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About iCommands

iCommands are a set of commands for Unix and Windows that are used in the iRODS system. Before you can use iRODS iCommands, you must first install iCommands and configure your environment. If you have already set up your environment, skip this step.

To share data with a user, you must give the user at minimum read permission to the parent directory that contains the file and any other parent folders within the folder hierarchy.


To share files and folders in the DE, see Sharing and Unsharing Data Files and Folders in the DE.

Common iCommands

The following table contains some of the more common iCommands:

iCommand optionDescriptionHelp command
ils -A
List contents of iRODS directories
List contents of iRODS directories and all associated permissions
ils -h
ichmod read
ichmod write
ichmod own
ichmod null
Grant read-only permission level for specified user to selected file or folder.
Grant read and write permission level for specified user to selected file or folder.
Grant full ownership permission level for specified user to selected file or folder.
Remove permission level for the user to the file or folder.
ichmod -h

Building iCommands yourself

This page describes how to build iCommands yourself. They are useful if you experience difficulty using the prebuilt iCommands instructions.

For more information on iCommands, see the Quick Start iRODS Install Instructions on the iRODS Wiki. You also can view the list of common iCommands on Using iCommands.

Downloading iCommands

For Windows

  1. Follow the instructions at Windows i-commands.
  2. Configure your icommands.

For Linux, Mac OSX, and other UNIX variants

  1. Download the iRODS package at
  2. In a terminal window, enter irodssetup.
  3. Enter the following information in the prompts:

    Build an iRODS server yes?no
    Include additional prompts for advanced settings no?no
    Include GSI no?no
    Include the NCCS Auditing extensions no?no
    Save configuration (irods.config) yes?yes
    Start iRODS build yes?yes

Updating your path

  1. When prompted to update your path during installation:

    User typePath
    csh usersset path=(/usr/local/bin/iRODS/clients/icommands/bin $path)
    sh or bash usersPATH=/usr/local/bin/iRODS/clients/icommands/bin:$PATH
  2. Ignore the following instructions from the iRODS installer:

Configuring your iCommands

Return to Using iCommands to configure your iCommands.

Need help?

If you have problems or need assistance, see Get Help on the CyVerse website or email Support (

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