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S3cmd tool for Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) ================================================= Author: Michal Ludvig <> S3tools / S3cmd project homepage: S3tools / S3cmd mailing list: Amazon S3 homepage: !!! !!! Please consult INSTALL file for installation instructions! !!! What is Amazon S3 ----------------- Amazon S3 provides a managed internet-accessible storage service where anyone can store any amount of data and retrieve it later again. Maximum amount of data in one "object" is 5GB, maximum number of objects is not limited. S3 is a paid service operated by the well known internet book shop. Before storing anything into S3 you must sign up for an "AWS" account (where AWS = Amazon Web Services) to obtain a pair of identifiers: Access Key and Secret Key. You will need to give these keys to S3cmd. Think of them as if they were a username and password for your S3 account. Pricing explained ----------------- At the time of this writing the costs of using S3 are (in USD): $0.15 per GB per month of storage space used plus $0.10 per GB - all data uploaded plus $0.18 per GB - first 10 TB / month data downloaded $0.16 per GB - next 40 TB / month data downloaded $0.13 per GB - data downloaded / month over 50 TB plus $0.01 per 1,000 PUT or LIST requests $0.01 per 10,000 GET and all other requests If for instance on 1st of January you upload 2GB of photos in JPEG from your holiday in New Zealand, at the end of January you will be charged $0.30 for using 2GB of storage space for a month, $0.20 for uploading 2GB of data, and a few cents for requests. That comes to slightly over $0.50 for a complete backup of your precious holiday pictures. In February you don't touch it. Your data are still on S3 servers so you pay $0.30 for those two gigabytes, but not a single cent will be charged for any transfer. That comes to $0.30 as an ongoing cost of your backup. Not too bad. In March you allow anonymous read access to some of your pictures and your friends download, say, 500MB of them. As the files are owned by you, you are responsible for the costs incurred. That means at the end of March you'll be charged $0.30 for storage plus $0.09 for the download traffic generated by your friends. There is no minimum monthly contract or a setup fee. What you use is what you pay for. At the beginning my bill used to be like US$0.03 or even nil. That's the pricing model of Amazon S3 in a nutshell. Check Amazon S3 homepage at for more details. Needless to say that all these money are charged by Amazon itself, there is obviously no payment for using S3cmd :-) Amazon S3 basics ---------------- Files stored in S3 are called "objects" and their names are officially called "keys". Each object belongs to exactly one "bucket". Buckets are kind of directories or folders with some restrictions: 1) each user can only have 100 buckets at the most, 2) bucket names must be unique amongst all users of S3, 3) buckets can not be nested into a deeper hierarchy and 4) a name of a bucket can only consist of basic alphanumeric characters plus dot (.) and dash (-). No spaces, no accented or UTF-8 letters, etc. On the other hand there are almost no restrictions on object names ("keys"). These can be any UTF-8 strings of up to 1024 bytes long. Interestingly enough the object name can contain forward slash character (/) thus a "my/funny/picture.jpg" is a valid object name. Note that there are not directories nor buckets called "my" and "funny" - it is really a single object name called "my/funny/picture.jpg" and S3 does not care at all that it _looks_ like a directory structure. To describe objects in S3 storage we invented a URI-like schema in the following form: s3://BUCKET/OBJECT See the HowTo later in this document for example usages of this S3-URI schema. Simple S3cmd HowTo ------------------ 1) Register for Amazon AWS / S3 Go to, click the "Sign up for web service" button in the right column and work through the registration. You will have to supply your Credit Card details in order to allow Amazon charge you for S3 usage. At the end you should posses your Access and Secret Keys 2) Run "s3cmd --configure" You will be asked for the two keys - copy and paste them from your confirmation email or from your Amazon account page. Be careful when copying them! They are case sensitive and must be entered accurately or you'll keep getting errors about invalid signatures or similar. 3) Run "s3cmd ls" to list all your buckets. As you just started using S3 there are no buckets owned by you as of now. So the output will be empty. 4) Make a bucket with "s3cmd mb s3://my-new-bucket-name" As mentioned above bucket names must be unique amongst _all_ users of S3. That means the simple names like "test" or "asdf" are already taken and you must make up something more original. I sometimes prefix my bucket names with my e-mail domain name ( leading to a bucket name, for instance, '': ~$ s3cmd mb s3:// Bucket '' created 5) List your buckets again with "s3cmd ls" Now you should see your freshly created bucket ~$ s3cmd ls 2007-01-19 01:41 s3:// 6) List the contents of the bucket ~$ s3cmd ls s3:// Bucket '': ~$ It's empty, indeed. 7) Upload a file into the bucket ~$ s3cmd put addressbook.xml s3:// File 'addressbook.xml' stored as s3:// (123456 bytes) 8) Now we can list the bucket contents again ~$ s3cmd ls s3:// Bucket '': 2007-01-19 01:46 120k s3:// 9) Retrieve the file back and verify that its hasn't been corrupted ~$ s3cmd get s3:// addressbook-2.xml Object s3:// saved as 'addressbook-2.xml' (123456 bytes) ~$ md5sum addressbook.xml addressbook-2.xml 39bcb6992e461b269b95b3bda303addf addressbook.xml 39bcb6992e461b269b95b3bda303addf addressbook-2.xml Checksums of the original file matches the one of the retrieved one. Looks like it worked :-) 10) Clean up: delete the object and remove the bucket ~$ s3cmd rb s3:// ERROR: S3 error: 409 (Conflict): BucketNotEmpty Ouch, we can only remove empty buckets! ~$ s3cmd del s3:// Object s3:// deleted ~$ s3cmd rb s3:// Bucket '' removed Hints ----- The basic usage is as simple as described in the previous section. You can increase the level of verbosity with -v option and if you're really keen to know what the program does under its bonet run it with -d to see all 'debugging' output. After configuring it with --configure all available options are spitted into your ~/.s3cfg file. It's a text file ready to be modified in your favourite text editor. Multiple local files may be specified for "s3cmd put" operation. In that case the S3 URI should only include the bucket name, not the object part: ~$ s3cmd put file-* s3:// File 'file-one.txt' stored as s3:// (4 bytes) File 'file-two.txt' stored as s3:// (4 bytes) Alternatively if you specify the object part as well it will be treated as a prefix and all filenames given on the command line will be appended to the prefix making up the object name. However --force option is required in this case: ~$ s3cmd put --force file-* s3:// File 'file-one.txt' stored as s3:// (4 bytes) File 'file-two.txt' stored as s3:// (4 bytes) This prefixing mode works with "s3cmd ls" as well: ~$ s3cmd ls s3:// Bucket '': 2007-01-19 02:12 4 s3:// 2007-01-19 02:12 4 s3:// 2007-01-19 02:12 4 s3:// 2007-01-19 02:12 4 s3:// Now with a prefix to list only names beginning with "file-": ~$ s3cmd ls s3://* Bucket '': 2007-01-19 02:12 4 s3:// 2007-01-19 02:12 4 s3:// For more information refer to: * S3cmd / S3tools homepage at * Amazon S3 homepage at Enjoy! Michal Ludvig * *