datalad install


datalad install [-h] [-s SOURCE] [-d DATASET] [-g] [-D DESCRIPTION] [-r] [--recursion-limit LEVELS] [--nosave] [--reckless] [-J NJOBS] [PATH [PATH ...]]


Install a dataset from a (remote) source.

This command creates a local sibling of an existing dataset from a (remote) location identified via a URL or path. Optional recursion into potential subdatasets, and download of all referenced data is supported. The new dataset can be optionally registered in an existing superdataset by identifying it via the DATASET argument (the new dataset’s path needs to be located within the superdataset for that).

It is recommended to provide a brief description to label the dataset’s nature and location, e.g. “Michael’s music on black laptop”. This helps humans to identify data locations in distributed scenarios. By default an identifier comprised of user and machine name, plus path will be generated.

When only partial dataset content shall be obtained, it is recommended to use this command without the GET-DATA flag, followed by a get operation to obtain the desired data.

Power-user info: This command uses git clone, and git annex init to prepare the dataset. Registering to a superdataset is performed via a git submodule add operation in the discovered superdataset.



path/name of the installation target. If no PATH is provided a destination path will be derived from a source URL similar to git clone. [Default: None]

-h, –help, –help-np

show this help message. –help-np forcefully disables the use of a pager for displaying the help message

-s SOURCE, –source SOURCE

URL or local path of the installation source. Constraints: value must be a string [Default: None]

-d DATASET, –dataset DATASET

specify the dataset to perform the install operation on. If no dataset is given, an attempt is made to identify the dataset in a parent directory of the current working directory and/or the PATH given. Constraints: Value must be a Dataset or a valid identifier of a Dataset (e.g. a path) [Default: None]

-g, –get-data

if given, obtain all data content too. [Default: False]


short description to use for a dataset location. Its primary purpose is to help humans to identify a dataset copy (e.g., “mike’s dataset on lab server”). Note that when a dataset is published, this information becomes available on the remote side. Constraints: value must be a string [Default: None]

-r, –recursive

if set, recurse into potential subdataset. [Default: False]

–recursion-limit LEVELS

limit recursion into subdataset to the given number of levels. Constraints: value must be convertible to type ‘int’ [Default: None]


by default all modifications to a dataset are immediately saved. Giving this option will disable this behavior. [Default: True]


Set up the dataset to be able to obtain content in the cheapest/fastest possible way, even if this poses a potential risk the data integrity (e.g. hardlink files from a local clone of the dataset). Use with care, and limit to “read-only” use cases. With this flag the installed dataset will be marked as untrusted. [Default: False]


how many parallel jobs (where possible) to use. Constraints: value must be convertible to type ‘int’, or value must be one of (‘auto’,) [Default: ‘auto’]


datalad is developed by The DataLad Team and Contributors <>.