The S3 Cookbook

published Apr 20, 2009

One of the many things I’ve been doing while ignoring this blog has been writing a book.

It’s called The S3 Cookbook, and I’m more than happy to announce that it’s available for sale on Sopobo at

Here’s a bit about the book:

Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3) has been described as “Storage in the cloud”. I like to think of it as Amazon lending you some hard-drive space on their servers, and giving you lots of interesting ways to put data there and share it with others.

Getting started with S3 is pretty straightforward, but even with its simple interface (really, because of its simplicity), there are a lot of things you can do with it. The S3 Cookbook will give you a quick introduction to S3’s architecture, get you set up with some tools, and then let you explore.

The recipes provide you with the code to do all of the everyday things that people are doing with S3, as well as the more esoteric ones. They will help you get the simple things done quickly, and inspire you with ideas of your own.

You will learn to

  • get started with S3: set up your account, get some tools and get coding
  • upload and download data from S3
  • list all of the files you have in your S3 Buckets
  • add metadata to your objects
  • serve your objects as bit torrents
  • share your data with others (everyone, just a chosen few or nobody at all)
  • backup and restore your pictures, databases or any directory on any computer to S3
  • log who accesses your objects and how often
  • serve assets such as images, MP3s or the static files on your website

S3 is built for people like you and me: programmers. If you feel the itch to create your own library to talk to S3, then chapters 4 and 5 are for you. Chapter 4 walks you through the S3 authentication process, and builds an S3 authentication library using Test Driven Development. Chapter 5 builds the beginnings of an S3 library, giving you everything you need to build one of your own, or take the code that’s in the book and go from there.

For a complete list of the recipes, see the table of contents

Interested? Download a sample of the book.

All of the code in the book is MIT licensed and available for download.


The S3 Cookbook is still in beta. This means that:

  • the book is not done
  • Things are still a little rough, but they will improve
  • There will be more recipes coming
  • I need your feedback!

When you buy the book, you get updates for free for the lifetime of the book.

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