Note About gsutil

I recently had to learn gsutil, a Python package used to interact with Google Cloud Platform. Overall, I guess it was easy enough to learn, though there was one pain point. When I was in the GCP bucket containing the directories I wanted to download, I tried to download the directories directly using the graphical interface. The graphical interface can only download one file at a time, which would not work for me because there are hundreds. Helpfully, GCP provides a message with the gsutil code to download the files. Unfortunately, this code is not quite correct: it only provides the command, options, and path to whatever is trying to be downloaded. However, pasting that command into one’s command line interface, Terminal for me, will cause an error. This error is because the command GCP provides does not include any syntax to select the files in directories; it only provides paths to those directories. Once I figured out to add the wildcards and words I needed, downloads went smoothly.

It makes sense that GCP would not provide a complete code snippet because it does not know what one wants to download. However, their documentation should say that! Otherwise, it is misleadingly presented as a complete solution.

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