Storing Backend Information and Credentials

Normally, S3QL reads username and password for the backend as well as an encryption passphrase for the file system from the terminal. Alternatively, these (and some other backend parameters) may be specified in the ~/.s3ql/authinfo2 file, or a file specified by the --authfile parameter.

The authinfo file consists of sections, led by a [section] header and followed by name: value entries. The section headers themselves are not used by S3QL (with the exception of the special [<backend>-test] sections used when running tests) but have to be unique within the file.

In each section, the following entries can be defined:


Specifies the storage url to which this section applies. If a storage url starts with the string specified here, the section applies.


Specifies the username to use for authentication with the backend.


Specifies the password to use for authentication with the backend.


Specifies the passphrase to use to decrypt the file system (if it is encrypted).

Furthermore, command line parameters that are shared between all S3QL commands that work with storage URL may be specified in this file as well by omitting the leading dashes, e.g. the --backend-options notls parameter may be written into the authinfo file as backend-options: notls.

When reading the authinfo file, S3QL considers every applicable section in order and uses the last value that it found for each entry. For example, consider the following authentication file:

storage-url: s3://
backend-login: joe
backend-password: notquitesecret

storage-url: s3://joes-first-bucket
fs-passphrase: neitheristhis

storage-url: s3://joes-second-bucket
fs-passphrase: swordfish

storage-url: s3://joes-second-bucket/with-prefix
backend-login: bill
backend-password: bi23ll
fs-passphrase: ll23bi

With this authentication file, S3QL would try to log in as “joe” whenever the s3 backend is used, except when accessing a storage url that begins with “s3://joes-second-bucket/with-prefix”. In that case, the last section becomes active and S3QL would use the “bill” credentials. Furthermore, file system encryption passphrases will be used for storage urls that start with “s3://joes-first-bucket” or “s3://joes-second-bucket”.

The authentication file is parsed by the Python ConfigParser module.