Programming language: Go
License: MIT License
Latest version: v1.3.0

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s5cmd is a very fast S3 and local filesystem execution tool. It comes with support for a multitude of operations including tab completion and wildcard support for files, which can be very handy for your object storage workflow while working with large number of files.

There are already other utilities to work with S3 and similar object storage services, thus it is natural to wonder what s5cmd has to offer that others don't.

In short, s5cmd offers a very fast speed. Thanks to Joshua Robinson for his study and experimentation on s5cmd; to quote his medium post:

For uploads, s5cmd is 32x faster than s3cmd and 12x faster than aws-cli. For downloads, s5cmd can saturate a 40Gbps link (~4.3ย GB/s), whereas s3cmd and aws-cli can only reach 85 MB/s and 375 MB/s respectively.

If you would like to know more about performance of s5cmd and the reasons for its fast speed, refer to [benchmarks](./README.md#Benchmarks) section



s5cmd supports wide range of object management tasks both for cloud storage services and local filesystems.

  • List buckets and objects
  • Upload, download or delete objects
  • Move, copy or rename objects
  • Set Server Side Encryption using AWS Key Management Service (KMS)
  • Set Access Control List (ACL) for objects/files on the upload, copy, move.
  • Print object contents to stdout
  • Select JSON records from objects using SQL expressions
  • Create or remove buckets
  • Summarize objects sizes, grouping by storage class
  • Wildcard support for all operations
  • Multiple arguments support for delete operation
  • Command file support to run commands in batches at very high execution speeds
  • Dry run support
  • S3 Transfer Acceleration support
  • Google Cloud Storage (and any other S3 API compatible service) support
  • Structured logging for querying command outputs
  • Shell auto-completion



The Releases page provides pre-built binaries for Linux, macOS and Windows.


For macOS, a homebrew tap is provided:

brew tap peak/s5cmd https://github.com/peak/s5cmd
brew install s5cmd


You can also install s5cmd from MacPorts on macOS:

sudo port selfupdate
sudo port install s5cmd

NOTE: MacPorts is not officially supported. The versions might be out of date compared to Homebrew.

Build from source

You can build s5cmd from source if you have Go 1.14+ installed.

go get github.com/peak/s5cmd

โš ๏ธ Please note that building from master is not guaranteed to be stable since development happens on master branch.



$ docker pull peakcom/s5cmd
$ docker run --rm -v ~/.aws:/root/.aws peakcom/s5cmd <S3 operation>


$ git clone https://github.com/peak/s5cmd && cd s5cmd
$ docker build -t s5cmd .
$ docker run --rm -v ~/.aws:/root/.aws s5cmd <S3 operation>


s5cmd supports multiple-level wildcards for all S3 operations. This is achieved by listing all S3 objects with the prefix up to the first wildcard, then filtering the results in-memory. For example, for the following command;

s5cmd cp 's3://bucket/logs/2020/03/*' .

first a ListObjects request is send, then the copy operation will be executed against each matching object, in parallel.


Download a single S3 object

s5cmd cp s3://bucket/object.gz .

Download multiple S3 objects

Suppose we have the following objects:

s5cmd cp 's3://bucket/logs/2020/03/*' logs/

s5cmd will match the given wildcards and arguments by doing an efficient search against the given prefixes. All matching objects will be downloaded in parallel. s5cmd will create the destination directory if it is missing.

logs/ directory content will look like:

$ tree
โ””โ”€โ”€ logs
    โ”œโ”€โ”€ 18
    โ”‚ย ย  โ””โ”€โ”€ file1.gz
    โ””โ”€โ”€ 19
        โ”œโ”€โ”€ file2.gz
        โ””โ”€โ”€ originals
            โ””โ”€โ”€ file3.gz

4 directories, 3 files

โ„น๏ธ s5cmd preserves the source directory structure by default. If you want to flatten the source directory structure, use the --flatten flag.

s5cmd cp --flatten 's3://bucket/logs/2020/03/*' logs/

logs/ directory content will look like:

$ tree
โ””โ”€โ”€ logs
    โ”œโ”€โ”€ file1.gz
    โ”œโ”€โ”€ file2.gz
    โ””โ”€โ”€ file3.gz

1 directory, 3 files

Upload a file to S3

s5cmd cp object.gz s3://bucket/

by setting server side encryption (aws kms) of the file:

s5cmd cp -sse aws:kms -sse-kms-key-id <your-kms-key-id> object.gz s3://bucket/

by setting Access Control List (acl) policy of the object:

s5cmd cp -acl bucket-owner-full-control object.gz s3://bucket/

Upload multiple files to S3

s5cmd cp directory/ s3://bucket/

Will upload all files at given directory to S3 while keeping the folder hierarchy of the source.

Delete an S3 object

s5cmd rm s3://bucket/logs/2020/03/18/file1.gz

Delete multiple S3 objects

s5cmd rm s3://bucket/logs/2020/03/19/*

Will remove all matching objects:


s5cmd utilizes S3 delete batch API. If matching objects are up to 1000, they'll be deleted in a single request. However, it should be noted that commands such as

s5cmd rm s3://bucket-foo/object s3://bucket-bar/object

are not supported by s5cmd and result in error (since we have 2 different buckets), as it is in odds with the benefit of performing batch delete requests. Thus, if in need, one can use s5cmd run mode for this case, i.e,

$ s5cmd run
rm s3://bucket-foo/object
rm s3://bucket-bar/object

more details and examples on s5cmd run are presented in a [later section](./README.md#L224).

Copy objects from S3 to S3

s5cmd supports copying objects on the server side as well.

s5cmd cp 's3://bucket/logs/2020/*' s3://bucket/logs/backup/

Will copy all the matching objects to the given S3 prefix, respecting the source folder hierarchy.

โš ๏ธ Copying objects (from S3 to S3) larger than 5GB is not supported yet. We have an open ticket to track the issue.

Select JSON object content using SQL

s5cmd supports the SelectObjectContent S3 operation, and will run your SQL query against objects matching normal wildcard syntax and emit matching JSON records via stdout. Records from multiple objects will be interleaved, and order of the records is not guaranteed (though it's likely that the records from a single object will arrive in-order, even if interleaved with other records).

$ s5cmd select --compression GZIP \
  --query "SELECT s.timestamp, s.hostname FROM S3Object s WHERE s.ip_address LIKE '10.%' OR s.application='unprivileged'" \

At the moment this operation only supports JSON records selected with SQL. S3 calls this lines-type JSON, but it seems that it works even if the records aren't line-delineated. YMMV.

Count objects and determine total size

$ s5cmd du --humanize 's3://bucket/2020/*'

30.8M bytes in 3 objects: s3://bucket/2020/*

Run multiple commands in parallel

The most powerful feature of s5cmd is the commands file. Thousands of S3 and filesystem commands are declared in a file (or simply piped in from another process) and they are executed using multiple parallel workers. Since only one program is launched, thousands of unnecessary fork-exec calls are avoided. This way S3 execution times can reach a few thousand operations per second.

s5cmd run commands.txt


cat commands.txt | s5cmd run

commands.txt content could look like:

cp s3://bucket/2020/03/* logs/2020/03/

# line comments are supported
rm s3://bucket/2020/03/19/file2.gz

# empty lines are OK too like above

# rename an S3 object
mv s3://bucket/2020/03/18/file1.gz s3://bucket/2020/03/18/original/file.gz

# list all buckets
ls # inline comments are OK too

Dry run

--dry-run flag will output what operations will be performed without actually carrying out those operations.



s5cmd --dry-run cp s3://bucket/pre/* s3://another-bucket/

will output

cp s3://bucket/pre/file1.gz s3://another-bucket/file1.gz
cp s3://bucket/pre/last.txt s3://anohter-bucket/last.txt

however, those copy operations will not be performed. It is displaying what s5cmd will do when ran without --dry-run

Note that --dry-run can be used with any operation that has a side effect, i.e., cp, mv, rm, mb ...

Specifying credentials

s5cmd uses official AWS SDK to access S3. SDK requires credentials to sign requests to AWS. Credentials can be provided in a variety of ways:

  • Environment variables
  • AWS credentials file, including profile selection via AWS_PROFILE environment variable
  • If s5cmd runs on an Amazon EC2 instance, EC2 IAM role
  • If s5cmd runs on EKS, Kube IAM role

The SDK detects and uses the built-in providers automatically, without requiring manual configurations.

Shell auto-completion

Shell completion is supported for bash, zsh and fish.

To enable auto-completion, run:

s5cmd --install-completion

This will add a few lines to your shell configuration file. After installation, restart your shell to activate the changes.

Google Cloud Storage support

s5cmd supports S3 API compatible services, such as GCS, Minio or your favorite object storage.

s5cmd --endpoint-url https://storage.googleapis.com ls

or an alternative with environment variable

S3_ENDPOINT_URL="https://storage.googleapis.com" s5cmd ls

# or

export S3_ENDPOINT_URL="https://storage.googleapis.com" 
s5cmd ls

all variants will return your GCS buckets.

s5cmd will use virtual-host style bucket resolving for S3, S3 transfer acceleration and GCS. If a custom endpoint is provided, it'll fallback to path-style.

Retry logic

s5cmd uses an exponential backoff retry mechanism for transient or potential server-side throttling errors. Non-retriable errors, such as invalid credentials, authorization errors etc, will not be retried. By default, s5cmd will retry 10 times for up to a minute. Number of retries are adjustable via --retry-count flag.

โ„น๏ธ Enable debug level logging for displaying retryable errors.

Using wildcards

Most shells can attempt to expand wildcards before passing the arguments to s5cmd, resulting in surprising no matches found errors.

To avoid this problem, surround the wildcarded expression with single quotes.


s5cmd supports both structured and unstructured outputs.

  • unstructured output
$ s5cmd cp s3://bucket/testfile .

cp s3://bucket/testfile testfile
$ s5cmd cp --no-clobber s3://somebucket/file.txt file.txt

ERROR "cp s3://somebucket/file.txt file.txt": object already exists
  • If --json flag is provided:
    "operation": "cp",
    "success": true,
    "source": "s3://bucket/testfile",
    "destination": "testfile",
    "object": "[object]"
    "operation": "cp",
    "job": "cp s3://somebucket/file.txt file.txt",
    "error": "'cp s3://somebucket/file.txt file.txt': object already exists"


Some benchmarks regarding the performance of s5cmd are introduced below. For more details refer to this post which is the source of the benchmarks to be presented.

Upload/download of single large file

Uploading large number of small-sized files

Performance comparison on different hardware

So, where does all this speed come from?

There are mainly two reasons for this:

  • It is written in Go, a statically compiled language designed to make development of concurrent systems easy and make full utilization of multi-core processors.
  • Parallelization. s5cmd starts out with concurrent worker pools and parallelizes workloads as much as possible while trying to achieve maximum throughput.

Advanced Usage

Some of the advanced usage patterns provided below are inspired by the following article (thank you! @joshuarobinson)

Integrate s5cmd operations with Unix commands

Assume we have a set of objects on S3, and we would like to list them in sorted fashion according to object names.

$ s5cmd ls s3://bucket/reports/ | sort -k 4
2020/08/17 09:34:33              1364 antalya.csv
2020/08/17 09:34:33                 0 batman.csv
2020/08/17 09:34:33             23114 istanbul.csv
2020/08/17 09:34:33             26154 izmir.csv
2020/08/17 09:34:33               112 samsun.csv
2020/08/17 09:34:33             12552 van.csv

For a more practical scenario, let's say we have an avocado prices dataset, and we would like to take a peek at the few lines of the data by fetching only the necessary bytes.

$ s5cmd cat s3://bucket/avocado.csv.gz | gunzip | xsv slice --len 5 | xsv table
    Date        AveragePrice  Total Volume  4046     4225       4770   Total Bags  Small Bags  Large Bags  XLarge Bags  type          year  region
0   2015-12-27  1.33          64236.62      1036.74  54454.85   48.16  8696.87     8603.62     93.25       0.0          conventional  2015  Albany
1   2015-12-20  1.35          54876.98      674.28   44638.81   58.33  9505.56     9408.07     97.49       0.0          conventional  2015  Albany
2   2015-12-13  0.93          118220.22     794.7    109149.67  130.5  8145.35     8042.21     103.14      0.0          conventional  2015  Albany
3   2015-12-06  1.08          78992.15      1132.0   71976.41   72.58  5811.16     5677.4      133.76      0.0          conventional  2015  Albany
4   2015-11-29  1.28          51039.6       941.48   43838.39   75.78  6183.95     5986.26     197.69      0.0          conventional  2015  Albany

Beast Mode s5cmd

s5cmd allows to pass in some file, containing list of operations to be performed, as an argument to the run command as illustrated in the [above](./README.md#L224) example. Alternatively, one can pipe in commands into the run:

BUCKET=s5cmd-test; s5cmd ls s3://$BUCKET/*test | grep -v DIR | awk โ€˜{print $NF}โ€™
| xargs -I {} echo โ€œcp s3://$BUCKET/{} /local/directory/โ€ | s5cmd run

The above command performs two s5cmd invocations; first, searches for files with test suffix and then creates a copy to local directory command for each matching file and finally, pipes in those into the run.

Let's examine another usage instance, where we migrate files older than 30 days to a cloud object storage:

find /mnt/joshua/nachos/ -type f -mtime +30 | xargs -I{} echo โ€œmv {} s3://joshuarobinson/backup/{}โ€
| s5cmd run

It is worth to mention that, run command should not be considered as a silver bullet for all operations. For example, assume we want to remove the following objects:


Rather than executing

rm s3://bucket/prefix/2020/03/object1.gz
rm s3://bucket/prefix/2020/04/object1.gz
rm s3://bucket/prefix/2020/09/object77.gz

with run command, it is better to just use

rm s3://bucket/prefix/2020/0*/object*.gz

the latter sends single delete request per thousand objects, whereas using the former approach sends a separate delete request for each subcommand provided to run. Thus, there can be a significant runtime difference between those two approaches.



*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the s5cmd README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.