Programmable Media

Configure the Python SDK (video tutorial)

Last updated: Apr-08-2024


Learn how to install and configure the Cloudinary Python SDK in your Python environment. This will enable you to utilize Cloudinary for uploading, managing, and displaying assets in your applications.

Video tutorial

View the code
You can find the code from this tutorial in GitHub.

Tutorial contents

This tutorial presents the following topics. Click a timestamp to jump to that part of the video.


Jump to this spot in the video  0:00 The Cloudinary Python SDK gives you a way to handle images and videos at scale, providing transformation, optimization and delivery capabilities that you can integrate seamlessly into your Python applications.

Install the Python SDK

Jump to this spot in the video  0:17 To install the Cloudinary Python SDK in your virtual environment, in a terminal run pip install cloudinary. Once Cloudinary is installed, you should see it listed as a requirement in your requirements.txt file inside your Python project.

Configure Cloudinary

Jump to this spot in the video  0:28 First, import the Cloudinary library. Then, add your Cloudinary credentials by creating a Cloudinary instance using cloudinary.config(). At minimum, you'll need to provide your cloud name to access your stored images. Find your cloud name, along with the rest of your credentials (API key, API secret, and environment variable, which is a combination of all three credentials), in the Programmable Media Dashboard. As an additional tip, include the secure=True parameter to ensure that the URLs generated by Cloudinary are HTTPS.

Retrieve an image tag from Cloudinary

Jump to this spot in the video  1:11 Now, you can start using Cloudinary. For instance, you can use the cloudinary.image method to fetch an image tag from Cloudinary and exhibit it in your application. Simply indicate the image you want to use by specifying its public ID, accessible via the Media Explorer in your Cloudinary console. (Replace <public_ID> with a public ID of an image from your product environment.)

Configuring for upload and management

Jump to this spot in the video  1:28 To upload to Cloudinary or manage your files, you'll need to import the Cloudinary cloudinary.uploader and cloudinary.api libraries. Additionally, ensure your API key and secret are added to the configuration. Save your Cloudinary API key and secret as environment variables in a .env file. Then, install and import the dotenv library to load them into your project. Use the load dotenv function to make these environment variables accessible and import the os library to handle them. Now, you can pass the API key and secret to the cloudinary.config function, creating a fully authenticated instance. (Replace the placeholders in the example below with your credentials.)


  • When writing your own applications, follow your organization's policy on storing secrets and don't expose your API secret.
  • Don't store your .env under version control for maximum security.

Simplified method

Jump to this spot in the video  2:14 Alternatively, if you copy the Cloudinary environment variable into your .env file, simply loading its contents using the load.env function is sufficient. In this case, you won't need to manually create a Cloudinary instance using the cloudinary.config function. (Replace the placeholders in the example below with your credentials.)


Using backend capabilities like upload and manage

Jump to this spot in the video  2:33 Once completed, you can leverage backend capabilities to upload and manage your Cloudinary media files from your Python app. For instance, you can utilize cloudinary.uploader.upload to upload an image either from a local file or a URL. Additionally, you can retrieve detailed information on an image by calling the Cloudinary API resource endpoint. Remember to specify the image you want by using its public ID.

Keep learning

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