File uploads

CKAN allows users to upload files directly to file storage either on the local file system or to online ‘cloud’ storage like Amazon S3 or Google Storage. The uploaded files will be stored in the configured location.

Setup and Configuration

By default storage is disabled. To enable it, all you need to do is configure where files will be stored.

Common configuration options:

## Required
## 'Bucket' (subdirectory for file based storage) to use for file storage = my-bucket-name

## Optional
## maximum content size for uploads in bytes, defaults to 1Gb
# = 1000000000

Local File Storage

Important: you must install pairtree library for local storage to function:

pip install pairtree

For local file storage add to your config:

## OFS configuration
ofs.impl = pairtree
# directory on disk for data storage (should be empty)
ofs.storage_dir = /my/path/to/storage/root/directory

Cloud Storage

Important: you must install boto library for cloud storage to function:

pip install boto

In your config for google:

## OFS configuration
ofs.impl = google
ofs.gs_access_key_id = GOOG....
ofs.gs_secret_access_key = ....

For S3:

## OFS configuration
ofs.impl = s3
ofs.aws_access_key_id = ....
ofs.aws_secret_access_key = ....

Storage Web Interface

Upload of files to storage is integrated directly into the the Dataset creation and editing system with files being associated to Resources.

Storage API

Metadata API

The API is located at:


It supports the following methods:

  • GET will return the metadata
  • POST will add/update metadata
  • PUT will replace metadata

Metadata is a json dict of key values which for POST and PUT should be send in body of request.

A standard response looks like:

  "_bucket": "ckannet-storage",
  _content_length: 1074
  _format: "text/plain"
  _label: "/file/8630a664-0ae4-485f-99c2-126dae95653a"
  _last_modified: "Fri, 29 Apr 2011 19:27:31 GMT"
  _location: "some-location"
  _owner: null
  uploaded-by: "bff737ef-b84c-4519-914c-b4285144d8e6"

Note that values with ‘_’ are standard OFS metadata and are mostly read-only – _format i.e. content-type can be set).

Form Authentication

Provides credentials for doing operations on storage directly from a client (using web form style POSTs).

The API is located at:


Provide fields for a form upload to storage including authentication:

:param label: label.
:return: json-encoded dictionary with action parameter and fields list.

Request Authentication API

Provides credentials for doing operations on storage directly from a client.


this API is currently disabled and will likely be deprecated. Use the form authentication instead.

The API is at:


Provide authentication information for a request so a client can interact with backend storage directly:

:param label: label.
:param kwargs: sent either via query string for GET or json-encoded
    dict for POST). Interpreted as http headers for request plus an
    (optional) method parameter (being the HTTP method).

    Examples of headers are:

        Content-Encoding (optional)
        Expect (should be '100-Continue')

:return: is a json hash containing various attributes including a
headers dictionary containing an Authorization field which is good for

Webstore Integration

It is also possible to have uploaded CSV and Excel files stored in the Webstore which provides a structured data store built on a relational database backend. The configuration of this process is described at the CKAN wiki.

Storing data in the webstore allows for the direct retrieval of the data in a tabular format. It is possible to fetch a single row of the data, all of the data and have it returned in HTML, CSV or JSON format. More information and the API documentation for the webstore is available in the Webstore Documentation.