Before you can begin using the services provided by the platform, you need to set up authentication credentials. The easiest way is to use the CLI helper.

descarteslabs auth login

For non-interactive environments, one needs to set the DESCARTESLABS_CLIENT_ID and DESCARTESLABS_CLIENT_SECRET (or DESCARTESLABS_REFRESH_TOKEN) environment variables. These can be retrieved using the CLI helper after completing the login process or generated fresh through IAM.

If you want to retrieve the client id and client secret using the CLI helper, you can use the following.

descarteslabs auth env

Then you can define them as environment variables in the non-interactive environment where you run your code using the Descartes Labs client. Do be aware that these credentials are sensitive and anyone who has access to them gains access to your Descartes Labs resources.


You can test the authentication credentials with the following.

descarteslabs auth env
descarteslabs auth groups

See the authentication client Auth for additional information and options.

Common Authentication Issues

In general, the logic will either retrieve the cached credentials from ~/.descarteslabs/token_info.json or use credentials encoded in environment variables. The logic will never mix and match; the credentials encoded in environment variables take precedent over the cached credentials.

There are sometimes scenarios where you receive an unexpected error message.

AuthError: No valid authentication info found (no client_id). See

This means that one or more pieces of information are missing. The text between the parenthesis in the error message will give you a hint as to what might be missing.

The no client id means that there is no authentication information at all either cached or in the environment, or you have set the DESCARTESLABS_CLIENT_SECRET but not the corresponding DESCARTESLABS_CLIENT_ID. If you use the cached information, make sure you ran descarteslabs auth login successfully, and once that has completed that the file ~/.descarteslabs/token_info.json is present, readable and writable only by you, and contains valid information. If you’re using environment variables, make sure you have exported them both in your shell.

The no client_secret or refresh_token means that you have set the DESCARTESLABS_CLIENT_ID but not the corresponding DESCARTESLABS_CLIENT_SECRET.

OauthError: Could not retrieve token: {"error":400,"message":"invalid grant_type"}

This means that the authentication information is invalid. This is less likely the case with cached information, and more likely if you use environment variables.

If you copy and paste one or both values, make sure you remove the quotes or make sure they’re ASCII quotes. Oftentimes, copying the values including the quotes from other documents will introduce non-ASCII quotes which will cause this error message.

As a last resort, verify that values are complete and correct. Missing a single character will cause this error message.

OauthError: Could not retrieve token: {"error":"invalid_refresh_token","error_description":"specified refresh_token does not exist","statusCode":401}

This means that you revoked the secret that you’re using. You can list the secrets you have created using the page You can revoke any of your secrets as needed if you think a secret has been compromised or otherwise is not needed any more.