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Docker for file servers to be used in conjuncation with CouchDB in the nEDM experiment.


This docker is based off of nginx/latest and includes a reverse proxy in front
of the nEDM CouchDB server.

Most requests are simply forwarded to the CouchDB backend and the nginx server
listens on both the 80 and 5984 ports (serving up the same content on both).

The main functionality of this server is also to provide an additional
file-server which is exposed on the _attachments URI path. This allows
uploading 'attachments' associated with documents in the DB, but storing them
externally. This is particularly useful when storing large files which do not
perform well stored directly in a CouchDB database.

Authenticaton is handled by the file server backend by forwarding requests back
to the CouchDB server and checking for the correct priveleges. The file server
supports the following syntax:


and the HTTP verbs: GET, PUT, DELETE

For GET, the user requires read access to the CouchDB document.
For PUT and DELETE, the user requires write access to the CouchDB document.

Setup options

An example command (to run as a daemon, swap -it with -d):

docker run -it -p 5984:5984 -p 80:80\
  -v /volume1/Measurements:/database_attachments\
  -e "NGX_VIRTUAL_SERVER_2=db.nedm1@/nedm_head/_design/nedm_head/_rewrite"\
  -e "NGX_VIRTUAL_SERVER_1=raid.nedm1@"\
  --name nEDM-FileServer --link nEDM-CouchDB:db

The particular steps are explained in the following:

  1. Mount attachments directory (R/W) to /database_attachments
  2. Pass environment variables to the container to define virtual servers
    (multiple may be passed, the must simply have a different _my_suffix):

     -e 'NGX_VIRTUAL_SERVER[_my_suffix]'

    Note that the path should never end with a slash.

  3. (optional) Pass environment variables to set readonly status:

  4. (experimental) Pass environment variables to set CHMOD of written files:

  5. (optional) Mount supervisor log directory (R/W) to view the output of the file-server backend to /var/log/supervisor

  6. Link to the nEDM couchdb container, here the db name must be kept! (--line name_of_container:db)
  7. Export port(s) 80 and/or 5984.

Note, that it is important that no ports are forwarded in the CouchDB container
to the external world. This is because the nginx container sits in front of
the CouchDB instance and routes the commands to it.

API use examples

The following are some examples as to how one can use the API. pynedm
provides functions to do all of this for you, so use it before rolling your own code, if possible.


Using pycurl and cloudant (unfortunately, requests doesn't handle 100 Expect: continue at all).

import pycurl
from StringIO import StringIO
import json
from clint.textui.progress import Bar as ProgressBar

def upload_file_with_curl(file_name, post_to_path, cookies=None):
    file_name : full path to file
    post_to_path : of the form "server/{db}/{doc_id}/{attachment_name}
    cookies : Any cookies (as string) to send along with the request
    total_size = os.path.getsize(file_name)
    bar = ProgressBar(expected_size=total_size, filled_char='=')

    class FileReader:
        def __init__(self, fp):
            self.fp = fp
            self.total_read = 0
        def read_callback(self, size):
            x =
            if x is not None:
                self.total_read += len(x)
            return x

    c = pycurl.Curl()
    storage = StringIO()
    c.setopt(pycurl.URL, post_to_path)
    c.setopt(pycurl.PUT, 1)
    c.setopt(pycurl.READFUNCTION, FileReader(open(file_name, 'rb')).read_callback)
    c.setopt(pycurl.INFILESIZE, total_size)
    c.setopt(c.WRITEFUNCTION, storage.write)
    if cookies is not None:
        print "setting, ", cookies
        c.setopt(c.COOKIE, cookies)
    content = storage.getvalue()
        return json.loads(content)
        return content

# To login, we use cloudant
_server = ""
acct = cloudant.Account(_server)
acct.login(un, password) # give credentials
cookies = '; '.join(['='.join(x) for x in acct._session.cookies.items()])
submit = {
  "db" : "db_name",
  "id" : "doc_id",
  "att_name" : os.path.basename(file_name)
o = upload_file_with_curl(file_name, _server + '/_attachments/{db}/{id}/{att_name}'.format(**submit), cookies)

# On success, it should return a json object with information of all
# attachments currently associated with this document
print json.dumps(o, indent=4)


This is notably simpler, and this time we may use requests:

acct = cloudant.Account(_server)
def download_file(file_name, get_from_path):
    r = acct.get(get_from_path, stream=True)
    total_size = int(r.headers['content-length'])
    bar = ProgressBar(expected_size=total_size, filled_char='=')
    with open(file_name, 'wb') as f:
        total = 0
        for chunk in r.iter_content(chunk_size=100*1024):
            if chunk: # filter out keep-alive new chunks
                total += len(chunk)

download_file(file_name, _server + '/_attachments/{db}/{id}/{att_name}'.format(**submit))


acct = cloudant.Account(_server)
o = acct.delete(_server + '/_attachments/{db}/{id}/{att_name}'.format(**submit)).json()
print json.dumps(o, indent=4)


acct = cloudant.Account(_server)
o = acct.head(_server + '/_attachments/{db}/{id}/{att_name}'.format(**submit))
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