Set up the CLI

This guide will help you install and set up the Grey Matter CLI.

The greymatter CLI is a configuration tool for the Grey Matter control plane. Runtime configuration changes can be made with the CLI.

Q: How do the CLI and the Control API interact?

A: The CLI manipulates configuration objects registered with the control plane. This configures the behavior of the sidecars making up the mesh. Learn more about these mesh objects if you haven't already.


To complete this tutorial, you’ll need an understanding of, and local access to the following environments and tools:

Step 1: Download and Install the greymatter CLI

The Grey Matter CLI is a binary written in Go. There are two ways to install it:

  1. Use gmenv, a manager for installing and setting different greymatter versions

  2. Download the binary manually from our published releases

We recommend using gmenv because it allows for easier versioning against different Grey Matter environments.

  1. Install gmenv: a. On a Mac, using brew:

    brew install greymatter-io/homebrew-greymatter/gmenv

    b. Alteratively, you can follow these steps:

    a. Check out gmenv into any path (here is ${HOME}/.gmenv)

    git clone ~/.gmenv

    b. Add ~/.gmenv/bin to your $PATH any way you like

    echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.gmenv/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bash_profile
    source ~/.bash_profile
  2. Once installed, list the versions of greymatter available

    gmenv list-remote

    Note: If you haven't used gmenv before, you will be prompted for your Grey Matter LDAP username and password.

  3. Install the latest version of greymatter using gmenv install <version>. This will download and install the latest version of the greymatter CLI:

    gmenv install <version>
  4. Tell gmenv to use the newly downloaded version of the Grey Matter CLI

    gmenv use <version>
  5. Verify the correct version of greymatter was installed

    greymatter version

Option B: Install the greymatter binary manually

Web UI

Retrieve the latest release directly or visit Decipher's Nexus Repository to browse all released versions of the CLI. When prompted, enter the username and password associated with your Grey Matter account.

The greymatter CLI can be found in the raw-hosted section under the greymatter/gm-cli tree direct link. If you need binaries for a different platform, or for a different version, they can all be found on our Nexus repo.


Any artifact in nexus can also be downloaded with a terminal. The below command demonstrates how to do this with curl. Before executing, replace -u [email protected] with your username, and make sure the desired artifact is specified.

-u [email protected] > greymatter-v1.2.1.tar.gz

greymatter is distributed as a precompiled binary. The installation requires two steps:

  1. Unpacking the tarball

  2. Moving the greymatter binary onto your system's PATH

Untar the Binary

Once you've downloaded the Grey Matter binary, unzip it.

tar -xvzf greymatter-v1.2.1.tar.gz

Move the Binary into Your $PATH

Next, move the binary for your operating system into your $PATH e.g.:

sudo mv ./greymatter.linux /usr/bin/greymatter

On a Mac?

On a Mac there is SIP mode which won't let you move the binary into your $PATH. Follow these instructions to disable rootless mode:

  1. Reboot into recovery mode (reboot and hold down Command + R)

  2. Open a terminal

  3. Use this command: csrutil disable

  4. Reboot and run the command that worked prior to El Capitan

  5. When you're done, it is highly recommended that you re-enable SIP by following the same steps, but using csrutil enable in step 3.

Make sure to rename your binary for your operating system to just greymatter when moving the artifact into your $PATH.

Step 2: Configure Your Environment for Grey Matter

In addition to downloading and installing the greymatter CLI, you'll need to set the necessary environment variables or command line flags so that you can talk to a deployed Grey Matter API. As each deployment is different, the specific endpoint and security context will be different, so make sure to verify your settings against the deployed environment.

The full configuration and usage of the CLI can be found in the support pages or by running greymatter --help, but some quick examples are shown here.

Configuration via Flags

Configuration options can be set by CLI flags with each use.

greymatter create
--api.prefix=/services/control-api/latest --api.ssl=true route < route.json

Configuration via Environment Variable

Configuration can also be set via the environment to avoid repeating verbose commands like the above. Any of the CLI flags will be parsed from the environment with underscore-delimited environment variables prefixed with "GREYMATTER_". For example, "--some.flag" becomes "GREYMATTER_SOME_FLAG". Command-line flags will still take precedence over environment variables.

NOTE: If you've used our Install on Kubernetes guide, then your GREYMATTER_API_PREFIX will be /services/control-api/latest like shown below.

export GREYMATTER_API_PREFIX='/services/control-api/latest'
export GREYMATTER_API_SSL='true'
export GREYMATTER_API_SSLCERT="/path/to/my.crt"
export GREYMATTER_API_SSLKEY="/path/to/my.key"

Configuration via Configuration File

Configuration can also be set via a configuration file using JSON or YAML format. The CLI flag can be parsed from the configuration file with periods indicating the hierarchies of the variables. For example, "--some.flag x" becomes {"some":{"flag": "x"}}.

The configuration file can be specified using --config flag; if unspecified, Grey Matter CLI will search a user's home directory for a file with a name prefixed with .greymatter (e.g. ~/.greymatter.yaml, ~/.greymatter.yml, etc). The schema of the same configuration shown in the environment variable section above will look like:

"api": {
"host": "",
"prefix": "/services/control-api/latest",
"ssl": true,
"insecure": true,
"sslcert": "/path/to/my.crt",
"sslkey": "/path/to/my.key"


prefix: "/services/control-api/latest"
ssl: true
insecure: true
sslcert: "/path/to/my.crt"
sslkey: "/path/to/my.key"

Step 3: Test Installation

Run a quick test of the binary with the following command to verify a successful installation.

$ greymatter --version
Grey Matter CLI Command Name: greymatter Version: v1.2.1
Branch: release-1.2 Commit: cccfd74 Built: Sun, 29 Mar
2020 20:52:30 UTC by justincely Grey Matter Control API Version: v1.2.0-dev

Step 4: Connect to the Grey Matter Control API

This section requires a running instance of the Grey Matter Control API server. Your GREYMATTER_API_HOSTand many other configuration options will change based upon where the Control API service is deployed.

List Zone

Use greymatter list zone \ with the following keys and certs to connect to the Grey Matter Control API.

$ greymatter list zone
"zone_key": "zone-default-zone",
"name": "default-zone",
"checksum": "6883b95eb2dbd05e15c54fcd0e5414bcb5a6aee1d3b91ab2d1c6493e4945ff74"

The returned Zone indicates that the connection was successful, and you've been able to inspect the Fabric Mesh.


Need help with your installation?

Create an account at Grey Matter Support to reach our team.