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Fleet documentation

Welcome to the documentation for Fleet, the lightweight management platform for laptops and servers.


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Fleetctl CLI

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fleetctl CLI

fleetctl (pronounced "Fleet control") is a CLI tool for managing Fleet from the command line. fleetctl enables a GitOps workflow with Fleet.

fleetctl also provides a quick way to work with all the data exposed by Fleet without having to use the Fleet UI or work directly with the Fleet API.

Installing fleetctl

Install fleetctl with npm or download the binary from GitHub.

npm install -g fleetctl

Upgrading fleetctl

The easiest way to update fleetctl is by running the installation command again.

npm install -g fleetctl@latest


Available commands

Much of the functionality available in the Fleet UI is also available in fleetctl. You can run queries, add and remove users, generate Fleet's agent (fleetd) to add new hosts, get information about existing hosts, and more!

To see the available commands you can run:

> fleetctl --help

Get more info about a command

Each command has a help menu with additional information. To pull up the help menu, run fleetctl <command> --help, replacing <command> with the command you're looking up:

> fleetctl setup --help

You will see more info about the command, including the usage and information about any additional commands and options (or 'flags'):

   fleetctl setup - Set up a Fleet instance

   fleetctl setup [options]

   --email value     Email of the admin user to create (required) [$EMAIL]
   --name value      Name or nickname of the admin user to create (required) [$NAME]
   --password value  Password for the admin user (recommended to use interactive entry) [$PASSWORD]
   --org-name value  Name of the organization (required) [$ORG_NAME]
   --config value    Path to the fleetctl config file (default: "/Users/ksatter/.fleet/config") [$CONFIG]
   --context value   Name of fleetctl config context to use (default: "default") [$CONTEXT]
   --debug           Enable debug http request logging (default: false) [$DEBUG]
   --help, -h        show help (default: false)


This section walks you through authentication, assuming you already have a running Fleet instance. To learn how to set up new Fleet instance, check out the Deploy section or Building Fleet locally docs.


To log in to your Fleet instance, run following commands:

  1. Set the Fleet instance address
> fleetctl config set --address
[+] Set the address config key to "" in the "default" context
  1. Log in with your credentials
> fleetctl login
Log in using the standard Fleet credentials.
Email: [email protected]
[+] Fleet login successful and context configured!

Once your local context is configured, you can use fleetctl normally.

Log in with SAML (SSO) authentication

Users that authenticate to Fleet via SSO should retrieve their API token from the UI and set it manually in their fleetctl configuration (instead of logging in via fleetctl login).

Fleet UI:

  1. Go to the My account page (
  2. Select the Get API token button to bring up a modal with the API token.
  3. Set the API token in the ~/.fleet/config file.
    email: [email protected]
    token: your_token_here

The token can also be set with fleetctl config set --token, but this may leak the token into a user's shell history.

Using fleetctl with an API-only user

When running automated workflows using the Fleet API, we recommend an API-only user's API key rather than the API key of a regular user. A regular user's API key expires frequently for security purposes, requiring routine updates. Meanwhile, an API-only user's key does not expire.

An API-only user does not have access to the Fleet UI. Instead, it's only purpose is to interact with the API programmatically or from fleetctl.

Create API-only user

Before creating the API-only user, log in to fleetctl as an admin. See authentication above for details.

To create your new API-only user, use fleetctl user create:

fleetctl user create --name "API User" --email [email protected] --password temp@pass123 --api-only


An API-only user can be given the same permissions as a regular user. The default access level is Observer. You can specify what level of access the new user should have using the --global-role flag:

fleetctl user create --name "API User" --email [email protected] --password temp@pass123 --api-only --global-role admin

On Fleet Premium, use the --team <team_id>:<role> to create an API-only user on a team:

fleetctl user create --name "API User" --email [email protected] --password temp@pass123 --api-only --team 4: gitops

Changing permissions

To change roles of a current user, log into the Fleet UI as an admin and navigate to Settings > Users.

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Suggestion: To disable/enable a user's access to the UI (converting a regular user to an API-only user or vice versa), create a new user.

Get API token for API-only user

To get the API key of an API-only user, you need to call the login API with the credentials supplied during user creation.

curl --location --request POST '' \
--header 'Content-Type: application/json' \
--data-raw '{
    "email": "[email protected]",
    "password": "foobar12345"

The Log in API will return a response similar to the one below with the API token included that will not expire.

    "user": {
        "id": 82,
        "name": "API User",
        "email": "[email protected]",
        "global_role": "observer",
        "api_only": true
    "available_teams": [],
    "token": "foo_token"

Switching users

To use fleetctl with your regular user account but occasionally use your API-only user for specific cases, you can set up your fleetctl config with a new context to hold the credentials of your API-only user:

fleetctl config set --address --context api
[+] Context "api" not found, creating it with default values
[+] Set the address config key to "" in the "api" context

From there on, you can use the --context api flag whenever you need to use the API-only user's identity, rather than logging in and out to switch accounts:

fleetctl login --context admin
Log in using the admin Fleet credentials.
Email: [email protected]
[+] Fleet login successful and context configured!

Running a command with no context will use the default profile.

Debugging Fleet

fleetctl provides debugging capabilities about the running Fleet server via the debug command. To see a complete list of all the options run:

fleetctl debug --help

To generate a full debugging archive, run:

fleetctl debug archive

This will generate a tar.gz file with:

  • prof archives that can be inspected via go tools pprof <archive_name_here>.
  • A file containing a set of all the errors that happened in the server during the interval of time defined by the logging_error_retention_period configuration.
  • Files containing database-specific information.

Try it out

See what Fleet can do

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