Skip to main content

A client for Synapse, a collaborative compute space that allows scientists to share and analyze data together.

Project description

Python Synapse Client

Branch Build Status
develop Build Status develop branch
master Build Status master branch

Get the synapseclient from PyPI Supported Python Versions

A Python client for Sage Bionetworks' Synapse, a collaborative, open-source research platform that allows teams to share data, track analyses, and collaborate. The Python client can be used as a library for development of software that communicates with Synapse or as a command-line utility.

There is also a Synapse client for R.


For more information about the Python client, see:

For more information about interacting with Synapse, see:

For release information, see:

Subscribe to release and other announcements here or by sending an email to


The Python Synapse client has been tested on 3.6, 3.7, and 3.8 on Mac OS X, Ubuntu Linux and Windows.

Starting from Synapse Python client version 2.0, Synapse Python client requires Python 3.6+

Install using pip

The Python Synapse Client is on PyPI and can be installed with pip:

(sudo) pip install synapseclient[pandas,pysftp]

...or to upgrade an existing installation of the Synapse client:

(sudo) pip install --upgrade synapseclient

The dependencies on pandas and pysftp are optional. Synapse Tables integrate with Pandas. The library pysftp is required for users of SFTP file storage. Both libraries require native code to be compiled or installed separately from prebuilt binaries.

Install from source

Clone the source code repository.

git clone git://
cd synapsePythonClient
python install

Command line usage

The Synapse client can be used from the shell command prompt. Valid commands include: query, get, cat, add, update, delete, and onweb. A few examples are shown.

downloading test data from Synapse

synapse -u my_username -p my_password get syn1528299

getting help

synapse -h

Note that a Synapse account is required.

Usage as a library

The Synapse client can be used to write software that interacts with the Sage Bionetworks Synapse repository.


import synapseclient

syn = synapseclient.Synapse()

## log in using username and password
syn.login('my_username', 'my_password')

## retrieve a 100 by 4 matrix
matrix = syn.get('syn1901033')

## inspect its properties

## load the data matrix into a dictionary with an entry for each column
with open(matrix.path, 'r') as f:
    labels = f.readline().strip().split('\t')
    data = {label: [] for label in labels}
    for line in f:
        values = [float(x) for x in line.strip().split('\t')]
        for i in range(len(labels)):

## load the data matrix into a numpy array
import numpy as np
np.loadtxt(fname=matrix.path, skiprows=1)


Authentication toward Synapse can be accomplished in a few different ways. One is by passing username and password to the syn.login function.

import synapseclient
syn = synapseclient.Synapse()
syn.login('my_username', 'my_password')

It is much more convenient to use an API key, which can be generated and cached locally by doing the following once:

syn.login('my_username', 'my_password', rememberMe=True)

Then, in subsequent interactions, specifying username and password is optional and only needed to login as a different user. Calling login with no arguments uses cached credentials when they are available.


As a short-cut, creating the Synapse object and logging in can be done in one step:

import synapseclient
syn = synapseclient.login()

Caching credentials can also be done from the command line client:

synapse login -u my_username -p my_password --rememberMe

Synapse Utilities (synapseutils)

The purpose of synapseutils is to create a space filled with convenience functions that includes traversing through large projects, copying entities, recursively downloading files and many more.


import synapseutils
import synapseclient
syn = synapseclient.login()

#COPY: copies all Synapse entities to a destination location
synapseutils.copy(syn, "syn1234", destinationId = "syn2345")

#COPY WIKI: copies the wiki from the entity to a destination entity. Only a project can have sub wiki pages.
synapseutils.copyWiki(syn, "syn1234", destinationId = "syn2345")

#WALK: Traverses through Synapse directories, behaves exactly like os.walk()
walkedPath = synapseutils.walk(syn, "syn1234")

for dirpath, dirname, filename in walkedPath:

License and Copyright

© Copyright 2013-19 Sage Bionetworks

This software is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0.

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Files for synapseclient, version 2.5.1
Filename, size File type Python version Upload date Hashes
Filename, size synapseclient-2.5.1.tar.gz (189.7 kB) File type Source Python version None Upload date Hashes View
Filename, size synapseclient-2.5.1-py3-none-any.whl (211.7 kB) File type Wheel Python version py3 Upload date Hashes View

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing Datadog Datadog Monitoring Facebook / Instagram Facebook / Instagram PSF Sponsor Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Object Storage and Download Analytics Huawei Huawei PSF Sponsor Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor NVIDIA NVIDIA PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Salesforce Salesforce PSF Sponsor Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page