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Ranga Vadhineni
Ranga Vadhineni

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Thunder Client CLI — A new way to test APIs inside VS Code

Thunder Client CLI

In 2021 we launched Thunder Client extension for VSCode which was game changer, as we were the first to launch a GUI based API Client inside VSCode. Today we are launching Thunder Client CLI, which will be a game changer too, as we are bringing many new innovative features to CLI for API Testing.

Key Features

  • Simple & Easy to Use CLI tool
  • Seamless Integration with Thunder Client Extension
  • Run Requests/Collections and View Test results
  • Syntax Highlighting and VSCode Themes
  • Open Request/Collection UI from the terminal
  • Enhances CURL commands
  • CI/CD Integration


  • Requirements: Node 16 or higher
  • Please update the extension to latest version
  • Install CLI — npm i -g @thunderclient/cli

Note: If you are using Thunder Client settings in the extension, make sure they are workspace scope for CLI to access them.

Run Requests

The CLI and Extension are integrated seamlessly, so you can access requests data from the terminal without any additional configuration.

To execute requests run tc 'requestNameOrId', the request can be executed using id, name or partial name

Run Req from CLI
As you can see in the above image, executing requests is very easy from CLI. The output is formatted beautifully with Status, Response with Syntax highlighting & VSCode theme, and Test results.

To Run the same request from UI requires multiple steps as below

  1. Open Sidebar
  2. Click Collections Tab
  3. Open collection User and folder Account
  4. Then open Welcome request
  5. Now execute the request

Output Log

When the user executes a request by default — Status, Response & Test Results are displayed. You can control the data to output with --log argument.

  • Log options for request: 0=All Data, 1=ReqHeaders, 2=ReqBody, 6=ResHeaders, 7=ResBody, 8=Tests
  • Example: tc 'welcome' --log 1,2,7 will display Req headers, Req Body, and Response Body.

Open Request UI from CLI

If you like to quickly execute a request in extension UI, then you can do it easily from CLI using — ui argument.

  • tc 'welcome' — ui To open a request in UI and execute automatically
  • tc 'welcome' — ui2 To open a request in UI without auto-run.

VSCode Themes In CLI

We are bringing VSCode themes to the terminal for the first time.

VsCode themes

VSCode Themes

Run Collection

Collection Runner will execute all the requests in the collection and display output in a beautiful format similar to the extension UI.

  • tc --col 'colNameOrId’ will run requests in the collection from CLI
  • tc --fol 'folNameOrId’ will run requests in the folder from CLI

Run Collection<br>


CLI can generate reports in xml, html, json and csv formats.

  • tc --col 'User' --report xml,html command will execute all the requests and save reports in thunder-reports folder

Open Run Collection UI from CLI

If you like to execute Run collection in extension UI quickly, then you can do it easily from CLI using — ui argument.

  • tc --col 'User' — ui To open a collection runner in UI and execute automatically
  • tc --col 'User' — ui2 To open a collection runner in UI without auto-run.

List Collections or Requests

  • tc list to display the list of all collections

List Collections

  • tc list user to display the list of requests in collection ‘User’

List Requests

Enhances Curl Commands

In the above we have seen how to run requests and collections easily from CLI. Thunder Client CLI also has integration with CURL commands, so you can use it to create requests from CLI.

Standard Curl Command

Curl Command

Run Curl command using TC CLI

Run Curl command by prefixing tc and see the magic. By using Thunder Client CLI you will get the following benefits over normal curl.

  • Formatted Output
  • Syntax Highlighting & VSCode Themes
  • Request history will be saved to your Activity Tab

Curl using TC

Save Request to Collection/Folder

You can also save requests to collection or folder using curl command from CLI.

  • tc curl '' --name 'Curl Req1' --col User the command will add request to collection User with name Curl Req1
  • Use --col argument to save to collection, and --fol argument to save to folder, and --name to specify the name of request

CI/CD Integration

Thunder Client CLI can be used in build server to run collection and save reports in xml, html, json and csv formats.

  • Settings: If you are using any TC VSCode settings, they need to set the scope to workspace, so the settings will be saved to the workspace directory.
  • Git Sync: The collection runner in build server will work only when you enable git sync feature
  • tc --col 'ColNameOrId' --report xml,html command will execute all the requests and save reports in thunder-reports folder

Github Actions

  • The sample yaml file can be used to integrate with Github actions or other build pipelines

Workspace Location

  • The CLI will use the current working directory as workspace directory, but if the data is in different workspace directory then use the --ws 'fullpathToGitWorkspace' to specify the workspace path.

Help Screen

The help screen for most CLI tools is boring and difficult to understand. So I custom designed our CLI help screen to be colorful and easy to understand.

Help screen


We love to hear your feedback about our new CLI tool, Please use it and let me know if any further improvements can be done in the comments or GitHub page.

Top comments (2)

marciopolicarpo profile image
Marcio Policarpo

Fantastic tool. Many devs prefer to type commands instead of using a UI.

ranga_vadhineni profile image
Ranga Vadhineni

Thanks Marcio