How can I use SpiderOak from the command line?

This article has moved to our new Help Center and will no longer be updated on this page. Please see the Help Center for the newest version.

Command line operation is available on all supported operating systems, Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Running SpiderOak with --help will give you a general overview.

The most common uses of SpiderOak from the command line are --headless (to run indefinitely without any graphical user interface), and --batchmode (to run without any graphical interface and exit as soon as all uploads are complete). You can also modify your backup selection through the --include and --exclude options.

Beginning with version 6.0, paths to the executable are:

  • Windows: "C:\Program Files\SpiderOakONE\SpiderOakONE.exe". The executable is SpiderOakONE.exe.
  • Mac OS X: /Applications/ The executable is SpiderOakONE.
  • Linux: /usr/bin/SpiderOakONE. /usr/bin is in most users' paths, so it usually unnecessary to specify the path. The executable is SpiderOakONE.


The principal command line options are:

Usage: SpiderOak basic command line usage:

  --version             show program's version number and exit
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -v, --verbose         be verbose: show detailed status information as it
  --redirect=FILE       Redirect console output to file
  -d NUMBER, --device=NUMBER
                        operate on specified device id (default is the local
  -o DIR, --output=DIR  Target dir to restore items to (default is normal
                        download dir)
  --enable-schedule     honor the set activity schedule, even in batchmode
                        (normally the schedule is ignored in batchmode)
  --disable-schedule    disable activity scheduling

  Operational Modes and Commands:
    --scan, --scan-only
                        scan the filesystem for changes and report a summary
    --build, --scan-and-build-only
                        scan the filesystem, and build all possible file
                        system changes as shelved upload transactions, and
                        exit without uploading them
    --sync              like batchmode, but only backup/update synced folders
    --backup=TARGET     ad hoc operation: backup whatever exists at TARGET in
                        the filesystem and exit (ignores existing backup
    --restore=item      Restore a folder, file, or version.
                        Run "--restore help" for more info
    --batchmode         like headless, but will exit when all available work
                        is done
    --headless          run in headless mode (without the graphical interface)
    --purge=item        purge a folder, file (including historical versions)

  Information Commands:
    --userinfo, --user-info
                        Show user and device info
    --shelved-x, --print-shelved-x
                        Show information about each shelved upload transaction
    --space             Show space usage information by category and by device
    --tree              Show the hierarchy of stored backup folders
    --fulllist          Show all folders and files stored on device
    --tree-changelog    Show a log of how the hierarchy of stored backup
                        folders has changed over time
                        Show the changelog of a given folder

  Backup Selection Manipulation Commands:
    --force             Do in/exclusion even if the path doesn't exist
    --selection, --print-selection
                        Show a list of selected and excluded backup items
    --reset-selection   Reset selection (but preserve excluded files)
                        Exclude the given file from the selection
                        Include the given file from the selection
                        Exclude the given directory from the selection
                        Include the given directory from the selection

  Maintenance Commands:
                        rebuild the SpiderOak reference database (can take
    --billing           print a secure web auto-login URL for billing info
                        destroy each shelved upload transaction already in
    --repair            repair a local SpiderOak installation
                         purge historical versions of a folder, file:
                        "all": purge all historical versions of all files; '
                        "hM,dN,w": hourly for last M hours, daily for last N
                        days, weekly thereafter          (also accepts
                        (m)onthly and (y)early); '     no option: hourly for
                        last 24 hours, daily for last month, then weekly
                        purge deleted items older than N days
    --vacuum            Vacuum SpiderOak's local database (rebuilds indexs and
                        reclaims local disk space)
                        list parent_id's of unreferenced external block files
                        convert SpiderOak's local database to use external
                        generate missing image previews for the local device

  Dangerous/Support Commands:
    Caution: Do not use these commands unless advised by SpiderOak
    support.  They can damage your installation if used improperly.

                        apply all transactions previously received from remote
                        devices -- (not intended for general use -- this
                        normally happens automatically)
                        purge all deleted items on the current device
    --orphans=ACTION    help, find, free orphans
                        This is similar to asking the user to send us log
                        files, in that it gives us  access to meta-information
                        about their account including file names and  space
                        usage. It does not however give us plain text access
                        to any keys or  actual data -- just metadata.

  Account Commands:
                        Rename the specified device with name NEWNAME
    --setup=-, --setup=SETUP_FILE
                        Create or reinstall a device, either interactively 
                        prompting for parameters (first case) or reading 
                        parameters from the specified JSON file (second case).

  Share Commands:
                        optional password for --create-share
    --list-shares       List shares
                        Create an xact with a new share. run 'help' for
                        Create an xact deleting a share
                        share a single file, returning a URL

The information above is based on the current version of our application. If you are running an older version, download and install our current version, then follow the instructions above.