Steven N. Severinghaus > Flickr-Upload > flickr_upload


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flickr_upload - Upload photos to


flickr_upload [--auth] --auth_token <auth_token> [--title <title>] [--description description] [--public <0|1>] [--friend <0|1>] [--family <0|1>] [--tag <tag>] [--option key=value] [--progress] <photos...>


Batch image uploader for the service.

flickr_upload may also be useful for generating authentication tokens against other API keys/secrets (i.e. for embedding in scripts).



The --auth flag will cause flickr_upload to generate an authentication token against it's API key and secret (or, if you want, your own specific key and secret). This process requires the caller to have a browser handy so they can cut and paste a url. The resulting token should be kept somewhere like ~/.flickrrc since it's necessary for actually uploading images.

--auth_token <auth_token>

Authentication token. You must get an authentication token using --auth before you can upload images. See the EXAMPLES section.


Interactively perform OAuth authorization with Flickr. The user will get a URL to visit at Flickr at which Flickr::Upload must be granted write permissions. After granting permission, the user will be redirected to a dummy URL that contains an OAuth token and verifier. This user will paste this URL at the prompt, and flickr_upload will save the resulting credentials in ~/

--title <title>

Title to use on all the images. Optional.

--description <description>

Description to use on all the images. Optional.

--public <0|1>

Override the default is_public access control. Optional.

--friend <0|1>

Override the default is_friend access control. Optional.

--family <0|1>

Override the default is_family access control. Optional.

--tag <tag>

Images are tagged with tag. Multiple --tag options can be given, or you can just put them all into a single space-separated list. If you want to define a tag with spaces, the quotes have to be part of the tag itself. The following works in bash:

  flickr_upload --tag='"tag one"' --tag='"tag two"' image.jpg

Reverse the list of supplied images. Useful when uploading contents of directory with sorted filenames. Following example will upload the last glob expanded file as first and vice versa. The last file will appear first in target photo stream.

  flickr_upload --reverse *.jpg
--set <NAME>

After successfully uploading all photos, create a new set named "NAME", and add the photos into the set. One (random) photo will be the set's thumbnail.

--option key=value

Flickr periodically adds new features to the uploading API, and these are almost always implemented as new key/value pairs. Rather than waiting for a new Flickr::Upload release, you can specify any of the upload API's optional arguments using --option.

  flick_upload --option content_type=1 --tag='cats' two_cats.jpg

You may also use --option rather than flickr_upload's command-line options:

  flickr_upload --option is_public=1 --option title='cats' two_cats.jpg

While Flickr may add new options at any time (see for the most up-to-date list), currently known options include:

--option safety_level=<1|2|3>

Override the default safety_level notation. Set to 1 for Safe, 2 for Moderate, or 3 for Restricted. Refer to

--option content_type=<1|2|3>

Override the default content_type notation. Set to 1 for Photo, 2 for Screenshot, or 3 for Art/Illustration. Refer to

--option hidden=<1|2>

Override the default hidden notation. Set to 1 to keep the photo in global search results, 2 to hide from public earches.

Note that options unknown to Flickr will result in undefined behaviour.


Checks the authentication token via the flickr.auth.checkToken API call. This can be used to verify API keys and credentials without trying to upload an image. The output is the raw results of the API call.

--progress, --no-progress

Display a progress bar for each upload with Term::ProgressBar. That optional module will have to be installed on the system.

The default is not to display a progress bar. That can be changed in the configuration file:

    echo progress=1 >~/.flickrrc
--report, --no-report

Report the status of each upload ticket after uploading the batch via Flickr::Upload's check_upload method. On by default. Checking the status can be canceled by pressing ctrl-C.

The default is to display a report after each upload. That can be changed in the configuration file:

    echo report=0 >~/.flickrrc
--key <api_key>
--secret <secret>

Your own API key and secret. This is useful if you want to use flickr_upload in auth mode as a token generator. You need both key and secret. Both key and secret can be placed in ~/.flickrrc, allowing to mix flickr_upload with your own scripts using the same API key and authentication token. Getting your own API key and secret is encouraged if you're tying flickr_upload to some automated process.

Note that if you do get an authentication token against your own API key and secret, you'll need to specify the key and secret along with the token when uploading images. The default flickr_upload API key and token won't work in that case.


List of photos to upload. Uploading stops as soon as a failure is detected during the upload. The script exit code will indicate the number of images on the command line that were not uploaded. For each uploaded image, a Flickr URL will be generated. flickr_upload uses asynchronous uploading so while the image is usually transferred fairly quickly, it might take a while before it's actually available to users. flickr_upload will wait around for that to complete, but be aware that delays of upwards of thirty minutes have (rarely) been know to occur.


First, you need to get an authentication token. This is a requirement driven by how Flickr manages third-party applications:

   cpb@earth:~$ flickr_upload --auth
        1. Enter the following URL into your browser<...>&frob=<...>&perms=write&api_key=<...>

        2. Follow the instructions on the web page
        3. Hit <Enter> when finished.
        Your authentication token for this application is

Unless you like typing long numbers on the command-line, you should keep the <token> somewhere handy, like a configuration file:

   echo auth_token=<token> >~/.flickrrc

Uploading a bunch of images is then as easy as:

   flickr_upload --tag 'dog' 'kernel in a window.jpg' 'sad in sunbeam.jpg'


To avoid having to remember authentication tokens and such (or have them show up in the process table listings), default values will be read from $HOME/.flickrrc if it exists. Any field defined there can, of course, be overridden on the command line. For example:

        # my config at $HOME/.flickrrc

Note, however, that these defaults override the defaults you've assigned in your Flickr profile. You may want to do all that stuff in one place.


Error handling could be better.


Christophe Beauregard,

Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason, <>.



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