This tutorial will explain how to set up your API key when using the Nixtla SDK. To create an Api Key go to your Dashboard.

There are different ways to set up your API key. We provide some examples below. A scematic is given below.

Diagram of the API Key configuration process. Method 1. Unsecure. Copy API key from Nixtla dashboard. 2. Paste API Key in Python code. 3. Validate API key. Method 2. Secure. One method, temporary. Open terminal. Set environment variable. Validate API key. Another method, permanent. Create .env File. Set API Key in file. Validate API Key.

1. Copy and paste your key directly into your Python code

This approach is straightforward and best for quick tests or scripts that won’t be shared.

  • Step 1: Copy the API key found in the API Keys of your Nixtla dashboard.
  • Step 2: Paste the key directly into your Python code, by instantiating the NixtlaClient with your API key:
from nixtla import NixtlaClient 
nixtla_client = NixtlaClient(api_key ='your API key here')


This approach is considered unsecure, as your API key will be part of your source code.

2. Secure: using an environment variable

  • Step 1: Store your API key in an environment variable named NIXTLA_API_KEY. This can be done (a) temporarily for a session or (b) permanently, depending on your preference.
  • Step 2: When you instantiate the NixtlaClient class, the SDK will automatically look for the NIXTLA_API_KEY environment variable and use it to authenticate your requests.


The environment variable must be named exactly NIXTLA_API_KEY, with all capital letters and no deviations in spelling, for the SDK to recognize it.

a. Temporary: From the Terminal

This approach is useful if you are working from a terminal, and need a temporary solution.

Linux / Mac

Open a terminal and use the export command to set NIXTLA_API_KEY.

export NIXTLA_API_KEY=your_api_key


For Windows users, open a Powershell window and use the Set command to set NIXTLA_API_KEY.

Set NIXTLA_API_KEY=your_api_key

b. Permanent: Using a .env file

For a more persistent solution place your API key in a .env file located in the folder of your Python script. In this file, include the following:


You can now load the environment variable within your Python script. Use the dotenv package to load the .env file and then instantiate the NIXTLA_API_KEY class. For example:

from dotenv import load_dotenv

from nixtla import NixtlaClient
nixtla_client = NixtlaClient()

This approach is more secure and suitable for applications that will be deployed or shared, as it keeps API keys out of the source code.


Remember, your API key is like a password - keep it secret, keep it safe!

3. Validate your API key

You can always find your API key in the API Keys section of your dashboard. To check the status of your API key, use the validate_api_key method of the NixtlaClient class. This method will return True if the API key is valid and False otherwise.


You don’t need to validate your API key every time you use TimeGPT. This function is provided for your convenience to ensure its validity. For full access to TimeGPT’s functionalities, in addition to a valid API key, you also need sufficient credits in your account. You can check your credits in the Usage section of your dashboard.