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Command-Line Client for Developers (teamscale-dev)

This article describes teamscale-dev, the Teamscale command-line client for developers. Among other things, this client can be used to integrate Teamscale with IDEs for which no dedicated IDE plug-in exists.


The CQSE website offers both platform-specific (for Windows, Linux, macOS) and platform-independent downloads for installation.


The command-line client for developers exposes its functionality as a set of commands. You can use the built-in help option, --help, to list all available commands.

teamscale-dev --help

The various commands can be further configured by command-line options. Many options are common to most if not all commands, while others are specific to a command and explained in the following alongside their respective command. Additional configuration is taken from .teamscale.toml IDE configuration files.

The pre-commit Command

The pre-commit (or precommit) command uploads files to Teamscale for pre-commit analysis and, once the analysis is finished, displays findings for them in a common format. You can use this command in two ways:

  1. Explicitly Uploading Files for Analysis: You can upload files or directories (including subdirectories) by passing them on the command line. For example:
teamscale-dev pre-commit src/
teamscale-dev pre-commit src/
  1. Automatically Uploading Only Uncommitted Changes for Analysis: If the files and directories are under version control by a supported system (Git, Subversion), you can use the --only-uncommitted-changes option to restrict the upload to only those files that have uncommitted changes. For example:
teamscale-dev pre-commit --only-uncommitted-changes src/

This will automatically determine which files below src/ have local changes and only upload those for pre-commit analysis. (Files and directories not version-controlled by a supported system will never be uploaded when --only-uncommitted-changes is used.)

Pre-Commit Upload Limits

A Teamscale server may have an upload limit configured for the number of files included in a single pre-commit upload. Uploading entire directories is often prone to exceed this limit, even if only a few files therein have actually been changed. Using the --only-uncommitted-changes option avoids this problem in most cases, i.e., for smaller changes.

Further options, e.g., --show-links-to-findings and --findings-to-stderr control how and where the findings are reported.

The fetch-findings Command

The fetch-findings command fetches findings from Teamscale for one or more paths and displays them in a common format. Unlike the pre-commit, fetch-findings does not upload local files to Teamscale; it shows the findings as they exist on the remote server.

You can use this command in two ways:

  1. Fetch findings for one or more files: For example:
teamscale-dev fetch-findings src/ src/
  1. Fetch findings for one or more directories: For example:
teamscale-dev fetch-findings src/main/java src/test/java

A mixture of files and directories in the same fetch-findings command is not supported at the moment.

The open-in-browser Command

The open-in-browser (or browse) command opens the Metrics > Files view in a Web browser, showing the given files and directories as they are known to Teamscale. For example:

teamscale-dev open-in-browser src/
teamscale-dev open-in-browser src/

The Web browser used by teamscale-dev is your desktop's default browser. Consult your operating system's documentation for how to change this.

The generate-completion Command

The generate-completion command outputs a script that configures the programmable completion of the bash and zsh Unix shells to recognize teamscale-dev and offer tab-completion for it.

source <( teamscale-dev generate-completion )

To permanently install tab-completion support for teamscale-dev, you can either place the above line in your shell's profile (e.g., ~/.bash_profile) or save the output of teamscale-dev generate-completion to a file and execute it from there (e.g., by placing it in a bash-completion.d directory). Consult your operating system's documentation for the exact details.

Common Options

Many command-line options are common to most if not all commands offered by teamscale-dev. These are described in the following.

In particular, you can use the help option, --help, built into all commands to list their respective options. For example:

teamscale-dev pre-commit --help

Supplying Server Credentials

Some commands like pre-commit, fetch-findings or open-in-browser require you to supply your credentials for a Teamscale server, i.e., your username and access key. You can pass these credentials to the commands in four ways:

  1. The --user and --accesskey Command-Line Options
  2. The --server Command-Line Option
  3. The TEAMSCALE_DEV_SERVERS Environment Variable
  4. Supplying Command Line Options via an Args File

Accidentally Exposing the Access Key in Multi-User Environments

Passing the --accesskey or --server options directly may accidentally expose your access key if other users on the same machine can inspect the command line of running commands (e.g., using ps or the Task Manager). Therefore it's highly recommended to either set the TEAMSCALE_DEV_SERVERS environment variable or supply command-line options via an args file.

The --user and --accesskey Command-Line Options

teamscale-dev pre-commit --user username --accesskey accesskey ...

These supply the username and access key to use for all servers referenced in the applicable configuration files (.teamscale.toml), unless they are configured explicitly using a --server option or the TEAMSCALE_DEV_SERVERS environment variable. (If you need to supply different credentials for different server URLs, you have to resort to one of the following alternatives.)

The --server Command-Line Option

teamscale-dev pre-commit --server ...

(You can use the --server option multiple times to supply credential URLs for multiple servers.)

The TEAMSCALE_DEV_SERVERS Environment Variable

Recommended for Terminal Usage

Setting up the environment variable for your user is the most convenient option for usage of the CLI in a terminal since it allows you to omit any command-line options for credentials when using teamscale-dev.

You can set the TEAMSCALE_DEV_SERVERS environment variable for your user to supply the information from the --server command-line flags. It may contain multiple values of the --server command-line option separated by spaces.

On Linux and macOS add the following line to shell environment configuration file (e.g. .bashrc or .zshrc file in your user home directory).


On Windows follow these steps to set up a user specific environment variable.

  1. Click Start button
  2. Search for Accounts
  3. Open User Accounts
  4. Go to Tasks > Change my environment variables
  5. Add a new environment called TEAMSCALE_DEV_SERVERS with the following value:

Supplying Command Line Options via an Args File

You can use a so-called args file containing the --server, --user and --accesskey options from above to avoid access keys visible in your shell history or list of active processes. It's recommended to create this file in the user home directory of your operating system (i.e. /home/<username>/.teamscale-dev.args on Linux, C:\\Users\<username> on Windows, /Users/<username>/.teamscale-dev.args on MacOS) to allow re-using it across multiple repositories.

Example content of .teamscale-dev.args:


Then, include the options from the argument file using the @-notation:

teamscale-dev pre-commit @"${HOME}/.teamscale-dev.args" ...

Credentials Precedence

All four ways can be used at the same time. If different credentials are given for the same server URL, then the --server option takes precedence over the TEAMSCALE_DEV_SERVERS variable. Finally, the --user and --accesskey apply to any server whose credentials are not explicitly supplied via a credential URL. The command line options from an args file behave as if they were passed directly in its place.

Credential URL Format

Credential URLs associate your username and accesskey with a Teamscale server's URL. They are constructed as follows:

If the Teamscale server's URL in your configuration file (.teamscale.toml) is, for example,, then the corresponding credential URL would look like, with username and accesskey replaced by your username and access key, respectively.

Special Characters in Username and Access Key

Certain characters cannot be used verbatim in credential URLs; they need to be percent-escaped. In particular, this applies to the colon (%3A) and @-sign (%40). A username of, for example, has to be written as

Optionally, the credential URL can end with a #trust-all-certificates suffix, which disables TLS certificate validation for the server in question.

Disabling TLS Certificate Validation

Risk of Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Disabling TLS certificate validation is insecure and increases the risk of successful man-in-the-middle attacks. It should only be done as a method of last resort or in testing environments.

Some commands like pre-commit and fetch-findings connect to a Teamscale server. Such a connection may fail with a certificate-validation error when, for example, the server uses a self-signed certificate. In this case, you can disable TLS certificate validation in several ways:

  1. The --insecure command-line option:
teamscale-dev pre-commit --insecure ...
  1. The --server command-line option with #trust-all-certificates suffix:
teamscale-dev pre-commit --server ...
  1. The TEAMSCALE_DEV_SERVERS environment variable with #trust-all-certificates suffix:
teamscale-dev pre-commit ...

Overriding Branch Information

Some commands like pre-commit, fetch-findings, and open-in-browser need to determine which branch has been checked out from the version-control system. This happens automatically for supported version-control systems (Git, Subversion). If your version-control system is unsupported by teamscale-dev or if you need to override the branch that has been automatically determined, you can override it explicitly.

In order of precedence, the branch is determined from these sources:

  1. --branch command-line option
  2. project.branch property in your configuration file (.teamscale.toml)
  3. Branch checked out from version control
  4. Default branch of the respective Teamscale server

Finding Output Format

Commands that report findings (e.g., pre-commit or fetch-findings) do so in the GCC diagnostics format:

Path:Line:Column: (error|warning): Message
  • Path is an absolute path to the (local) file for which findings are reported
  • Line (starting with 1) and Column (always 1) numbers denote the first position within the file where the finding is found.
  • error and warning corresponding to red and yellow findings, respectively.
  • Message is the finding's descriptive message

If the --show-links-to-findings command-line option is used, an extended format is used:

Path:Line:Column: (error|warning): Message | (Link)

By default, findings are reported to stdout but can be redirected to stderr by using the --findings-to-stderr command-line option.

Logging (--debug, --trace)

In case any problems arise or you need to report an issue to our support, you can log debug or trace information by using the --debug or --trace options, respectively. These options are supported by all subcommands of teamscale-dev.

Optionally, you can refine which information is logged by specifying one or more categories. For example:

teamscale-dev --debug # --debug ALL
teamscale-dev --debug FINDINGS,SERVERS # --debug FINDINGS --debug SERVERS

You can look up the exact list of supported categories using the --help option.