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CLI Commands in Mattermost

Mattermost provides a CLI (command-line interface) to administer and handle specific administrative tasks.

Understanding the CLI 

The CLI interface is written in Cobra, a powerful and modern CLI creation library. If you have never used Cobra before, it is well documented in its GitHub Repository.

The source code used to build our CLI interface is written in the cmd/mattermost directory of the mattermost-server repository.

Each “command” of the CLI is stored in a different file of the cmd/mattermost/commands directory. Within each file, you can find multiple “subcommands”.

Adding a New Subcommand 

If you want to add a new subcommand in an existing mattermost command, first find the relevant file. For example, if you want to add a show command to the channel command, go to cmd/mattermost/commands/channel.go and add your subcommand there.

To add the subcommand, start by creating a new Command instance, for example:

var ChannelShowCmd = &cobra.Command{
    Use:   "show",
    Short: "Show channel info",
    Long:  "Show channel information, including the name, header, purpose and the number of members.",
    Example: "  channel show --team myteam --channel mychannel"
    RunE: showChannelCmdF,

Then implement the subcommand function, in this example showChannelCmdF.

func showChannelCmdF(command *cobra.Command, args []string) error {
    app, err := InitDBCommandContextCobra(command)
    if err != nil {
        return err
    defer app.Shutdown()

    // Your code implementing the command itself

    return nil

Now, you set the flags of your subcommand and register it in the command. In our case we register our new ChannelShowCmd flag in ChannelCmd.

func init() {

    ChannelShowCmd.Flags().String("team", "", "Team name or ID")
    ChannelShowCmd.Flags().String("channel", "", "Channel name or ID")

Finally, implement unit tests in cmd/mattermost/commands/channel_test.go.

Adding a New Command 

If you want to add a new command to Mattermost, first create a file for the command. For example, if you want to add a new emoji command to manage emojis in Mattermost from the CLI, create cmd/mattermost/commands/emoji.go and add your command and your subcommands there.

A command is exactly the same as a subcommand, so you can follow the same steps of the previous section. However, you must also register the new command in the “Root” command as follows:

var EmojiCmd = &cobra.Command{
    Use:   "emoji",
    Short: "Emoji management",
    Long:  "Lists, creates and deletes custom emoji",
func init() {

Usually, you would then add several subcommands to perform various tasks.

Submitting your Pull Request 

Please submit a pull request against the mattermost/mattermost-server repository by following these instructions.