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Python Client for Couchbase

Project description

Client for Couchbase.


This is the documentation for the 3.x version of the client. This is mostly compatible with the older version. Please refer to the release25 branch for the older version.

Building and Installing

This only applies to building from source. If you are using a Windows installer then everything (other than the server) is already included. See below for windows snapshot releases.

Also note that these instructions apply to building from source. You can always get the latest supported release version from pypi.

If you have a recent version of pip, you may use the latest development version by issuing the following incantation

pip install git+git://


  • Couchbase Server (
  • You may need a C compiler and Python development files, unless a binary wheel is available for your platform. These are available for at least Python 3.7 on Windows, but we will endeavour to add more.
  • Git, if a binary wheel is not available.


You will need a few tools installed to be able to build locally. A compiler and CMake (2.8.9 or above), to compile the C extensions that communicate with libcouchbase, git, pip and python’s setuptools.

Linux (example is for debian-like linux):

sudo apt install git-all
sudo apt install python3-dev
sudo apt install python3-pip
sudo apt install python3-setuptools
sudo apt install cmake
sudo apt install build-essential


# mac (I'm assuming you use homebrew)
git --version # this will prompt you to install if not already installed
brew install cmake
xcode-select --install
pip3 install setuptools

The following will compile the module locally; you can then test basic functionality including running the examples.

python build_ext --inplace

If you have a libcouchbase install already (in, for example, /opt/local/libcouchbase), you may build using it by setting PYCBC_BUILD=DISTUTILS and some add extra directives, like so:

python build_ext --inplace \
    --library-dir /opt/local/libcouchbase/lib \
    --include-dir /opt/local/libcouchbase/include

Or you can modify the environment CFLAGS and LDFLAGS variables.


If you do not intend to install this module, ensure you set the PYTHONPATH environment variable to this directory before running any scripts depending on it. Failing to do so may result in your script running against an older version of this module (if installed), or throwing an exception stating that the couchbase module could not be found.


pip install .


If you are on macOS x you may need to remove the build directory: rm -rf ./build before installing with pip: pip3 install ..


Authentication is handled differently depending on what version of Couchbase Server you are using:

Couchbase Server >= 5.0

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) provides discrete username and passwords for an application that allow fine-grained control. The authenticator is always required.

>>> from couchbase.cluster import Cluster, PasswordAuthenticator, ClusterOptions
>>> from couchbase.auth import PasswordAuthenticator
>>> cluster = Cluster('couchbase://localhost', ClusterOptions(PasswordAuthenticator('username', 'password')))
>>> bucket = cluster.bucket('bucket-name')
>>> collection = bucket.default_collection()

Here’s an example code snippet which sets a key and then reads it

>>> collection.upsert("key", "value")
>>> res = collection.get("key")
>>> res.content

You can also use views

>>> resultset = cluster.view_query("beer", "brewery_beers", limit=5)
>>> resultset
View<Design=beer, View=brewery_beers, Query=Query:'limit=5', Rows Fetched=0>
>>> for row in resultset: print row.key
[u'21st_amendment_brewery_cafe', u'21st_amendment_brewery_cafe-21a_ipa']
[u'21st_amendment_brewery_cafe', u'21st_amendment_brewery_cafe-563_stout']
[u'21st_amendment_brewery_cafe', u'21st_amendment_brewery_cafe-amendment_pale_ale']
[u'21st_amendment_brewery_cafe', u'21st_amendment_brewery_cafe-bitter_american']


The gcouchbase API has not yet been fully migrated to version 3, so is omitted for this version.

Twisted API

The Python client now has support for the Twisted async network framework. To use with Twisted, simply import txcouchbase.cluster instead of couchbase.cluster

from twisted.internet import reactor
from txcouchbase.cluster import TxCluster

cluster = TxCluster('couchbase://localhost', ClusterOptions(PasswordAuthenticator('username', 'password')))
bucket = cluster.bucket("default")
cb = bucket.default_collection()

def on_upsert(ret):
    print("Set key. Result", ret)

def on_get(ret):
    print("Got key. Result", ret)

cb.upsert("key", "value").addCallback(on_upsert)

# Output:
# Set key. Result OperationResult<RC=0x0, Key=key, CAS=0x9a78cf56c08c0500>
# Got key. Result ValueResult<RC=0x0, Key=key, Value=u'value', CAS=0x9a78cf56c08c0500, Flags=0x0>

The txcouchbase API is identical to the couchbase API, except that where the synchronous API will block until it receives a result, the async API will return a Deferred which will be called later with the result or an appropriate error.

Asynchronous (Tulip) API

This module also supports Python 3.4/3.5 asynchronous I/O. To use this functionality, import the couchbase.experimental module (since this functionality is considered experimental) and then import the acouchbase module. The acouchbase module offers an API similar to the synchronous client:

import asyncio

from acouchbase.cluster import Cluster, ClusterOptions, PasswordAuthenticator

async def write_and_read(key, value):
    cluster = Cluster('couchbase://', ClusterOptions(PasswordAuthenticator("username","password")))
    cb = cluster.bucket("default")
    cb_coll = cb.default_collection()
    await cb_coll.connect()
    await cb_coll.upsert(key, value)
    return await cb_coll.get(key)

loop = asyncio.get_event_loop()
rv = loop.run_until_complete(write_and_read('foo', 'bar'))

Other Examples

There are other examples in the examples directory. To run them from the source tree, do something like

PYTHONPATH=$PWD ./examples/ -U couchbase://localhost/default

Building documentation

The documentation is using Sphinx and also needs the numpydoc Sphinx extension. In order for the documentation to build properly, the C extension must have been built, since there are embedded docstrings in there as well.

To build the documentation, go into the docs directory and run

make html

The HTML output can be found in docs/build/html/.

Alternatively, you can also build the documentation (after building the module itself) from the top-level directory:

python build_sphinx

Once built, the docs will be in in build/sphinx/html


For running the tests, you need the standard unittest module, shipped with Python. Additionally, the testresources package is required.

To run them, use either py.test, unittest or trial.

The tests need a running Couchbase instance. For this, a tests.ini file must be present, containing various connection parameters. An example of this file may be found in tests.ini.sample. You may copy this file to tests.ini and modify the values as needed.

To run the tests:


Support & Additional Resources

If you found an issue, please file it in our JIRA. You can ask questions in our forums or in the #libcouchbase channel on freenode.

The official documentation can be consulted as well for general Couchbase concepts and offers a more didactic approach to using the SDK.


The Couchbase Python SDK is licensed under the Apache License 2.0.

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