Command Line Interface

The @mozilla/glean package exposes the glean CLI. This utility installs glean_parser in a virtual environment and allows users to execute glean_parser command through it.

In order to get a list of all commands available run npx glean --help.

Customizing virtual environment

The glean CLI will look for / create a .venv virtual environment at the directory it is called from and install glean_parser there by default. However, it is possible to customize the directory in which it looks for a virtual environment, by setting the VIRTUAL_ENV environment variable. Example:

VIRTUAL_ENV="my/venv/path" npx glean --help

By default Glean will try and use specific binaries based on the platform: python.exe on windows and python3 everywhere else. You can customize the Python binary used through environment variables. You are able to define both GLEAN_PYTHON and GLEAN_PIP. Example:


export GLEAN_PYTHON=<path_to_python_binary>
export GLEAN_PIP=<path_to_pip_binary>


SET GLEAN_PYTHON=<path_to_python_binary>
SET GLEAN_PIP=<path_to_pip_binary>

What if the glean command is called from inside an active virtual environment?

The VIRTUAL_ENV environment variable is automatically set while a virtual environment in active, in which case Glean will not create a new environment, but use the currently active one.

Preventing automatic installation of glean_parser

In order to prevent the glean CLI from installing glean_parser itself, it must be provided with the path to a virtual environment that already has glean_parser installed.

When doing that it is important to keep the separate installation of glean_parser in sync with the version expected by the Glean SDK version in use. The glean CLI exposes the --glean-parser-version command that returns the expected version of glean_parser for such use cases.

With this command it is possible to something like:

pip install -U glean_parser==$(npx glean --glean-parser-version)