XGet Manual

Quick Index

1 Introduction

xget is a command-line tool written in Python that downloads images from an XNAT server. It is more convenient that the REST API because it allows the user to place more granular constraints on what images they would like to download. It uses the pyxnat library to interact with the XNAT server.

2 System Requirements

Python >= 2.6 Linux/Windows

3 Download

The source is located in a Bitbucket repository at : http://bitbucket.org/deech/xget-public.

To get it, install Mercurial and run:

hg clone http://bitbucket.org/deech/xget-public


4 Installation

Install the packages listed under the "Prerequisites" section of http://packages.python.org/pyxnat/installing.html. There is no need to install pyxnat-httplib2 or pyxnat itself.

5 Command-Line Flags

Flag Description
-h Print a help message
-u username, see Authentication + Host Name
-p password, see Authentication + Host Name
-host hostname, see Authentication + Host Name
-passfile passfile path, see Authentication + Host Name
-s Session id/label(s) of desired session(s).See Sessions.
-proj Retrieves only sessions in this project. See Project.
-start Retrieve experiments created on and AFTER this date. Uses DAYMONTHYEAR format eg. 01012011 is January, 1st 2010.
-end Retrieve experiments created on and BEFORE thisdate. Uses DAYMONTHYEAR format eg. 01012011 isJanuary, 1st 2010.
-acq Retrieves scan(s) of the specified type ordescription. See Scans.
-q Quality of scans. Defaults to ALL. See Scans.
-ass Retrieve assessors for the specified sessions. See Assessors.
-recon Retrieve reconstructions for the specified sessions.See Reconstructions.
-format Image format, defaults to DICOM
-o Output directory. See Output Directory
-z Extract the downloaded zips. Defaults to FALSE. True if this flag is present. See Downloaded Files.
-overwrite If present overwrite an existing zip file, defaults to false. See Downloaded Files.
-longname Capture more constraints in the name of the downloaded ZIP archive. See Downloaded Files.

6 Authentication + Host Name

You may specify your username, password and hostname:

  • On the command-line:
    ./xget -u admin -p admin -host http://localhost:8080/xnat
  • In an XNAT pass file. If any of the hostname, username or password are missing from the command-line, xget will look in this file to fill in the information. The XNAT pass file is usually stored at the root of the user's home directory and called .xnatPass (~/.xnatPass). The format for entries in the xnat is:

    where "username" is your XNAT username, "password" is your XNAT password and "www.xnathost.org" is your XNAT's host name.

    An example XNAT pass file might look like this:


    If the pass file is stored elsewhere that path must be specified on the command-line:

    ./xget -passfile /path/to/passfile

7 Specifying Sessions

xget understand both the session label and the session id. A session or a list of session can be specified either:

  • On the command line, for example:
    ./xget ... -s xnat_E0001,xnat_E0002,sess_1

    Note that you can mix session labels with ids. Above we have told xget that we are interested in the sessions with ids "xnat_E0001, xnat_E0002" and label "sess_1".

  • And/or in a file where each line a list of sessions, for example the following is equivalent to the command-line argument above:

8 Specifying The Output Directory

The output directory is the directory into which files are downloaded, for example:

./xget -o tmp

will download images (or zip files) into a "tmp" folder in the current directory.

NOTE: xget expects this directory to exist and the user running it to have write permissions to it.

9 Downloaded Files

By default image files are downloaded as ZIP archives and placed in the directory specified on the command-line, and have a default name of:


For example if xget is told to download all images in the session "sess_1" into the "/tmp" directory once downloading is complete the following 3 files will be available:

/tmp/sess_1_acq.zip   -- the scans associated with sess_1
/tmp/sess_1_ass.zip   -- the assessors associated with sess_1
/tmp/sess_1_recon.zip -- the reconstructions associated with sess_1

It is also possible to tell xget to name the zip files so that more download constraints are captured. The filename format will now look like the following:


For example,

./xget ... -s sess_1 -proj proj_3 -longname ...

tells xget to download all the files from the "sess_1" experiment which is in the project "proj_3". After downloading the following three ZIP files will be available:

/tmp/p_proj_3_sess_sess_1_acq_ALL_q_ALL_f_DICOM.zip    -- the scans
/tmp/p_proj_3_sess_sess_1_ass_ALL_q_ALL_f_DICOM.zip    -- the assessors
/tmp/p_proj_3_sess_sess_1_recon_ALL_q_ALL_f_DICOM.zip  -- the recons

If the "-z" flag is set, the ZIP archives are downloaded to the output directory ,extracted and then deleted.

By default if a zip file exists it is not downloaded again. Setting the "-overwrite" flag overrides this behavior and replaces the existing ZIP archive on your filesystem.

NOTE: Currently the "-overwrite" flag only uses the zip file name to determine if it already exists. If for example a ZIP archive is downloaded using some set of constraints and the "-longname" flag, and then another is downloaded using the same set of constraints but without the flag, it will be downloaded again even though the files within the ZIP archive are probably the same.

10 Adding Constraints

10.1 Scans

Constraints on what scans to download are specified using the "-acq" flag, which can take a comma-separated list of scan id's and scan descriptions. For example:

./xget ... -s sess_1 -acq 1,TSE,"PIB 336mtx" ...

will download scans from "sess_1" where the scan id is "1", the scan description is "TSE" or the scan description is "PIB 336mtx". It will also download all the assessors and reconstructions. Note that scan descriptions with spaces must be quoted.

Setting the "-quality" flag will only download scans of the specified quality. For example,

./xget ... -s sess_1 -acq 1,TSE,"PIB 336mtx" -quality usable ...

will only download scans with the specified scan ids and descriptions but only if they are marked "usable".

10.2 Assessors

Specifying which assessors is similar to downloading scans, except that the command-line flag is "-ass".

10.3 Reconstructions

Specifying which assessors is similar to downloading scans, except that the command-line flag is "-recon".

10.4 Project

If a project is specified on the command-line xget will only look for sessions within that project, for example:

./xget ... -proj proj_1 ...

10.5 Format

Setting the "-format" flag will constrain download to images of that type. It currently defaults to "DICOM".

11 XML Field Mapping

xget download constraints are directly mapped to fields and attributes in that sessions' XML. The mappings are as follows:

Resource Attribute XPath
Session Project /@project
  ID /@ID
  Label /@label
  Date /date
Scan ID /scans/scan/@ID
  Quality /scans/quality
  Format /scans/scan/file/@format
Assessor ID /assessors/assessor/@ID
  files /assessors/assessor/out
  type /assessors/assessor/type
Reconstructions ID /reconstructions/reconstructedImage/@ID
  files /reconstructions/reconstructedImage/out
  type /reconstructions/reconstructedImage/type

12 Future Enhancements

  • The ability to specify the subject as a constraint
  • The ability to download all sessions in a project. For now a (list of) session(s) is mandatory.

Author: Aditya Siram