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Create and validate BagIt packages

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bagit is a Python library and command line utility for working with BagIt style packages.

Installation is a single-file python module that you can drop into your project as needed or you can install globally with:

pip install bagit

Python v2.7+ is required.

Command Line Usage

When you install bagit you should get a command-line program called which you can use to turn an existing directory into a bag: --contact-name 'John Kunze' /directory/to/bag

Finding Bagit on your system

The program should be available in your normal command-line window (Terminal on OS X, Command Prompt or Powershell on Windows, etc.). If you are unsure where it was installed you can also request that Python search for bagit as a Python module: simply replace with python -m bagit:

python -m bagit --help

On some systems Python may have been installed as python3, py, etc. – simply use the same name you use to start an interactive Python shell:

py -m bagit --help
python3 -m bagit --help

Configuring BagIt

You can pass in key/value metadata for the bag using options like --contact-name above, which get persisted to the bag-info.txt. For a complete list of bag-info.txt properties you can use as commmand line arguments see --help.

Since calculating checksums can take a while when creating a bag, you may want to calculate them in parallel if you are on a multicore machine. You can do that with the --processes option: --processes 4 /directory/to/bag

To specify which checksum algorithm(s) to use when generating the manifest, use the –md5, –sha1, –sha256 and/or –sha512 flags (MD5 is generated by default). --sha1 /path/to/bag --sha256 /path/to/bag --sha512 /path/to/bag

If you would like to validate a bag you can use the –validate flag. --validate /path/to/bag

If you would like to take a quick look at the bag to see if it seems valid by just examining the structure of the bag, and comparing its payload-oxum (byte count and number of files) then use the --fast flag. --validate --fast /path/to/bag

And finally, if you’d like to parallelize validation to take advantage of multiple CPUs you can: --validate --processes 4 /path/to/bag

Using BagIt in your programs

You can also use BagIt programatically in your own Python programs by importing the bagit module.


To create a bag you would do this:

bag = bagit.make_bag('mydir', {'Contact-Name': 'John Kunze'})

make_bag returns a Bag instance. If you have a bag already on disk and would like to create a Bag instance for it, simply call the constructor directly:

bag = bagit.Bag('/path/to/bag')

Update Bag Metadata

You can change the metadata persisted to the bag-info.txt by using the info property on a Bag.

# load the bag
bag = bagit.Bag('/path/to/bag')

# update bag info metadata['Internal-Sender-Description'] = 'Updated on 2014-06-28.'['Authors'] = ['John Kunze', 'Andy Boyko']

Update Bag Manifests

By default save will not update manifests. This guards against a situation where a call to save to persist bag metadata accidentally regenerates manifests for an invalid bag. If you have modified the payload of a bag by adding, modifying or deleting files in the data directory, and wish to regenerate the manifests set the manifests parameter to True when calling save.

import shutil, os

# add a file
shutil.copyfile('newfile', '/path/to/bag/data/newfile')

# remove a file

# persist changes

The save method takes an optional processes parameter which will determine how many processes are used to regenerate the checksums. This can be handy on multicore machines.


If you would like to see if a bag is valid, use its is_valid method:

bag = bagit.Bag('/path/to/bag')
if bag.is_valid():
    print("yay :)")
    print("boo :(")

If you’d like to get a detailed list of validation errors, execute the validate method and catch the BagValidationError exception. If the bag’s manifest was invalid (and it wasn’t caught by the payload oxum) the exception’s details property will contain a list of ManifestErrors that you can introspect on. Each ManifestError, will be of type ChecksumMismatch, FileMissing, UnexpectedFile.

So for example if you want to print out checksums that failed to validate you can do this:

bag = bagit.Bag("/path/to/bag")


except bagit.BagValidationError as e:
    for d in e.details:
        if isinstance(d, bagit.ChecksumMismatch):
            print("expected %s to have %s checksum of %s but found %s" %
                  (d.path, d.algorithm, d.expected, d.found))

To iterate through a bag’s manifest and retrieve checksums for the payload files use the bag’s entries dictionary:

bag = bagit.Bag("/path/to/bag")

for path, fixity in bag.entries.items():
  print("path:%s md5:%s" % (path, fixity["md5"]))

Contributing to bagit-python development

% git clone git://
% cd bagit-python
% python

Running the tests

You can quickly run the tests by having setuptools install dependencies:

python test

Once your code is working, you can use Tox to run the tests with every supported version of Python which you have installed on the local system:


If you have Docker installed, you can run the tests under Linux inside a container:

% docker build -t bagit:latest . && docker run -it bagit:latest


If you’d like to see how increasing parallelization of bag creation on your system effects the time to create a bag try using the included bench utility:

% ./



Note: By contributing to this project, you agree to license your work under the same terms as those that govern this project’s distribution.

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