Skip to content

Implementation of a pyfilesystem2 filesystem for Google Drive


Notifications You must be signed in to change notification settings


Repository files navigation


codecov PyPI version

Implementation of pyfilesystem2 file system for Google Drive


  pip install fs.googledrivefs


  from google.oauth2.credentials import Credentials
  from fs.googledrivefs import GoogleDriveFS

  credentials = Credentials(oauth2_access_token,

  fs = GoogleDriveFS(credentials=credentials)

  # fs is now a standard pyfilesystem2 file system, alternatively you can use the opener...

  from fs.opener import open_fs

  fs2 = open_fs("googledrive:///?access_token=<oauth2 access token>&refresh_token=<oauth2 refresh token>&client_id=<oauth2 client id>&client_secret=<oauth2 client secret>")

  # fs2 is now a standard pyfilesystem2 file system

Default Google Authentication

If your application is accessing the Google Drive API as a GCP Service Account, fs.googledrivefs will default to authenticating using the Service Account credentials specified by the GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS environment variable. This can greatly simplify the URLs used by the opener:

  from fs.opener import open_fs

  fs2 = open_fs("googledrive:///required/path")

You can also use the same method of authentication when using GoogleDriveFS directly:

  import google.auth
  from fs.googledrivefs import GoogleDriveFS

  credentials, _ = google.auth.default()
  fs = GoogleDriveFS(credentials=credentials)

Using fs.googledrivefs with an organisation's Google Account

While access to the Google Drive API is straightforward to enable for a personal Google Account, a user of an organisation's Google Account will typically only be able to enable an API in the context of a GCP Project. The user can then configure a Service Account to access all or a sub-set of the user's files using fs.googledrivefs with the following steps:

  • create a GCP Project
  • enable the Google Drive API for that Project
  • create a Service Account for that Project
  • share any Drive directory (or file) with that Service Account (using the accounts email)

Notes on forming fs urls for GCP Service Accounts

Say that your is drive is structured as follows:


Also say that you have given your application's service account access to everything in data1. If your application opens url /alldata/data1 using fs.opener.open_fs(), then fs.googledrivefs must first get the info for alldata to which it has no access and so the operation fails.

To address this we can tell fs.googledrivefs to treat data1 as the root directory by supplying the file id of data1 as the request parameter root_id. The fs url you would now use is googledrive:///?root_id=12345678901234567890:

  from fs.opener import open_fs

  fs2 = open_fs("googledrive:///?root_id=12345678901234567890")

You can also use the rootId when using GoogleDriveFS directly:

  import google.auth
  from fs.googledrivefs import GoogleDriveFS

  credentials, _ = google.auth.default()
  fs = GoogleDriveFS(credentials=credentials, rootId="12345678901234567890")

Note that any file or directory's id is readily accessible from it's web url.


To run the tests, set the following environment variables:

  • GOOGLEDRIVEFS_TEST_CLIENT_ID - your client id (see Google Developer Console)
  • GOOGLEDRIVEFS_TEST_CLIENT_SECRET - your client secret (see Google Developer Console)
  • GOOGLEDRIVEFS_TEST_CREDENTIALS_PATH - path to a json file which will contain the credentials

Then generate the credentials json file by running

  python tests/

Then run the tests by executing


in the root directory (note that if GOOGLEDRIVEFS_TEST_CREDENTIALS_PATH isn't set then the test suite will try to use the default Google credentials). The tests may take an hour or two to complete. They create and destroy many, many files and directories mostly under the /test-googledrivefs directory in the user's Google Drive and a few in the root directory

Note that, if your tests are run using a service account, you can set the root id using GOOGLEDRIVEFS_TEST_ROOT_ID.


Implementation of a pyfilesystem2 filesystem for Google Drive








Contributors 4