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Unified FS-like CLI for S3, GCS, ADLS, HDFS, SMB, Dropbox, Google Drive, and dozens of other file systems

Project description


Unified FS-like CLI for S3, GCS, ADLS, HDFS, SMB, Dropbox, Google Drive, and dozens of other "file systems".

unifs conf use my-s3-bucket
unifs ls -l /
unifs mv /foo.txt /bar.txt
unifs download /bar.txt ~/Downloads/local.copy.txt

unifs uses the term "file system" in an open sense for anything that can be represented as a set of files and directories and be manipulated with the commands like ls, cat, cp, and mv for example (list is not exhaustive). unifs also allows data upload and download when working with remote back-ends (e.g., a cloud-based BLOB storage).

unifs supports multiple back-ends, such as a local file system, (S)FTP, Google Drive, various blob storage such as S3, GCS, ADLS, and dozens of other implementations. Use unifs impl list to list supported protocols, but know that other protocols can be added, including any custom implementations users may provide.

unifs is different from FUSE implementations in that it doesn't mount a file system. Instead, it provides a unified CLI that uses target back-end API to execute the issued commands.


unifs is a Python package:

pip install unifs

Default unifs installation only supports a few basic protocols (e.g., a local file system). To support other protocols you may need to install their implementation packages. Because there are too many, unifs doesn't install them for you by default, but it will tell which packages are missing if you attempt to use a protocol that is not supported out of the box.

For example, to add the support for the GCS:

pip install gcsfs

Make sure to install the additional packages to the same (virtual) environment where unifs is installed.

To list known implementations and their prerequisites, use:

unifs impl list
unifs impl info NAME

To avoid conflicts with other Python packages, it is recommended to install this application into a dedicated virtual environment. For example, you may use pipx, or create a virtual environment manually. At very least, install with a --user option (pip install --user unifs).

Quick start

By default, unifs will use the local file system and will behave much like issuing the similar commands directly in the shell:

unifs ls -l /
unifs cat /tmp/foo.txt
unifs mv /tmp/foo.tx /tmp/bar.txt
unifs --help

You need to configure unifs to let it know about other file systems you will use.


You may either modify the configuration file, or use unifs conf command to manipulate it.

Using unifs conf

Get the list of configured file systems (currently active one is highlighted):

unifs conf list

Set the active file system:

unifs conf use NAME

Configuration file

unifs configuration is stored in the default OS configuration directory. You can obtain a configuration file path with:

unifs conf path

Alternatively, you can pin the configuration file location with a UNIFS_CONFIG_PATH environment variable.

If you didn't change your default OS settings, most likely it will be:

~/.local/share/unifs/config.toml  # Linux
~/Library/Application Support/unifs/config.toml  # MacOS
~\AppData\Local\unifs\Config\config.toml # Windows

Configuration file is a TOML file that consists of:

  • a single [unifs] section where the currently active file system is set
  • any number of [unifs.fs.NAME] sections that declare the file systems


current = "local"

protocol = "file"
auto_mkdir = false

File system configuration is a set of key-value pairs. protocol key is mandatory and is used to select the implementation, all other values are passed to the specific implementation. Use unifs impl info NAME to the list of accepted parameters for any protocol.

For example, for a GCS bucket:

protocol = gcs
project = "my-gcp-project"
token = "/path/to/token.json"


Available unifs features are considered stable. unifs is being actively developed and more features are coming.

Error reporting

If you happen to encounter an error ("An unexpected error" in the output), please, feel free to report it on the Issues page. In this case, you may find the detailed error message in the log file located in the same directory as the application configuration file.

Word of caution

Beware that unifs may change (copy, move, remove, etc.) the data in a "file system" (as understood above). unifs is only a command-line layer between the user and the target "file system". unifs tries its best to prevent errors (e.g., uses interactive confirmations for some commands), but ultimately the user is responsible for the operations performed by this program.

unifs is designed to be used in an interactive shell, not in headless mode.

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