CKAN Documentation 2.1.5 documentation » Features »

FileStore and 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 the FileStore with Local File Storage

To setup CKAN’s FileStore with local file storage:

  1. Create the directory where CKAN will store uploaded files:

    sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/ckan/default
  2. Add the following lines to your CKAN config file, after the [app:main] line:

    ofs.impl = pairtree
    ofs.storage_dir = /var/lib/ckan/default
  3. Set the permissions of the storage_dir. For example if you’re running CKAN with Apache, then Apache’s user (www-data on Ubuntu) must have read, write and execute permissions for the storage_dir:

    sudo chown www-data /var/lib/ckan/default
    sudo chmod u+rwx /var/lib/ckan/default
  4. Make sure you’ve set ckan.site_url in your config file.

  5. Restart your web server, for example to restart Apache:

    sudo service apache2 reload

Setup the FileStore with 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 = ....

FileStore Web Interface

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

FileStore API

CKAN’s FileStore API lets you upload files to CKAN’s FileStore. If you’re looking for an example, ckanclient contains Python code for uploading a file to CKAN using the FileStore API.

FileStore 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).

FileStore Form Authentication API

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.

FileStore 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

DataStore Integration

It is also possible to have uploaded files (if of a suitable format) stored in the DataStore which will then provides an API to the data. See DataStorer: Automatically Add Data to the DataStore for more details.