Laravel 5.5 File Storage


Laravel provides a powerful filesystem abstraction thanks to the wonderful Flysystem PHP package by Frank de Jonge. The Laravel Flysystem integration provides simple to use drivers for working with local filesystems, Amazon S3, and Rackspace Cloud Storage. Even better, it's amazingly simple to switch between these storage options as the API remains the same for each system.


The filesystem configuration file is located at config/filesystems.php. Within this file you may configure all of your "disks". Each disk represents a particular storage driver and storage location. Example configurations for each supported driver are included in the configuration file. So, modify the configuration to reflect your storage preferences and credentials.

Of course, you may configure as many disks as you like, and may even have multiple disks that use the same driver.

The Public Disk

The public disk is intended for files that are going to be publicly accessible. By default, the public disk uses the local driver and stores these files in storage/app/public. To make them accessible from the web, you should create a symbolic link from public/storage to storage/app/public. This convention will keep your publicly accessible files in one directory that can be easily shared across deployments when using zero down-time deployment systems like Envoyer.

To create the symbolic link, you may use the storage:link Artisan command:

php artisan storage:link

Of course, once a file has been stored and the symbolic link has been created, you can create a URL to the files using the asset helper:

echo asset('storage/file.txt');

The Local Driver

When using the local driver, all file operations are relative to the root directory defined in your configuration file. By default, this value is set to the storage/app directory. Therefore, the following method would store a file in storage/app/file.txt:

Storage::disk('local')->put('file.txt', 'Contents');

Driver Prerequisites

Composer Packages

Before using the S3 or Rackspace drivers, you will need to install the appropriate package via Composer:

  • Amazon S3: league/flysystem-aws-s3-v3 ~1.0
  • Rackspace: league/flysystem-rackspace ~1.0

S3 Driver Configuration

The S3 driver configuration information is located in your config/filesystems.php configuration file. This file contains an example configuration array for an S3 driver. You are free to modify this array with your own S3 configuration and credentials. For convenience, these environment variables match the naming convention used by the AWS CLI.

FTP Driver Configuration

Laravel's Flysystem integrations works great with FTP; however, a sample configuration is not included with the framework's default filesystems.php configuration file. If you need to configure a FTP filesystem, you may use the example configuration below:

'ftp' => [
    'driver'   => 'ftp',
    'host'     => '',
    'username' => 'your-username',
    'password' => 'your-password',

    // Optional FTP Settings...
    // 'port'     => 21,
    // 'root'     => '',
    // 'passive'  => true,
    // 'ssl'      => true,
    // 'timeout'  => 30,

Rackspace Driver Configuration

Laravel's Flysystem integrations works great with Rackspace; however, a sample configuration is not included with the framework's default filesystems.php configuration file. If you need to configure a Rackspace filesystem, you may use the example configuration below:

'rackspace' => [
    'driver'    => 'rackspace',
    'username'  => 'your-username',
    'key'       => 'your-key',
    'container' => 'your-container',
    'endpoint'  => '',
    'region'    => 'IAD',
    'url_type'  => 'publicURL',

Obtaining Disk Instances

The Storage facade may be used to interact with any of your configured disks. For example, you may use the put method on the facade to store an avatar on the default disk. If you call methods on the Storage facade without first calling the disk method, the method call will automatically be passed to the default disk:

use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Storage;

Storage::put('avatars/1', $fileContents);

If your applications interacts with multiple disks, you may use the disk method on the Storage facade to work with files on a particular disk:

Storage::disk('s3')->put('avatars/1', $fileContents);

Retrieving Files

The get method may be used to retrieve the contents of a file. The raw string contents of the file will be returned by the method. Remember, all file paths should be specified relative to the "root" location configured for the disk:

$contents = Storage::get('file.jpg');

The exists method may be used to determine if a file exists on the disk:

$exists = Storage::disk('s3')->exists('file.jpg');

File URLs

You may use the url method to get the URL for the given file. If you are using the local driver, this will typically just prepend /storage to the given path and return a relative URL to the file. If you are using the s3 or rackspace driver, the fully qualified remote URL will be returned:

use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Storage;

$url = Storage::url('file1.jpg');

Note: note Remember, if you are using the local driver, all files that should be publicly accessible should be placed in the storage/app/public directory. Furthermore, you should create a symbolic link at public/storage which points to the storage/app/public directory.

Temporary URLs

For files stored using the s3 or rackspace driver, you may create a temporary URL to a given file using the temporaryUrl method. This methods accepts a path and a DateTime instance specifying when the URL should expire:

$url = Storage::temporaryUrl(
    'file1.jpg', now()->addMinutes(5)

Local URL Host Customization

If you would like to pre-define the host for files stored on a disk using the local driver, you may add a url option to the disk's configuration array:

'public' => [
    'driver' => 'local',
    'root' => storage_path('app/public'),
    'url' => env('APP_URL').'/storage',
    'visibility' => 'public',

File Metadata

In addition to reading and writing files, Laravel can also provide information about the files themselves. For example, the size method may be used to get the size of the file in bytes:

use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Storage;

$size = Storage::size('file1.jpg');

The lastModified method returns the UNIX timestamp of the last time the file was modified:

$time = Storage::lastModified('file1.jpg');

Storing Files

The put method may be used to store raw file contents on a disk. You may also pass a PHP resource to the put method, which will use Flysystem's underlying stream support. Using streams is greatly recommended when dealing with large files:

use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Storage;

Storage::put('file.jpg', $contents);

Storage::put('file.jpg', $resource);

Automatic Streaming

If you would like Laravel to automatically manage streaming a given file to your storage location, you may use the putFile or putFileAs method. This method accepts either a Illuminate\Http\File or Illuminate\Http\UploadedFile instance and will automatically stream the file to your desired location:

use Illuminate\Http\File;
use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Storage;

// Automatically generate a unique ID for file name...
Storage::putFile('photos', new File('/path/to/photo'));

// Manually specify a file name...
Storage::putFileAs('photos', new File('/path/to/photo'), 'photo.jpg');

There are a few important things to note about the putFile method. Note that we only specified a directory name, not a file name. By default, the putFile method will generate a unique ID to serve as the file name. The path to the file will be returned by the putFile method so you can store the path, including the generated file name, in your database.

The putFile and putFileAs methods also accept an argument to specify the "visibility" of the stored file. This is particularly useful if you are storing the file on a cloud disk such as S3 and would like the file to be publicly accessible:

Storage::putFile('photos', new File('/path/to/photo'), 'public');

Prepending & Appending To Files

The prepend and append methods allow you to write to the beginning or end of a file:

Storage::prepend('file.log', 'Prepended Text');

Storage::append('file.log', 'Appended Text');

Copying & Moving Files

The copy method may be used to copy an existing file to a new location on the disk, while the move method may be used to rename or move an existing file to a new location:

Storage::copy('old/file1.jpg', 'new/file1.jpg');

Storage::move('old/file1.jpg', 'new/file1.jpg');

File Uploads

In web applications, one of the most common use-cases for storing files is storing user uploaded files such as profile pictures, photos, and documents. Laravel makes it very easy to store uploaded files using the store method on an uploaded file instance. Call the store method with the path at which you wish to store the uploaded file:


namespace App\Http\Controllers;

use Illuminate\Http\Request;
use App\Http\Controllers\Controller;

class UserAvatarController extends Controller
     * Update the avatar for the user.
     * @param  Request  $request
     * @return Response
    public function update(Request $request)
        $path = $request->file('avatar')->store('avatars');

        return $path;

There are a few important things to note about this example. Note that we only specified a directory name, not a file name. By default, the store method will generate a unique ID to serve as the file name. The path to the file will be returned by the store method so you can store the path, including the generated file name, in your database.

You may also call the putFile method on the Storage facade to perform the same file manipulation as the example above:

$path = Storage::putFile('avatars', $request->file('avatar'));

Specifying A File Name

If you would not like a file name to be automatically assigned to your stored file, you may use the storeAs method, which receives the path, the file name, and the (optional) disk as its arguments:

$path = $request->file('avatar')->storeAs(
    'avatars', $request->user()->id

Of course, you may also use the putFileAs method on the Storage facade, which will perform the same file manipulation as the example above:

$path = Storage::putFileAs(
    'avatars', $request->file('avatar'), $request->user()->id

Specifying A Disk

By default, this method will use your default disk. If you would like to specify another disk, pass the disk name as the second argument to the store method:

$path = $request->file('avatar')->store(
    'avatars/'.$request->user()->id, 's3'

File Visibility

In Laravel's Flysystem integration, "visibility" is an abstraction of file permissions across multiple platforms. Files may either be declared public or private. When a file is declared public, you are indicating that the file should generally be accessible to others. For example, when using the S3 driver, you may retrieve URLs for public files.

You can set the visibility when setting the file via the put method:

use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Storage;

Storage::put('file.jpg', $contents, 'public');

If the file has already been stored, its visibility can be retrieved and set via the getVisibility and setVisibility methods:

$visibility = Storage::getVisibility('file.jpg');

Storage::setVisibility('file.jpg', 'public')

Deleting Files

The delete method accepts a single filename or an array of files to remove from the disk:

use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Storage;


Storage::delete(['file1.jpg', 'file2.jpg']);

If necessary, you may specify the disk that the file should be deleted from:

use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Storage;



Get All Files Within A Directory

The files method returns an array of all of the files in a given directory. If you would like to retrieve a list of all files within a given directory including all sub-directories, you may use the allFiles method:

use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Storage;

$files = Storage::files($directory);

$files = Storage::allFiles($directory);

Get All Directories Within A Directory

The directories method returns an array of all the directories within a given directory. Additionally, you may use the allDirectories method to get a list of all directories within a given directory and all of its sub-directories:

$directories = Storage::directories($directory);

// Recursive...
$directories = Storage::allDirectories($directory);

Create A Directory

The makeDirectory method will create the given directory, including any needed sub-directories:


Delete A Directory

Finally, the deleteDirectory may be used to remove a directory and all of its files:


Custom Filesystems

Laravel's Flysystem integration provides drivers for several "drivers" out of the box; however, Flysystem is not limited to these and has adapters for many other storage systems. You can create a custom driver if you want to use one of these additional adapters in your Laravel application.

In order to set up the custom filesystem you will need a Flysystem adapter. Let's add a community maintained Dropbox adapter to our project:

composer require spatie/flysystem-dropbox

Next, you should create a service provider such as DropboxServiceProvider. In the provider's boot method, you may use the Storage facade's extend method to define the custom driver:


namespace App\Providers;

use Storage;
use League\Flysystem\Filesystem;
use Illuminate\Support\ServiceProvider;
use Spatie\Dropbox\Client as DropboxClient;
use Spatie\FlysystemDropbox\DropboxAdapter;

class DropboxServiceProvider extends ServiceProvider
     * Perform post-registration booting of services.
     * @return void
    public function boot()
        Storage::extend('dropbox', function ($app, $config) {
            $client = new DropboxClient(

            return new Filesystem(new DropboxAdapter($client));

     * Register bindings in the container.
     * @return void
    public function register()

The first argument of the extend method is the name of the driver and the second is a Closure that receives the $app and $config variables. The resolver Closure must return an instance of League\Flysystem\Filesystem. The $config variable contains the values defined in config/filesystems.php for the specified disk.

Once you have created the service provider to register the extension, you may use the dropbox driver in your config/filesystems.php configuration file.



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