Downloading & reading a ZIP file in memory using Python

Problem:

You want to retrieve a ZIP file by downloading it from an URL in Python, but you don’t want to store it in a temporary file and extract it later but instead directly extract its contents in memory.

Solution:

In Python3 can use io.BytesIO together with zipfile (both are present in the standard library) to read it in memory.
The following example function provides a ready-to-use generator based approach on iterating over the files in the ZIP:

import requests
import io
import zipfile

def download_extract_zip(url):
    """
    Download a ZIP file and extract its contents in memory
    yields (filename, file-like object) pairs
    """
    response = requests.get(url)
    with zipfile.ZipFile(io.BytesIO(response.content)) as thezip:
        for zipinfo in thezip.infolist():
            with thezip.open(zipinfo) as thefile:
                yield zipinfo.filename, thefile

 

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