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A client for Synapse, a collaborative, open-source research platform that allows teams to share data, track analyses, and collaborate.

Project description

Python Synapse Client

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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:


The Python Synapse client has been tested on 3.8, 3.9, 3.10 and 3.11 on Mac OS X, Ubuntu Linux and Windows.

Starting from Synapse Python client version 3.0, Synapse Python client requires Python >= 3.8

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 -p auth_token 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

## 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 with the clients using personal access tokens. Learn more about Synapse personal access tokens

Authentication via passwords and API keys will be deprecated early 2024.

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()

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

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

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

for dirpath, dirname, filename in walkedPath:

License and Copyright

© Copyright 2013-23 Sage Bionetworks

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

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