Getting Your Data into Pachyderm

Data that you put (or “commit”) into Pachyderm ultimately lives in an object store of your choice (S3, Minio, GCS, etc.). This data is content-addressed by Pachyderm to build our version control semantics for data and is therefore not “human-readable” directly in the object store. That being said, Pachyderm allows you and your pipeline stages to interact with versioned data like you would in a normal file system.

Jargon associated with putting data in Pachyderm

“Data Repositories”

Versioned data in Pachyderm lives in repositories (again think about something similar to “git for data”). Each data “repository” can contain one file, multiple files, multiple files arranged in directories, etc. Regardless of the structure, Pachyderm will version the state of each data repository as it changes over time.


Regardless of the method you use to get data into Pachyderm (CLI, language client, etc.), the mechanism that is used is a “commit” of data into a data repository. In order to put data into Pachyderm, a commit must be “started” (aka an “open commit”). Data can then be put into Pachyderm as part of that open commit and will be available once the commit is “finished” (aka a “closed commit”).

How to get data into Pachyderm

In terms of actually getting data into Pachyderm via “commits,” there are a few options:

  • Via the pachctl CLI tool: This is the great option for testing, development, integration with CI/CD, and for users who prefer scripting.
  • Via one of the Pachyderm language clients: This option is ideal for Go, Python, or Scala users who want to push data to Pachyderm from services or applications written in those languages. Actually, even if you don’t use Go, Python, or Scala, Pachyderm uses a protobuf API which supports many other languages, we just haven’t built the full clients yet.
  • Via the Pachyderm dashboard: The Pachyderm Enterprise dashboard provides a very convenient way to upload data right from the GUI. You can find out more about Pachyderm Enterprise Edition here.


To get data into Pachyderm using pachctl, you first need to create one or more data repositories to hold your data:

$ pachctl create-repo <repo name>

Then, to put data into the created repo, you use the put-file command. Below are a few example uses of put-file, but you can see the complete documentation here.

If there is an open commit, put-file will add files to that commit. This example will add two files to a new commit, then close the commit:

# first start a commit
$ pachctl start-commit <repo> <branch>

# put <file1> in the <repo> on <branch>
$ pachctl put-file <repo> <branch> </path/to/file1> -f <file1>

# put <file2> in the <repo> on <branch>
$ pachctl put-file <repo> <branch> </path/to/file2> -f <file2>

# then finish the commit
$ pachctl finish-commit <repo> <branch>

If there is not an open commit, put-file will implicitly start and finish the commit. This is called an atomic commit:

$ pachctl put-file <repo> <branch> </path/to/file> -f <file> 

Put data from a URL:

$ pachctl put-file <repo> <branch> </path/to/file> -f http://url_path

Put data directly from an object store:

# here you can use s3://, gcs://, or as://
$ pachctl put-file <repo> <branch> </path/to/file> -f s3://object_store_url

Add multiple files at once by using the -i option or multiple -f flags. In the case of -i, the target file should be a list of files, paths, or URLs that you want to input all at once:

$ pachctl put-file <repo> <branch> -i <file containing list of files, paths, or URLs>

Pipe data from stdin into a data repository:

$ echo "data" | pachctl put-file <repo> <branch> -f </path/to/file>

Add an entire directory or all of the contents at a particular URL (either HTTP(S) or object store URL, s3://, gcs://, and as://) by using the recursive flag, -r:

$ pachctl put-file <repo> <branch> -r -f <dir>

Pachyderm Language Clients

There are a number of Pachyderm language clients. These can be used to programmatically put data into Pachyderm, and much more. You can find out more about these clients here.

The Pachyderm Dashboard

When you deployed Pachyderm, the Pachyderm Enterprise dashboard was also deployed automatically (if you followed one of our deploy guides here). You can get a FREE trial token to experiment with this dashboard, which will let you create data repositories and add data to those repositories via a GUI. More information about getting your FREE trial token and activating the dashboard can be found here.

In the dashboard, you can create a data repository by clicking on the + sign icon in the lower right hand corner of the screen:

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When you click “Create Repo,” a box will pop up prompting you for a name and optional description for the repo:

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Once you fill in your name and click save, the new data repository will show up in the main dashboard screen:

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To add data to this repository, you can click on the blue icon representing the repo. This will present you with some details about the repo along with an “ingest data” icon:

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You can add data from an object store or other URL by clicking this “ingest data” icon:

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