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Bucket Versioning

With S3 compatible Object Storage you can use versioning. This enables to keep multiple versions of an object. So that if you upload a object / file with the same name the S3 Object Storage system will store a version from the previous contents. This version will be also stored in the bucket and will not be directly visible.

This How-To shows how to enable it via aws cli tool and how to list and retrieve older versions of files. Of course disabling it will also be shown.

Please keep in mind that this feature is not enabled for a specific file but for an entire bucket.

Enable Bucket Versioning

In order to enable Bucket Versioning please exectute e.g. the following:

aws --profile eu2 --region default --endpoint-url s3api put-bucket-versioning --bucket bucket-with-versioning --versioning-configuration Status=Enabled

List and Retrieve old Versions

Check Versioning State

aws --profile eu2 --region default --endpoint-url s3api get-bucket-versioning --bucket bucket-with-versioning

If result is empty, then versioning is disabled.

List versioned objects

For all objects simply invoke:

aws --profile eu2 --region default --endpoint-url s3api list-object-versions --bucket bucket-with-versioning

For a specific file / object, in this case image003.png for example:

aws --profile eu2 --region default --endpoint-url s3api list-object-versions --bucket bucket-with-versioning --prefix image003.png

Sample output would be:

"Versions": [
"ETag": "\"8f92d5c306c850b5081eab5c6090a0ea\"",
"Size": 470117,
"StorageClass": "STANDARD",
"Key": "image003.png",
"VersionId": "qhV3FW5iRSu1i1d2ahPerBUe5CLLRKS",
"IsLatest": true,
"LastModified": "2022-04-05T12:24:29.707000+00:00",
"Owner": {
"DisplayName": "12345",
"ID": "5c37e60c3ee04f1eb116c436b1afadca$12345"
"ETag": "\"13785d0138c0ce23b6104743684e96dc\"",
"Size": 457745,
"StorageClass": "STANDARD",
"Key": "image003.png",
"VersionId": "L-6oXdYnuAF1orfDEAHV3mDIliEoB9.",
"IsLatest": false,
"LastModified": "2022-04-05T12:23:45.488000+00:00",
"Owner": {
"DisplayName": "12345",
"ID": "5c37e60c3ee04f1eb116c436b1afadca$12345"

The current version which is also returned in regular file listings is the one where IsLatest is true.

Get a specific version

In order to access and older version of the file image003.png please use the VersionId from the output above:

aws --profile eu2 --region default --endpoint-url s3api get-object --bucket bucket-with-versioning --version-id 'L-6oXdYnuAF1orfDEAHV3mDIliEoB9.' --key image003.png image003.png

Disable Bucket Versioning

To disable or suspend the Bucket Versioning please proceed as follows:

aws --profile eu2 --region default --endpoint-url s3api put-bucket-versioning --bucket bucket-with-versioning --versioning-configuration Status=Suspended

Please note that old versions won't be deleted if you turn off Bucket Versioning. No new versions will be created, that's all.


Tools like Cyberduck are making these tasks very easy. Just do a Info on a bucket and check Bucket Versioning. Please also enable via View -> Show Hidden Files the display of all versions.