Retrieving Kaggle Data from the Command Line

We’ve been building some models for Kaggle competitions using an EC2 instance for compute. I initially downloaded the data locally and then pushed it onto EC2 using SCP. But there had to be a more efficient way to do this, especially given the blazing fast bandwidth available on AWS.

Enter kaggle-cli.

Update: Apparently kaggle-cli has been deprecated in favour of kaggle-api. More information below.



Installation is very simple.

sudo pip install kaggle-cli

This will expose the kg shell command. You can use it interactively or via an selection of command line arguments.

usage: kg [--version] [-v | -q] [--log-file LOG_FILE] [-h] [--debug]

An unofficial Kaggle command line tool.

optional arguments:
  --version            show program's version number and exit
  -v, --verbose        Increase verbosity of output. Can be repeated.
  -q, --quiet          Suppress output except warnings and errors.
  --log-file LOG_FILE  Specify a file to log output. Disabled by default.
  -h, --help           Show help message and exit.
  --debug              Show tracebacks on errors.

  complete       print bash completion command
  config         Set config.
  dataset        Download dataset from a specific user.
  download       Download data files from a specific competition.
  help           print detailed help for another command
  submissions    List recent submissions.
  submit         Submit an entry to a specific competition.

Downloading Data

We’d use the download command to get the data for a particular competition.

usage: kg download [-h] [-c COMPETITION] [-u USERNAME] [-p PASSWORD]
                   [-f FILENAME]

Download data files from a specific competition.

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -u USERNAME, --username USERNAME
  -p PASSWORD, --password PASSWORD
  -f FILENAME, --filename FILENAME

The minimum requirements for this to work are a username, password and competition identifier. You get the latter by simply visiting the competition page on Kaggle and grabbing the last part of the URL.

So, for instance, to get the data for the recently closed Instacart Market Basket Analysis you do something like this:

kg download -u '' -p '6%puZ$9_' -c 'instacart-market-basket-analysis'

You can use the -f switch to grab just a single data file.

Other Capabilities

You can also use kg to make and list submissions.



Installation is similarly trivial.

sudo pip3 install kaggle


You’ll need to create a Kaggle API token. Go to the Account tab of your user profile on Kaggle and click the “Create New API Token” button. This will automatically download a JSON file, which you should move to ~/.kaggle/kaggle.json. You might want to ensure that only your user has access to this file.

At this stage you are ready to use the kaggle shell command.

usage: kaggle [-h] [-v] {competitions,c,datasets,d,kernels,k,config} ...

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -v, --version         show program's version number and exit

                        Use one of:
                        competitions {list, files, download, submit, submissions, leaderboard}
                        datasets {list, files, download, create, version, init, metadata, status}
                        config {view, set, unset}
    competitions (c)    Commands related to Kaggle competitions
    datasets (d)        Commands related to Kaggle datasets
    kernels (k)         Commands related to Kaggle kernels
    config              Configuration settings

Downloading Data

To get the data for the Instacart Market Basket Analysis:

kaggle competitions download 'instacart-market-basket-analysis'