Getting Started with Python

If you haven’t set up a Riak Node and started it, please visit Running A Cluster first.

To try this flavor of Riak, a working installation of Python is required, with Python 2.7 preferred. One of the Python package managers, e.g. setuptools or pip, is also required to install the client package.

You may install setuptools on OS X through MacPorts by running sudo port install py-distribute. setuptools and pip are included in the Homebrew formula for Python on OS X as well. Just run brew install python.


First, you must install some packages needed by the Riak Python client:

  • python-dev - Header files and a static library for Python
  • libffi-dev - Foreign function interface library
  • libssl-dev - libssl and libcrypto development libraries

Ubuntu (12.04 & 14.04)

sudo apt-get install python-dev libffi-dev libssl-dev

Client Setup

The easiest way to install the client is with easy_install or pip. Either of the commands below will ensure that the client and all its dependencies are installed and on the load path. Depending on where your Python libraries are held, these may require sudo.

easy_install riak
pip install riak

To install from source, download the latest Python client from GitHub (zip, GitHub repository), and extract it to your working directory.

Now, let’s build the client.

python install

Connecting to Riak

Now, let’s start the Python REPL and get set up. Enter the following into the Python REPL:

import riak

If you are using a single local Riak node, use the following to create a new client instance:

myClient = riak.RiakClient(pb_port=8087, protocol='pbc')

# Because the Python client uses the Protocol Buffers interface by
# default, the following will work the same:
myClient = riak.RiakClient(pb_port=8087)

If you set up a local Riak cluster using the [[five-minute install]] method, use this code snippet instead:

myClient = riak.RiakClient(pb_port=10017, protocol='pbc')

We are now ready to start interacting with Riak.

Next Steps

CRUD Operations