I am setting up a new python environment (in Windows 10) for the google earth engine python API (version 0.1.331) following the instructions detailed here. I have also installed gcloud utilities as described here. Once I have installed gcloud and activated the ee environment (with earthengine-api installed), I am able to run gcloud commands from the command line. However, when I try and run earthengine authenticate, I get an error.

The error (I've replaced my actual user directory name):

Fetching credentials using gcloud
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:\Users\my_user_name\Miniconda3\envs\ee\lib\site-packages\ee\oauth.py", line 291, in _load_app_default_credentials
    subprocess.run(command, check=True)
  File "C:\Users\my_user_name\Miniconda3\envs\ee\lib\subprocess.py", line 505, in run
    with Popen(*popenargs, **kwargs) as process:
  File "C:\Users\my_user_name\Miniconda3\envs\ee\lib\subprocess.py", line 951, in __init__
    self._execute_child(args, executable, preexec_fn, close_fds,
  File "C:\Users\my_user_name\Miniconda3\envs\ee\lib\subprocess.py", line 1420, in _execute_child
    hp, ht, pid, tid = _winapi.CreateProcess(executable, args,
FileNotFoundError: [WinError 2] The system cannot find the file specified

The above exception was the direct cause of the following exception:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:\Users\my_user_name\Miniconda3\envs\ee\Scripts\earthengine-script.py", line 9, in <module>
  File "C:\Users\my_user_name\Miniconda3\envs\ee\lib\site-packages\ee\cli\eecli.py", line 82, in main
  File "C:\Users\my_user_name\Miniconda3\envs\ee\lib\site-packages\ee\cli\eecli.py", line 61, in _run_command
    dispatcher.run(args, config)
  File "C:\Users\my_user_name\Miniconda3\envs\ee\lib\site-packages\ee\cli\commands.py", line 355, in run
    self.command_dict[vars(args)[self.dest]].run(args, config)
  File "C:\Users\my_user_name\Miniconda3\envs\ee\lib\site-packages\ee\cli\commands.py", line 397, in run
  File "C:\Users\my_user_name\Miniconda3\envs\ee\lib\site-packages\ee\__init__.py", line 104, in Authenticate
    return oauth.authenticate(authorization_code, quiet, code_verifier, auth_mode,
  File "C:\Users\my_user_name\Miniconda3\envs\ee\lib\site-packages\ee\oauth.py", line 392, in authenticate
    _load_app_default_credentials(auth_mode == 'gcloud', scopes, quiet)
  File "C:\Users\my_user_name\Miniconda3\envs\ee\lib\site-packages\ee\oauth.py", line 294, in _load_app_default_credentials
    raise Exception('gcloud command not found. ' + tip) from e
Exception: gcloud command not found. Please ensure that gcloud is installed.
More information: https://developers.google.com/earth-engine/guides/python_install

What I've tried:

  • I've search for solutions on the stackexchange site and the user google group but have not found this particular issue.
  • I initially thought there was an issue with running oauth.py, which, at line 291, runs gcloud auth application-default login. However, if I just run that command at the commandline, it successfully launches an authorization prompt in the browser. However, when I try and run ee.Initialize() in a python session, the result is an error: No such file or directory: 'C:\\Users\\my_user_name/.config/earthengine/credentials'
  • It appears that _winapi.CreateProcess is trying to find a file that doesn't exist, but I haven't been able to figure out how to identify what file it is looking for.

1 Answer 1


I was able to solve this issue by rolling back to a previous version using conda install -c conda-forge earthengine-api=0.1.320. I also tested version 0.1.330 and the problem persisted so rolled back to an earlier version. Once the version was rolled back, I ran the authentication with earthengine authenticate and then updated back to the most recent api version (0.1.331). After the update, ee.Initialize() is still able to complete successfully.


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