Export Files (⊗)

Docspell Documentation

⚠ Please note

This script is now obsolete, you can use the CLI tool instead.

Use the export command, e.g. dsc export --all --target ..


This script can be used to download all files from docspell that have been uploaded before and the item metadata.

It downloads the original files, those that have been uploaded and not the converted pdf files.

The item's metadata are stored next to the files to provide more information about the item: corresponent, tags, dates, custom fields etc. This contains most of your user supplied data.

This script is intended for having your data outside and independent of docspell. Another good idea for a backup strategy is to take database dumps and storing the releases of docspell next to this dump.

Files are stored into the following folder structure (below the given target directory):

- yyyy-mm (item date)
  - A3…XY (item id)
    - somefile.pdf (attachments with name)
    - metadata.json (json file with items metadata)

By default, files are not overwritten, it stops if existing files are encountered. This and some other things can be changed using environment variables:

  • DS_USER the account name for login, it is asked if not available
  • DS_PASS the password for login, it is asked if not available
  • OVERWRITE_FILE= if y then overwriting existing files is ok. Default is n.
  • SKIP_FILE= if y then existing files are skipped (supersedes OVERWRITE_FILE). Default is n.
  • DROP_ITEM= if y the item folder is removed before attempting to download it. If this is set to y then the above options don't make sense, since they operate on the files inside the item folder. Default is n.

Docspell sends the sha256 hash with each file via the ETag header. This is used to do a integrity check after downloading.


It is a bash script that additionally needs curl and jq to be available.


./export-files.sh <docspell-base-url> <target-directory>

For example, if docspell is at http://localhost:7880:

./export-files.sh http://localhost:7880 /tmp/ds-downloads

The script asks for your account name and password. It then logs in and goes through all items downloading the metadata as json and the attachments.

Example Run🔗

fish> env SKIP_FILE=y DS_USER=demo DS_PASS=test ./export-files.sh http://localhost:7880 /tmp/download
Login to Docspell.
Using url: http://localhost:7880

Login successful
Downloading 73 items…
Get next items with offset=0, limit=100
Get item 57Znskthf3g-X7RP1fxzE2U-dwr4vM6Yjnn-b7s1PoCznhz
 - Download 'something.txt' (8HbeFornAUN-kBCyc8bHSVr-bnLBYDzgRQ7-peMZzyTzM2X)
 - Checksum ok.
Get item 94u5Pt39q6N-7vKu3LugoRj-zohGS4ie4jb-68bW5gXU6Jd
 - Download 'letter-en.pdf' (6KNNmoyqpew-RAkdwEmQgBT-QDqdY97whZA-4k2rmbssdfQ)
 - Checksum ok.
Get item 7L9Fh53RVG4-vGSt2G2YUcY-cvpBKRXQgBn-omYpg6xQXyD
 - Download 'mail.html' (A6yTYKrDc7y-xU3whmLB1kB-TGhEAVb12mo-RUw5u9PsYMo)
 - Checksum ok.
Get item DCn9UtWUtvF-2qjxB5PXGEG-vqRUUU7JUJH-zBBrmSeGYPe
 - Download 'Invoice_7340224.pdf' (6FWdjxJh7yB-CCjY39p6uH9-uVLbmGfm25r-cw6RksrSx4n)
 - Checksum ok.

The resulting directory looks then like this:

├── 2020-08
│   ├── 6t27gQQ4TfW-H4uAmkYyiSe-rBnerFE2v5F-9BdqbGEhMcv
│   │   ├── 52241.pdf
│   │   └── metadata.json
│   └── 9qwT2GuwEvV-s9UuBQ4w7o9-uE8AdMc7PwL-GFDd62gduAm
│       ├── DOC-20191223-155707.jpg
│       └── metadata.json
├── 2020-09
│   ├── 2CM8C9VaVAT-sVJiKyUPCvR-Muqr2Cqvi6v-GXhRtg6eomA
│   │   ├── letter with spaces.pdf
│   │   └── metadata.json
│   ├── 4sXpX2Sc9Ex-QX1M6GtjiXp-DApuDDzGQXR-7pg1QPW9pbs
│   │   ├── analyse.org
│   │   ├── 201703.docx
│   │   ├── 11812_120719.pdf
│   │   ├── letter-de.pdf
│   │   ├── letter-en.pdf
│   │   └── metadata.json
│   ├── 5VhP5Torsy1-15pwJBeRjPi-es8BGnxhWn7-3pBQTJv3zPb
│   │   └── metadata.json
│   ├── 7ePWmK4xCNk-gmvnTDdFwG8-JcN5MDSUNPL-NTZZrho2Jc6
│   │   ├── metadata.json
│   │   └── Rechnung.pdf

The metadata.json file contains all the item metadata. This may be useful when importing into other tools.

  "id": "AWCNx7tJgUw-SdrNtRouNJB-FGs6Y2VP5bV-218sFN8mjjk",
  "direction": "incoming",
  "name": "Ruecksendung.pdf",
  "source": "integration",
  "state": "confirmed",
  "created": 1606171810005,
  "updated": 1606422917826,
  "itemDate": null,
  "corrOrg": null,
  "corrPerson": null,
  "concPerson": null,
  "concEquipment": null,
  "inReplyTo": null,
  "folder": null,
  "dueDate": null,
  "notes": null,
  "attachments": [
      "id": "4aPmhrjfR9Z-AgknoW6yVoE-YkffioD2KXV-E6Vm6snH17Q",
      "name": "Ruecksendung.converted.pdf",
      "size": 57777,
      "contentType": "application/pdf",
      "converted": true
  "sources": [
      "id": "4aPmhrjfR9Z-AgknoW6yVoE-YkffioD2KXV-E6Vm6snH17Q",
      "name": "Ruecksendung.pdf",
      "size": 65715,
      "contentType": "application/pdf"
  "archives": [],
  "tags": [
      "id": "EQvJ6AHw19Y-Cdg3gF78zZk-BY2zFtNTwes-J95jpXpzhfw",
      "name": "Hupe",
      "category": "state",
      "created": 1606427083171
      "id": "4xyZoeeELdJ-tJ91GiRLinJ-7bdauy3U1jR-Bzr4VS96bGS",
      "name": "Invoice",
      "category": "doctype",
      "created": 1594249709473
  "customfields": [
      "id": "5tYmDHin3Kx-HomKkeEVtJN-v99oKxQ8ot6-yFVrEmMayoo",
      "name": "amount",
      "label": "EUR",
      "ftype": "money",
      "value": "151.55"
      "id": "3jbwbep8rDs-hNJ9ePRE7gv-21nYMbUj3eb-mKRWAr4xSS2",
      "name": "invoice-number",
      "label": "Invoice-Nr",
      "ftype": "text",
      "value": "I454602"
      "id": "AH4p4NUCa9Y-EUkH66wLzxE-Rf2wJPxTAYd-DeGDm4AT4Yg",
      "name": "number",
      "label": "Number",
      "ftype": "numeric",
      "value": "0.10"