"myaccesskey","name":"laurent key azure","storage":{"type":"azure","credentials":{"account":"myaccount","key":"myaccesskey","storage_endpoint":"myblob"},"path":"/"}}'

delete all my access keys:

ascli ats access_key list --field=id --format=csv | ascli ats access_key delete @lines:@stdin: --bulk=yes

The parameters provided to ATS for access key creation are the ones of ATS API for the POST /access_keys endpoint.

Ats sample commands

Note: Add ascli ats in front of the commands:

access_key cluster ak2ibmcloud --secret=my_secret_here
access_key create --cloud=aws --region=my_region --params=@json:'{"id":"ak_aws","name":"my test key AWS","storage":{"type":"aws_s3","bucket":"my_bucket","credentials":{"access_key_id":"my_access_key","secret_access_key":"my_secret_key"},"path":"/"}}'
access_key create --cloud=softlayer --region=my_region --params=@json:'{"id":"ak2ibmcloud","secret":"my_secret_here","name":"my test key","storage":{"type":"ibm-s3","bucket":"my_bucket","credentials":{"access_key_id":"my_access_key","secret_access_key":"my_secret_key"},"path":"/"}}'
access_key delete ak2ibmcloud
access_key delete ak_aws
access_key entitlement ak2ibmcloud
access_key list --fields=name,id
access_key node ak2ibmcloud browse / --secret=my_secret_here
access_key show ak2ibmcloud
api_key create
api_key instances
api_key list
cluster clouds
cluster list
cluster show --cloud=aws --region=eu-west-1
cluster show 1f412ae7-869a-445c-9c05-02ad16813be2

Plugin: server: IBM Aspera High Speed Transfer Server (SSH)

The server plugin is used for operations on Aspera HSTS using SSH authentication. It is the legacy way of accessing an Aspera Server, often used for server to server transfers. An SSH session is established, authenticated with either a password or an SSH private key, then commands ascp (for transfers) and ascmd (for file operations) are executed.

Note: The URL to be provided is usually: ssh://_server_address_:33001

Server sample commands

Note: Add ascli server in front of the commands:

browse /
browse / --password=@none: --ssh-options=@json:'{"number_of_password_prompts":0}' --ssh-keys=$aspera_key_path
browse my_inside_folder/test_file.bin
browse my_upload_folder/target_hot
cp my_inside_folder/test_file.bin my_upload_folder/200KB.2
delete my_inside_folder
delete my_upload_folder/to.delete
download my_inside_folder/test_file.bin --to-folder=. --transfer-info=@json:'{"wss":false,"resume":{"iter_max":1}}'
download my_inside_folder/test_file.bin --to-folder=my_upload_folder --transfer=node
du /
health transfer --to-folder=my_upload_folder --format=nagios
md5sum my_inside_folder/test_file.bin
mkdir my_inside_folder --logger=stdout
mkdir my_upload_folder/target_hot
mv my_upload_folder/200KB.2 my_upload_folder/to.delete
sync admin status --sync-info=@json:'{"name":"sync2","local":{"path":"/data/local_sync"}}'
sync admin status --sync-info=@json:'{"name":"sync2"}'
sync admin status my_sync --sync-info=@json:'{"sessions":[{"name":"my_sync","local_dir":"/data/local_sync"}]}'
sync start --sync-info=@json:'{"instance":{"quiet":false},"sessions":[{"name":"my_sync","direction":"pull","remote_dir":"my_inside_folder","local_dir":"/data/local_sync","reset":true}]}'
sync start --sync-info=@json:'{"name":"sync2","local":{"path":"/data/local_sync"},"remote":{"path":"my_inside_folder"},"reset":true,"quiet":false}'
upload 'faux:///test1?100m' 'faux:///test2?100m' --to-folder=/Upload --ts=@json:'{"target_rate_kbps":1000000,"resume_policy":"none","precalculate_job_size":true}'
upload 'faux:///test1?100m' 'faux:///test2?100m' --to-folder=/Upload --ts=@json:'{"target_rate_kbps":1000000,"resume_policy":"none","precalculate_job_size":true}' --transfer-info=@json:'{"quiet":false}' --progress=no
upload 'test_file.bin' --to-folder=my_inside_folder --ts=@json:'{"multi_session":3,"multi_session_threshold":1,"resume_policy":"none","target_rate_kbps":100000}' --transfer-info=@json:'{"spawn_delay_sec":2.5,"multi_incr_udp":false}' --progress-bar=yes
upload --sources=@ts --transfer-info=@json:'{"ascp_args":["--file-list","filelist.txt"]}' --to-folder=my_inside_folder
upload --sources=@ts --transfer-info=@json:'{"ascp_args":["--file-pair-list","file_pair_list.txt"]}'
upload --sources=@ts --ts=@json:'{"paths":[{"source":"test_file.bin","destination":"my_inside_folder/other_name_4"}]}' --transfer=trsdk
upload --src-type=pair 'test_file.bin' my_inside_folder/other_name_2 --notify-to=my_email_external --transfer-info=@json:'{"ascp_args":["-l","100m"]}'
upload --src-type=pair --sources=@json:'["test_file.bin","my_inside_folder/other_name_3"]' --transfer-info=@json:'{"quiet":false}' --ts=@json:'{"use_ascp4":true}' --progress=no
upload --src-type=pair test_file.bin my_upload_folder/other_name_5 --ts=@json:'{"cipher":"aes-192-gcm","content_protection":"encrypt","content_protection_password":"my_secret_here","cookie":"biscuit","create_dir":true,"delete_before_transfer":false,"delete_source":false,"exclude_newer_than":1,"exclude_older_than":10000,"fasp_port":33001,"http_fallback":false,"multi_session":0,"overwrite":"diff+older","precalculate_job_size":true,"preserve_access_time":true,"preserve_creation_time":true,"rate_policy":"fair","resume_policy":"sparse_csum","symlink_policy":"follow"}'
upload --to-folder=my_upload_folder/target_hot --lock-port=12345 --transfer-info=@json:'{"ascp_args":["--remove-after-transfer","--remove-empty-directories","--exclude-newer-than=-8","--src-base","source_hot"]}' source_hot

Authentication on Server with SSH session

If SSH is the session protocol (by default i.e. not WSS), then following session authentication methods are supported:

  • password: SSH password
  • ssh_keys: SSH keys (Multiple SSH key paths can be provided.)

If username is not provided then the default transfer user xfer is used.

If no SSH password or key is provided and a transfer token is provided in transfer spec (option ts), then standard SSH bypass keys are used. Example:

ascli server --url=ssh://_server_address_:33001 ... --ts=@json:'{"token":"Basic _token_here_"}'

Note: If you need to use the Aspera public keys, then specify an empty token: --ts=@json:'{"token":""}' : Aspera public SSH keys will be used, but the protocol will ignore the empty token.

The value of the ssh_keys option can be a single value or an Array. Each value is a path to a private key and is expanded (~ is replaced with the user's home folder).


ascli server --ssh-keys=~/.ssh/id_rsa
ascli server --ssh-keys=@list:,~/.ssh/id_rsa
ascli server --ssh-keys=@json:'["~/.ssh/id_rsa"]'

For file operation command (browse, delete), the Ruby SSH client library Net::SSH is used and provides several options settable using option ssh_options.

For a list of SSH client options, refer to the Ruby documentation of Net::SSH.

Some of the 50 available SSH options:

  • verbose
  • use_agent
  • passphrase

By default the SSH library will check if a local ssh-agent is running.

On Linux, if you get an error message such as:

ERROR -- net.ssh.authentication.agent: could not connect to ssh-agent: Agent not configured

or on Windows:

ERROR -- net.ssh.authentication.agent: could not connect to ssh-agent: pageant process not running

This means that your environment suggests to use an agent but you don't have such an SSH agent running, then:

  • Check env var: SSH_AGENT_SOCK
  • Check your file: $HOME/.ssh/config
  • Check if the SSH key is protected with a passphrase (then, use the passphrase SSH option)
  • Check the Ruby SSH manual
  • To disable the use of ssh-agent, use the option ssh_options like this:
ascli server --ssh-options=@json:'{"use_agent": false}' ...

Note: This can also be set using a preset.

If one of the SSH private keys is passphrase-protected, then option passphrase can be used. It is equivalent to setting both options ssh_options.passphrase and ts.ssh_private_key_passphrase.

Other session channels for server

URL schemes local and https are also supported (mainly for testing purpose). (--url=local: , --url=https://...)

  • local will execute ascmd locally, instead of using an SSH connection.
  • https will use Web Socket Session: This requires the use of a transfer token. For example a Basic token can be used.

As, most of the time, SSH is used, if an http scheme is provided without token, the plugin will fallback to SSH and port 33001.

Examples: server

One can test the server application using the well known demo server:

ascli config initdemo
ascli server browse /aspera-test-dir-large
ascli server download /aspera-test-dir-large/200MB

initdemo creates a Option Preset' demoserver and set it as default for plugin server.

If an SSH private key is used for authentication with a passphrase, the passphrase needs to be provided to both options: ssh_options, for browsing, and ts for transfers:

ascli server --url=ssh://_server_address_here_:33001 --username=_user_here_ --ssh_keys=_private_key_path_here_ --passphrase=_passphrase_here_

Plugin: node: IBM Aspera High Speed Transfer Server Node

This plugin gives access to capabilities provided by the HSTS node API.

The authentication is username and password or access_key and secret through options: username and password.

Note: Capabilities of this plugin are used in other plugins which access to the node API, such as aoc, ats, shares.

File Operations

It is possible to do gen3/node user operations:

  • browse
  • Transfer (upload / download / sync)
  • delete
  • ...

When using an access key, so called gen4/access key API is also supported through sub commands using access_keys do self.


  • ascli node browse / : list files with gen3/node user API
  • ascli node access_key do self browse / : list files with gen4/access key API

Operation find on gen4/access key

The command find <folder> [filter_expr] is available for gen4/access key, under access_keys do self.

The argument <folder> is mandatory and is the root from which search is performed. The argument [filter_expr] is optional and represent the matching criteria.

It recursively scans storage to find files/folders matching a criteria and then returns a list of matching entries.

[filter_expr] is either:

  • Optional (default) : all files and folder are selected
  • Type String : the expression is similar to shell globing, refer to Ruby function: File.fnmatch
  • Type Proc : the expression is a Ruby lambda that takes one argument: a Hash that contains the current folder entry to test. Refer to the following examples.

Examples of expressions:

  • Find all files and folders under /

    ascli node access_keys do self find
  • Find all text files /Documents

    ascli node access_keys do self find /Documents '*.txt'

The following are examples of ruby_lambda to be provided in the following template command:

 ascli node access_keys do self find / @ruby:'ruby_lambda'

Note: Single quotes are used here above to protect the whole Ruby expression from the shell. Then double quotes are used for strings in the Ruby expression to not mix with the shell.

  • Find files more recent than 100 days

    ->(f){f["type"].eql?("file") and (["modified_time"]))<100}
  • Find files older than 1 year

    ->(f){f["type"].eql?("file") and (["modified_time"]))>365}
  • Find files larger than 1MB

    ->(f){f["type"].eql?("file") and f["size"].to_i>1000000}
  • Filter out files beginning with ._ or named .DS_Store:

    ->(f){!(f["name"].start_with?("._") or f["name"].eql?(".DS_Store"))}
  • Match files using a Ruby Regex : \.gif$


ascli commands can be piped in order to combine operations, such as find and delete:

ascli node access_keys do self find / @ruby:'->(f){f["type"].eql?("file") and (["modified_time"]))>365}' --fields=path --format=csv | ascli node --bulk=yes delete @lines:@stdin:

Note: The pipe | character on the last line.


The central subcommand uses the reliable query API (session and file). It allows listing transfer sessions and transferred files.

Filtering can be applied:

ascli node central file list

By providing the validator option, offline transfer validation can be done.

Note: See later in this doc, refer to HSTS doc.


There are three sync types of operations:

  • sync: perform a local sync, by executing async locally
  • async: calls legacy async API on node : /async
  • ssync : calls newer async API on node : /asyncs

FASP Stream

It is possible to start a FASPStream session using the node API:

Use the command ascli node stream create --ts=@json:<value>, with transfer-spec:



Refer to Aspera documentation for watch folder creation.

ascli supports remote operations through the node API. Operations are:

  • Start watchd and watchfolderd services running as a system user having access to files
  • Configure a watchfolder to define automated transfers
ascli node service create @json:'{"id":"mywatchd","type":"WATCHD","run_as":{"user":"user1"}}'
ascli node service create @json:'{"id":"mywatchfolderd","type":"WATCHFOLDERD","run_as":{"user":"user1"}}'
ascli node watch_folder create @json:'{"id":"mywfolder","source_dir":"/watch1","target_dir":"/","transport":{"host":"","user":"user1","pass":"mypassword"}}'

Out of Transfer File Validation

Follow the Aspera Transfer Server configuration to activate this feature.

The following command lists one file that requires validation, and assign it to the unique validator identifier provided:

ascli node central file list --validator=ascli --data=@json:'{"file_transfer_filter":{"max_result":1}}'
| session_uuid |    file_id   |   status   |              path                    |
| 1a74444c-... | 084fb181-... | validating | /home/xfer.../PKG - my title/200KB.1 |

To update the status of the file, use the following command:

ascli node central file update --validator=ascli --data=@json:'{"files":[{"session_uuid": "1a74444c-...","file_id": "084fb181-...","status": "completed"}]}'

Example: SHOD to ATS

Scenario: Access to a Shares on Demand (SHOD) server on AWS is provided by a partner. We need to transfer files from this third party SHOD instance into our Azure BLOB storage. Simply create an Aspera Transfer Service instance, which provides access to the node API. Then create a configuration for the SHOD instance in the configuration file: in section shares, a configuration named: aws_shod. Create another configuration for the Azure ATS instance: in section node, named azure_ats. Then execute the following command:

ascli node download /share/sourcefile --to-folder=/destination_folder --preset=aws_shod --transfer=node --transfer-info=@preset:azure_ats

This will get transfer information from the SHOD instance and tell the Azure ATS instance to download files.

Node file information

When node api is used with an Access key, extra information can be retrieved, such as preview.

Note: Display of preview on terminal requires installation of extra gem: rmagick

dnf install -y ImageMagick-devel
gem install rmagick rainbow

For example, it is possible to display the preview of a file, if it exists, using an access key on node:

ascli node access_key do self thumbnail /preview_samples/Aspera.mpg

Previews are mainly used in AoC, this also works with AoC:

ascli aoc files thumbnail /preview_samples/Aspera.mpg

Note: To specify the file by its file id, use the selector syntax: %id:_file_id_here_

Note: To force textual display of the preview on iTerm, prefix command with: env -u TERM_PROGRAM -u LC_TERMINAL or use option: ``

Create access key

ascli node access_key create @json:'{"id":"myaccesskey","secret":"my_secret_here","storage":{"type":"local","path":"/data/mydir"}}'

Note: The id and secret are optional. If not provided, they will be generated and returned in the result.

Access keys support extra overriding parameters using parameter: configuration and sub keys transfer and server. For example, an access key can be modified or created with the following options:


The list of supported options can be displayed using command:

ascli node info --field=@ruby:'/^access_key_configuration_capabilities.*/'

Generate and use bearer token

Bearer tokens are part of the gen4/access key API. It follows the model of OAuth 2. For example they are used in Aspera on Cloud. This is also available for developers for any application integrating Aspera. In this API, files, users and groups are identified by an id (a String, e.g. "125", not necessarily numerical).

Bearer tokens are typically generated by the authentication application, and then recognized by the node API. A bearer token is authorized on the node by creating permissions on a folder.

Bearer tokens can be generated using command bearer_token: it takes two arguments:

  • The private key used to sign the token
  • The token information, which is a Hash containing the following elements:
parameter Default type description
user_id - Mandatory Identifier of user
scope node.<access_key>:<_scope> Mandatory API scope, e.g. node.<access_key>:<node scope>
expires_at now+<_validity> Mandatory Format: %Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%SZ e.g. 2021-12-31T23:59:59Z
auth_type access_key Optional access_key, node_user
group_ids - Optional List of group ids
organization_id - Optional Organization id
watermarking_json_base64 - Optional Watermarking information (not used)
_scope user:all Special Either user:all or admin:all
_validity 86400 Special Validity in seconds from now.

Note: For convenience, ascli provides additional parameters _scope and _validity. They are not part of the API and are removed from the final payload. They are used respectively to build the default value of scope and expires_at.

Bearer token: Environment

  • If a self-managed Aspera node is used, then a node user admin must be created: It has no docroot but has at least one file restriction (for testing, one can use * to accept creation of an access key with any storage root path). Refer to the Aspera HSTS documentation.

  • If Cloud Pak for integration is used, then the node admin is created automatically.

  • If Aspera on Cloud or ATS is used, then the SaaS API for access key creation is used.

  • An access key shall be created to grant access for transfers to its storage. The access_key and its secrets represent an administrative access to the storage as it has access rights to the whole storage of the access key.

Bearer token: Preparation

Let's assume that the access key was created, and a default configuration is set to use this access key.

  • Create a private key (organization key) that will be used to sign bearer tokens:

    ascli config genkey $my_private_pem

    Note: This key is not used for authentication, it is used to sign bearer tokens. Refer to section private key for more details on generation.

  • The corresponding public key shall be placed as an attribute of the access key:

    ascli node access_key set_bearer_key self @file:$my_private_pem

    Note: Either the public or private key can be provided, and only the public key is used. This will enable to check the signature of the bearer token.

    Alternatively, use the following equivalent command, as ascli kindly extracts the public key with extension .pub:

    ascli node access_key modify %id:self @ruby:'{token_verification_key:"'$my_private_pem'.pub")}'

Bearer token: Configuration for user

  • Select a folder for which we want to grant access to a user, and get its identifier:

    my_folder_id=$(ascli node access_key do self show / --fields=id)

    Note: Here we simply select /, but any folder can be selected in the access key storage.

  • Let's designate a user by its id:


    Note: This is an arbitrary identifier, typically managed by the web application. Not related to Linux user ids or anything else.

  • Grant this user access to the selected folder:

    ascli node access_key do self permission %id:$my_folder_id create @json:'{"access_type":"user","access_id":"'$my_user_id'"}'
  • Create a Bearer token for the user:

    ascli node bearer_token @file:./myorgkey.pem @json:'{"user_id":"'$my_user_id'","_validity":3600}' --output=bearer.txt

Bearer token: User side

Now, let's assume we are the user, the only information received are:

  • The url of the node API
  • A Bearer token
  • A file id for which we have access

Let's use it:

ascli node -N --url=... --password="Bearer $(cat bearer.txt)" --root-id=$my_folder_id access_key do self br /

Node sample commands

Note: Add ascli node in front of the commands:

--url= --password="Bearer bearer_666" --root-id=root_id access_key do self br /
access_key create @json:'{"id":"my_username","secret":"my_password_here","storage":{"type":"local","path":"/"}}'
access_key delete my_username
access_key do my_ak_name browse /
access_key do my_ak_name delete /folder2
access_key do my_ak_name delete testfile1
access_key do my_ak_name download testfile1 --to-folder=.
access_key do my_ak_name find my_test_folder
access_key do my_ak_name find my_test_folder @ruby:'->(f){f["name"].end_with?(".jpg")}'
access_key do my_ak_name find my_test_folder exec:'f["name"].end_with?(".jpg")'
access_key do my_ak_name mkdir /folder1
access_key do my_ak_name node_info /
access_key do my_ak_name rename /folder1 folder2
access_key do my_ak_name show %id:1
access_key do my_ak_name show /testfile1
access_key do my_ak_name upload 'faux:///testfile1?1k' --default_ports=no
access_key do self permission %id:root_id create @json:'{"access_type":"user","access_id":"666"}'
access_key do self show / --fields=id --output=root_id
access_key list
access_key set_bearer_key self @file:my_private_key
access_key show %id:self
async bandwidth 1
async counters 1
async files 1
async list
async show 1
async show ALL
bearer_token @file:my_private_key @json:'{"user_id":"666"}' --output=bearer_666
browse / --log-level=trace2
central file list
central file modify --validator=1 --query=@json:'{"files":[]}'
central session list
delete @list:,my_upload_folder/a_folder,my_upload_folder/tdlink,my_upload_folder/a_file
delete my_upload_folder/test_file.bin
download my_upload_folder/test_file.bin --to-folder=.
http_node_download my_upload_folder/test_file.bin --to-folder=.
info --fpac='function FindProxyForURL(url,host){return "DIRECT"}'
mkdir my_upload_folder/a_folder
mkfile my_upload_folder/a_file1 "hello world"
mklink my_upload_folder/a_folder my_upload_folder/tdlink
rename my_upload_folder a_file1 a_file
search / --query=@json:'{"sort":"mtime"}'
service create @json:'{"id":"service1","type":"WATCHD","run_as":{"user":"user1"}}'
service delete service1
service list
space /
ssync bandwidth %name:my_node_sync
ssync counters %name:my_node_sync
ssync create @json:'{"configuration":{"name":"my_node_sync","local":{"path":"my_local_path"},"remote":{"host":"my_host","port":my_port,"user":"my_username","pass":"my_password_here","path":"my_remote_path"}}}'
ssync delete %name:my_node_sync
ssync files %name:my_node_sync
ssync list
ssync show %name:my_node_sync
ssync start %name:my_node_sync
ssync state %name:my_node_sync
ssync stop %name:my_node_sync
ssync summary %name:my_node_sync
stream list
sync admin status --sync-info=@json:'{"name":"my_node_sync2","reset":true,"direction":"pull","local":{"path":"/data/local_sync"},"remote":{"path":"/aspera-test-dir-tiny"}}'
sync admin status --sync-info=@json:'{"sessions":[{"name":"my_node_sync1","direction":"pull","local_dir":"/data/local_sync","remote_dir":"/aspera-test-dir-tiny","reset":true}]}'
sync start --sync-info=@json:'{"name":"my_node_sync2","reset":true,"direction":"pull","local":{"path":"/data/local_sync"},"remote":{"path":"/aspera-test-dir-tiny"}}'
sync start --sync-info=@json:'{"sessions":[{"name":"my_node_sync1","direction":"pull","local_dir":"/data/local_sync","remote_dir":"/aspera-test-dir-tiny","reset":true}]}'
transfer list --query=@json:'{"active_only":true}'
transfer sessions
upload --to-folder=my_upload_folder --sources=@ts --ts=@json:'{"paths":[{"source":"/aspera-test-dir-small/10MB.2"}],"precalculate_job_size":true}' --transfer=node --transfer-info=@json:'{"url":"","username":"my_username","password":"my_password_here"}'
upload --username=my_ak_name --password=my_ak_secret test_file.bin
upload test_file.bin --to-folder=my_upload_folder --ts=@json:'{"target_rate_cap_kbps":10000}'
watch_folder list

Plugin: faspex5: IBM Aspera Faspex v5

IBM Aspera's newer self-managed application.

3 authentication methods are supported (option auth):

Method Description
jwt General purpose, private-key based authentication
web Requires authentication with web browser
boot Use authentication token copied from browser (experimental)
public_link Public link authentication (set when option url is a public link)

Note: If you have a Faspex 5 public link, provide it, unchanged, through the option url

For a quick start, one can use the wizard, which will help creating a Option Preset':

ascli config wizard
argument: url>
Multiple applications detected:
| product | url                                       | version     |
| faspex5 | | F5.0.6      |
| server  | ssh://              | OpenSSH_8.3 |
product> faspex5
Using: Faspex at
Please provide the path to your private RSA key, or nothing to generate one:
option: key_path>
Using existing key:
option: username>
Ask the ascli client id and secret to your Administrator.
Admin should login to:
Navigate to: ::  → Admin → Configurations → API clients
Create an API client with:
- name: ascli
- JWT: enabled
Then, logged in as go to your profile:
() → Account Settings → Preferences -> Public Key in PEM:
-----END PUBLIC KEY-----
Once set, fill in the parameters:
option: client_id> _my_key_here_
option: client_secret> ****
Preparing preset: faspex5_example_com_user
Setting config preset as default for faspex5
You can test with:
ascli faspex5 user profile show
Saving configuration file.

Note: Include the public key BEGIN and END lines when pasting in the user profile.

For details on the JWT method, see the following section.

Faspex 5 JWT authentication

This is the general purpose and recommended method to use.

Activation is in two steps:

  • The administrator must create an API client in Faspex with JWT support

    This operation is generally done only once:

    • As Admin, Navigate to the web UI: Admin → Configurations → API Clients → Create
    • Give a name, like ascli
    • Activate JWT
    • There is an option to set a general public key allowing the owner of the private key to impersonate any user. Unless you want to do this, leave this field empty.
    • Click on Create Button
    • Take note of Client Id (and Client Secret, but not used in current version)
  • The user uses a private key and sets the public key in his faspex 5 profile

    This operation is done by each user using the CLI.

    • As user, click on the user logo, left to the app switcher on top right.
    • Select Account Settings
    • on the bottom in the text field: Public key in PEM format paste the public key corresponding to the private key used by the user.

    Note: If you don't have any refer to section Private Key

Then use these options:


Note: The private_key option must contain the PEM value (not file path) of the private key which can be read from a file using the modifier: @file:, e.g. @file:/path/to/key.pem.

As usual, typically a user will create preset to avoid having to type these options each time.


ascli config preset update myf5 --auth=jwt --client-id=_client_id_here_ --client-secret=my_secret_here --username=_username_here_ --private-key=@file:.../path/to/key.pem

ascli config preset set default faspx5 myf5

ascli faspex5 user profile show

Faspex 5 web authentication

The administrator must create an API client in Faspex for an external web app support:

  • As Admin, Navigate to the web UI: Admin → Configurations → API Clients → Create
  • Do not Activate JWT
  • Set Redirect URI to
  • Click on Create Button
  • Take note of Client Id (and Client Secret, but not used in current version)

The user will use the following options:


Faspex 5 bootstrap authentication

For boot method: (will be removed in future)

  • As user: Open a Web Browser
  • Start developer mode
  • Login to Faspex 5
  • Find the first API call with Authorization header, and copy the value of the token (series of base64 values with dots)

Use this token as password and use --auth=boot.

ascli config preset update f5boot --url=https://localhost/aspera/faspex --auth=boot --password=_token_here_

Faspex5 sample commands

Note: Add ascli faspex5 in front of the commands:

admin res accounts list
admin res contacts list
admin res jobs list
admin res metadata_profiles list
admin res node list
admin res oauth_clients list
admin res registrations list
admin res saml_configs list
admin res shared_inboxes invite %name:my_shared_box_name
admin res shared_inboxes list
admin res shared_inboxes list --query=@json:'{"all":true}'
admin res shared_inboxes members %name:my_shared_box_name create
admin res shared_inboxes members %name:my_shared_box_name delete
admin res shared_inboxes members %name:my_shared_box_name delete
admin res shared_inboxes members %name:my_shared_box_name list
admin res workgroups list
admin smtp show
admin smtp test my_email_external
gateway --pid-file=pid_f5_fxgw https://localhost:12346/aspera/faspex &
invitation list
invitations create @json:'{"email_address":""}'
packages list --box=my_shared_box_name
packages list --box=my_workgroup --group-type=workgroups
packages list --query=@json:'{"mailbox":"inbox","status":"completed"}'
packages receive --box=my_shared_box_name package_box_id1 --to-folder=.
packages receive --box=my_workgroup --group-type=workgroups workgroup_package_id1 --to-folder=.
packages receive ALL --once-only=yes --to-folder=.
packages receive INIT --once-only=yes
packages receive f5_p31 --to-folder=. --ts=@json:'{"content_protection_password":"my_secret_here"}'
packages send --shared-folder=%name:my_shared_folder_name @json:'{"title":"test title","recipients":["my_email_internal"]}' my_shared_folder_file
packages send --url=my_public_link_send_f5_user @json:'{"title":"test title"}' test_file.bin
packages send --url=my_public_link_send_shared_box @json:'{"title":"test title"}' test_file.bin
packages send @json:'{"title":"test title","recipients":["my_shared_box_name"],"metadata":{"Options":"Opt1","TextInput":"example text"}}' test_file.bin
packages send @json:'{"title":"test title","recipients":["my_workgroup"]}' test_file.bin
packages send @json:'{"title":"test title","recipients":[{"name":"my_username"}]my_meta}' test_file.bin --ts=@json:'{"content_protection_password":"my_secret_here"}'
packages show --box=my_shared_box_name package_box_id1
packages show --box=my_workgroup --group-type=workgroups workgroup_package_id1
packages show f5_p31
packages status f5_p31
postprocessing --pid-file=pid_f5_postproc @json:'{"url":"https://localhost:8443/domain","processing":{"script_folder":""}}' &
shared browse %name:my_src
shared list
shared_folders browse %name:my_shared_folder_name
shared_folders list
user profile modify @json:'{"preference":{"connect_disabled":false}}'
user profile show

Most commands are directly REST API calls. Parameters to commands are carried through option query, as extended value, for list, or through positional argument for creation. One can conveniently use the JSON format with prefix @json:.

Note: The API is listed in Faspex 5 API Reference under IBM Aspera Faspex API.

Faspex 5: Inbox selection

By default, package operations (send, receive, list) are done on the user's inbox.

To select another inbox, use option box with one of the following values:

  • inbox
  • inbox_history
  • inbox_all
  • inbox_all_history
  • outbox
  • outbox_history
  • pending
  • pending_history
  • all
  • ALL (admin only, all inboxes of all users)
  • name of a shared inbox or workgroup

Note: In case the name of the box is specific, use option group_type with either shared_inboxes or workgroups to be more specific.

Faspex 5: Send a package

The Hash creation parameter provided to command faspex5 packages send [extended value: Hash with package info ] [files...] corresponds to the Faspex 5 API: POST /packages.

The interface is the one of the API (Refer to Faspex5 API documentation, or look at request in browser).

Required fields are title and recipients.

Example using @json: format:

{"title":"some title","recipients":[{"recipient_type":"user","name":""}]}

recipient_type is one of (Refer to API):

  • user
  • workgroup
  • external_user
  • distribution_list
  • shared_inbox

ascli adds some convenience: The API expects the field recipients to be an Array of Hash, each with field name and optionally recipient_type. ascli also accepts an Array of String, with simply a recipient name. Then, ascli will lookup existing contacts among all possible types, use it if a single match is found, and set the name and recipient_type accordingly. Else an exception is sent.

Note: The lookup is case insensitive and on partial matches.

{"title":"some title","recipients":[""]}

If the lookup needs to be only on certain types, you can specify the field: recipient_types with either a single value or an Array of values (from the list above). e.g. :

{"title":"test title","recipient_types":"user","recipients":["",""]}

Faspex 5: Send a package with metadata

It's the same as sending a package, but with an extra field metadata in the package info.

{"title":"test title","recipients":["my shared inbox"],"metadata":{"Confidential":"Yes","Drop menu":"Option 1"}}

Basically, add the field metadata, with one key per metadata and the value is directly the metadata value. (Refer to API documentation for more details).

Faspex 5: List packages

Option box can be used to list packages from a specific box (see Inbox selection above).

Option query can be used to filter the list of packages, based on native API parameters, directly sent to Faspex 5 API GET /packages.

parameter Type description
offset Native Managed by ascli: Offset of first package. Default: 0
limit Native Managed by ascli: # of packages per API call. Default: 100
q Native General search string (case insensitive, matches if value is contained in several fields)
... Native Other native parameters are supported (Refer to API documentation)
max Special Maximum number of items to retrieve (stop pages when the maximum is passed)
pmax Special Maximum number of pages to request (stop pages when the maximum is passed)

A positional parameter in last position, of type Proc, can be used to filter the list of packages. This advantage of this method is that the expression can be any test, even complex, as it is Ruby code. But the disadvantage is that the filtering is done in ascli and not in Faspex 5, so it is less efficient.


  • List only available packages: (filtering is done in Faspex)

    ascli faspex5 packages list --query=@json:'{"status":"completed"}'
  • Similar, using filtering in ascli:

    ascli faspex5 packages list @ruby:'->(p){p["state"].eql?("released")}'

Faspex 5: Content of a received Package

Note: Listing content also applies to shares folder, nodes, and received packages (using --box=outbox).

To list the content of a package, use command faspex5 packages browse /.

Option query is available.

To list recursively add option --query=@json:{"recursive":true}.

Note: Option recirsive makes recursive API calls, so it can take a long time on large packages.

To limit the number of items retrieved, use option --query=@json:{"max":10}.

Faspex 5: Receive a package

To receive one, or several packages at once, use command faspex5 packages receive. Provide either a single package id, or an extended value Array of package ids, e.g. @list:,1,2,3 as argument.

The same options as for faspex5 packages list can be used to select the box and filter the packages to download. I.e. options box and query, as well as last positional parameter Proc (filter).

Option --once-only=yes can be used, for "cargo-like" behavior. Special package id INIT initializes the persistency of already received packages when option --once-only=yes is used.

Special package id ALL selects all packages (of the selected box). In this case, typically, only completed packages should be downloaded, so use option --query=@json:'{"status":"completed"}'.

If a package is password protected, then the content protection password is asked interactively. To keep the content encrypted, use option: --ts=@json:'{"content_protection":null}', or provide the password instead of null.

Tip: If you use option query and/or positional filter, you can use the list command for a dry run.

Faspex 5: List all shared inboxes and work groups

If you are a regular user, to list work groups you belong to:

ascli faspex5 admin res workgroup list

If you are admin or manager, add option: --query=@json:'{"all":true}', this will list items you manage, even if you do not belong to them.

ascli faspex5 admin res shared list --query=@json:'{"all":true}' --fields=id,name

Shared inbox members can also be listed, added, removed, and external users can be invited to a shared inbox.

ascli faspex5 admin res shared_inboxes invite '%name:the shared inbox'

It is equivalent to:

ascli faspex5 admin res shared_inboxes invite '%name:the shared inbox' @json:'{"email_address":""}'

Other payload parameters are possible the Hash value:


Faspex 5: Create Metadata profile

ascli faspex5 admin res metadata_profiles create @json:'{"name":"the profile","default":false,"title":{"max_length":200,"illegal_chars":[]},"note":{"max_length":400,"illegal_chars":[],"enabled":false},"fields":[{"ordering":0,"name":"field1","type":"text_area","require":true,"illegal_chars":[],"max_length":100},{"ordering":1,"name":"fff2","type":"option_list","require":false,"choices":["opt1","opt2"]}]}'

Faspex 5: Create a Shared inbox with specific metadata profile

ascli faspex5 admin res shared create @json:'{"name":"the shared inbox","metadata_profile_id":1}'

Faspex 5: List content in Shared folder and send package from remote source

ascli faspex5 shared_folders list
| id | name     | node_id | ... |
| 3  | partages | 2       | ... |
ascli faspex5 shared_folders br %name:partages /folder
ascli faspex5 packages send @json:'{"title":"hello","recipients":[{"name":"_recipient_here_"}]}' --shared-folder=%name:partages /folder/file

Note: The shared folder can be identified by its numerical id or by name using percent selector: %<field>:<value>. e.g. --shared-folder=3

Faspex 5: Receive all packages (cargo)

To receive all packages, only once, through persistency of already received packages:

ascli faspex5 packages receive ALL --once-only=yes --query=@json:'{"status":"completed"}'

To initialize, and skip all current package so that next time ALL is used, only newer packages are downloaded:

ascli faspex5 packages receive INIT --once-only=yes

Faspex 5: Invitations

There are two types of invitations of package submission: public or private.

Public invitations are for external users, provide just the email address.

Private invitations are for internal users, provide the user or shared inbox identifier through field recipient_name.

Faspex 5: Faspex 4-style postprocessing

ascli provides command postprocessing in plugin faspex5 to emulate Faspex 4 postprocessing. It implements Faspex 5 web hooks, and calls a local script with the same environment as Faspex 4.

It is invoked like this:

ascli faspex5 postprocessing @json:'{"url":"http://localhost:8080/processing"}'

The following parameters are supported:

parameter type default description
url string http://localhost:8080 Base url on which requests are listened
certificate hash nil Certificate information (if HTTPS)
certificate.key string nil Path to private key file
certificate.cert string nil Path to certificate
certificate.chain string nil Path to intermediary certificates
processing hash nil Behavior of post processing
processing.script_folder string . Prefix added to script path
processing.fail_on_error bool false Fail if true and process exit with non zero
processing.timeout_seconds integer 60 Max. execution time before script is killed

Parameter url defines:

  • If http or https is used
  • The local port number
  • The base path, i.e. the path under which requests are received.

When a request is received the following happens:

  • The processor get the path of the url called
  • It removes the base path
  • It prepends it with the value of script_folder
  • It executes the script
  • Upon success, a success code is returned

In Faspex 5, configure like this:

Webhook endpoint URI : http://localhost:8080/processing/

Then, the postprocessing script executed will be

Environment variables at set to the values provided by the web hook which are the same as Faspex 4 postprocessing.

Plugin: faspex: IBM Aspera Faspex v4

Note: For full details on Faspex API, refer to: Reference on Developer Site

This plugin uses APIs versions 3 Faspex v4. The v4 command requires the use of API v4, refer to the Faspex Admin manual on how to activate.

Listing Packages

Command: faspex package list

Option box

By default it looks in box inbox, but the following boxes are also supported: archive and sent, selected with option box.

Option recipient

A user can receive a package because the recipient is:

  • The user himself (default)
  • The user is member of a dropbox/workgroup: filter using option recipient set with value *<name of dropbox/workgroup>

Option query

As inboxes may be large, it is possible to use the following query parameters:

  • count : (native) number items in one API call (default=0, equivalent to 10)
  • page : (native) id of page in call (default=0)
  • startIndex : (native) index of item to start, default=0, oldest index=0
  • max : maximum number of items
  • pmax : maximum number of pages

(SQL query is LIMIT <startIndex>, <count>)

The API is listed in Faspex 4 API Reference under Services (API v.3).

If no parameter max or pmax is provided, then all packages will be listed in the inbox, which result in paged API calls (using parameter: count and page). By default count is 0 (10), it can be increased to issue less HTTP calls.

Example: List packages in dropbox

ascli faspex package list --box=inbox --recipient='*my_dropbox' --query=@json:'{"max":20,"pmax":2,"count":20}'

List a maximum of 20 items grouped by pages of 20, with maximum 2 pages in received box (inbox) when received in dropbox *my_dropbox.

Receiving a Package

The command is package recv, possible methods are:

  • Provide a package id with option id
  • Provide a public link with option link
  • Provide a faspe: URI with option link
ascli faspex package recv 12345
ascli faspex package recv --link=faspe://...

If the package is in a specific dropbox/workgroup, add option recipient for both the list and recv commands.

ascli faspex package list --recipient='*dropbox_name'
ascli faspex package recv 125 --recipient='*dropbox_name'

if id is set to ALL, then all packages are downloaded, and if option once_onlyis used, then a persistency file is created to keep track of already downloaded packages.

Sending a Package

The command is faspex package send. Package information (title, note, metadata, options) is provided in option delivery_info. The contents of delivery_info is directly the contents of the send v3 API of Faspex 4.


ascli faspex package send --delivery-info=@json:'{"title":"my title","recipients":[""]}' --url= --username=foo --password=bar /tmp/file1 /home/bar/file2

If the recipient is a dropbox or workgroup: provide the name of the dropbox or workgroup preceded with * in the recipients field of the delivery_info option: "recipients":["*MyDropboxName"]

Additional optional parameters in delivery_info:

  • Package Note: : "note":"note this and that"
  • Package Metadata: "metadata":{"Meta1":"Val1","Meta2":"Val2"}

It is possible to send from a remote source using option remote_source, providing either the numerical id, or the name of the remote source using percent selector: %name:<name>.

Remote source can be browsed if option storage is provided. storage is a Hash extended value. The key is the storage name, as listed in source list command. The value is a Hash with the following keys:

  • node is a Hash with keys: url, username, password
  • path is the subpath inside the node, as configured in Faspex

Email notification on transfer

Like for any transfer, a notification can be sent by email using parameters: notify_to and notify_template .


ascli faspex package send --delivery-info=@json:'{"title":"test pkg 1","recipients":[""]}' ~/Documents/Samples/200KB.1 --notify-template=@ruby:'%Q{From: <%=from_name%> <<%=from_email%>>\nTo: <<%=to%>>\nSubject: Package sent: <%=ts["tags"]["aspera"]["faspex"]["metadata"]["_pkg_name"]%> files received\n\nTo user: <%=ts["tags"]["aspera"]["faspex"]["recipients"].first["email"]%>}'

In this example the notification template is directly provided on command line. Package information placed in the message are directly taken from the tags in transfer spec. The template can be placed in a file using modifier: @file:

Operation on dropboxes


ascli faspex v4 dropbox create @json:'{"dropbox":{"e_wg_name":"test1","e_wg_desc":"test1"}}'
ascli faspex v4 dropbox list
ascli faspex v4 dropbox delete 36

Remote sources

Faspex lacks an API to list the contents of a remote source (available in web UI). To workaround this, the node API is used, for this it is required to set option: storage that links a storage name to a node configuration and sub path.


  username: admin
  password: MyUserPassword
      node: "@preset:my_faspex_node"
      path: /mydir
  username: node_faspex
  password: MyNodePassword

In this example, a faspex storage named my_storage exists in Faspex, and is located under the docroot in /mydir (this must be the same as configured in Faspex). The node configuration name is my_faspex_node here.

Note: The v4 API provides an API for nodes and shares.

Automated package download (cargo)

It is possible to tell ascli to download newly received packages, much like the official cargo client, or drive. Refer to the same section in the Aspera on Cloud plugin:

ascli faspex packages recv ALL --once-only=yes --lock-port=12345

Faspex sample commands

Note: Add ascli faspex in front of the commands:

dropbox list --recipient="*my_dbx"
package list --box=sent --query=@json:'{"max":1}' --fields=package_id --display=data --format=csv --output=f4_prs2
package list --query=@json:'{"max":1}' --fields=package_id --display=data --format=csv --output=f4_prs1
package list --query=@json:'{"max":5}'
package list --recipient="*my_dbx" --format=csv --fields=package_id --query=@json:'{"max":1}' --output=f4_db_id1
package list --recipient="*my_wkg" --format=csv --fields=package_id --query=@json:'{"max":1}' --output=f4_db_id2
package receive --to-folder=. --link=
package receive ALL --once-only=yes --to-folder=. --query=@json:'{"max":10}'
package receive f4_db_id1 --recipient="*my_dbx" --to-folder=.
package receive f4_db_id2 --recipient="*my_wkg" --to-folder=.
package receive f4_pri1 --to-folder=.
package receive f4_prs2 --to-folder=. --box=sent
package send --delivery-info=@json:'{"title":"$(notdir test) PACKAGE_TITLE_BASE","recipients":["*my_dbx"]}' test_file.bin
package send --delivery-info=@json:'{"title":"$(notdir test) PACKAGE_TITLE_BASE","recipients":["*my_wkg"]}' test_file.bin
package send --delivery-info=@json:'{"title":"$(notdir test) PACKAGE_TITLE_BASE","recipients":["my_email_internal","my_username"]}' test_file.bin
package send --delivery-info=@json:'{"title":"$(notdir test) PACKAGE_TITLE_BASE","recipients":["my_email_internal"]}' --remote_source=%name:my_src sample_source.txt
package send --link= --delivery-info=@json:'{"title":"$(notdir test) PACKAGE_TITLE_BASE"}' test_file.bin
package send --link= --delivery-info=@json:'{"title":"$(notdir test) PACKAGE_TITLE_BASE"}' test_file.bin
source info %name:my_src --storage=@preset:faspex4_storage
source list
source node %name:my_src br / --storage=@preset:faspex4_storage
v4 dmembership list
v4 dropbox list
v4 metadata_profile list
v4 user list
v4 wmembership list
v4 workgroup list

Plugin: shares: IBM Aspera Shares v1

Aspera Shares supports the node API for the file transfer part.

Supported commands are listed in Share's API documentation:


ascli shares admin share create @json:'{"node_id":1,"name":"test1","directory":"test1","create_directory":true}'

share_id=$(ascli shares admin share list --select=@json:'{"name":"test1"}' --fields=id)

user_id=$(ascli shares admin user list --select=@json:'{"username":"entity1"}' --fields=id)

ascli shares admin share user_permissions $share_id create @json:'{"user_id":'$user_id',"browse_permission":true, "download_permission":true, "mkdir_permission":true,"delete_permission":true,"rename_permission":true,"content_availability_permission":true,"manage_permission":true}'

To figure out the entities payload, for example for creation, refer to the API documentation above.

Shares sample commands

Note: Add ascli shares in front of the commands:

admin group all list
admin node list
admin share list --fields=DEF,-status,status_message
admin share user_permissions 1 list
admin user all app_authorizations 1 modify @json:'{"app_login":true}'
admin user all app_authorizations 1 show
admin user all list
admin user all share_permissions 1 list
admin user all share_permissions 1 show 1
admin user ldap add the_name
admin user local list
admin user saml import @json:'{"id":"the_id","name_id":"the_name"}'
files browse /
files delete my_share1/test_file.bin
files download --to-folder=. my_share1/test_file.bin
files download --to-folder=. my_share1/test_file.bin --transfer=httpgw --transfer-info=@json:'{"url":"https://my_http_gw_fqdn_port/aspera/http-gwy"}'
files upload --to-folder=my_share1 'faux:///testfile?1m' --transfer=httpgw --transfer-info=@json:'{"url":"https://my_http_gw_fqdn_port/aspera/http-gwy","synchronous":true,"api_version":"v1","upload_chunk_size":100000}'
files upload --to-folder=my_share1 test_file.bin
files upload --to-folder=my_share1 test_file.bin --transfer=httpgw --transfer-info=@json:'{"url":"https://my_http_gw_fqdn_port/aspera/http-gwy"}'

Plugin: console: IBM Aspera Console

Console sample commands

Note: Add ascli console in front of the commands:

transfer current list
transfer smart list
transfer smart sub my_smart_id @json:'{"source":{"paths":["my_smart_file"]},"source_type":"user_selected"}'

Plugin: orchestrator:IBM Aspera Orchestrator

Orchestrator sample commands

Note: Add ascli orchestrator in front of the commands:

workflow details my_workflow_id
workflow export my_workflow_id
workflow inputs my_workflow_id
workflow list
workflow start my_workflow_id @json:'{"Param":"world !"}'
workflow start my_workflow_id @json:'{"Param":"world !"}' --result=ResultStep:Complete_status_message
workflow status ALL
workflow status my_workflow_id

Plugin: cos: IBM Cloud Object Storage

The IBM Cloud Object Storage provides the possibility to execute transfers using FASP. It uses the same transfer service as Aspera on Cloud, called Aspera Transfer Service (ATS). Available ATS regions:

There are two possibilities to provide credentials. If you already have the endpoint, API key and Resource Instance ID (CRN), use the first method. If you don't have credentials but have access to the IBM Cloud console, then use the second method.

Using endpoint, API key and Resource Instance ID (CRN)

If you have those parameters already, then following options shall be provided:

  • bucket bucket name
  • endpoint storage endpoint url, e.g.
  • apikey API Key
  • crn resource instance id

For example, let us create a default configuration:

ascli config preset update mycos --bucket=mybucket --endpoint= --apikey=abcdefgh --crn=crn:v1:bluemix:public:iam-identity::a/xxxxxxx
ascli config preset set default cos mycos

Then, jump to the transfer example.

Using service credential file

If you are the COS administrator and don't have yet the credential: Service credentials are directly created using the IBM cloud Console (web UI). Navigate to:

  • → Navigation Menu
  • Resource List
  • Storage
  • → Select your storage instance
  • → Service Credentials
  • → New credentials (Leave default role: Writer, no special options)
  • → Copy to clipboard

Then save the copied value to a file, e.g. : $HOME/cos_service_creds.json

or using the IBM Cloud CLI:

ibmcloud resource service-keys
ibmcloud resource service-key _service_key_name_here_ --output JSON|jq '.[0].credentials'>$HOME/service_creds.json

(if you don't have jq installed, extract the structure as follows)

It consists in the following structure:

  "apikey": "my_api_key_here",
  "cos_hmac_keys": {
    "access_key_id": "my_access_key_here",
    "secret_access_key": "my_secret_here"
  "endpoints": "",
  "iam_apikey_description": "my_description_here",
  "iam_apikey_name": "my_key_name_here",
  "iam_role_crn": "crn:v1:bluemix:public:iam::::serviceRole:Writer",
  "iam_serviceid_crn": "crn:v1:bluemix:public:iam-identity::a/xxxxxxx.....",
  "resource_instance_id": "crn:v1:bluemix:public:cloud-object-storage:global:a/xxxxxxx....."

The field resource_instance_id is for option crn

The field apikey is for option apikey

Note: endpoints for regions can be found by querying the endpoints URL from file or from the IBM Cloud Console.

The required options for this method are:

  • bucket bucket name
  • region bucket region, e.g. eu-de
  • service_credentials see below

For example, let us create a default configuration:

ascli config preset update mycos --bucket=laurent --service-credentials=@val:@json:@file:~/service_creds.json --region=us-south
ascli config preset set default cos mycos

Operations, transfers

Let's assume you created a default configuration from one of the two previous steps (else specify the access options on command lines).

A subset of node plugin operations are supported, basically node API:

ascli cos node info
ascli cos node upload 'faux:///sample1G?1g'

Note: A dummy file sample1G of size 2GB is generated using the faux PVCL (man ascp and section above), but you can, of course, send a real file by specifying a real file instead.

Cos sample commands

Note: Add ascli cos in front of the commands:

node access_key show self
node download test_file.bin --to-folder=.
node info --bucket=my_bucket --endpoint=my_endpoint --apikey=my_api_key --crn=my_resource_instance_id
node info --bucket=my_bucket --region=my_region --service-credentials=@json:@file:my_cos_svc_cred
node info --log-level=trace2
node upload test_file.bin

Plugin: preview: Preview generator for AoC

The preview generates thumbnails (office, images, video) and video previews on storage for use primarily in the Aspera on Cloud application. It uses the node API of Aspera HSTS and requires use of Access Keys and its storage root. Several parameters can be used to tune several aspects:

  • Methods for detection of new files needing generation
  • Methods for generation of video preview
  • Parameters for video handling

See also

Aspera Server configuration

Specify the previews folder as shown in:

By default, the preview plugin expects previews to be generated in a folder named previews located in the storage root. On the transfer server execute:


asconfigurator -x "server;preview_dir,previews"
asnodeadmin --reload

Note: The configuration preview_dir is relative to the storage root, no need leading or trailing /. In general just set the value to previews

If another folder is configured on the HSTS, then specify it to ascli using the option previews_folder.

The HSTS node API limits any preview file to a parameter: max_request_file_create_size_kb (1 KB is 1024 bytes). This size is internally capped to 1<<24 Bytes (16777216) , i.e. 16384 KBytes.

To change this parameter in aspera.conf, use asconfigurator. To display the value, use asuserdata:

asuserdata -a | grep max_request_file_create_size_kb

  max_request_file_create_size_kb: "1024"

asconfigurator -x "server; max_request_file_create_size_kb,16384"

If you use a value different than 16777216, then specify it using option max_size.

Note: The HSTS parameter (max_request_file_create_size_kb) is in kiloBytes while the generator parameter is in Bytes (factor of 1024).

External tools: Linux

ascli requires the following external tools available in the PATH:

  • ImageMagick : convert composite
  • OptiPNG : optipng
  • FFmpeg : ffmpeg ffprobe
  • Libreoffice : libreoffice

Here shown on Redhat/CentOS.

Other OSes should work as well, but are note tested.

To check if all tools are found properly, execute:

ascli preview check

Image: ImageMagick and optipng

dnf install -y ImageMagick optipng

You may also install ghostscript which adds fonts to ImageMagick. Available fonts, used to generate png for text, can be listed with magick identify -list font. Prefer ImageMagick version >=7.

More info on ImageMagick at

Video: FFmpeg

The easiest method is to download and install the latest released version of ffmpeg with static libraries from

curl -s|(mkdir -p /opt && cd /opt && rm -f ffmpeg /usr/bin/{ffmpeg,ffprobe} && rm -fr ffmpeg-*-amd64-static && tar xJvf - && ln -s ffmpeg-* ffmpeg && ln -s /opt/ffmpeg/{ffmpeg,ffprobe} /usr/bin)

Office: unoconv and Libreoffice

If you don't want to have preview for office documents or if it is too complex you can skip office document preview generation by using option: --skip-types=office

The generation of preview in based on the use of unoconv and libreoffice

  • CentOS 8
dnf install unoconv
  • Amazon Linux
amazon-linux-extras enable libreoffice
yum clean metadata
yum install libreoffice-core libreoffice-calc libreoffice-opensymbol-fonts libreoffice-ure libreoffice-writer libreoffice-pyuno libreoffice-impress
mv unoconv /usr/bin
chmod a+x /usr/bin/unoconv


The preview generator should be executed as a non-user. When using object storage, any user can be used, but when using local storage it is usually better to use the user xfer, as uploaded files are under this identity: this ensures proper access rights. (we will assume this)

Like any ascli commands, parameters can be passed on command line or using a configuration Option Preset'. The configuration file must be created with the same user used to run so that it is properly used on runtime.

The xfer user has a special protected shell: aspshell, so in order to update the configuration, and when changing identity, specify an alternate shell. E.g.:

su -s /bin/bash - xfer

ascli config preset update mypreviewconf --url=https://localhost:9092 --username=my_access_key --password=my_secret --skip-types=office --lock-port=12346

ascli config preset set default preview mypreviewconf

Here we assume that Office file generation is disabled, else remove this option. lock_port prevents concurrent execution of generation when using a scheduler.

One can check if the access key is well configured using:

ascli -Ppreviewconf node browse /

This shall list the contents of the storage root of the access key.

Options for generated files

When generating preview files, some options are provided by default. Some values for the options can be modified on command line. For video preview, the whole set of options can be overridden with option reencode_ffmpeg: it is a Hash with two keys: in and out, each is an Array of strings with the native options to ffmpeg.


ascli intentionally supports only a one shot mode (no infinite loop) in order to avoid having a hanging process or using too many resources (calling REST api too quickly during the scan or event method). It needs to be run on a regular basis to create or update preview files. For that use your best reliable scheduler, see Scheduler.

Typically, for Access key access, the system/transfer is xfer. So, in order to be consistent have generate the appropriate access rights, the generation process should be run as user xfer.

Lets do a one shot test, using the configuration previously created:

su -s /bin/bash - xfer

ascli preview scan --overwrite=always

When the preview generator is first executed it will create a file: .aspera_access_key in the previews folder which contains the access key used. On subsequent run it reads this file and check that previews are generated for the same access key, else it fails. This is to prevent clash of different access keys using the same root.

Configuration for Execution in scheduler

Details are provided in section Scheduler.

Shorter commands can be specified if a configuration preset was created as shown previously.

For example the timeout value can be differentiated depending on the option: event versus scan:

case "$*" in *trev*) tmout=10m ;; *) tmout=30m ;; esac

Candidate detection for creation or update (or deletion)

ascli generates preview files using those commands:

  • trevents : only recently uploaded files will be tested (transfer events)
  • events : only recently uploaded files will be tested (file events: not working)
  • scan : recursively scan all files under the access key's storage root
  • test : test using a local file

Once candidate are selected, once candidates are selected, a preview is always generated if it does not exist already, else if a preview already exist, it will be generated using one of three values for the overwrite option:

  • always : preview is always generated, even if it already exists and is newer than original
  • never : preview is generated only if it does not exist already
  • mtime : preview is generated only if the original file is newer than the existing

Deletion of preview for deleted source files: not implemented yet (TODO).

If the scan or events detection method is used, then the option : skip_folders can be used to skip some folders. It expects a list of path relative to the storage root (docroot) starting with slash, use the @json: notation, example:

ascli preview scan --skip-folders=@json:'["/not_here"]'

The option folder_reset_cache forces the node service to refresh folder contents using various methods.

When scanning the option query has the same behavior as for the node access_keys do self find command.

Refer to that section for details.

Preview File types

Two types of preview can be generated:

  • png: thumbnail
  • mp4: video preview (only for video)

Use option skip_format to skip generation of a format.

Supported input Files types

The preview generator supports rendering of those file categories:

  • image
  • pdf
  • plaintext
  • office
  • video

To avoid generation for some categories, specify a list using option skip_types.

Each category has a specific rendering method to produce the png thumbnail.

The mp4 video preview file is only for category video

File type is primarily based on file extension detected by the node API and translated info a mime type returned by the node API.


By default, the Mime type used for conversion is the one returned by the node API, based on file name extension.

It is also possible to detect the mime type using option mimemagic. To use it, set option mimemagic to yes: --mimemagic=yes.

This requires to manually install the mimemagic gem: gem install mimemagic.

In this case the preview command will first analyze the file content using mimemagic, and if no match, will try by extension.

If the mimemagic gem complains about missing mime info file:

  • Any OS:

    • Examine the error message
    • Download the file:
    • move and rename this file to one of the locations expected by mimemagic as specified in the error message
  • Windows:

    • Download the file:
    • Place this file in the root of Ruby (or elsewhere): C:\RubyVV-x64\
    • Set a global variable using SystemPropertiesAdvanced.exe or using cmd (replace VV with version) to the exact path of this file:
    • Close the cmd and restart a new one if needed to get refreshed env vars
  • Linux RHEL 8+:

dnf install shared-mime-info
  • macOS:
brew install shared-mime-info

Generation: Read source files and write preview

Standard open source tools are used to create thumbnails and video previews. Those tools require that original files are accessible in the local file system and also write generated files on the local file system. ascli provides 2 ways to read and write files with the option: file_access

If the preview generator is run on a system that has direct access to the file system, then the value local can be used. In this case, no transfer happen, source files are directly read from the storage, and preview files are directly written to the storage.

If the preview generator does not have access to files on the file system (it is remote, no mount, or is an object storage), then the original file is first downloaded, then the result is uploaded, use method remote.

Preview sample commands

Note: Add ascli preview in front of the commands:

check --skip-types=office
scan --scan-id=1 --skip-types=office --log-level=info --file-access=remote --ts=@json:'{"target_rate_kbps":1000000}'
scan --skip-types=office --log-level=info
show --base=test my_docx
show --base=test my_mpg --video-png-conv=animated
show --base=test my_mpg --video-png-conv=fixed
show --base=test my_mpg mp4 --video-conversion=clips
show --base=test my_mpg mp4 --video-conversion=reencode
show --base=test my_pdf
test --base=test my_dcm
test --base=test my_mxf mp4 --video-conversion=blend --query=@json:'{"text":true,"double":true}'
test --mimemagic=yes --base=test my_dcm
test --mimemagic=yes --base=test my_jpg_unk
trevents --once-only=yes --skip-types=office --log-level=info

IBM Aspera Sync

An interface for the async utility is provided in the following plugins:

  • server sync
  • node sync
  • aoc files sync (uses node)
  • shares files sync (uses node)

The main advantage over the async command line when using server is the possibility to use a configuration file, using standard options of ascli.

In this case, some of the sync parameters are filled by the related plugin using transfer spec parameters (e.g. including token).

Note: All sync commands require an async enabled license and availability of the async executable (and asyncadmin).

Two JSON syntax are supported for option sync_info.

async JSON: API format

It is the same payload as specified on the option --conf of async or in node API /asyncs. This is the preferred syntax and allows a single session definition. But there is no progress output nor error messages.

Documentation on Async node API can be found on IBM Developer Portal.

async JSON: Options mapping

ascli defines a JSON equivalent to regular asyncoptions. It is based on a JSON representation of async command line options. It allows definition of multiple sync sessions in a single command, although usually only one sync session is defined.

Hot folder


ascli maybe used as a simple hot folder engine. A hot folder being defined as a tool that:

  • Locally (or remotely) detects new files in a top folder
  • Send detected files to a remote (respectively, local) repository
  • Only sends new files, do not re-send already sent files
  • Optionally: sends only files that are not still growing
  • Optionally: after transfer of files, deletes or moves to an archive

In addition: the detection should be made continuously or on specific time/date.

Setup procedure

The general idea is to rely on :

  • Existing ascp features for detection and transfer
  • Take advantage of ascli configuration capabilities and server side knowledge
  • The OS scheduler for reliability and continuous operation

ascp features

Interesting ascp features are found in its arguments: (see ascp manual):

  • ascp already takes care of sending only new files: option -k 1,2,3 (resume_policy)
  • ascp has some options to remove or move files after transfer: --remove-after-transfer, --move-after-transfer, --remove-empty-directories (remove_after_transfer, move_after_transfer, remove_empty_directories)
  • ascp has an option to send only files not modified since the last X seconds: --exclude-newer-than, --exclude-older-than (exclude_newer_than,exclude_older_than)
  • --src-base (src_base) if top level folder name shall not be created on destination

Note: ascli takes transfer parameters exclusively as a transfer-spec, with ts option.

Note: Most, but not all, native ascp arguments are available as standard transfer-spec parameters.

Note: Only for the direct transfer agent (not others, like connect or node), native ascp arguments can be provided with parameter ascp_args of option transfer_info .

Server side and configuration

Virtually any transfer on a repository on a regular basis might emulate a hot folder.

Note: File detection is not based on events (inotify, etc...), but on a simple folder scan on source side.

Note: Parameters may be saved in a Option Preset' and used with -P.


Once ascli parameters are defined, run the command using the OS native scheduler, e.g. every minutes, or 5 minutes, etc... Refer to section Scheduler. (on use of option lock_port)

Example: Upload hot folder

ascli server upload source_hot --to-folder=/Upload/target_hot --lock-port=12345 --ts=@json:'{"remove_after_transfer":true,"remove_empty_directories":true,"exclude_newer_than:-8,"src_base":"source_hot"}'

The local folder (here, relative path: source_hot) is sent (upload) to an aspera server. Source files are deleted after transfer. Growing files will be sent only once they don't grow anymore (based on an 8-second cool-off period). If a transfer takes more than the execution period, then the subsequent execution is skipped (lock_port) preventing multiple concurrent runs.

Example: Unidirectional synchronization (upload) to server

ascli server upload source_sync --to-folder=/Upload/target_sync --lock-port=12345 --ts=@json:'{"resume_policy":"sparse_csum","exclude_newer_than":-8,"src_base":"source_sync"}'

This can also be used with other folder-based applications: Aspera on Cloud, Shares, Node.

Example: Unidirectional synchronization (download) from Aspera on Cloud Files

ascli aoc files download . --to-folder=. --lock-port=12345 --progress-bar=no --display=data --ts=@json:'{"resume_policy":"sparse_csum","target_rate_kbps":50000,"exclude_newer_than":-8,"delete_before_transfer":true}'

Note: Option delete_before_transfer will delete files locally, if they are not present on remote side.

Note: Options progress and display limit output for headless operation (e.g. cron job)

Health check and Nagios

Most plugin provide a health command that will check the health status of the application. Example:

ascli console health
| status | component   | message    |
| ok     | console api | accessible |

Typically, the health check uses the REST API of the application with the following exception: the server plugin allows checking health by:

  • Issuing a transfer to the server
  • Checking web app status with asctl all:status
  • Checking daemons process status

ascli can be called by Nagios to check the health status of an Aspera server. The output can be made compatible to Nagios with option --format=nagios :

ascli server health transfer --to-folder=/Upload --format=nagios --progress-bar=no
OK - [transfer:ok]

SMTP for email notifications

ascli can send email, for that setup SMTP configuration. This is done with option smtp.

The smtp option is a Hash (extended value) with the following fields:

field default example description
server - SMTP server address
tls true true Enable STARTTLS (port 587)
ssl false false Enable TLS (port 465)
port 587 or 465 or 25 587 Port for service
domain domain of server Email domain of user
username - User to authenticate on SMTP server, leave empty for open auth.
password - my_password_here Password for above username
from_email username if defined Address used if receiver replies
from_name same as email John Wayne Display name of sender

Example of configuration

ascli config preset set smtp_google server
ascli config preset set smtp_google username
ascli config preset set smtp_google password my_password_here


ascli config preset init smtp_google @json:'{"server":"","username":"","password":"my_password_here"}'


ascli config preset update smtp_google --password=my_password_here

Set this configuration as global default, for instance:

ascli config preset set cli_default smtp @val:@preset:smtp_google
ascli config preset set default config cli_default

Email templates

Sent emails are built using a template that uses the ERB syntax.

The template is the full SMTP message, including headers.

The following variables are defined by default:

  • from_name
  • from_email
  • to

Other variables are defined depending on context.


Check settings with smtp_settings command. Send test email with email_test.

ascli config --smtp=@preset:smtp_google smtp
ascli config --smtp=@preset:smtp_google email

Notifications for transfer status

An e-mail notification can be sent upon transfer success and failure (one email per transfer job, one job being possibly multi session, and possibly after retry).

To activate, use option notify_to.

A default e-mail template is used, but it can be overridden with option notify_template.

The environment provided contains the following additional variables:

  • subject
  • body
  • global_transfer_status
  • ts

Example of template:

From: <%=from_name%> <<%=from_email%>>
To: <<%=to%>>
Subject: <%=subject%>

Transfer is: <%=global_transfer_status%>

Tool: asession

This gem comes with a second executable tool providing a simplified standardized interface to start a FASP session: asession.

It aims at simplifying the startup of a FASP session from a programmatic stand point as formatting a transfer-spec is:

  • Common to Aspera Node API (HTTP POST /ops/transfer)
  • Common to Aspera Connect API (browser javascript startTransfer)
  • Easy to generate by using any third party language specific JSON library

Hopefully, IBM integrates this directly in ascp, and this tool is made redundant.

This makes it easy to integrate with any language provided that one can spawn a sub process, write to its STDIN, read from STDOUT, generate and parse JSON.

ascli expect one single argument: a session specification that contains parameters and a transfer-spec.

If no argument is provided, it assumes a value of: @json:@stdin:, i.e. a JSON formatted on stdin.

Note: If JSON is the format, specify @json: to tell ascli to decode the Hash using JSON syntax.

During execution, it generates all low level events, one per line, in JSON format on stdout.

Top level parameters supported by asession:

parameter description
spec the transfer-spec
agent same parameters as transfer-info for agent direct
loglevel log level of asession
file_list_folder the folder used to store (for garbage collection) generated file lists. By default it is [system tmp folder]/[username]_asession_filelists

Comparison of interfaces

feature/tool Transfer SDK FaspManager ascp asession
language integration Many C/C++
Any Any
required additional components to ascp Daemon Library
- Ruby
Aspera gem
startup Daemon API Command line arguments JSON on stdin
(standard APIs:
events Poll Callback Possibility to open management port
and proprietary text syntax
JSON on stdout
platforms Any with ascp and transfer daemon Any with ascp (and SDK if compiled) Any with ascp Any with Ruby and ascp

Simple session

Create a file session.json with:


Then start the session:

asession < session.json

Asynchronous commands and Persistent session

asession also supports asynchronous commands (on the management port). Instead of the traditional text protocol as described in ascp manual, the format for commands is: one single line per command, formatted in JSON, where parameters shall be snake style, for example: LongParameter -> long_parameter

This is particularly useful for a persistent session ( with the transfer-spec parameter: "keepalive":true )


(events from FASP are not shown in above example. They would appear after each command)

Example of language wrapper



asession -h
    asession -h|--help
    asession <session spec extended value>
    If no argument is provided, default will be used: @json:@stdin
    -h, --help display this message
    <session spec extended value> a dictionary value (Hash)
    The value can be either:
       the JSON description itself, e.g. @json:'{"xx":"yy",...}'
       @json:@stdin, if the JSON is provided from stdin
       @json:@file:<path>, if the JSON is provided from a file
    Parameter spec is mandatory, it contains the transfer spec
    Asynchronous commands can be provided on STDIN, examples:
Note: debug information can be placed on STDERR, using the "loglevel" parameter in session spec (debug=0)
    asession @json:'{"spec":{"remote_host":"","remote_user":"asperaweb","ssh_port":33001,"remote_password":"demoaspera","direction":"receive","destination_root":"./test.dir","paths":[{"source":"/aspera-test-dir-tiny/200KB.1"}]}}'
    echo '{"spec":{"remote_host":...}}'|asession @json:@stdin

Ruby Module: Aspera

Main components:

  • Aspera generic classes for REST and OAuth
  • Aspera::Agent::Direct: starting and monitoring transfers. It can be considered as a FASPManager class for Ruby.
  • Aspera::Cli: ascli.

Working examples can be found in repo: in Ruby examples.


When I joined Aspera, there was only one CLI: ascp, which is the implementation of the FASP protocol, but there was no CLI to access the various existing products (Server, Faspex, Shares). Once, Serban (founder) provided a shell script able to create a Faspex Package using Faspex REST API. Since all products relate to file transfers using FASP (ascp), I thought it would be interesting to have a unified CLI for transfers using FASP. Also, because there was already the ascp tool, I thought of an extended tool : which was accepting all ascp options for transfer but was also able to transfer to Faspex and Shares (destination was a kind of URI for the applications).

There were a few pitfalls:

  • ascli was written in the aging perl language while most Aspera web application products (but the Transfer Server) are written in ruby.
  • ascli was only for transfers, but not able to call other products APIs

So, it evolved into ascli:

  • Portable: works on platforms supporting ruby (and ascp)
  • Easy to install with the gem utility
  • Supports transfers with multiple Transfer Agents, that's why transfer parameters moved from ascp command line to transfer-spec (more reliable , more standard)
  • ruby is consistent with other Aspera products

Over the time, a supported command line tool aspera was developed in C++, it was later on deprecated. It had the advantage of being relatively easy to installed, as a single executable (well, still using ascp), but it was too limited IMHO, and lacked a lot of the features of this CLI.

Enjoy a coffee on me:

ascli config coffee --ui=text
ascli config coffee --ui=text --query=@json:'{"text":"true"}'
ascli config coffee

Common problems

ascli detects common problems and provides hints to solve them.

Error: "Remote host is not who we expected"

Cause: ascp >= 4.x checks fingerprint of highest server host key, including ECDSA. ascp < 4.0 (3.9.6 and earlier) support only to RSA level (and ignore ECDSA presented by server). aspera.conf supports a single fingerprint.

Workaround on client side: To ignore the certificate (SSH fingerprint) add option on client side (this option can also be added permanently to the configuration file):


Workaround on server side: Either remove the fingerprint from aspera.conf, or keep only RSA host keys in sshd_config.

References: ES-1944 in release notes of 4.1 and to HSTS admin manual section "Configuring Transfer Server Authentication With a Host-Key Fingerprint".

Error "can't find header files for ruby"

Some Ruby gems dependencies require compilation of native parts (C). This also requires Ruby header files. If Ruby was installed as a Linux Packages, then also install Ruby development package: ruby-dev or ruby-devel, depending on distribution.

ED255519 key not supported

ED25519 keys are deactivated since ascli version 0.9.24 as it requires additional gems that require native compilation and thus caused problems. This type of key will just be ignored.

Without this deactivation, if such key was present in user's .ssh folder then the following error was generated:

OpenSSH keys only supported if ED25519 is available

Which meant that you do not have Ruby support for ED25519 SSH keys. You may either install the suggested Gems, or remove your ed25519 key from your .ssh folder to solve the issue.

To re-activate, set env var ASCLI_ENABLE_ED25519 to true.