Rucio Command-Line Interface

The most common Rucio commands

Introduction to Rucio commands

There are many commands found within Rucio CLI that you may want to become familar with. In this guide I will provide a few of the common commands wanted by new users.

To find more of the commands that you may want to use type rucio into the containerised client will provide all of the arguments for rucio. Typing in the command followed by -h, or --help will provide you with all the options that are available as well as some explaination for each.


Is the simplest command that a user can use to ask the Rucio server which version it is using.

$ rucio ping

This checks that there is a connection between the containerised client and the server.


Another simple command, which asks the server for the information Rucio has on the current user.

$ rucio whoami

This will return output like the following:

status     : ACTIVE
account    : user1
account_type : USER
created_at : YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS
updated_at : YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS
suspended_at : None
deleted_at : None
email      :

This ensures that you know which user you are interacting with Rucio as, this is very important if you get multiple accounts. But also verifies that the client is set up correctly.


A Rucio command that allows you to upload files from your current environment to any RSE within your VO.

$ rucio upload [-h] --rse RSE [--lifetime LIFETIME] [--scope SCOPE]
                    [--impl IMPL] [--register-after-upload] [--summary]
                    [--guid GUID] [--protocol PROTOCOL] [--pfn PFN]
                    [--name NAME] [--transfer-timeout TRANSFER_TIMEOUT]
                    args [args ...]

Several of the options you will not need to use as they will be set by the Rucio VO Admins when they set up the RSEs. Below are a list of options that you may find useful:

  • RSE is the Rucio Storage Element or site that you wish to store the data at, the list of available RSEs can be seen for your VO with the command rucio list-rses.
  • Lifetime is how long you wish the file to exist, not specifyting will make the file permenant until rucio is told to delete it.
  • Scope can be used in many ways, but often can be an experiment name, or a user space, all users have their own scope assigned to them user.<username>.
  • Register-after-upload allows for files to be uploaded to the destination, and then registered with Rucio, rather than the other way around. This can be useful if your connection is intermittent.
  • Name is the name of the file that it will be registered to Rucio with, if this is not set it will be the name of the file or files provided.
  • Recursive Allows you to set the arg to a directory, and all files within that directory and any sub directories will be uploaded.
  • Args is the path to the file, or files you wish to upload, this can be a single file, directory (with recursive set), or a list of files seperated with a space e.g.
rucio upload --rse main-rse file1 file2 file3 file4


A Rucio command to download files from any RSE in your VO to your local environment.

$ rucio get [-h] [--dir DIR] [--allow-tape] [--rse RSE] [--rses RSES]
                 [--impl IMPL] [--protocol PROTOCOL] [--nrandom NRANDOM]
                 [--ndownloader NDOWNLOADER] [--no-subdir] [--pfn PFN]
                 [--archive-did ARCHIVE_DID] [--no-resolve-archives]
                 [--ignore-checksum] [--transfer-timeout TRANSFER_TIMEOUT]
                 [--transfer-speed-timeout TRANSFER_SPEED_TIMEOUT] [--aria]
                 [--filter FILTER] [--scope SCOPE] [--metalink METALINK_FILE]
                 [dids [dids ...]]
  • Dir is the location within the container you wish for the files to be downloaded (if you wish to move these files outside of the container, you may want to mount a volume in the container to allow the files to persist).
  • RSE(s) specifying which RSE(s) you wish to download the files from, leaving this blank will allow Rucio to decide which RSE(s) are best.
  • nrandom allows you to specify a number and if the target is a dataset or container will download n files from that DID. This allows you to check are correct before commiting to download the entire dataset or container.
  • dids is the data identifier for the file, dataset or container you wish to download.


Create a rule which Rucio will work to make true. These are often how files are moved from site to site. Creating a rule that says file x (which is currently at storagesite1), needs to be at storagesite2. Upon creation of the rule, Rucio will ensure that the file is moved from where is closest to the new site.

$ rucio add-rule [-h] [--weight WEIGHT] [--lifetime LIFETIME]
                      [--grouping {DATASET,ALL,NONE}] [--locked]
                      [--source-replica-expression SOURCE_REPLICA_EXPRESSION]
                      [--notify NOTIFY] [--activity ACTIVITY]
                      [--comment COMMENT] [--ask-approval] [--asynchronous]
                      [--delay-injection DELAY_INJECTION]
                      [--account RULE_ACCOUNT] [--skip-duplicates]
                      dids [dids ...] copies rse_expression
  • lifetime How long you want the file to persist before it can be deleted by Rucio.
  • locked sets the dataset or container to a locked state, that prevents other files from being added or removed.
  • dids the files within Rucio you wish to be replicates.
  • copies How many copies of the data you want to make.
  • rse_expression can either be a specific RSE, or can be a filter. expression, such as tape=True or country=UK and Rucio will place as many copies as was requested in different sites (when possible), to fulfil the rule.


A command to delete a rule which you have created. Just because you have deleted a rule does not mean the file will be deleted. But it will adjust your quota accordingly. Other people within your VO may also having a rule that states the file needs to be at the same site.

$ rucio delete-rule [-h] [--purge-replicas] [--all]
                         [--rse_expression RSE_EXPRESSION] [--rses RSES]
                         [--account RULE_ACCOUNT]
  • all should not be used by users it it will attempt to delete all rules.
  • rse_expression which RSE expression encapsulates the rules you wish to delete, either rse_expression, or RSE needs to be specified.
  • RSES exactly which RSE is the target of the rule deletion.
  • account which account requres the rule to be deleted, this is generally only needed by Rucio Admins and does not need to be specified if you are deleting your own rules.
  • rule_id is a Rucio specific ID for the file that you wish to be deleted, a list of the rules, and their rule_ids that are within your account can be gotten by running rucio list-rules --account youraccountname.


A command to list all the rules related to an account, a DID, or a file.

$ rucio list-rules [-h] [--id RULE_ID] [--traverse] [--csv] [--file FILE]
                        [--account RULE_ACCOUNT]
                        [--subscription ACCOUNT SUBSCRIPTION]

Provide a full list of the files IDs, account, scope, state, RSE/expression copies and expiry.

  • account specify which account you wish to see the replication rules.
  • file If you know the name of a specif file, this allows you to see all the rules are associated with the file.
  • did If a dataset or container are listed, all rules associated with the specific DID will be displayed.
Last modified February 23, 2022 by Levente Farkas : Update user documentation structure (#414)