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OpenStack Object Storage (Swift) with ZeroVM patches
Python Other
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A distributed object storage system designed to scale from a single machine to thousands of servers. Swift is optimized for multi-tenancy and high concurrency. Swift is ideal for backups, web and mobile content, and any other unstructured data that can grow without bound.

Swift provides a simple, REST-based API fully documented at

Swift was originally developed as the basis for Rackspace's Cloud Files and was open-sourced in 2010 as part of the OpenStack project. It has since grown to include contributions from many companies and has spawned a thriving ecosystem of 3rd party tools. Swift's contributors are listed in the AUTHORS file.


To build documentation install sphinx (pip install sphinx), run python build_sphinx, and then browse to /doc/build/html/index.html. These docs are auto-generated after every commit and available online at

For Developers

The best place to get started is the "SAIO - Swift All In One". This document will walk you through setting up a development cluster of Swift in a VM. The SAIO environment is ideal for running small-scale tests against swift and trying out new features and bug fixes.

You can run unit tests with .unittests and functional tests with .functests.

Code Organization

  • bin/: Executable scripts that are the processes run by the deployer
  • doc/: Documentation
  • etc/: Sample config files
  • swift/: Core code
    • account/: account server
    • common/: code shared by different modules
      • middleware/: "standard", officially-supported middleware
      • ring/: code implementing Swift's ring
    • container/: container server
    • obj/: object server
    • proxy/: proxy server
  • test/: Unit and functional tests

Data Flow

Swift is a WSGI application and uses eventlet's WSGI server. After the processes are running, the entry point for new requests is the Application class in swift/proxy/ From there, a controller is chosen, and the request is processed. The proxy may choose to forward the request to a back- end server. For example, the entry point for requests to the object server is the ObjectController class in swift/obj/

For Deployers

Deployer docs are also available at A good starting point is at

You can run functional tests against a swift cluster with .functests. These functional tests require /etc/swift/test.conf to run. A sample config file can be found in this source tree in test/sample.conf.

For Client Apps

For client applications, official Python language bindings are provided at

Complete API documentation at

For more information come hang out in #openstack-swift on freenode.


The Swift Development Team

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