Fix Python – Download large file in python with requests


Asked By – Roman Podlinov

Requests is a really nice library. I’d like to use it for downloading big files (>1GB).
The problem is it’s not possible to keep whole file in memory; I need to read it in chunks. And this is a problem with the following code:

import requests

def DownloadFile(url)
    local_filename = url.split('/')[-1]
    r = requests.get(url)
    f = open(local_filename, 'wb')
    for chunk in r.iter_content(chunk_size=512 * 1024): 
        if chunk: # filter out keep-alive new chunks

For some reason it doesn’t work this way; it still loads the response into memory before it is saved to a file.

Now we will see solution for issue: Download large file in python with requests


With the following streaming code, the Python memory usage is restricted regardless of the size of the downloaded file:

def download_file(url):
    local_filename = url.split('/')[-1]
    # NOTE the stream=True parameter below
    with requests.get(url, stream=True) as r:
        with open(local_filename, 'wb') as f:
            for chunk in r.iter_content(chunk_size=8192): 
                # If you have chunk encoded response uncomment if
                # and set chunk_size parameter to None.
                #if chunk: 
    return local_filename

Note that the number of bytes returned using iter_content is not exactly the chunk_size; it’s expected to be a random number that is often far bigger, and is expected to be different in every iteration.

See body-content-workflow and Response.iter_content for further reference.

This question is answered By – Roman Podlinov

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