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Flickraw is a library to access flickr api in a simple way. It maps exactly the methods described in the official api documentation. It also tries to present the data returned in a simple and intuitive way. The methods are fetched from flickr when loading the library by using introspection capabilities. So it is always up-to-date with regards to new methods added by flickr.

The github repository:


Type this in a console (you might need to be superuser)

gem install json (This is only necessary on ruby 1.8)
gem install flickraw

This will recreate the documentation by fetching the methods descriptions from flickr and then virtually plugging them in standard rdoc documentation.

$ cd flickraw
$ rake rdoc


  • Minimal dependencies

  • Complete support of flickr API. This doesn't require an update of the library

  • Ruby syntax similar to the flickr api

  • Flickr authentication

  • HTTPS Support

  • Photo upload

  • Proxy support

  • Flickr URLs helpers


Getting started

To use FlickRaw, you must first obtain an API key and shared secret from Flickr. You can do this by logging in to Flickr and creating an application here. API keys are usually granted automatically and instantly.

require 'flickraw'

# The credentials can be provided as parameters:


# Alternatively, if the API key and Shared Secret are not provided, FlickRaw will attempt to read them
# from environment variables:

flickr =

# FlickRaw will raise an error if either parameter is not explicitly provided, or avilable via environment variables.


list   =

id     = list[0].id
secret = list[0].secret
info = :photo_id => id, :secret => secret

puts info.title           # => "PICT986"
puts info.dates.taken     # => "2006-07-06 15:16:18"

sizes = :photo_id => id

original = sizes.find { |s| s.label == 'Original' }
puts original.width       # => "800" -- may fail if they have no original marked image


token = flickr.get_request_token
auth_url = flickr.get_authorize_url(token['oauth_token'], :perms => 'delete')

puts "Open this url in your browser to complete the authentication process : #{auth_url}"
puts "Copy here the number given when you complete the process."
verify = gets.strip

  flickr.get_access_token(token['oauth_token'], token['oauth_token_secret'], verify)
  login = flickr.test.login
  puts "You are now authenticated as #{login.username} with token #{flickr.access_token} and secret #{flickr.access_secret}"
rescue FlickRaw::FailedResponse => e
  puts "Authentication failed : #{e.msg}"

If the user has already been authenticated, you can reuse the access token and access secret:

flickr.access_token = "... Your access token ..."
flickr.access_secret = "... Your access secret ..."

# From here you are logged:
login = flickr.test.login
puts "You are now authenticated as #{login.username}"

If you need to have several users authenticated at the same time in your application (ex: a public web application) you need to create separate FlickRaw objects since it keeps the authentication data internally.

flickr =



# You need to be authenticated to do that, see the previous examples.
flickr.upload_photo PHOTO_PATH, :title => "Title", :description => "This is the description"


require 'flickraw'
FlickRaw.proxy = ""

Server Certificate Verification

Server certificate verification is enabled by default. If you don't want to check the server certificate :

require 'flickraw'
FlickRaw.check_certificate = false

CA Certificate File Path

OpenSSL::X509::DEFAULT_CERT_FILE is used as a CA certificate file. If you want to change the path :

require 'flickraw'
FlickRaw.ca_file = '/path/to/cacert.pem'

You can also specify a path to a directory with a number of certifications:

FlickRaw.ca_path = '/path/to/certificates'

Flickr URL Helpers

There are some helpers to build flickr urls :

url, url_m, url_s, url_t, url_b, url_z, url_q, url_n, url_c, url_o

# url_s : Square
# url_q : Large Square
# url_t : Thumbnail
# url_m : Small
# url_n : Small 320
# url   : Medium
# url_z : Medium 640
# url_c : Medium 800
# url_b : Large
# url_o : Original

info = => "3839885270")
FlickRaw.url_b(info) # => ""


info = => "3839885270")
FlickRaw.url_profile(info) # => ""


info = => "3839885270")
FlickRaw.url_photopage(info) # => ""

url_photoset, url_photosets

info = => "3839885270")
FlickRaw.url_photosets(info) # => ""

url_short, url_short_m, url_short_s, url_short_t

info = => "3839885270")
FlickRaw.url_short(info) # => ""


info = => "3839885270")
FlickRaw.url_photostream(info) # => ""

See the examples directory to find more examples.

Cached version

You can use

require 'flickraw-cached'

instead of

require 'flickraw'

This way it it doesn't fetch available flickr methods each time it is loaded. The flickraw-cached gem is on and should be up-to-date with regard to flickr api most of the time.