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Record events and run queries from the comfort of your command line


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 Project Readme


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A command line interface for the Keen IO analytics API.

Community-Supported SDK

This is an unofficial community supported SDK. If you find any issues or have a request please post an issue.


keen-cli is built with Ruby, so you'll need a working Ruby 1.9+ environment to use it. You can find Ruby installation instructions here.

Install the gem:

$ gem install keen-cli

Verify the keen command is in your path by running it. You should see information about available commands.

$ keen
  keen average               # Alias for queries:run -a average
  keen collections:delete    # Delete events from a collection
  keen count                 # Alias for queries:run -a count
  keen count-unique          # Alias for queries:run -a count_unique
  keen docs                  # Open the full Keen IO documentation in a browser
  keen events:add            # Add one or more events and print the result
  keen extraction            # Alias for queries:run -a extraction
  keen help [COMMAND]        # Describe available commands or one specific command
  keen maximum               # Alias for queries:run -a maximum
  keen median                # Alias for queries:run -a median
  keen minimum               # Alias for queries:run -a minimum
  keen percentile            # Alias for queries:run -a percentile
  keen projects:collections  # Print information about a project's collections
  keen projects:describe     # Print information about a project
  keen projects:open         # Open a project's overview page in a browser
  keen projects:workbench    # Open a project's workbench page in a browser
  keen queries:run           # Run a query and print the result
  keen queries:url           # Print the URL for a query
  keen select-unique         # Alias for queries:run -a select_unique
  keen sum                   # Alias for queries:run -a sum
  keen version               # Print the keen-cli version

If keen can't be found there might be an issue with your Ruby installation. In that case check out rbenv. If you're already using rbenv and keen still can't be found try running rbenv rehash after installation.

Environment configuration

Most keen-cli commands require the presence of a project and one or more API keys to do meaningful actions. By default, keen-cli attempts to find these in the process environment or a .env file in the current directory. This is the same heuristic that keen-gem uses and is based on dotenv.

An example .env file looks like this:


If you run keen from a directory with this .env file, it will assume the project in context is the one specified by KEEN_PROJECT_ID.

To override the project context use the --project option:

$ keen projects:describe --project XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Similar overrides are available for specifiying API keys: --master-key, --read-key and --write-key.

For example:

$ keen projects:describe --project XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX --master-key AAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Shorter aliases exist as well: -p for project, -k for master key, -r for read key, and -w for write key.

$ keen projects:describe -p XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX -k AAAAAAAAAAAAAA


keen-cli has a variety of commands, and most are namespaced for clarity.

  • projects:open - Open the Project Overview page in a browser
  • projects:workbench - Open the Project Workbench page in a browser
  • projects:describe - Get data about the project. Uses the project row resource.
  • projects:collections - Get schema information about the project's collections. Uses the event resource.
  • collections:delete - Delete a collection. Takes filters and timeframe as options. Requires confirmation. Pass --force to skip, but BE CAREFUL :)

events:add - Add an event.


  • --collection, -c: The collection to add the event to. Alternately you can set KEEN_COLLECTION_NAME on the environment if you're working with the same collection frequently.
  • --batch-size: Batch size of events posted to Keen, defaults to 1000.

Input source parameters:

  • --data, -d: Pass an event body on the command line. Make sure to use quotes where necessary.
  • --file, -f: The name of a file containing events.

You can also pass input via STDIN.

If not otherwise specified, the format of data from any source is assumed to be newline-delimited JSON. CSV and query string-like input is also supported. The associated params:

  • --csv: Specify CSV format. The first line must contain column names. Column names containing ., such as keen.timestamp, will be converted to nested properties.
  • --params: Specify "params" format. Params format looks like property1=value1&property2=value etc.

Various examples:

# add an empty event
$ keen events:add --collection signups

# use the shorter form of collection
$ keen events:add -c signups

# add a blank event to a collection specified by the environment:
$ KEEN_COLLECTION_NAME=signups keen events:add

# add an event from JSON using the --data parameter
$ keen events:add -c signups --data "{ \"username\" : \"dzello\", \"city\": \"San Francisco\" }"

# add an event from key value pairs using the --params parameter
$ keen events:add -c signups --data "username=dzello&city=SF" --params

# add events from a file that contains newline delimited json:
# { "username" : "dzello", "city" : "San Francisco" }
# { "username" : "KarlTheFog", "city" : "San Francisco" }
# { "username" : "polarvortex", "city" : "Chicago" }
$ keen events:add -c signups --file events.json

# add events from a file that contains an array of JSON objects
# [{ "apple" : "sauce" }, { "banana" : "pudding" }, { "cherry" : "pie" }]
$ keen events:add -c signups --file events.json

# add events from a file in CSV format. the first row must be column names:
# username, city
# dzello, San Francisco
# KarlTheFog, San Francisco
# polarvortex, Chicago
$ keen events:add -c signups --file events.csv --csv

# pipe in an event as JSON
$ echo "{ \"username\" : \"dzello\", \"city\": \"San Francisco\" }" | keen events:add -c signups

# pipe in multiple events as newline-delimited JSON
$ cat events.json | keen events:add -c signups


  • and keen.created_at properties are automatically removed from events before uploading. The API generates these properties and it will refuse them from clients. The automatic removal makes export & re-import scenarios easier.

queries:run - Runs a query and prints the result


  • --collection, -c: – The collection to query against. Can also be set on the environment via KEEN_COLLECTION_NAME.
  • --analysis-type, -a: The analysis type for the query. Only needed when not using a query command alias.
  • --group-by, -g: A group by for the query. Multiple fields seperated by comma are supported.
  • --target-property, -y: A target property for the query.
  • --timeframe, -t: A relative timeframe, e.g. last_60_minutes.
  • --start, -s: The start time of an absolute timeframe.
  • --end, -e: The end time of an absolute timeframe.
  • --interval, -i: The interval for a series query.
  • --filters, -f: A set of filters for the query, passed as JSON.
  • --percentile: The percentile value (e.g. 99) for a percentile query.
  • --property-names: A comma-separated list of property names. Extractions only.
  • --latest: Number of latest events to retrieve. Extractions only.
  • --email: Send extraction results via email, asynchronously. Extractions only.
  • --spark: Format output for spark ▁▂▃▅▇. Interval and timeframe fields required. Set this flag and pipe output to spark to visualize output.

Input source parameters:

  • --data, -d: Specify query parameters as JSON instead of query params.

You can also pass input via STDIN.

Some examples:

# run a count
$ keen queries:run --collection signups --analysis-type count --timeframe this_14_days
  "result": 1000

# run a count with collection name from .env
$ keen queries:run --analysis-type count --timeframe this_14_days
  "result": 1000

# run a count with a group by
$ keen queries:run --collection signups --analysis-type count --group-by username --timeframe this_14_days
  "result": [
      "username": "dzello",
      "result": 1000

# run a query with a timeframe, target property, group by, and interval
$ keen queries:run --collection signups --analysis-type count_unique --target-property age --group-by source --timeframe previous_24_hours --interval hourly
  "result": [
      "timeframe": {
        "start": "2014-06-27T01:00:00.000Z",
        "end": "2014-06-27T02:00:00.000Z"
      "value": [

# run a query with an absolute timeframe
$ keen queries:run --analysis-type count --start 2014-07-01T00:00:00Z --end 2014-07-31T23:59:59Z
  "result": 1000

# run an extraction with specific property names
$ keen queries:run --collection minecraft-deaths --analysis-type extraction --property-names player,enemy --timeframe this_14_days
  "result": [
      "player": "dzello",
      "enemy": "creeper"
      "player": "dkador",
      "enemy": "creeper"

# run a query using JSON to specify parameters
$ echo "{ \"event_collection\" : \"minecraft-deaths\", \"target_property\": \"level\" , \"timeframe\": \"this_14_days\" }" | keen queries:run -a average
  "result": 2

Query URL Generation

Run keen with no arguments to see the full list of aliases.

queries:url - Generates the URL of a query, but does not run it.

The same parameters apply as queries:run, in addition to one extra.

  • --exclude-api-key: Prevent the API key query param from being included in the output

Query Aliases

For each type of analysis (e.g. count, average, extraction, etc.) there is an alias that can be used instead of queries:run. The command name is simply the type of analysis, using a dash to delimit words. Here are a few examples:

$ keen count -c logins
$ keen minimum -c cpu-checks -y iowait

Global parameters

Parameters that apply to most commands include:

  • --pretty: Prettify API response JSON. Defaults to true, set --pretty=false to prevent
  • --silent: Silence any output. Defaults to false.


  • 0.2.3 - Strip keen.created_at and out of events to be added.
  • 0.2.2 - Return full API JSON response for queries.
  • 0.2.1 - Add collections:delete command.
  • 0.2.0 - Add support for spark ▁▂▃▅▇
  • 0.1.9 - Supports JSON-encoded filters and comma-seperated multiple group by.
  • 0.1.8 - Inputted lines can also be arrays of JSON objects. --batch-size param is now properly recognized.
  • 0.1.7 - Add docs command.
  • 0.1.6 - Big refactoring to make importing events much cleaner and batching happen automatically. Also adds queries:url.
  • 0.1.5 – Support adding events from files with --file. Optionally add from CSV with --csv.
  • 0.1.4 – Support absolute timeframes via --start and --end flags.
  • 0.1.3 – Add querying via JSON. Add query aliases. Add support for extraction fields.
  • 0.1.2 – Change project:show to project:describe.
  • 0.1.1 – Add project:collections.
  • 0.1.0 - Initial version.


keen-cli is open source, and contributions are very welcome!

Run the tests with:

$ bundle exec rake spec