Fzf Gcloud

Preview the gcloud api with fzf.

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fzf-gcloud is a zsh script lets you browse the gcloud CLI api with fzf.

It adds a keybinding on CTRL-K (like cloud … meh) to browse the currently installed gcloud CLI API with fzf, to help navigate the many commands quickly: Usage preview


  • fzf (Please see the instructions upstream for fzf, but generally: brew install fzf & $(brew --prefix)/opt/fzf/install)
  • gcloud (brew install --cask google-cloud-sdk)
  • sqlite3 (brew install sqlite)


Manual Installation

  1. Download the shell functions from this repo:
curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/mbhynes/fzf-gcloud/main/fzf-gcloud.plugin.zsh > $HOME/.fzf-gcloud.plugin.zsh
  1. Add the following lines in your ~/.zshrc to source the functions to source them:
[ -f ~/.fzf-gcloud.plugin.zsh ] && source ~/.fzf-gcloud.plugin.zsh


Please note that the branch to checkout is main, which must be specified in the antigen invocation (see antigen bundle for more details):

antigen bundle 'mbhynes/fzf-gcloud' --branch=main

The first time you use CTRL-K, the gcloud command cache will be populated.

Don't panic.

You will be greeted by a wall of logging messages like those below for about a minute, after which you may use fzf-gcloud without having to repopulate the cache.

Adding invocation for 'gcloud beta sql import bak' (build from /usr/local/Caskroom/google-cloud-sdk/latest/google-cloud-sdk/lib/surface/sql/import/bak.py)
Adding invocation for 'gcloud beta sql import csv' (build from /usr/local/Caskroom/google-cloud-sdk/latest/google-cloud-sdk/lib/surface/sql/import/csv.py)
Adding invocation for 'gcloud beta sql import sql' (build from /usr/local/Caskroom/google-cloud-sdk/latest/google-cloud-sdk/lib/surface/sql/import/sql.py)
Adding invocation for 'gcloud beta sql backups delete' (build from /usr/local/Caskroom/google-cloud-sdk/latest/google-cloud-sdk/lib/surface/sql/backups/delete.py)
Adding invocation for 'gcloud beta sql backups describe' (build from /usr/local/Caskroom/google-cloud-sdk/latest/google-cloud-sdk/lib/surface/sql/backups/describe.py)

Other Packge Manager Installation

Please note that since there is no master branch for this repository (we use main), the some default load commands for popular zsh package managers will fail. Antigen supports providing an optional branch to antigen bundle and has good documentation, so it's the recommended package manager for installing fzf-gcloud.

Something like the below may work? … YMMV.

zgen load 'mbhynes/fzf-gcloud' 'main'


  • The widget is by default bound to the keybinding CTRL-K ('^K')
  • You can alter this by changing the bindkey line in the .fzf-gcloud.plugin.zsh or ~/.antigen/bundles/mbhynes/fzf-gcloud-main/fzf-gcloud.plugin.zsh (or wherever you've placed it in your system), as noted below:
fzf-gcloud-widget() {
  # ==========================================================================
  # Bind the gcloud fzf helper to CTRL-K
  # ==========================================================================
  local ret=$?
  zle reset-prompt
  return $ret
zle     -N   fzf-gcloud-widget
bindkey '^K' fzf-gcloud-widget # <--- change if you prefer a different keybinding

Implementation Details

Implementation Summary

The fzf-gcloud completion mechanism works in the following way:

  • we create a local cache (sqlite database) of gcloud commands for use with fzf
  • when the keybinding is invoked, the commands in this cache are piped into fzf with a --preview option to display each command's --help docs

Caching the gcloud signature

The local sqlite database is populated is a notably not-fancy way:

  • we determine the google-cloud-sdk root directory from the gcloud path (for brew users this will be: "$(brew --prefix)/Caskroom/google-cloud-sdk/latest/google-cloud-sdk
  • the signature of each gcloud command is inferred from the python filenames and directory structure in the lib/surface of the google-cloud-sdk
  • we detect whether the alpha or beta release track flags are required in each file, and use this to update the gcloud invocation, as appropriate
  • the cache is saved to "$HOME/.gcloud_cmd_cache.db", which database contains only 1 simple table with schema:
    create table GCLOUD_CMD_CACHE(
      api_source_file         text
    , gcloud_cmd_invocation   text
  • If you're interested, you may browse/update the contents of this cache:
sqlite3 $HOME/.gcloud_cmd_cache.db "select * from gcloud_cmd_cache where gcloud_cmd_invocation like '%alpha%' order by api_source_file limit 5;"
/usr/local/Caskroom/google-cloud-sdk/latest/google-cloud-sdk/lib/surface/access_approval/__init__.py|gcloud alpha access-approval
/usr/local/Caskroom/google-cloud-sdk/latest/google-cloud-sdk/lib/surface/access_context_manager/cloud_bindings/__init__.py|gcloud alpha access-context-manager cloud-bindings
/usr/local/Caskroom/google-cloud-sdk/latest/google-cloud-sdk/lib/surface/access_context_manager/cloud_bindings/create.py|gcloud alpha access-context-manager cloud-bindings create
/usr/local/Caskroom/google-cloud-sdk/latest/google-cloud-sdk/lib/surface/access_context_manager/cloud_bindings/update.py|gcloud alpha access-context-manager cloud-bindings update
/usr/local/Caskroom/google-cloud-sdk/latest/google-cloud-sdk/lib/surface/admin_service_cluster/__init__.py|gcloud alpha admin-service-cluster

Please note: there's probably a better way to do this. But this works, is very directly understandable, and only takes about a minute to populate ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Updating the Cache

There's no magic here. After sourcing the functions, just re-run:


Uninstalling fzf-gcloud

Manual Uninstallation

If you installed this plugin manually, please use the following steps:

  • Remove the command cache database
  • Remove the source ~/.fzf-gcloud.plugin.zsh lines from your zshrc

Antigen Uninstallation

  • Remove the command cache database
  • Purge the antigen bundle
antigen purge mbhynes/fzf-gcloud