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Simple & fast multi-threaded S3 download tool.

Project description


Simple & fast multi-threaded S3 download tool.


Build and Publish Test PyPI version


  • Fast.
  • Simple to use.
  • Multi-threaded, allowing you to download multiple objects concurrently.
  • Quickly download a subset of objects under a prefix without listing all objects first.
  • Object listing occurs in a seperate thread and downloads start as soon as the first object key is returned while the object listing completes in the background.
  • Filter list of objects using regular expressions.
  • Uses standard Boto3 AWS SDK and standard AWS credential locations.
  • List only mode if you just want to see what would be downloaded.

Why use S3Fetch?

Tools such as the AWS CLI and s4cmd are great and offer a lot of features, but S3Fetch out performs them when downloading a subset of objects from a large S3 bucket.

Benchmarking shows (see below) that S3Fetch can finish downloading 428 objects from a bucket containing 12,204,097 objects in 8 seconds while other tools have not started downloading a single object after 60 minutes.


Downloading 428 objects under the fake-prod-data/2020-10-17 prefix from a bucket containing a total of 12,204,097 objects.

With 100 threads

s3fetch s3://fake-test-bucket/fake-prod-data/2020-10-17  --threads 100

8.259 seconds
s4cmd get s3://fake-test-bucket/fake-prod-data/2020-10-17* --num-threads 100

Timed out while listing objects after 60min.

With 8 threads

s3fetch s3://fake-test-bucket/fake-prod-data/2020-10-17  --threads 8

29.140 seconds
time s4cmd get s3://fake-test-bucket/fake-prod-data/2020-10-17* --num-threads 8

Timed out while listing objects after 60min.



S3Fetch is available on PyPi and can be installed via one of the following methods.

pipx (recommended)

Ensure you have pipx installed, then:

pipx install s3fetch


pip3 install s3fetch


Usage: s3fetch [OPTIONS] S3_URI

  Easily download objects from an S3 bucket.

  Example: s3fetch s3://my-test-bucket/birthday-photos/2020-01-01

  The above will download all S3 objects located under the `birthday-
  photos/2020-01-01` prefix.

  You can download all objects in a bucket by using `s3fetch s3://my-test-

  --region TEXT           Bucket region. Defaults to 'us-east-1'.
  -d, --debug             Enable debug output.
  --download-dir TEXT     Download directory. Defaults to current directory.
  -r, --regex TEXT        Filter list of available objects by regex.
  -t, --threads INTEGER   Number of threads to use. Defaults to core count.
  --dry-run, --list-only  List objects only, do not download.
  --delimiter TEXT        Specify the "directory" delimiter. Defaults to '/'.
  -q, --quiet             Don't print to stdout.
  --version               Print out version information.
  --help                  Show this message and exit.


Full example

Download using 100 threads into ~/Downloads/tmp, only downloading objects that end in .dmg.

$ s3fetch s3://my-test-bucket --download-dir ~/Downloads/tmp/ --threads 100  --regex '\.dmg$'

Download all objects from a bucket

s3fetch s3://my-test-bucket/

Download objects with a specific prefix

Download all objects that strt with birthday-photos/2020-01-01.

s3fetch s3://my-test-bucket/birthday-photos/2020-01-01

Download objects to a specific directory

Download objects to the ~/Downloads directory.

s3fetch s3://my-test-bucket/ --download-dir ~/Downloads

Download multiple objects concurrently

Download 100 objects concurrently.

s3fetch s3://my-test-bucket/ --threads 100

Filter objects using regular expressions

Download objects ending in .dmg.

s3fetch s3://my-test-bucket/ --regex '\.dmg$'

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