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How to Generate URL for Amazon S3 files?

To be able to share files with your friends, you need some way to make it available publicly or if you do not want to make the file publicly readable, you can generate a signed URL for it. Bucket Explorer’s “ Generate Web URL ” option helps you in this regard. Bucket Explorer allows you to generate the following four types of URL Formats :

Click here to know the steps for generating web URL.

Bucket Explorer is now ready to generate URLs for the following types of Domain name .
  • Amazon S3 Bucket: Bucket created on Amazon S3. i.e.
  • CloudFront Distribution Domain: Distribution created on Amazon S3 Bucket for CloudFront. i.e.
  • CloudFront CNAME: Associated CNAME with CloudFront Distribution. i.e.
  • S3 Website: S3 Bucket set as S3 Website. i.e. for US bucket location.
  • CustomDomain: Any other domain used for virtual hosting.

URL Protocol Types (Unsecured and Secured)
  • Http   - Unsecured URL
  • Https   - Secured and trusted URL

URL Formats

1. ˆ Http URL: It is the most common and popular format of URL. If you attempt to access the URL that has expired, you will only find some error message. You can still keep that file in your S3 account and don’t have to remove it in order to remove access for others. Click on ‘HTTP URL’ radio button to get the http :// format.

2. ˆ Https URL: It is also an http URL but works over secure socket layer. In other words, https works over secure mechanism. It is useful when user wants secure communication of response/request between client servers. Generally, it is used with commercial exchange of data. To generate https URL, you need to click on 'HTTPS URL' radio button to get the https :// format.

3. ˆ Default URL: This type of URL is used to generate simple URL of the selected domain name with http/https protocols.

URL Format: http://<domainname>/objectname
i.e. If you select cloudfront domain, then your URL will be http(s)://

4. ˆ Use Bucket Name as Virtual Host: Using this option, Bucket Explorer replaces with bucket name and construct the URL like your host (website name) URL. Make sure the bucket name is the same as the host name (e.g. After generating Virtual Host URL, you should use CNAME entry; otherwise, URL will not work.

URL Format: URL Format: http://<domainname>/objectname (excluded "" from Bucket Name)
i.e. http://mybucket/myobject.ext - Here, mybucket and myobject.ext are represented via bucket name and file name with extension.

5. ˆ Torrent URL: 'Torrent URL' generates a URL that is in the form of Bit Torrent file. Using this URL, object can be downloaded with a Bit Torrent client application. Since this application fetches data from various sources, it saves both time and bandwidth usage. It also eliminates the dependency from the particular host. To generate torrent URL, you need to click on "Torrent URL" button and you will get the URL(s) with "?torrent" suffix.

URL Format: http://<domainname>/objectname?torrent
i.e. ? torrent

6. ˆ Signed URL: 'Signed URL' is the URL which is valid for a specific period of time. That's why, it is also known as "Time Limited Signed URL". Using Bucket Explorer, you can set a fixed expiration time for a URL. Upon expiry, the URL will no longer remain active and if you attempt to access the URL once it has expired, you will only find some error message. You can still keep the file in your S3 account and you don’t have to remove it from S3 account in order to remove access for others.

The very purpose of signed URL is to share the pages that have time sensitive information or when you want to share a file with someone without making it available to everyone on the net. Such information becomes stale once a definite time passes out.

URL Format: http://<domainname>/objectname ?AWSAccessKeyId =<accesskey>& Expires =<expire time>& Signature =<signature string>
i.e. AWSAccessKeyId =ALSECKCKDKMKC5GUSNFA& Expires =1301234062& Signature =ssmu34aCsECO8%2F6vHDdf9u0TCcU%3D

To create signed URL, simply follow the steps below :

  1. Right click on an object and choose 'Generate Web URL' or you can choose objects and click on "Web Url" button exist at object toolbar.
  2. Choose "Signed Url" option from left panel.
  3. Choose date-time from date time picker situated at end of date text field. As you choose date to generate Signed Url, the signed Urls for given time is generated.

by default opened web url panel
Figure 1
by default opened web url panel
Figure 2
by default opened web url panel
Figure 3

Steps for generating Web URL:

To generate Web URL for a particular file(s)

  1. Select the file(s) for which you want to generate web URL(s).
  2. Right click on it and choose "Generate Web URL" option.
  3. It will open 'Generate Web Urls' window.
  4. To generate different types of URL, you need to select the following options.
    • Select Domain Name from the Combo box that exists on top of the left side panel.
    • Select URL type radio option button as HTTP or HTTPS
    • Select URL Format radio option button on which format you want to form your URLs.
  • Default URL
  • Virtual Host URL
  • Torrent URL
  • Signed URL
  1. Click on Copy to copy the selected URL or Copy all to copy multiple URLs into clipboard. Copy URL allows you to copy selected URL.
  2. Click on Exit button to close the "Generate Web URL" window.
  3. Now the URLs are ready in clipboard. Use them whenever you want. i.e. You can paste these URLs into your mail to share with your friends, etc.
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Other options:

  • URLs are clickable so it will open in browser when you click on it.
  • Show Thumbnail shows small images for the image files.
  • The Copy All and Copy is used to copy all URLs into clipboard in well format.
  • The Copy URL option is used to copy selected URL into clipboard.
  • Help option provides help and detailed information about URL generation.
  • Generate URL generates URL for custom host which is entered manually in the combo. Can be used by entering CNAME entry with corresponding to the custom host domain.