Python module reference

This module reference extends the manual with a comprehensive overview of the available functionality built into datalad. Each module in the package is documented by a general summary of its purpose and the list of classes and functions it provides.

High-level user interface

Dataset operations

api.Dataset(*args, **kwargs)

Representation of a DataLad dataset/repository

api.create([path, initopts, force, ...])

Create a new dataset from scratch.

api.create_sibling(sshurl[, name, ...])

Create a dataset sibling on a UNIX-like Shell (local or SSH)-accessible machine

api.create_sibling_github(reponame[, ...])

Create dataset sibling on (or an enterprise deployment).

api.create_sibling_gitlab([path, site, ...])

Create dataset sibling at a GitLab site

api.create_sibling_gogs(reponame[, api, ...])

Create a dataset sibling on a GOGS site

api.create_sibling_gitea(reponame[, ...])

Create a dataset sibling on a Gitea site

api.create_sibling_gin(reponame[, dataset, ...])

Create a dataset sibling on a GIN site (with content hosting)

api.drop([path, what, reckless, dataset, ...])

Drop content of individual files or entire (sub)datasets

api.get([path, source, dataset, recursive, ...])

Get any dataset content (files/directories/subdatasets).

api.install([path, source, dataset, ...])

Install a dataset from a (remote) source.

api.push([path, dataset, to, since, data, ...])

Push a dataset to a known sibling.

api.remove([path, dataset, drop, reckless, ...])

Remove components from datasets[path, message, dataset, ...])

Save the current state of a dataset

api.update([path, sibling, merge, how, ...])

Update a dataset from a sibling.

api.unlock([path, dataset, recursive, ...])

Unlock file(s) of a dataset

Metadata handling[query, dataset, force_reindex, ...])

Search dataset metadata

api.metadata([path, dataset, ...])

Metadata reporting for files and entire datasets

api.aggregate_metadata([path, dataset, ...])

Aggregate metadata of one or more datasets for later query.

api.extract_metadata(types[, files, dataset])

Run one or more of DataLad's metadata extractors on a dataset or file.

Reproducible execution[cmd, dataset, inputs, outputs, ...])

Run an arbitrary shell command and record its impact on a dataset.

api.rerun([revision, since, dataset, ...])

Re-execute previous datalad run commands.

api.run_procedure([spec, dataset, discover, ...])

Run prepared procedures (DataLad scripts) on a dataset

Plumbing commands

api.clean([dataset, what, dry_run, ...])

Clean up after DataLad (possible temporary files etc.)

api.clone(source[, path, dataset, ...])

Obtain a dataset (copy) from a URL or local directory

api.copy_file([path, dataset, recursive, ...])

Copy files and their availability metadata from one dataset to another.

api.create_test_dataset([path, spec, seed])

Create test (meta-)dataset.

api.diff([path, fr, to, dataset, annex, ...])

Report differences between two states of a dataset (hierarchy)

api.download_url(urls[, dataset, path, ...])

Download content

api.sshrun(login, cmd[, port, ipv4, ipv6, ...])

Run command on remote machines via SSH.

api.siblings([action, dataset, name, url, ...])

Manage sibling configuration

api.subdatasets([path, dataset, fulfilled, ...])

Report subdatasets and their properties.

Miscellaneous commands

api.add_archive_content(archive[, dataset, ...])

Add content of an archive under git annex control.

api.test([module, verbose, nocapture, pdb, stop])

Run internal DataLad (unit)tests.

api.add_readme(dataset[, filename, existing])

Add basic information about DataLad datasets to a README file

api.addurls(dataset, urlfile, urlformat, ...)

Create and update a dataset from a list of URLs.

api.check_dates(paths[, reference_date, ...])

Find repository dates that are more recent than a reference date.

api.export_archive(dataset[, filename, ...])

Export the content of a dataset as a TAR/ZIP archive.

api.export_to_figshare(dataset[, filename, ...])

Export the content of a dataset as a ZIP archive to figshare

api.no_annex(dataset, pattern[, ref_dir, ...])

Configure a dataset to never put some content into the dataset's annex[dataset, sensitive, sections, ...])

Generate a report about the DataLad installation and configuration

Support functionality


Wrapper for command and function calls, allowing for dry runs and output handling


constants for datalad





Internal low-level interface to Git repositories


Interface to git-annex by Joey Hess.


Various handlers/functionality for different types of files (e.g.


Base classes to custom git-annex remotes (e.g.


Custom remote to get the load from archives present under annex

Configuration management


Test infrastructure


Miscellaneous utilities to assist with testing



Helper to provide heavy load on stdout and stderr

Command line interface infrastructure