Flickraw is a library to access flickr api in a simple way. It maps exactly the methods described in the official api documentation. It also tries to present the data returned in a simple and intuitive way. The methods are fetched from flickr when loading the library by using introspection capabilities. So it is always up-to-date with regards to new methods added by flickr.

The rubyforge project :

The github repository:


Type this in a console (you might need to be superuser)

gem install flickraw

This will recreate the documentation by fetching the methods descriptions from flickr and then virtually plugging them in standard rdoc documentation.

rake rdoc


  • Small single file: flickraw.rb is less than 300 lines

  • Complete support of flickr API. This doesn't require an update of the library

  • Ruby syntax similar to the flickr api

  • Flickr authentication

  • Photo upload

  • Proxy support

  • Delayed library loading (for rails users)

  • Flickr URLs helpers



require 'flickraw'

FlickRaw.api_key="... Your API key ..."
FlickRaw.shared_secret="... Your shared secret ..."

list   =

id     = list[0].id
secret = list[0].secret
info = :photo_id => id, :secret => secret

info.title           # => "PICT986"
info.dates.taken     # => "2006-07-06 15:16:18"

sizes = :photo_id => id

original = sizes.find {|s| s.label == 'Original' }
original.width       # => "800"


require 'flickraw'

FlickRaw.api_key="... Your API key ..."
FlickRaw.shared_secret="... Your shared secret ..."

frob = flickr.auth.getFrob
auth_url = FlickRaw.auth_url :frob => frob, :perms => 'read'

puts "Open this url in your process to complete the authication process : #{auth_url}"
puts "Press Enter when you are finished."

  auth = flickr.auth.getToken :frob => frob
   = flickr.test.
  puts "You are now authenticated as #{.username} with token #{auth.token}"
rescue FlickRaw::FailedResponse => e
  puts "Authentication failed : #{e.msg}"

You don't need to do that each time, you can reuse your token:

require 'flickraw'

FlickRaw.api_key="... Your API key ..."
FlickRaw.shared_secret="... Your shared secret ..."

auth = flickr.auth.checkToken :auth_token => "... Your saved token ..."

# From here you are logged:
puts auth.user.username


require 'flickraw'

FlickRaw.api_key="... Your API key ..."
FlickRaw.shared_secret="... Your shared secret ..."


# You need to be authentified to do that, see the previous examples.
flickr.upload_photo PHOTO_PATH, :title => "Title", :description => "This is the description"

Flickraw Options

You can pass some options to modify flickraw behavior:

FlickRawOptions = {
  "api_key" => "... Your API key ...",
  "shared_secret" => "... Your shared secret ...",
  "auth_token" => "... Your saved token..."  # if you set this you will be automatically loggued
  "lazyload" => true,     # This delay the loading of the library until the first call

  # Proxy support. alternatively, you can use the http_proxy environment variable
  "proxy_host" => "proxy_host",
  "proxy_port" => "proxy_port",
  "proxy_user" => "proxy_user",
  "proxy_password" => "proxy_password",

  "timeout" => 5,                # Set the request timeout
  "auth_token" => "SAVED_TOKEN"  # Set the initial token

require 'flickraw'

Flickr URL Helpers

There are some helpers to build flickr urls :

url, url_m, url_s, url_t, url_b, url_z, url_o

info = => "3839885270")
FlickRaw.url_b(info) # => ""


info = => "3839885270")
FlickRaw.url_profile(info) # => ""


info = => "3839885270")
FlickRaw.url_photopage(photo) # => ""

url_photoset, url_photosets

info = => "3839885270")
FlickRaw.url_photosets(photo) # => ""


info = => "3839885270")
FlickRaw.url_short(photo) # => ""


info = => "3839885270")
FlickRaw.url_photostream(photo) # => ""

See the examples directory to find more examples.

Cached version

You can use

require 'flickraw-cached'

instead of

require 'flickraw'

This way it it doesn't fetch available flickr methods each time it is loaded. The flickraw-cached gem is on rubyforge and should be up-to-date with regard to flickr api most of the time.


If you want to use the api authenticated with several user at the same time, you must pass the authentication token explicitely each time. This is because it is keeping the authentication token internally. As an alternative, you can create new Flickr objects besides which is created for you. Use to this effect.