Frequently asked questions #

If you can't find the answer you're looking for please:

Why am I getting "unknown flag" error? #

If you see an error like below (or similar, with a different flag):

Error: unknown flag: --artifact-type

It most likely means you misspelled a flag.

"unknown command" errors #


kosli expect deploymenct abc.exe --artifact-type file
Error: unknown command: deploymenct
available subcommands are: deployment

Note that there is a typo in deploymenct. This error will pop up if you're trying to use a command that is not present in the version of the kosli CLI you are using.

zsh: no such user or named directory #

When running commands with an argument starting with ~ you can encounter following problem:

kosli list snapshots prod ~3..NOW
zsh: no such user or named directory: 3..NOW

To help ZShell interpret the argument correctly, wrap it in quotation marks (single or double):

kosli list snapshots prod '~3..NOW'


kosli list snapshots prod "~3..NOW"

Github can't see KOSLI_API_TOKEN secret #

Secrets in Github actions are not automatically exported as environment variables. You need to add required secrets to your GITHUB environment explicitly. E.g. to make kosli_api_token secret available for all cli commands as an environment variable use the following:

  KOSLI_API_TOKEN: ${{ secrets.kosli_api_token }}

Where can I find API documentation? #

Kosli API documentation is available for logged in Kosli users here:
You can find the link at after clicking at your avatar (top-right corner of the page)

Do I have to provide all the flags all the time? #

A number of flags won't change their values often (or at all) between commands, like --org or --api-token. Some will differ between e.g. workflows, like --flow. You can define them as environment variable to avoid unnecessary redundancy. Check Environment variables section to learn more.

What is dry run and how to use it? #

You can use dry run to disable writing to - e.g. if you're just trying things out, or troubleshooting (dry run will print the payload the CLI would send in a non dry run mode).

Here are three possible ways of enabling a dry run:

  1. use the --dry-run flag (no value needed) to enable it per command
  2. set the KOSLI_DRY_RUN environment variable to true to enable it globally (e.g. in your terminal or CI)
  3. set the KOSLI_API_TOKEN environment variable to DRY_RUN to enable it globally (e.g. in your terminal or CI)

What is the --config-file flag? #

A config file is an alternative for using Kosli flags or Environment variables. Usually you'd use a config file for the values that rarely change - like api token or org, but you can represent all Kosli flags with config file. The key for each value is the same as the flag name, capitalized, so --api-token would become API-TOKEN, and --org would become ORG, etc.

You can use JSON, YAML or TOML format for your config file.

If you want to keep certain Kosli configuration in a file use --config-file flag when running Kosli commands to let the CLI know where to look for the file. The path given to --config-file flag should be a path relative to the location you're running kosli from. The file needs a valid format and extension, e.g.:


  "ORG": "my-org",
  "API-TOKEN": "123456abcdef"


ORG: "my-org"
API-TOKEN: "123456abcdef"


ORG = "my-org"
API-TOKEN = "123456abcdef"

When calling Kosli command you can skip the file extension. For example, to list environments with org and api-token in the configuration file you would run:

$ kosli list environments --config-file kosli-conf

--config-file defaults to kosli, so if you name your file kosli.<yaml|toml|json> and the file is in the same location as where you run Kosli commands from, you can skip the --config-file altogether.

Reporting the same artifact and evidence multiple times #

If an artifact or evidence is reported multiple times there are a few corner cases. The issues are described here:

Template #

When an artifact is reported, the template for the flow is stored together with the artifact. If the template has changed between the times the same artifact is reported, it is the last template that is considered the template for that artifact.

Evidence #

If a given named evidence is reported multiple times it is the compliance status of the last reported version of the evidence that is considered the compliance state of that evidence.

If an artifact is reported multiple times with different git-commit, we can have the same named commit-evidence being attached to the artifact through multiple git-commits. It is the last reported version of the named commit-evidence that is considered the compliance state of that evidence.

Evidence outside the template #

If an artifact has evidence, either commit evidence or artifact evidence, that is not part of the template, the state of the extra evidence will affect the overall compliance of the artifact.

How to set compliant status of generic evidence #

The --compliant flag is a boolean flag. To report generic evidence as non-compliant use --compliant=false, as in this example:

$ kosli report evidence artifact generic server:1.0 \
  --artifact-type docker \
  --name test \
  --description "generic test evidence" \
  --compliant=false \
  --flow server

Keep in mind a number of flags, usually represented with environment variables, are omitted in this example.
--compliance flag is set to true by default, so if you want to report generic evidence as compliant, simply skip providing the flag altogether.

Boolean flags #

Flags with values can usually be specified with an = or with a space as a separator. For example, --artifact-type=file or --artifact-type file. However, an explicitly specified boolean flag value must use an =. For example, if you try this:

kosli report evidence artifact generic Dockerfile --artifact-type file  --compliant true ...

You will get an error stating:

Error: only one argument ... is allowed.
The 2 supplied arguments are: [Dockerfile, true]

Here, --artifact-type file is parsed as if it was --artifact-type=file, leaving:

kosli report evidence artifact generic Dockerfile --compliant true ...

Then --compliant is parsed as if implicitly defaulting to --compliant=true, leaving:

kosli report evidence artifact generic Dockerfile true ...

The parser then sees Dockerfile and true as the two arguments to kosli report evidence artifact generic.