Skip to main content

Use GCP secrets in scripts

This page explains how to handle JSON-formatted GCP credentials in scripts, such as in Run steps or Background steps. The information on this page doesn't apply to .json credentials supplied to Harness GCP connectors.

Harness secrets with new line characters or other shell-interpreted special characters can cause errors in scripts you run in Harness pipelines. For example, attempting to parse a standard JSON-formatted GCP secret can cause errors such as Could not read json file secret.json: Invalid control character at: line #, column #.

To avoid these errors, you need to:

  1. Create a base64-encoded secret file from your JSON-formatted GCP secret.

  2. Save the base64-encoded file as a Harness file secret.

  3. In your pipeline, in the step where you need to use the GCP secret, decode the file secret and write it to a .json file. For example, this command decodes a Harness file secret named my_secret and writes it to /harness/secrets.json.

    echo <+secrets.getValue("my_secret")> | base64 -d > /harness/secrets.json

    If your secret contains line breaks, you can cat the secret in a special-purpose code block, for example:

    cat > /harness/secrets.json << 'EOF'

    Decoded secrets in cat aren't masked in outputs, because Harness no longer recognizes the contents as a secret.

  4. Use the .json file as needed for GCP authentication in your gcloud commands, such as:

    gcloud auth activate-service-account YOUR_SERVICE_ACCOUNT --key-file=/harness/secrets.json