arvados: Files

Command keep-web

Keep-web provides read/write HTTP (WebDAV) access to files stored in Keep. It serves public data to anonymous and unauthenticated clients, and serves private data to clients that supply Arvados API tokens. It can be installed anywhere with access to Keep services, typically behind a web proxy that supports TLS.



The default cluster configuration file location is /etc/arvados/config.yml.

Example configuration file

    SystemRootToken: ""
        ExternalURL: ""
        Insecure: false
          "http://:1234/": {}
          "http://:1234/": {}
        ExternalURL: ""
      AnonymousUserToken: "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
      TrustAllContent: false

Starting the server

Start a server using the default config file /etc/arvados/config.yml:


Start a server using the config file /path/to/config.yml:

keep-web -config /path/to/config.yml

Proxy configuration

Keep-web does not support TLS natively. Typically, it is installed behind a proxy like nginx.

Here is an example nginx configuration.

http {
  upstream keep-web {
    server localhost:1234;
  server {
    listen *:443 ssl;
    server_name * ~.*;
    ssl_certificate /root/;
    ssl_certificate_key /root/;
    location  / {
      proxy_pass http://keep-web;
      proxy_set_header Host $host;
      proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $remote_addr;

It is not necessary to run keep-web on the same host as the nginx proxy. However, TLS is not used between nginx and keep-web, so intervening networks must be secured by other means.

Anonymous downloads

The "Users.AnonymousUserToken" configuration entry used when when processing anonymous requests, i.e., whenever a web client does not supply its own Arvados API token via path, query string, cookie, or request header.

      AnonymousUserToken: "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"

See for examples.

Download URLs

The following "same origin" URL patterns are supported for public collections and collections shared anonymously via secret links (i.e., collections which can be served by keep-web without making use of any implicit credentials like cookies). See "Same-origin URLs" below.

The following "multiple origin" URL patterns are supported for all collections:

In the "multiple origin" form, the string "--" can be replaced with "." with identical results (assuming the downstream proxy is configured accordingly). These two are equivalent:

The first form (with "--" instead of ".") avoids the cost and effort of deploying a wildcard TLS certificate for * at sites that already have a wildcard certificate for * The second form is likely to be easier to configure, and more efficient to run, on a downstream proxy.

In all of the above forms, the "" part can be anything at all: keep-web itself ignores everything after the first "." or "--". (Of course, in order for clients to connect at all, DNS and any relevant proxies must be configured accordingly.)

In all of the above forms, the "uuid_or_pdh" part can be either a collection UUID or a portable data hash with the "+" character optionally replaced by "-". (When "uuid_or_pdh" appears in the domain name, replacing "+" with "-" is mandatory, because "+" is not a valid character in a domain name.)

In all of the above forms, a top level directory called "_" is skipped. In cases where the "path/file.txt" part might start with "t=" or "c=" or "_/", links should be constructed with a leading "_/" to ensure the top level directory is not interpreted as a token or collection ID.

Assuming there is a collection with UUID zzzzz-4zz18-znfnqtbbv4spc3w and portable data hash 1f4b0bc7583c2a7f9102c395f4ffc5e3+45, the following URLs are interchangeable:

The following URLs are read-only, but otherwise interchangeable with the above:

If the collection is named "MyCollection" and located in a project called "MyProject" which is in the home project of a user with username is "bob", the following read-only URL is also available when authenticating as bob:

An additional form is supported specifically to make it more convenient to maintain support for existing Workbench download links:

A regular Workbench "download" link is also accepted, but credentials passed via cookie, header, etc. are ignored. Only public data can be served this way:

Collections can also be accessed (read-only) via "/by_id/X" where X is a UUID or portable data hash.

Authorization mechanisms

A token can be provided in an Authorization header:

Authorization: OAuth2 o07j4px7RlJK4CuMYp7C0LDT4CzR1J1qBE5Avo7eCcUjOTikxK

A base64-encoded token can be provided in a cookie named "api_token":

Cookie: api_token=bzA3ajRweDdSbEpLNEN1TVlwN0MwTERUNEN6UjFKMXFCRTVBdm83ZUNjVWpPVGlreEs=

A token can be provided in an URL-encoded query string:

GET /foo/bar.txt?api_token=o07j4px7RlJK4CuMYp7C0LDT4CzR1J1qBE5Avo7eCcUjOTikxK

A suitably encoded token can be provided in a POST body if the request has a content type of application/x-www-form-urlencoded or multipart/form-data:

POST /foo/bar.txt
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

If a token is provided in a query string or in a POST request, the response is an HTTP 303 redirect to an equivalent GET request, with the token stripped from the query string and added to a cookie instead.


Keep-web returns a generic HTML index listing when a directory is requested with the GET method. It does not serve a default file like "index.html". Directory listings are also returned for WebDAV PROPFIND requests.


Client-provided authorization tokens are ignored if the client does not provide a Host header.

In order to use the query string or a POST form authorization mechanisms, the client must follow 303 redirects; the client must accept cookies with a 303 response and send those cookies when performing the redirect; and either the client or an intervening proxy must resolve a relative URL ("//host/path") if given in a response Location header.

Intranet mode

Normally, Keep-web accepts requests for multiple collections using the same host name, provided the client's credentials are not being used. This provides insufficient XSS protection in an installation where the "anonymously accessible" data is not truly public, but merely protected by network topology.

In such cases -- for example, a site which is not reachable from the internet, where some data is world-readable from Arvados's perspective but is intended to be available only to users within the local network -- the downstream proxy should configured to return 401 for all paths beginning with "/c=".

Same-origin URLs

Without the same-origin protection outlined above, a web page stored in collection X could execute JavaScript code that uses the current viewer's credentials to download additional data from collection Y -- data which is accessible to the current viewer, but not to the author of collection X -- from the same origin (“”) and upload it to some other site chosen by the author of collection X.

Attachment-Only host

It is possible to serve untrusted content and accept user credentials at the same origin as long as the content is only downloaded, never executed by browsers. A single origin (hostname and port) can be designated as an "attachment-only" origin: cookies will be accepted and all responses will have a "Content-Disposition: attachment" header. This behavior is invoked only when the designated origin matches exactly the Host header provided by the client or downstream proxy.

        ExternalURL: "https://domain.example:9999"

Trust All Content mode

In TrustAllContent mode, Keep-web will accept credentials (API tokens) and serve any collection X at "". This is UNSAFE except in the special case where everyone who is able write ANY data to Keep, and every JavaScript and HTML file written to Keep, is also trusted to read ALL of the data in Keep.

In such cases you can enable trust-all-content mode.

      TrustAllContent: true

When TrustAllContent is enabled, the only effect of the Attachment-Only host setting is to add a "Content-Disposition: attachment" header.

        ExternalURL: "https://domain.example:9999"
      TrustAllContent: true

Depending on your site configuration, you might also want to enable the "trust all content" setting in Workbench. Normally, Workbench avoids redirecting requests to keep-web if they depend on TrustAllContent being enabled.


Keep-web exposes request metrics in Prometheus text-based format at /metrics. The same information is also available as JSON at /metrics.json.

Package Files

cache.go doc.go handler.go main.go server.go webdav.go

Package main imports 36 packages (graph). Updated 2019-12-18. Refresh now. Tools for package owners.