Carbonio CLI Overview#

The Carbonio CLI, also known as Carbonio Shell, is an interactive shell that allows to execute Carbonio’s commands. All carbonio commands must be run as the zextras user. This can be achieved by running as the root user

# su - zextras

Upon launching this command, the prompt will change to zextras$.

At this point, to launch a carbonio command you can either

  1. run it from the CLI:

    zextras$  carbonio backup doSmartScan start
  2. enter the Carbonio Shell

    zextras$ carbonio

    The prompt will change into carbonio> and you will be able to use tab for auto-completion. In the shell, use only the sub-command and parameters, removing the initial carbonio. For example, command

    # carbonio backup doSmartScan start

    can be run in Carbonio CLI as

    carbonio> backup doSmartScan start

    The Carbonio Shell is useful if you need to execute multiple commands to carry out some advanced task and to keep the history: they will be available for future reference and to check the operations done so far.

Composition of a command#

A typical Carbonio command is composed by several parts, some of which is required for the command to work properly.


The Carbonio CLI supports all Carbonio modules: auth, admin, and more, including provisioning (i.e., carbonio prov). These are called also subcommands.


The actual parameters available for each carbonio command depend on the command itself. Parameter are either mandatory or optional and are denoted with (M) and (O) in the online help.

All parameters are given as a <name> <value> pair, but the <name> must be provided only for optional parameters and must be omitted in the mandatory. For example, consider this help page.

zextras$ carbonio admin setDomainSettings *domain* [param \

Parameter List





domain (M)


account_limit (O)


no action

domain_account_quota (O)


no action

reset_cos_limits (O)


cosname1:limit1, cosname2:limit2

no action

add_cos_limits (O)


cosname1:limit1, cosname2:limit2

no action

(M) == mandatory parameter, (O) – optional parameter

In order to limit to 1,000 the accounts of domain acme.example, we need to write the command as

zextras$ carbonio admin setDomainSettings \
acme.example \
account_limit 1000

There are two parameters in this command: <domain> <acme.example> and <account_limit> <1000>, but since domain is mandatory, we omit its name.

Command Line Options#

Adding options to any commands is also possible; for example, you can run

carbonio> --progress backup doSmartScan start

The available command line options are:


Specify a target host (both IP or hostname are accepted) on which the command will be executed. Use all_servers to broadcast the command to all servers. To run a command only on the server on which you are logged in, simply do not use the option.


The output of the command will be presented in JSON format and is useful for scripting.


Prints the operation’s feedback directly to STDOUT. Press Ctrl+C to interrupt the output: the operation itself will not be interrupted.


Runs the command in synchronous mode, waiting for the operation’s execution to end and returning an exit code:

  • 0 - Successful

  • 1 - Failed

  • 2 - Stopped

  • 3 - Removed

  • 4 - Interrupted

Seeking help#

carbonio comes with a contextual help that can be used at different levels and with no differences on CLI and Carbonio Shell. The most general use is

zextras$ carbonio help

This lists all options (see previous section) and all modules available to carbonio. The help keyword can be used also to list all command in a module (for example, carbonio help config), or the help page of each command (for example, carbonio help config distributionList).


The help page of the command is shown also if there is some syntax error in the command issued.

Scripting Commands#

To launch multiple carbonio commands, you can save them in a file (called carbonio-commands.txt here) and pipe them to the carbonio shell. For example, consider file carbonio-commands.txt containing the commands:

prov ca ''
prov sp password
mobile doAddAccountLogger debug /tmp/
prov ma zimbraFeatureMobileSyncEnabled TRUE
prov sm cf /test
prov sm addMessage /test /tmp/email.eml
prov ma zimbraFeatureMobileSyncEnabled FALSE
prov da ''
prov fc all

All these command can be executed as

# cat carbonio-commands.txt | carbonio

This proves useful, for example, when finding a procedure that requires to execute a set of carbonio commands: copy tand paste them into a file and run all of them sequentially without the need to copy and paste each single command.