API, URLs and access identifiers


Cloudinary stores and manages your web resources. We provide a secure API for uploading and managing your resources. We also provide a URL-based protocol for downloading and transforming your images and other web resources.

In order to use Cloudinary services, unique names and identifiers are assigned to each customer of Cloudinary. Read further in this chapter to understand the concepts and usage of identifiers assigned to your account.

Cloud name

You are assigned a unique name of your cloud at Cloudinary. For example, our demo account has the name 'demo' as its cloud name. The cloud name is assigned to your account during setup and should usually not be changed (except for some special technical scenarios).

This name is mainly used for defining mapping between public URLs and your resources that are stored internally on Cloudinary.

You can find your cloud name in the Account Details section in the dashboard of Cloudinary Management Console.

While accessing Cloudinary from your system, you need to configure this parameter. For example, if you’re using our Ruby GEM, simply have the following content in your cloudinary.yml file (under ‘config/’ in Rails):

  cloud_name: "demo"
  cloud_name: "demo"

Base URLs

The base URL for accessing the secure API of Cloudinary is:

For example, if your cloud name is 'demo', the base API URL will be:

In addition, based on your cloud name, you can access your public web resources using dynamic URLs. You can access them either in plain HTTP or secure HTTPS.

The full URLs of resources (e.g., images) include various parts including the name of the resource, its version and transformation settings. However, all such URLs share the same base URLs: one for HTTP and one for HTTPS.

You can view your base URLs and some sample URLs in the Account Details section in the Management Console.

For example, if your cloud name is 'demo', the base URLs will be:

Building full URLs for accessing your resources is done automatically for you if you are using our client-library. However, you can also build such URLs manually by yourself.

For example, if your cloud name is 'demo' and you want to access the uploaded 'sample.jpg' file, simply point to:

This means that in your HTML code you can simple add the following:

<img src="http://res.cloudinary.com/demo/image/upload/sample.jpg" 
     width="636" height="424"/>

For more details about URLs of resources, read further in our documentation.

Access identifiers

Accessing Cloudinary API for uploading and managing resources requires secure authentication. We use a standard method for signing API request parameters with your unique secret.

Account Details Sample

Cloudinary auto-generates for you a pair of keys: the API Key and API Secret. They are displayed in the Management Console’s dashboard. You need to use them for communicating with Cloudinary API and signing your requests.

If you use our client-side libraries, the requests are automatically securely signed for you with the pair of key and secret you configured. For example, if you are using our Ruby GEM, your cloudinary.yml file should include the following:

  api_key: "YOUR_KEY"
  api_secret: "YOUR_SECRET"