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Files (CSV, JSON, Excel, Feather, Parquet)

This page contains the setup guide and reference information for the Files source connector.


  • URL to access the file
  • Format
  • Reader options
  • Storage Providers

Setup guide

For Airbyte Cloud:

Setup through Airbyte Cloud will be exactly the same as the open-source setup, except for the fact that local files are disabled.

For Airbyte Open Source:

  1. Once the File Source is selected, you should define both the storage provider along its URL and format of the file.
  2. Depending on the provider choice and privacy of the data, you will have to configure more options.

Fields description

  • For Dataset Name use the name of the final table to replicate this file into (should include letters, numbers dash and underscores only).
  • For File Format use the format of the file which should be replicated (Warning: some formats may be experimental, please refer to the docs).
  • For Reader Options use a string in JSON format. It depends on the chosen file format to provide additional options and tune its behavior. For example, {} for empty options, {"sep": " "} for set up separator to one space ' '.
  • For URL use the URL path to access the file which should be replicated.
  • For Storage Provider use the storage Provider or Location of the file(s) which should be replicated.
    • [Default] Public Web
      • User-Agent set to active if you want to add User-Agent to requests
    • GCS: Google Cloud Storage
      • Service Account JSON In order to access private Buckets stored on Google Cloud, this connector would need a service account json credentials with the proper permissions as described here. Please generate the credentials.json file and copy/paste its content to this field (expecting JSON formats). If accessing publicly available data, this field is not necessary.
    • S3: Amazon Web Services
      • AWS Access Key ID In order to access private Buckets stored on AWS S3, this connector would need credentials with the proper permissions. If accessing publicly available data, this field is not necessary.
      • AWS Secret Access KeyIn order to access private Buckets stored on AWS S3, this connector would need credentials with the proper permissions. If accessing publicly available data, this field is not necessary.
    • AzBlob: Azure Blob Storage
      • Storage Account The globally unique name of the storage account that the desired blob sits within. See here for more details.
      • SAS Token To access Azure Blob Storage, this connector would need credentials with the proper permissions. One option is a SAS (Shared Access Signature) token. If accessing publicly available data, this field is not necessary.
      • Shared Key To access Azure Blob Storage, this connector would need credentials with the proper permissions. One option is a storage account shared key (aka account key or access key). If accessing publicly available data, this field is not necessary.
    • SSH: Secure Shell
      • User use username.
      • Password use password.
      • Host use a host.
      • Port use a port for your host.
    • SCP: Secure copy protocol
      • User use username.
      • Password use password.
      • Host use a host.
      • Port use a port for your host.
    • SFTP: Secure File Transfer Protocol
      • User use username.
      • Password use password.
      • Host use a host.
      • Port use a port for your host.
    • Local Filesystem (limited)
      • Storage WARNING: Note that the local storage URL available for reading must start with the local mount "/local/" at the moment until we implement more advanced docker mounting options.

Provider Specific Information

  • In case of Google Drive, it is necesary to use the Download URL, the format for that is[DRIVE_FILE_ID] where [DRIVE_FILE_ID] is the string found in the Share URL here[DRIVE_FILE_ID]/view?usp=sharing
  • In case of GCS, it is necessary to provide the content of the service account keyfile to access private buckets. See settings of BigQuery Destination
  • In case of AWS S3, the pair of aws_access_key_id and aws_secret_access_key is necessary to access private S3 buckets.
  • In case of AzBlob, it is necessary to provide the storage_account in which the blob you want to access resides. Either sas_token (info) or shared_key (info) is necessary to access private blobs.
  • In case of a locally stored file on a Windows OS, it's necessary to change the values for LOCAL_ROOT, LOCAL_DOCKER_MOUNT and HACK_LOCAL_ROOT_PARENT in the .env file to an existing absolute path on your machine (colons in the path need to be replaced with a double forward slash, //). LOCAL_ROOT & LOCAL_DOCKER_MOUNT should be the same value, and HACK_LOCAL_ROOT_PARENT should be the parent directory of the other two.

Reader Options

The Reader in charge of loading the file format is currently based on Pandas IO Tools. It is possible to customize how to load the file into a Pandas DataFrame as part of this Source Connector. This is doable in the reader_options that should be in JSON format and depends on the chosen file format. See pandas' documentation, depending on the format:

For example, if the format CSV is selected, then options from the read_csv functions are available.

  • It is therefore possible to customize the delimiter (or sep) to in case of tab separated files.
  • Header line can be ignored with header=0 and customized with names
  • Parse dates for in specified columns
  • etc

We would therefore provide in the reader_options the following json:

{ "sep" : "\t", "header" : 0, "names": ["column1", "column2"], "parse_dates": ["column2"]}

In case you select JSON format, then options from the read_json reader are available.

For example, you can use the {"orient" : "records"} to change how orientation of data is loaded (if data is [{column -> value}, … , {column -> value}])

If you need to read Excel Binary Workbook, please specify excel_binary format in File Format select.

This connector does not support syncing unstructured data files such as raw text, audio, or videos.

Supported sync modes

Full Refresh SyncYes
Incremental SyncNo
Replicate Incremental DeletesNo
Replicate Folders (multiple Files)No
Replicate Glob Patterns (multiple Files)No
This source produces a single table for the target file as it replicates only one file at a time for the moment. Note that you should provide the `dataset_name` which dictates how the table will be identified in the destination (since `URL` can be made of complex characters).

File / Stream Compression


Storage Providers

Storage ProvidersSupported?
Google Cloud StorageYes
Amazon Web Services S3Yes
local filesystemLocal use only (inaccessible for Airbyte Cloud)

File Formats

Excel Binary WorkbookYes

Changing data types of source columns

Normally, Airbyte tries to infer the data type from the source, but you can use reader_options to force specific data types. If you input {"dtype":"string"}, all columns will be forced to be parsed as strings. If you only want a specific column to be parsed as a string, simply use {"dtype" : {"column name": "string"}}.


Here are a list of examples of possible file inputs:

Dataset NameStorageURLReader ImplService AccountDescription
epidemiologyHTTPS Public dataset on BigQuery
hr_and_financialsGCSgs://airbyte-vault/financial.csvsmart_open or gcfs{"type": "service_account", "private_key_id": "XXXXXXXX", ...}data from a private bucket, a service account is necessary
landsat_indexGCSgcp-public-data-landsat/index.csv.gzsmart_openUsing smart_open, we don't need to specify the compression (note the gs:// is optional too, same for other providers)

Examples with reader options:

Dataset NameStorageURLReader ImplReader OptionsDescription
landsat_indexGCSgs://gcp-public-data-landsat/index.csv.gzGCFS{"compression": "gzip"}Additional reader options to specify a compression option to read_csv
GDELTS3s3://gdelt-open-data/events/20190914.export.csv{"sep": "\t", "header": null}Here is TSV data separated by tabs without header row from AWS Open Data
server_logslocal/local/logs.log{"sep": ";"}After making sure a local text file exists at /tmp/airbyte_local/logs.log with logs file from some server that are delimited by ';' delimiters

Example for SFTP:

Dataset NameStorageUserPasswordHostURLReader OptionsDescription
Test{"sep": "\r\n", "header": null, "names": ["text"], "engine": "python"}We use python engine for read_csv in order to handle delimiter of more than 1 character while providing our own column names.

Please see (or add) more at airbyte-integrations/connectors/source-file/integration_tests/ for further usages examples.

Performance Considerations and Notes

In order to read large files from a remote location, this connector uses the smart_open library. However, it is possible to switch to either GCSFS or S3FS implementations as it is natively supported by the pandas library. This choice is made possible through the optional reader_impl parameter.

  • Note that for local filesystem, the file probably have to be stored somewhere in the /tmp/airbyte_local folder with the same limitations as the CSV Destination so the URL should also starts with /local/.
  • Please make sure that Docker Desktop has access to /tmp (and /private on a MacOS, as /tmp has a symlink that points to /private. It will not work otherwise). You allow it with "File sharing" in Settings -> Resources -> File sharing -> add the one or two above folder and hit the "Apply & restart" button.
  • The JSON implementation needs to be tweaked in order to produce more complex catalog and is still in an experimental state: Simple JSON schemas should work at this point but may not be well handled when there are multiple layers of nesting.


VersionDatePull RequestSubject
0.3.92023-05-1826275add ParserError handling
0.3.82023-05-1726210Bugfix for
0.3.72023-05-1626131Re-release source-file to be in sync with source-file-secure
0.3.62023-05-1626115Add retry on SSHException('Error reading SSH protocol banner')
0.3.52023-05-1626117Check if reader options is a valid JSON object
0.3.42023-05-1025965fix Pandas date-time parsing to airbyte type
0.3.32023-05-0425819GCP service_account_json is a secret
0.3.22023-05-0125641Handle network errors
0.3.12023-04-2725575Fix OOM; read Excel files in chunks using openpyxl
0.3.02023-04-2425445Add datatime format parsing support for csv files
0.2.382023-04-1223759Fix column data types for numerical values
0.2.372023-04-0624525Fix examples in spec
0.2.362023-03-2724588Remove traceback from user messages.
0.2.352023-03-0324278Read only file header when checking connectivity; read only a single chunk when discovering the schema.
0.2.342023-03-0323723Update description in spec, make user-friendly error messages and docs.
0.2.332023-01-0421012Fix special characters bug
0.2.322022-12-2120740Source File: increase SSH timeout to 60s
0.2.312022-11-1719567Source File: bump 0.2.31
0.2.302022-11-1019222Use AirbyteConnectionStatus for "check" command
0.2.292022-11-0818587Fix pandas read_csv header none issue.
0.2.282022-10-2718428Add retry logic for Connection reset error - 104
0.2.272022-10-2618481Fix check for wrong format
0.2.262022-10-1818116Transform Dropbox shared link
0.2.252022-10-1417994Handle UnicodeDecodeError during discover step.
0.2.242022-10-0317504Validate data for HTTPS while check_connection
0.2.232022-09-2817304Migrate to per-stream state.
0.2.222022-09-1516772Fix schema generation for JSON files containing arrays
0.2.212022-08-2615568Specify pyxlsb library for Excel Binary Workbook files
0.2.202022-08-2315870Fix CSV schema discovery
0.2.192022-08-1915768Convert 'nan' to 'null'
0.2.182022-08-1615698Cache binary stream to file for discover
0.2.172022-08-1115501Cache binary stream to file
0.2.162022-08-1015293Add support for encoding reader option
0.2.152022-08-0515269Bump smart-open version to 6.0.0
0.2.122022-07-1214535Fix invalid schema generation for JSON files
0.2.112022-07-129974Add support to YAML format
0.2.92022-02-019974Update airbyte-cdk 0.1.47
0.2.82021-12-068524Update connector fields title/description
0.2.72021-10-287387Migrate source to CDK structure, add SAT testing.
0.2.62021-08-265613Add support to xlsb format
0.2.52021-07-264953Allow non-default port for SFTP type
0.2.42021-06-093973Add AIRBYTE_ENTRYPOINT for Kubernetes support
0.2.32021-06-013771Add Azure Storage Blob Files option
0.2.22021-04-162883Fix CSV discovery memory consumption
0.2.12021-04-032726Fix base connector versioning
0.2.02021-03-092238Protocol allows future/unknown properties
0.1.102021-02-182118Support JSONL format
0.1.92021-02-021768Add test cases for all formats
0.1.82021-01-271738Adopt connector best practices
0.1.72020-12-161331Refactor Python base connector
0.1.62020-12-081249Handle NaN values
0.1.52020-11-301046Add connectors using an index YAML file