A supercharged, interactive Kafka shell built on top of the existing Kafka CLI tools.

Kafka shell allows you to configure a list of clusters, and properties such as --bootstrap-server and --zookeeper for the currently selected cluster will automatically be added when the command is run. No more remembering long server addresses or ports!


Kafka shell requires python and pip. Kafka shell is a wrapper over the existing Kafka command-line tools, so
those must exist within your PATH.

You can install kafka-shell using pip:

pip install kafka-shell


Kafka shell is an interactive shell. You can run it from the terminal by:


From here, you can start typing kafka and the autocomplete will kick in.

Key Commands

  • Change Cluster: The selected cluster commands are run against can be cycled through by pressing F2.
  • Fuzzy Search: By default, fuzzy search of commands is enabled. This can be toggled on & off by pressing F3.
  • In-line Help: By default, in-line help is shown along side the drop-down suggestion list. This can be toggled on & off by pressing F9.
  • Exit: The shell can be exited by pressing F10 or by typing exit.


Kafka shell allows you to configure settings and Kafka clusters to run commands against through a configuration file.

By default, when kafka-shell is first run, a directory in your home directory is generated at ~/.kafka-shell. A configuration file called config.yaml is generated in that new folder. It is a YAML file containing details about clusters, kafka-shell configuration, and more.

See configuration to add a cluster to your configuration or to set other kafka-shell settings.


Kafka shell simplifies running complex Kafka CLI commands as well as provides smart auto-completion of commands, options, and more. /Users/shawn/.kafka-shell/config.yaml

  • Auto-completion of commands, options, and configurations
  • Configure clusters to run commands against and switch between them
  • Fish-style auto suggestions
  • Command history
  • Contextual help
  • Toolbar options

Completion of Configurations

Auto completion of Kafka configuration keys and their values.

Configure Clusters, Schema Registries, & More

Configure clusters and their properties will automatically be added to commands being run.

Supported Commands

Currently, the following commands are supported:

  • kafka-topics
  • kafka-configs
  • kafka-console-consumer
  • kafka-console-producer
  • kafka-avro-console-consumer
  • kafka-avro-console-producer
  • kafka-verifiable-consumer
  • kafka-verifiable-producer
  • kafka-broker-api-versions
  • kafka-consumer-groups
  • kafka-delete-records
  • kafka-log-dirs
  • kafka-dump-log
  • kafka-acls
  • ksql

Helper Commands

Currently, kafka-shell has helper commands:

  • exit: exit the shell
  • clear: clear the shell
  • cluster-select: select a cluster
  • cluster-describe: describe a cluster config

In-line help for each command and option is shown by default. This can be toggled by F9.