Hub Python Library documentation

Download files from the Hub

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Download files from the Hub

The huggingface_hub library provides functions to download files from the repositories stored on the Hub. You can use these functions independently or integrate them into your own library, making it more convenient for your users to interact with the Hub. This guide will show you how to:

  • Download and cache a single file.
  • Download and cache an entire repository.
  • Download files to a local folder.

Download a single file

The hf_hub_download() function is the main function for downloading files from the Hub. It downloads the remote file, caches it on disk (in a version-aware way), and returns its local file path.

The returned filepath is a pointer to the HF local cache. Therefore, it is important to not modify the file to avoid having a corrupted cache. If you are interested in getting to know more about how files are cached, please refer to our caching guide.

From latest version

Select the file to download using the repo_id, repo_type and filename parameters. By default, the file will be considered as being part of a model repo.

>>> from huggingface_hub import hf_hub_download
>>> hf_hub_download(repo_id="lysandre/arxiv-nlp", filename="config.json")
'/root/.cache/huggingface/hub/models--lysandre--arxiv-nlp/snapshots/894a9adde21d9a3e3843e6d5aeaaf01875c7fade/config.json'

# Download from a dataset
>>> hf_hub_download(repo_id="google/fleurs", filename="fleurs.py", repo_type="dataset")
'/root/.cache/huggingface/hub/datasets--google--fleurs/snapshots/199e4ae37915137c555b1765c01477c216287d34/fleurs.py'

From specific version

By default, the latest version from the main branch is downloaded. However, in some cases you want to download a file at a particular version (e.g. from a specific branch, a PR, a tag or a commit hash). To do so, use the revision parameter:

# Download from the `v1.0` tag
>>> hf_hub_download(repo_id="lysandre/arxiv-nlp", filename="config.json", revision="v1.0")

# Download from the `test-branch` branch
>>> hf_hub_download(repo_id="lysandre/arxiv-nlp", filename="config.json", revision="test-branch")

# Download from Pull Request #3
>>> hf_hub_download(repo_id="lysandre/arxiv-nlp", filename="config.json", revision="refs/pr/3")

# Download from a specific commit hash
>>> hf_hub_download(repo_id="lysandre/arxiv-nlp", filename="config.json", revision="877b84a8f93f2d619faa2a6e514a32beef88ab0a")

Note: When using the commit hash, it must be the full-length hash instead of a 7-character commit hash.

Construct a download URL

In case you want to construct the URL used to download a file from a repo, you can use hf_hub_url() which returns a URL. Note that it is used internally by hf_hub_download().

Download an entire repository

snapshot_download() downloads an entire repository at a given revision. It uses internally hf_hub_download() which means all downloaded files are also cached on your local disk. Downloads are made concurrently to speed-up the process.

To download a whole repository, just pass the repo_id and repo_type:

>>> from huggingface_hub import snapshot_download
>>> snapshot_download(repo_id="lysandre/arxiv-nlp")
'/home/lysandre/.cache/huggingface/hub/models--lysandre--arxiv-nlp/snapshots/894a9adde21d9a3e3843e6d5aeaaf01875c7fade'

# Or from a dataset
>>> snapshot_download(repo_id="google/fleurs", repo_type="dataset")
'/home/lysandre/.cache/huggingface/hub/datasets--google--fleurs/snapshots/199e4ae37915137c555b1765c01477c216287d34'

snapshot_download() downloads the latest revision by default. If you want a specific repository revision, use the revision parameter:

>>> from huggingface_hub import snapshot_download
>>> snapshot_download(repo_id="lysandre/arxiv-nlp", revision="refs/pr/1")

Filter files to download

snapshot_download() provides an easy way to download a repository. However, you don’t always want to download the entire content of a repository. For example, you might want to prevent downloading all .bin files if you know you’ll only use the .safetensors weights. You can do that using allow_patterns and ignore_patterns parameters.

These parameters accept either a single pattern or a list of patterns. Patterns are Standard Wildcards (globbing patterns) as documented here. The pattern matching is based on fnmatch.

For example, you can use allow_patterns to only download JSON configuration files:

>>> from huggingface_hub import snapshot_download
>>> snapshot_download(repo_id="lysandre/arxiv-nlp", allow_patterns="*.json")

On the other hand, ignore_patterns can exclude certain files from being downloaded. The following example ignores the .msgpack and .h5 file extensions:

>>> from huggingface_hub import snapshot_download
>>> snapshot_download(repo_id="lysandre/arxiv-nlp", ignore_patterns=["*.msgpack", "*.h5"])

Finally, you can combine both to precisely filter your download. Here is an example to download all json and markdown files except vocab.json.

>>> from huggingface_hub import snapshot_download
>>> snapshot_download(repo_id="gpt2", allow_patterns=["*.md", "*.json"], ignore_patterns="vocab.json")

Download file(s) to a local folder

By default, we recommend using the cache system to download files from the Hub. You can specify a custom cache location using the cache_dir parameter in hf_hub_download() and snapshot_download(), or by setting the HF_HOME environment variable.

However, if you need to download files to a specific folder, you can pass a local_dir parameter to the download function. This is useful to get a workflow closer to what the git command offers. The downloaded files will maintain their original file structure within the specified folder. For example, if filename="data/train.csv" and local_dir="path/to/folder", the resulting filepath will be "path/to/folder/data/train.csv".

A ./huggingface/ folder is created at the root of your local directory containing metadata about the downloaded files. This prevents re-downloading files if they’re already up-to-date. If the metadata has changed, then the new file version is downloaded. This makes the local_dir optimized for pulling only the latest changes.

After completing the download, you can safely remove the .cache/huggingface/ folder if you no longer need it. However, be aware that re-running your script without this folder may result in longer recovery times, as metadata will be lost. Rest assured that your local data will remain intact and unaffected.

Don’t worry about the .cache/huggingface/ folder when committing changes to the Hub! This folder is automatically ignored by both git and upload_folder().

Download from the CLI

You can use the huggingface-cli download command from the terminal to directly download files from the Hub. Internally, it uses the same hf_hub_download() and snapshot_download() helpers described above and prints the returned path to the terminal.

>>> huggingface-cli download gpt2 config.json
/home/wauplin/.cache/huggingface/hub/models--gpt2/snapshots/11c5a3d5811f50298f278a704980280950aedb10/config.json

You can download multiple files at once which displays a progress bar and returns the snapshot path in which the files are located:

>>> huggingface-cli download gpt2 config.json model.safetensors
Fetching 2 files: 100%|β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ| 2/2 [00:00<00:00, 23831.27it/s]
/home/wauplin/.cache/huggingface/hub/models--gpt2/snapshots/11c5a3d5811f50298f278a704980280950aedb10

For more details about the CLI download command, please refer to the CLI guide.

Faster downloads

If you are running on a machine with high bandwidth, you can increase your download speed with hf_transfer, a Rust-based library developed to speed up file transfers with the Hub. To enable it:

  1. Specify the hf_transfer extra when installing huggingface_hub (e.g. pip install huggingface_hub[hf_transfer]).
  2. Set HF_HUB_ENABLE_HF_TRANSFER=1 as an environment variable.

hf_transfer is a power user tool! It is tested and production-ready, but it lacks user-friendly features like advanced error handling or proxies. For more details, please take a look at this section.

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