A tool to back up iCloud Photo Stream to Flickr for Mac OS X
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A tool to back up iCloud Photo Stream to Flickr for Mac OS X


  • Node.js
  • Flickr account


Clone this sources to your Mac. The target directory is anywhere you want.

$ mkdir ~/Library/iCloudPhotoBackupFlickr
$ cd ~/Library/iCloudPhotoBackupFlickr
$ git clone git@github.com:jmblog/icloud-photo-backup-flickr.git .
$ npm install

Next, you must give permission to this tool to upload photos on your Flickr account. Run this script:

$ node auth-flickr.js

Your confidential keys are stored in ~/.confy.

Running backup script

$ node backup-flickr.js

Photos in ~/Library/Application Support/iLifeAssetManagement/assets/sub are uploaded to Flickr. Once uploaded successfully, same photos are not uploaded again.

Automatic backup

You can back up automatically when iCloud has downloaded new photos to your Mac.

Launching a deamon

First, prepare a plist file with this script.

$ node create-plist.js

com.github.jmblog.iCloudPhotoBackupFlickr.plist is created in your install directory.

Put this file to ~/Library/LaunchAgents. A symbolic link would be better than copying.

$ ln -s $(pwd)/com.github.jmblog.iCloudPhotoBackupFlickr.plist ~/Library/LaunchAgents/

Load a deamon with launchd.

$ launchctl load ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.github.jmblog.iCloudPhotoBackupFlickr.plist

Check whether the deamon was loaded successfully.

$ launchctl list | grep 'iCloudPhotoBackupFlickr'

Run PhotoStreamAgent.app

Usually, iCloud Photo Stream syncs only when iPhoto or Aperture is opened. But with running PhotoStreamAgent in the background, you can download new photos without opening iPhoto or Aperture.

$ open /Applications/iPhoto.app/Contents/Library/LoginItems/PhotoStreamAgent.app

And I recommend Adding PhotoStreamAgent to the login items.

$ osascript -e 'tell application "System Events" to make login item at end with properties {path:"/Applications/iPhoto.app/Contents/Library/LoginItems/PhotoStreamAgent.app", hidden:false, name:"PhotoStreamAgent"}'

Now, the setup is done. Try take a photo with a device running iCloud (e.g. iPhone).

Stopping the deamon

$ launchctl unload ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.github.jmblog.iCloudPhotoBackupFlickr.plist

Checking Log

You can see logs with Console.app.

$ open /Applications/Utilities/Console.app


  • Push notification when a uploading process has finished.


Copyright (c) 2013 Yoshihide Jimbo
Licensed under the MIT license.