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There are multiple ways one can login to Synapse. We recommend users to choose the method that fits their workflow.


  • Create a Personal Access Token (aka: Synapse Auth Token) token obtained from under your Settings.
    • Note that a token must minimally have the view scope to be used with the Synapse Python Client.
    • Include Download and Modify permissions if you are using the Synapse Python Client to follow any subsequent tutorials.
  • Once a personal access token has been created it can be used for any of the options below.

One Time Login


Use the synapseclient.login function

import synapseclient
syn = synapseclient.login(authToken="authtoken")

Command Line Client

Use the synapse login command

synapse login -p $MY_SYNAPSE_TOKENWelcome, First Last!

Logged in as: username (1234567)

Use .synapseConfig

For writing code using the Synapse Python client that is easy to share with others, please do not include your credentials in the code. Instead, please use the ~/.synapseConfig file to manage your credentials.

When installing the Synapse Python client, the ~/.synapseConfig is added to your home directory.

Automatically modifying the ~/.synapseConfig file with the Command line Client

You may modify the ~/.synapseConfig file by utilizing the command line client command and following the interactive prompts:

synapse configSynapse username (Optional):


Manually modifying the ~/.synapseConfig file

The following describes how to add your credentials to the ~/.synapseConfig file without the use of the synapse config command.

Open the ~/.synapseConfig file and find the following section:

#username = <username>
#authtoken = <authtoken>

To enable this section, uncomment it. You don't need to specify your username when using authtoken as a pair, but if you do, it will be used to verify your identity. A personal access token generated from your Settings can be used as your .synapseConfig authtoken.

authtoken = <authtoken>

Now, you can login without specifying any arguments:

import synapseclient
syn = synapseclient.login()

Use Environment Variable

Setting the SYNAPSE_AUTH_TOKEN environment variable will allow you to login to Synapse with a Personal Access Token

The environment variable will take priority over credentials in the user's .synapseConfig file.

In your shell, you can pass an environment variable to Python inline by defining it before the command:

SYNAPSE_AUTH_TOKEN='<my_personal_access_token>' python3

Alternatively you may export it first, then start: Python

export SYNAPSE_AUTH_TOKEN='<my_personal_access_token>'

Once you are inside Python, you may simply login without passing any arguments:

import synapseclient
syn = synapseclient.login()

To use the environment variable with the command line client, simply substitute python for the synapse command

SYNAPSE_AUTH_TOKEN='<my_personal_access_token>' synapse get syn123
SYNAPSE_AUTH_TOKEN='<my_personal_access_token>' synapse store --parentid syn123 ~/foobar.txt

Or alternatively, for multiple commands:

export SYNAPSE_AUTH_TOKEN='<my_personal_access_token>'
synapse get syn123
synapse store --parentid syn123 ~/foobar.txt

For more information, see: