How to Resolve "invalid character 'I' looking for beginning of value" Error in CircleCI CLI


When validating or processing a config.yml using the CircleCI CLI, some users may experience the following error

Error: config compilation request returned an error: invalid character 'I' looking for beginning of value

These errors are usually a result of upgrading to a newer release and a new token results in this behavior being mitigated.



  • Pass your existing API token into the command using the --token flag

    • This can be done using an existing token or by generating a new Personal API Token
    • circleci --token <personal-api-token> config process .circleci/continue_config.yml -v
  • Rotate your Token

  • Use circleci setup with your newly generated token


After rotating or passing the token into the command, the circleci commands run will behave as expected.

Additional Notes:

  • We have observed that this occurs mostly for users on macOS who have installed using brew but can impact any CircleCI CLI users after upgrading

Additional Resources:

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