# Command Line Interface

Directus has two command line interfaces (CLI) that you can use for various actions. One is used for server-side actions that relate to your on-prem instance, like migrating the database or resetting a user, while the other allows you to interact with a Directus instance as you would with an SDK.

# Server

For server-side CLI, all functionality can be accessed by running npx directus <command> in your project folder.

# Initialize a New Project

npx directus init

Will install the required database driver, and create a .env file based on the inputted values.

# Bootstrap a Project

npx directus bootstrap

Will use an existing .env file (or existing environment variables) to either install the database (if it's empty) or migrate it to the latest version (if it already exists and has missing migrations).

This is very useful to use in environments where you're doing standalone automatic deployments, like a multi-container Kubernetes configuration, or a similar approach on DigitalOcean App Platform or AWS Elastic Beanstalk

First User

You can use the ADMIN_EMAIL and ADMIN_PASSWORD environment variables to automatically provision the first user on first creation using the bootstrap command. See Environment Variables for more information.

Skip Admin User/Role

You can pass the --skipAdminInit option to bootstrap, if you're creating your Admin role/user in another way (with a custom migration or an external service, for example).

# Install the Database

npx directus database install

Installs the Directus system tables on an empty database. Used internally by bootstrap

# Upgrade the Database

npx directus database migrate:latest
npx directus database migrate:up
npx directus database migrate:down

Migrate the database up/down to match the versions of Directus. Once you update Directus itself, make sure to run npx directus database migrate:latest (or npx directus bootstrap) to update your database.

# Migrate Schema to a different Environment

To move your configured data model between Directus instances, you can use the schema "snapshot" and "apply" commands.

# Snapshot the Data Model

Directus can automatically generate a snapshot of your current data model in YAML or JSON format. This includes all collections, fields, and relations, and their configuration. This snapshot can be checked in version control and shared with your team. To generate the snapshot, run

npx directus schema snapshot ./snapshot.yaml

# Applying a Snapshot

To make a different instance up to date with the latest changes in your data model, you can apply the snapshot. By applying the snapshot, Directus will auto-detect the changes required to make the current instance up to date with the proposed data model in the snapshot file, and will run the required migrations to the database to make it match the snapshot.

To apply the generated snapshot, run

npx directus schema apply ./path/to/snapshot.yaml

# Client

For the client-side CLI, all functionality can be accessed by running npx directusctl <command>. You can also install @directus/cli on your project dependencies or globally on your machine. Note that if you run directusctl (installed globally) in a folder containing a project that has a version of @directus/cli installed, the running global CLI will forward it's execution to the local installed version instead.

# Help & Documentation

The documentation for all commands can be accessed through the CLI itself. You can list all the available commands through directusctl --help command. If you want help for a specific command you can use directusctl <command> --help instead.

# Instances

Most client-side CLI commands needs a running Directus instance in order to work. To connect the CLI to an instance, you can use directusctl instance connect command. These instance's configs are going to be saved on ~/.directus folder.

To manage the connected instances, you can use directusctl instance <command> commands.

# Selecting instances

By default, commands will try using an instance named default when executing commands.

If you want to change which instance you want to use, either pass --instance <name> to the command, or configure instance variable on your project's Directus config file.

For example:

.directus.yml

instance: my-project

# I/O

The CLI is designed with ease of use and automation in mind, this means that you can change the way the output is made by setting how you want the data to be written to the terminal. We currently support three formats, table (the default one), json and yaml.

This makes it easier to parse and use data from Directus with other tools like jq, yq, grep or any other tools that accepts data from stdin

It's also worth mentioning that everything is data. Try for example running directusctl --help --format=json.

# Table

The default output format. This is the "pretty" output, you'll most likely want to use this if you're not dealing with data in a way you need to pipe it to another command and/or store it it for parsing.

This output will output colors and highlight content if it detects you're running in TTL.

# JSON

This format will output JSON notation strings to your terminal. By default if TTY is detected, it will highlight (can be turned off with special flags) and prettify the output to make it easier to read.

Useful when you need to parse data using tools like jq for example.

# YAML

This format will output YAML strings to your terminal. By default if TTY is detected, it will highlight (can be turned off with special flags) and prettify the output to make it easier to read.

Useful when you need to parse data using tools like jq for example.