S3cmd is a free command line tool and client for loading, retrieving, and managing data in S3. It has over 60 command line options, including multipart uploads, encryption, incremental backup, S3 sync, ACL and metadata management, bucket size, and bucket policies (Linux, macOS).


Install 3cmd for your distribution:

  • on CentOS/RHEL and Fedora: sudo dnf install s3cmd

  • on Ubuntu/Debian: sudo apt-get install s3cmd

  • on macOS using Brew: brew install s3cmd

You can also install the latest version from SourceForge.

Configuration steps

Run the following command in a terminal: s3cmd --configure. This will guide you through the interactive installation process:

  1. Enter your Access Key and Secret key. To get them, log in to the DCD, go to Menu > Storage > IONOS S3 Object Storage > Key management.

Note: Your credentials are not tied to a specific region or bucket.

  1. Specify the region of your bucket for Default Region. Example: eu-central-2. Please refer to the list of available regions.

  2. Specify the endpoint for the selected region for S3 Endpoint from the same list. For example, s3-eu-central-2.ionoscloud.com.

  3. Insert the same endpoint again for DNS-style bucket+hostname:port template.

  4. Specify or skip password (press Enter) for Encryption password.

  5. Press Enter for Path to GPG program.

  6. Press Enter for Use HTTPS protocol.

  7. Press Enter for HTTP Proxy server name.

  8. Press Enter for Test access with supplied credentials? [Y/n].

  9. S3cmd will try to test the connection. If everything went well, save the configuration by typing y and pressing Enter. The configuration will be saved in the .s3cfg file.

If you need to work with more than one region or with different providers, there is a way to set up multiple configurations. Use s3cmd -configure --config=ionos-fra to save the configuration for a specific location or provider. Run s3cmd with the -c option to override the default configuration file. For example, list the object in the bucket:

s3cmd -c ionos-fra ls s3://my-bucket

You can also specify an endpoint directly on the command line to override the default setting. The Access Key and Secret key are region-independent, so s3cmd can take them from the default configuration:

s3cmd --host s3-eu-south-2.ionoscloud.com ls s3://my-bucket

Or even specify it with an Access Key and the Secret Key:

s3cmd  --access_key=YOUR_ACCESS_KEY --secret_key=SECRET_KEY --host s3-eu-south-2.ionoscloud.com ls s3://my-bucket

Using s3cmd with IONOS S3 Object Storage

Please refer to the list of available endpoints for the --host option. You can skip this option if you are only using the region from the configuration file.

Sample usage

  • List buckets (even buckets from other regions will be listed):

    s3cmd ls
  • Create a bucket (the name must be unique for the whole IONOS S3 Object Storage). You need to explicitly use the --region option, otherwise a bucket will be created in the default de region:

    • Create the bucket my-bucket in the region de (Frankfurt, Germany):

    s3cmd --host s3-eu-cental-1.ionoscloud.com --region=de mb s3://my-bucket
    • Create the bucket my-bucket in the region eu-cental-2 (Berlin, Germany):

    s3cmd --host s3-eu-cental-2.ionoscloud.com --region=eu-central-2 mb s3://my-bucket
    • Create the bucket my-bucket in the region eu-south-2 (Logrono, Spain):

    s3cmd --host s3-eu-south-2.ionoscloud.com --region=eu-south-2 mb s3://my-bucket
  • List objects of the bucket my-bucket:

    s3cmd ls s3://my-bucket
  • Upload filename.txt from the current directory to the bucket my-bucket:

    s3cmd put filename.txt s3://my-bucket
  • Copy the contents of local directory my-dir to the bucket my-bucket with prefix my-dir:

    s3cmd my-dir s3://my-bucket --recursive
  • Copy all objects from my-source-bucket to my-dest-bucket excluding .zip files (or use mv to move objects). The command doesn’t support cross-region copying for IONOS S3 Object Storage, use rclone utility for cross-region copying:

    s3cmd cp s3://my-source-bucket s3://my-dest-bucket --recursive
  • Download all the objects from the my-bucket bucket to the local directory my-dir (the directory should exist):

    s3cmd get s3://my-bucket my-dir --recursive
  • Synchronize a directory to S3 (checks files using size and md5 checksum):

    s3cmd sync my-dir s3://my-bucket/
  • Get Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) configuration:

    s3cmd info s3://my-bucket
  • Set up Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) configuration:

    s3cmd cors_rules.xml s3://my-bucket


  • Delete CORS from the bucket:

    s3cmd delcors s3://my-bucket
  • Get information about buckets or objects:

    • s3cmd info s3://my-bucket

    • s3cmd info s3://my-bucket/my-object

  • Generate a public URL for download that will be available for 10 minutes (600 seconds):

    s3cmd signurl s3://my-bucket/filename.txt +600
  • Set up a lifetime policy for a bucket (delete objects older than 1 day):

    s3cmd setlifecycle detete-after-one-day.xml s3://my-bucket


    <?xml version="1.0" ?>
    <LifecycleConfiguration xmlns="http://s3.amazonaws.com/doc/2006-03-01/">
    		<ID>Delete older than 1 day</ID>
  • Encrypt and upload files. This option allows you to encrypt files before uploading, but in order to use it, you have to run s3cmd --configure and fill out the path to the GPG utility and the encryption password. There is no need to use special parameters to decrypt the file on downloading with get option as this is done automatically using the data from the configuration file.

  • Add or modify user-defined metadata. Use headers starting with x-amz-meta- and store data in the set of key-value pairs. The user-defined metadata is limited to 2 KB in size. The size of the user-defined metadata is measured by taking the sum of the number of bytes in the UTF-8 encoding of each key and value.

    • s3cmd modify --add-header x-amz-meta-my_key:my_value s3://my-bucket/prefix/filename.txt

    • Check the changes:

    s3cmd info s3://my-bucket/prefix/filename.txt
    • Delete metadata:

    s3cmd modify --remove-header x-amz-meta-my_key s3://my-bucket/prefix/filename.txt

For more information, visit S3cmd usage and S3cmd FAQ.

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