Attach a Google Cloud Storage volume


The procedure below will explain how to attach a Google Cloud Storage volume for use on the CGC's visual interface.


  1. Google Cloud Platform (GCP) account
  2. One or more buckets on this GCP account.


  1. Navigate to the Volumes dashboard.
  2. Choose the cloud storage provider for your volume.
  3. Obtain IAM user details.
  4. Enter IAM user credentials on the CGC.
  5. Authorize the IAM user to access your GCS bucket.
  6. Provide bucket details.
  7. Review volume details and connect your volume.

Step 1: Access the Volumes Dashboard

  1. On the CGC, click on the Data tab of the top navigation bar.
  2. Select Volumes from the drop-down menu.

Step 2: Choose a cloud storage provider

  1. On the Volumes Dashboard of the CGC, click + Connect Storage.
  2. Select Google Cloud Platform as your cloud storage provider.
  3. Click Next.

Step 3: Obtain IAM user details

Prior to attaching your GCS bucket to the CGC, you must register it as a volume on the Google Cloud Platform console.

  1. Log into the Google Cloud Platform console.
  2. From the menu on the left select IAM & Admin > Service accounts.
  3. Click + Create service account below the search bar.
  4. Fill in account details:
    • Service account name - Descriptive name to label the account.
    • Service account ID - Generated automatically based on the entered service account name. Can be modified if necessary.
    • Service account description - More elaborate description of the account’s purpose.
  5. Click Create. The Service account permissions screen opens.
  6. In the Select a role dropdown, select Storage > Storage Object Viewer.
  7. Click Continue. The final screen of the wizard opens.
  8. In the Create key section click + Create key. Key options are displayed on the right.
  9. In the Key type list select JSON.
  10. Click Create. Your browser will download a JSON file containing the credentials for this user. Keep this file safe.

Step 4: Enter IAM user credentials

On the CGC, enter your IAM credentials in the Credentials tab as found in the downloaded JSON from the previous step. 

  1. In the Service account email field enter the email address from the client_email key in the downloaded JSON file..
  2. From the downloaded JSON file, copy the entire value of the private key.
  3. Paste the key into the Private key field on the CGC.
  4. Click Next.

Step 5: Authorize the IAM user to access your GCS bucket

If you have not authorized the IAM user to access your GCS bucket, follow the directions below on the Google Cloud Platform console.

  1. On the Google Cloud Platform console, click  in the top-left corner and navigate to the Storage section
  2. Select Storage > Browser.
  3. Locate your bucket and click the three vertical dots to the far right of your bucket's name.
  4. Click Edit bucket permissions.
  5. Click Add members.
  6. In the New members field enter the service account client's email. This email is located in the JSON downloaded in the previous section.
  7. From the Select a role drop-down menu, select Storage Legacy > Storage Legacy Bucket Reader.
  8. Click Save. You have now authorized the newly-created IAM user to access the storage bucket.

Step 6: Provide GCS bucket details

  1. On the CGC, click Next until you reach the Bucket tab in the Connect a Volume wizard.
  2. Enter your GCS bucket name.
  3. Optionally, define a new name for the volume created from this GCS bucket on the CGC.
  4. Optionally enter a description for your volume.
  5. Select access privileges: choose Read only (RO). Read and Write (RW) mode is currently not supported for GCS Volumes.
  6. Optionally enter a prefix. Learn more about prefixes.
  7. Click Next.

Step 7: Review volume details

In this tab, review the details for your volume and click Connect.

Next step

Congratulations! You've attached your volume to the CGC. You can make individual data objects within it available as "aliases" on the CGC. Aliases point to files stored on your cloud storage bucket and can be copied, executed, and organized like normal files on the CGC. We call this operation "importing". Learn more about working with aliases.


Pease note that a snapshot of file-related information (such as file size) is taken when the file is imported to the CGC. If the file is subsequently changed directly in the mounted storage, this might result in inconsistent behavior when the file is used in analyses on the CGC.