Developer tools /CLI /

Get started with Netlify CLI

Netlify’s command line interface (CLI) lets you configure continuous deployment straight from the command line. You can use Netlify CLI to run a local development server that you can share with others, run a local build and plugins, and deploy your site.

The sections below describe how to perform common tasks with Netlify CLI. You can also access a full command reference online, or get help within Netlify CLI.

# Installation

To install Netlify CLI, make sure you have Node.js version 18.14.0 or later.

Then, run this command from any directory in your terminal:

npm install netlify-cli -g

This installs Netlify CLI globally, so you can run netlify commands from any directory. You can check the version and find out some basic information about the tool with the following command:


Global versus local

Installing Netlify CLI globally means that your system always has the latest version, including any breaking changes. While global installation is appropriate for initial development and experimentation, for managing builds in a continuous integration (CI) environment, use local CLI installation instead.

# Installation in a CI environment

When using Netlify CLI in a continuous integration (CI) environment such as GitHub Actions, CircleCI, or Travis CI, we recommend installing it locally as a development dependency instead of globally. This binds a specific CLI version to your project repository. To install Netlify CLI locally, run the following command from the root directory of your project:

npm install netlify-cli --save-dev

For CI environments, we also recommend using a lock file to guarantee reproducible builds and relying on an automated tool like renovate or dependabot to manage Netlify CLI version updates.

# Authentication

Netlify CLI uses an access token to authenticate with Netlify. You can obtain this token using the command line or in the Netlify UI.


If your team requires you to log in with single sign-on (SSO), your tokens will be denied access to the team by default. You can choose to grant access to the team when you obtain a new token. You must be logged in to the team with SSO to grant access to it.

# Obtain a token with the command line

To authenticate and obtain an access token using the command line, enter the following command from any directory:

netlify login

This will open a browser window, asking you to log in with Netlify and grant access to Netlify CLI.

Once authorized, Netlify CLI stores your access token in a config.json global configuration file. The Netlify CLI uses the token in this file automatically for all future commands.

# config.json location

You can find the Netlify CLI global configuration file, config.json, under your user in these OS-specific locations:

  • macOS: Library/Preferences/netlify/config.json
  • Linux: .config/netlify/config.json
  • Windows: AppData\Roaming\netlify\Config\config.json

# Obtain a token in the Netlify UI

You can generate a personal access token (PAT) manually in your Netlify user settings:

  1. Go to .
  2. Select New access token.
  3. Enter a descriptive name to help you remember what the token will be used for.
  4. Select Allow access to my SAML-based Netlify team to authorize access to your SAML-based team data through the API.
  5. Select an Expiration date for your token to help keep your information secure.
  6. Select Generate token.
  7. Copy the token to your clipboard and store it in a safe location. Once you navigate away from this page, you won’t be able to access the value again.
  8. Select Done.
  9. Save the token as a NETLIFY_AUTH_TOKEN environment variable in your terminal settings or in the UI of a Continuous Integration (CI) tool.

# Cancel access tokens

To revoke your user access token for Netlify CLI, go to your Netlify user Applications settings. The procedure for revoking access depends on how access was granted.

# Usage data collection

By default, Netlify collects data on usage of Netlify CLI commands. We do this to improve the reliability and performance of Netlify CLI, and to help drive new features and improvements.

If you’d like to opt out of sending usage data, you can do so by editing the telemetryDisabled property in the Netlify CLI config.json. You can also do this with the command line:

# opt out of sharing usage data
netlify --telemetry-disable

# allow your usage to help shape development
netlify --telemetry-enable

# Continuous deployment

With continuous deployment, Netlify will automatically deploy new versions of your site when you push commits to your connected Git repository. This also facilitates features like Deploy Previews, branch deploys, and split testing. (Some of these features must be enabled in the Netlify UI.)

To connect your local project to an existing Netlify site, use link

If your site already has continuous deployment set up and you just want to associate a project on your local machine to an existing site on Netlify, use netlify link instead of netlify init or netlify init --manual.

# Automated setup

For repositories stored on, you can use Netlify CLI to connect your repository by running the following command from your local repository:

netlify init

In order to connect your repository for continuous deployment, Netlify CLI will need access to create a deploy key and a webhook on the repository. When you run the command above, you’ll be prompted to log in to your GitHub account, which will create an account-level access token.

The access token will be stored in the Netlify CLI config.json. Your login password will never be stored. You can revoke the access token at any time from your GitHub account settings; however, this will disable continuous deployment on all sites that were configured with that access token.

# Manual setup

For repositories stored on GitLab, Bitbucket, or Azure DevOps, you can connect your repository manually with the --manual flag.

For repositories on GitHub, you can also connect your repository manually, if you prefer to give more limited, repository-only access for your repositories on GitHub.

From your local repository, run the following command:

netlify init --manual

The Netlify CLI will prompt you to set your deploy settings and then provide you with a deploy/access key and a webhook URL. You’ll need to manually add the key and webhook URL to your Git provider.

# Add your deploy or access key

Netlify uses a deploy or access key to fetch your repository using ssh for building and deploying. The deploy key does not require write access.

Sample terminal output reads: 'Give this Netlify SSH public key access to your repository,' and displays a key code.

Copy the key printed in the command line, then add it to your Git provider.

  • GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket. Add the deploy key to your repository’s settings. If you have more than one site connected to a repository, you will need a unique key for each repository.
  • Azure DevOps. Add the Netlify SSH public key to your Azure DevOps user settings under SSH Public Keys.

# Add your webhook URL

Your Git provider will send a message to this webhook when you push changes to your repository, triggering a new deploy on Netlify.

Sample terminal output reads: 'Configure the following webhook for your repository,' and displays a URL.

Copy the webhook address printed in the command line, then add the URL and webhook details to your Git provider. If available, the Content type should be set to application/json.

  • GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket. Add the webhook address as the Payload URL for a new webhook in your repository’s settings. When selecting events to trigger the webhook, Push events will trigger production and branch deploys on watched branches, and Pull/Merge request events will trigger deploy previews.

  • Azure DevOps. In your project’s settings under Service hooks, add webhooks for these Azure DevOps events using the Netlify webhook address as the Payload URL:

    • Code pushed
    • Pull request created
    • Pull request merge attempted
    • Pull request updated

    Ensure that you set webhooks for your repository with the default [Any] branch setting. Once configured, these webhook events can trigger production and branch deploys on your watched branches.

# Run a local development environment

Netlify Dev brings the functionality of your Netlify production environment directly to your local machine.

For more information on how to configure and use Netlify Dev, refer to our local development with Netlify Dev doc.

# Run builds locally

You can run builds in Netlify CLI to mimic the behavior of running a build on Netlify — including Build Plugins. To execute a build locally, run the following command from the root of your linked repository:

netlify build

The command will build your project using environment variables set in netlify.toml and those set using the Netlify UI, CLI, or API. Note that environment variables apply to all scopes when running netlify build locally.

Make sure your Node.js versions match

If you are using the Netlify CLI to run a build locally, make sure the Node.js version installed in your local environment matches the version set for your build on Netlify. If the versions don’t match, you may encounter errors.

If you’d like to get a summary of what a build will do without taking the time to do a full build, you can use the --dry flag:

netlify build --dry

This command will output a list of all the stages of the build and the behaviors that are configured to run during each stage.

The default deploy context is production but you can also use the --context flag to run a build for a different deploy context.

netlify build --context deploy-preview

This command will run the build as if it is a Deploy Preview, applying any settings and environment variable values specific to that context.

# Manual deploys

It’s also possible to deploy a site manually, without continuous deployment. This method uploads files directly from your local project directory to your site on Netlify. If builds are stopped, manual deploys are the only way you can update your site.

A common use case for this command is when you’re using a separate Continuous Integration (CI) tool, deploying prebuilt files to Netlify at the end of the CI tool tasks.

To get started with manual deploys, run the following command from your project directory:

netlify deploy

The first time you run the command, Netlify CLI will prompt you to select an existing site or create a new one, linking the site for all future deploys.

The following sections describe the requirements and options for manual deploys.

# Deploy directories

The deploy command needs to know which folder to publish. If your project includes serverless functions, it needs to know the location of the functions folder as well. Netlify CLI will look for this information in three places, in the following order:

  • in flags specified in the command itself.
  • in a netlify.toml file stored at the root of your project directory.
  • in your site configuration in the Netlify UI, if continuous deployment is set up for the site.

Here is an example using command flags to set the publish folder and functions folder:

netlify deploy --dir=_site --functions=functions

In both cases, folder paths are relative to the current directory. Note that paths starting with / will begin at the computer’s root directory — not the base of your project directory.

# Draft deploys

By default, the deploy command deploys to a unique draft URL for previewing and testing.

The default draft URL uses random alphanumeric characters for the subdomain. To customize the subdomain of your draft URL with a unique string, use the --alias flag with the deploy command.

netlify deploy --alias=YOUR_ALIAS

Avoid using --alias with any of your branch names

Ensure the string you use after --alias= doesn’t match any existing branch names from your site’s repository. The --alias flag is designed to support draft deploy URLs only and doesn’t create a branch deploy or support our branch subdomains feature. Learn more about this flag in the CLI reference docs. To create a branch deploy, use continuous deployment.

# Production deploys

To do a production deploy to your main site URL, use the --prod flag (or -p for short):

netlify deploy --prod

# Node.js function dependencies

Before manually deploying TypeScript or JavaScript functions with Netlify CLI, populate node_modules folders with your dependencies by running the following command in any folder containing package.json.

npm install

When you deploy TypeScript or JavaScript functions using the netlify deploy command, Netlify CLI parses each function file to note its dependencies. For each function, the CLI then pulls the required dependencies from the associated node_modules folder and zips them with the function file for deployment.

If your site isn’t already on Netlify, use init or deploy instead

If your site is not already on Netlify, you need to either set up continuous deployment or manually deploy the site before you can link your local project to it. If you use the Netlify CLI to deploy your site, the CLI will automatically link the project on your local machine to the site on Netlify.

If you want to connect your local project or repository to a site already on Netlify, you can skip the initial setup steps above and run the following command from the root of the local directory:

netlify link

This will add a siteId field to a new file inside your project folder, at .netlify/state.json. To unlink your folder from the site, you can remove this field, or you can run the following command from inside the project folder:

netlify unlink

Alternatively, you can link to a site by finding the site ID in the Netlify UI, then adding it to your local terminal environment:

  1. Go to , and copy the value for Site ID.
  2. Assign the ID to a NETLIFY_SITE_ID environment variable, in your terminal settings or in the UI of a Continuous Integration (CI) tool.

# Manage environment variables

You can create and update site environment variables stored on Netlify with the CLI’s env command. Any changes made using the CLI will be reflected in the Netlify UI. Environment variable changes require a build and deploy to take effect.

By default, the Netlify CLI deploy context is the local development context (dev). Unless a different deploy context is specified, CLI commands will get and use variables that have values set specifically for use with the dev deploy context and variables that have a single value for use across all deploy contexts.

Use the --context and --scope flags with your CLI commands to set contextual or scope values, or to filter results. You can use both flags in the same command, for example:

netlify env:set API_KEY someValue --scope functions --context production branch-deploy
netlify env:list --scope builds --context deploy-preview

# Create or update environment variables

To create or update a site environment variable on Netlify, use env:set with the key followed by a space and then the value. You can only set one value at a time, but you can specify multiple deploy contexts and scopes in a space-separated list (no commas) using the --context and --scope flags.

netlify env:set API_KEY someValue
netlify env:set ANOTHER_API_KEY someValue --scope builds --context dev

If you omit the --scope or --context flags when running the env:set command, the variable is set to all scopes and with the same value for all deploy contexts.

To set one value for production and deploy-preview and another value for a branch named staging, run the command twice:

netlify env:set API_KEY someValue --context production deploy-preview
netlify env:set API_KEY someOtherValue --context branch:staging

You can also import environment variables from a .env file into Netlify using env:import followed by the filename. The imported variables are set to all scopes and with the same value for all deploy contexts.

netlify env:import .env

To copy environment variables from one site to another, use env:clone.

netlify env:clone --to destinationSiteId --from sourceSiteID

If you are using environment variable secrets with Netlify’s Secrets Controller, you can flag that an environment variable value is secret using the --secret flag when creating or modifying a value.

netlify env:set API_KEY someValue --context production --secret

# Get environment variables

To retrieve a list of site environment variables stored on Netlify, use env:list. The CLI gets all variables that have values set for local development with the Netlify CLI (deploy contexts dev or all) and outputs a list of keys with an option to display their values.

You can request other contextual values using the --context flag and filter the list using the --scope flag. You can also use the --json and --plain flags to retrieve the list in JSON or plain text format, which can be helpful if you want to copy the values into a .env file locally.

The list will only include shared environment variables if the command is run by a Team Owner.

This list will not include raw, unmasked values of any environment variables marked as secret unless the --context is dev. Review the environment variable secrets policy for more details on the access restrictions.

netlify env:list
netlify env:list --context branch:staging
netlify env:list --scope functions
netlify env:list --plain

To retrieve an individual environment variable’s value, use env:get. The CLI gets the values set for local development with the Netlify CLI (deploy contexts dev or all). You can use the --context flag to retrieve a value from another context or the --scope flag to retrieve a value only if the variable is available to a specific scope.

netlify env:get API_KEY
netlify env:get API_KEY --context production

# Delete environment variables

To delete environment variables from Netlify, use env:unset. This command deletes the specified variable and its values from all deploy contexts. Once unset, these variables will no longer be stored on Netlify or appear in the UI. You can use the --context flag to delete one value from a specific deploy context instead.

netlify env:unset API_KEY
netlify env:unset API_KEY --context dev

# Work with monorepos

Commands execute from the workspace root

Starting with Netlify CLI version 16, all commands execute from the workspace root to mimic the build system behavior on Netlify. The workspace root is the directory that contains the highest-level package.json in your monorepo. Make sure any paths declared in netlify.toml are absolute paths relative to the base directory.

A monorepo is a repository that contains multiple sites or apps, each in its own subdirectory.

When you use the Netlify CLI, Netlify automatically scans the repository to detect if you are using a monorepo. If you are, the Netlify CLI will ask you to specify the site to run a command on and you can choose from the list of detected sites.

You also have the option to manually set the following flag:

  • --filter: to specify which site in your monorepo to use for a command. You can use the package name or the path to the package. This way you can run commands directly from the repository root for all projects in your monorepo.

    netlify dev --filter website
    netlify dev --filter packages/website

Note that selecting a site with the Netlify CLI only applies to the command you are running and doesn’t influence the build settings in the Netlify UI. Learn more about how to set up a site from a monorepo.

To print the full debugging output for a command to the terminal, set the DEBUG variable before running the command.

On Mac OS, Linux, and some common Windows terminals, add DEBUG=* to the beginning of the command:

DEBUG=* netlify deploy

If you are using the Windows command prompt (cmd.exe), use set to set the variable:

set DEBUG=* & netlify deploy

In Windows PowerShell, use $env: to set the variable:

$env:DEBUG='*';netlify deploy

# Get help

To get usage tips and learn more about available commands from within Netlify CLI, run the following:

netlify help

For more information about a specific command, run help with the name of the command.

netlify help deploy

This also works for sub-commands.

netlify help sites:create

If you have additional questions or ideas for new features, you can start an issue on Netlify CLI’s open source repository. You can also visit our Support Forums to start or join a conversation. We’d love to hear from you!

Local development with Netlify Dev: Get started with Netlify Dev

Local development with Netlify Dev: Share a live development server

Local development with Netlify Dev: Configuration