Hub Python Library documentation

Environment variables

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Environment variables

huggingface_hub can be configured using environment variables.

If you are unfamiliar with environment variable, here are generic articles about them on macOS and Linux and on Windows.

This page will guide you through all environment variables specific to huggingface_hub and their meaning.



To configure the inference api base url. You might want to set this variable if your organization is pointing at an API Gateway rather than directly at the inference api.

Defaults to "".


To configure where huggingface_hub will locally store data. In particular, your token and the cache will be stored in this folder.

Defaults to "~/.cache/huggingface" unless XDG_CACHE_HOME is set.


To configure where repositories from the Hub will be cached locally (models, datasets and spaces).

Defaults to "$HF_HOME/hub" (e.g. "~/.cache/huggingface/hub" by default).


To configure where assets created by downstream libraries will be cached locally. Those assets can be preprocessed data, files downloaded from GitHub, logs,…

Defaults to "$HF_HOME/assets" (e.g. "~/.cache/huggingface/assets" by default).


To configure the User Access Token to authenticate to the Hub. If set, this value will overwrite the token stored on the machine (in either $HF_TOKEN_PATH or "$HF_HOME/token" if the former is not set).

For more details about authentication, check out this section.


To configure where huggingface_hub should store the User Access Token. Defaults to "$HF_HOME/token" (e.g. ~/.cache/huggingface/token by default).


Set the verbosity level of the huggingface_hub’s logger. Must be one of {"debug", "info", "warning", "error", "critical"}.

Defaults to "warning".

For more details, see logging reference.


This environment variable has been deprecated and is now ignored by huggingface_hub. Downloading files to the local dir does not rely on symlinks anymore.


Integer value to define the number of seconds to wait for server response when fetching the latest metadata from a repo before downloading a file. If the request times out, huggingface_hub will default to the locally cached files. Setting a lower value speeds up the workflow for machines with a slow connection that have already cached files. A higher value guarantees the metadata call to succeed in more cases. Default to 10s.


Integer value to define the number of seconds to wait for server response when downloading a file. If the request times out, a TimeoutError is raised. Setting a higher value is beneficial on machine with a slow connection. A smaller value makes the process fail quicker in case of complete network outage. Default to 10s.

Boolean values

The following environment variables expect a boolean value. The variable will be considered as True if its value is one of {"1", "ON", "YES", "TRUE"} (case-insensitive). Any other value (or undefined) will be considered as False.


If set, no HTTP calls will me made to the Hugging Face Hub. If you try to download files, only the cached files will be accessed. If no cache file is detected, an error is raised This is useful in case your network is slow and you don’t care about having the latest version of a file.

If HF_HUB_OFFLINE=1 is set as environment variable and you call any method of HfApi, an OfflineModeIsEnabled exception will be raised.

Note: even if the latest version of a file is cached, calling hf_hub_download still triggers a HTTP request to check that a new version is not available. Setting HF_HUB_OFFLINE=1 will skip this call which speeds up your loading time.


Authentication is not mandatory for every requests to the Hub. For instance, requesting details about "gpt2" model does not require to be authenticated. However, if a user is logged in, the default behavior will be to always send the token in order to ease user experience (never get a HTTP 401 Unauthorized) when accessing private or gated repositories. For privacy, you can disable this behavior by setting HF_HUB_DISABLE_IMPLICIT_TOKEN=1. In this case, the token will be sent only for “write-access” calls (example: create a commit).

Note: disabling implicit sending of token can have weird side effects. For example, if you want to list all models on the Hub, your private models will not be listed. You would need to explicitly pass token=True argument in your script.


For time consuming tasks, huggingface_hub displays a progress bar by default (using tqdm). You can disable all the progress bars at once by setting HF_HUB_DISABLE_PROGRESS_BARS=1.


If you are on a Windows machine, it is recommended to enable the developer mode or to run huggingface_hub in admin mode. If not, huggingface_hub will not be able to create symlinks in your cache system. You will be able to execute any script but your user experience will be degraded as some huge files might end-up duplicated on your hard-drive. A warning message is triggered to warn you about this behavior. Set HF_HUB_DISABLE_SYMLINKS_WARNING=1, to disable this warning.

For more details, see cache limitations.


Some features of huggingface_hub are experimental. This means you can use them but we do not guarantee they will be maintained in the future. In particular, we might update the API or behavior of such features without any deprecation cycle. A warning message is triggered when using an experimental feature to warn you about it. If you’re comfortable debugging any potential issues using an experimental feature, you can set HF_HUB_DISABLE_EXPERIMENTAL_WARNING=1 to disable the warning.

If you are using an experimental feature, please let us know! Your feedback can help us design and improve it.


By default, some data is collected by HF libraries (transformers, datasets, gradio,..) to monitor usage, debug issues and help prioritize features. Each library defines its own policy (i.e. which usage to monitor) but the core implementation happens in huggingface_hub (see send_telemetry).

You can set HF_HUB_DISABLE_TELEMETRY=1 as environment variable to globally disable telemetry.


Set to True for faster uploads and downloads from the Hub using hf_transfer.

By default, huggingface_hub uses the Python-based requests.get and functions. Although these are reliable and versatile, they may not be the most efficient choice for machines with high bandwidth. hf_transfer is a Rust-based package developed to maximize the bandwidth used by dividing large files into smaller parts and transferring them simultaneously using multiple threads. This approach can potentially double the transfer speed. To use hf_transfer:

  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.

Please note that using hf_transfer comes with certain limitations. Since it is not purely Python-based, debugging errors may be challenging. Additionally, hf_transfer lacks several user-friendly features such as resumable downloads and proxies. These omissions are intentional to maintain the simplicity and speed of the Rust logic. Consequently, hf_transfer is not enabled by default in huggingface_hub.

Deprecated environment variables

In order to standardize all environment variables within the Hugging Face ecosystem, some variables have been marked as deprecated. Although they remain functional, they no longer take precedence over their replacements. The following table outlines the deprecated variables and their corresponding alternatives:

Deprecated Variable Replacement

From external tools

Some environment variables are not specific to huggingface_hub but are still taken into account when they are set.


Boolean value. Equivalent to HF_HUB_DISABLE_TELEMETRY. When set to true, telemetry is globally disabled in the Hugging Face Python ecosystem (transformers, diffusers, gradio, etc.). See for more details.


Boolean value. When set, huggingface-cli tool will not print any ANSI color. See


Used only when HF_HOME is not set!

This is the default way to configure where user-specific non-essential (cached) data should be written on linux machines.

If HF_HOME is not set, the default home will be "$XDG_CACHE_HOME/huggingface" instead of "~/.cache/huggingface".

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