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Registration and setup

Estuary Flow is a fully managed web application that also offers a robust CLI.

Flow is currently in public beta beta.

Get started with the Flow web application

You can get started with a Flow trial by visiting the web application here.

As a trial user, you can create one end-to-end Data Flow. Trial user data is deleted from Flow after 30 days.

To skip the limitations of the trial and begin with an organizational account instead, contact the Estuary team.

Get started with the Flow CLI

After your account has been activated through the web app, you can begin to work with your data flows from the command line. This is not required, but it enables more advanced workflows or might simply be your preference.

Flow has a single binary, flowctl.

flowctl is available for:

  • Linux x86-64. All distributions are supported.
  • MacOS 11 (Big Sur) or later. Both Intel and M1 chips are supported.

To install, copy and paste the appropriate script below into your terminal. This will download flowctl, make it executable, and add it to your PATH.

  • For Linux:

    sudo curl -o /usr/local/bin/flowctl -L '' && sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/flowctl
  • For Mac:

    sudo curl -o /usr/local/bin/flowctl -L '' && sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/flowctl

    Alternatively, Mac users can install with Homebrew:

    brew tap estuary/flowctl
    brew install flowctl

flowctl isn't currently available for Windows. For Windows users, we recommend running the Linux version inside WSL, or using a remote development environment.

The flowctl source files are also on GitHub here.

Once you've installed flowctl and are ready to begin working, authenticate your session using an access token.

  1. Ensure that you have an Estuary account and have signed into the Flow web app before.

  2. In the terminal of your local development environment, run:

    flowctl auth login

    In a browser window, the web app opens to the CLI-API tab.

  3. Copy the access token.

  4. Return to the terminal, paste the access token, and press Enter.

The token will expire after a predetermined duration. Repeat this process to re-authenticate.

Learn more about using flowctl.

Configuring your cloud storage bucket for use with Flow

During your trial period, Flow uses Estuary's cloud storage to temporarily store your data. When you upgrade from a trial to an organizational account, you're provisioned a unique prefix in the Flow namespace, and transition to using your own cloud storage bucket to store your Flow data. This is called a storage mapping.

Flow supports Google Cloud Storage and Amazon S3 buckets. Before your account manager configures your bucket as your storage mapping, you must grant access to Estuary.

Google Cloud Storage buckets

Follow the steps to add a principal to a bucket level policy.

  • For the principal, enter
  • Select the roles/storage.admin role.

Amazon S3 buckets


Your S3 bucket must be in the us-east-1 region for use with Flow.

Follow the steps to add a bucket policy, pasting the policy below. Be sure to replace YOUR-S3-BUCKET with the actual name of your bucket.

"Version": "2012-10-17",
"Statement": [
"Sid": "AllowUsersToAccessObjectsUnderPrefix",
"Effect": "Allow",
"Principal": {
"AWS": "arn:aws:iam::789740162118:user/flow-aws"
"Action": [
"Resource": "arn:aws:s3:::YOUR-S3-BUCKET/*"
"Effect": "Allow",
"Principal": {
"AWS": "arn:aws:iam::789740162118:user/flow-aws"
"Action": "s3:ListBucket",
"Resource": "arn:aws:s3:::YOUR-S3-BUCKET"

Self-hosting Flow

The Flow runtime is available under the Business Source License. It's possible to self-host Flow using a cloud provider of your choice.


Setup for self-hosting is not covered in this documentation, and full support is not guaranteed at this time. We recommend using the hosted version of Flow for the best experience. If you'd still like to self-host, refer to the GitHub repository or the Estuary Slack.

What's next?

Start using Flow with these recommended resources.