pb is a lightweight pastebin (and url shortener) built using flask.


Create a new paste from the output of cmd:

cmd | curl -F c=@- http://ptpb.pw/

A HTML form is also provided for convenience paste and file-uploads from web browsers.



time in-seconds that the paste should persist before being automatically deleted


base64-encoded last 3 bytes of sha1 digest


base64-encoded sha1 digest, left-zero-padded to 21 bytes


One of:

  • a {short,long}id
  • a {short,long}id, followed by a period-delimiter and a mimetype extension
  • a 40 character sha1 hexdigest
  • a 40 character sha1 hexdigest, followed by a period-delimiter and a mimetype extension
  • a 'vanity' label
  • a 'vanity' label, followed by a period-delimiter and a mimetype extension

A mimetype extension, when specified, is first matched with a matching mimetype known to the system, then returned in the HTTP response headers.


The character '~' followed by any number of unicode characters, excluding '/' and '.'


A 'lexer' is an alias of a pygments lexer; used for syntax highlighting.


The string representation of a RFC 4122 UUID. These are used as a weak form of 'shared secret' that, if known, allow the user to modify the pastes.


A one-character handler identifier.



render: If a matching mimetype extension is provided, render reStructuredText or Markdown, respectively. Fallback to reStructuredText when no mimetype extension is provided/matched.


terminal: The provided paste ID is expected to be asciicast json v1. The output is an asciinema-player that is fed the paste content. This is used for playback of terminal recordings.


GET /<id>

Retrieves paste or url redirect.

If a paste: returns the matching paste, verbatim and unmolested.

If a url redirect: returns HTTP code 301 with the location of the redirect.

GET /<id>/<lexer>

Like the above, but decodes and applies syntax highlighting to pastes via HTML/CSS.

Line numbering and fragments are included, and can be used to link to individual lines within the paste.

GET /<id>/<lexer>/<formatter>

Like the above, but uses the specified 'formatter' (a special case of 'html' is used when not specified).

GET /<handler>/<id>

Like the above, but paste content is mangled by said handler before being returned.

POST /<handler>

Run the request body through the handler and return the mangled output in the response body--do not pass go, do not collect $200.


Creates a new paste; returns GET URL and secret UUID.

Only multipart/form-data is supported; other content types are not tested.

At least one 'name' disposition extension parameter must be present, and its value must be 'c'.

If the 'p' form parameter exists and its value evaluates to true, the paste will be a private paste where the paste can only be retrieved by knowledge of its sha1 hexdigest.

Unless the 'filename' disposition extension parameter is specified, the form data is decoded. The value of the 'filename' parameter is split by period-delimited extension, and appended to the location in the response.

If the 's' form parameter is specified, the paste will be deleted after the given amount of time has passed. Its value must be a positive integer and represents the number of seconds (after having been pasted) that the paste should survive before being automatically deleted.

POST /<vanity>

Same as above, except the paste is a 'vanity' paste, where the GET URL path is identical to the POST path.

PUT /<uuid>

Replaces the content of the paste that matches the provided UUID.

Form submission is otherwise identical to POST.

DELETE /<uuid>

Deletes the paste that matches the provided UUID.


Creates a new url redirect (short url).

The form content will be decoded, and truncated at the first newline or EOF, whichever comes first. The result of that is then returned in a HTTP 301 response with the form content in the Location header.

GET /f

Returns HTML form that can be used for in-browser paste creation and file uploads.

GET /s

Returns paste statistics; currently paste count and total size.

GET /l

Returns available lexers, newline-delimited, with space-delimited aliases.

GET /lf

Returns available formatters, newline-delimited, with space-delimited aliases.

GET /ls

Returns available styles, newline-delimited.

request format

In addition to multipart/form-data and application/x-www-form-urlencoded, paste data can be provided in the following alternative formats:


If Content-Type: application/json is present, pb will json-decode the entire request body. The c and filename keys are then evaluated if present.

response format

Where complex data structures are present in responses, the default output format is yaml. Alternative output formats are also supported:


If Accept: application/json is present, pb will provide a json representation of the complex response in the response body.


No really, how in the name of Gandalf's beard does this actually work? Show me!

creating pastes

Create a paste from the output of 'dmesg':

$ dmesg | curl -F c=@- http://ptpb.pw/
long: AGhkV6JANmmQRVssSUzFWa_0VNyq
sha1: 686457a240366990455b2c494cc559aff454dcaa
short: VNyq
url: http://ptpb.pw/VNyq
uuid: 17c5829d-81a0-4eb6-8681-ba72f83ffbf3

Or, if you only care about getting the url back:

$ dmesg | curl -F c=@- http://ptpb.pw/?u=1

updating pastes

Take that paste, and replace it with a picture of a baby skunk:

$ curl -X PUT -F c=@- http://ptpb.pw/17c5829d-81a0-4eb6-8681-ba72f83ffbf3 < baby-skunk.jpg
http://ptpb.pw/ullp updated.

using mimetypes

Append '.jpg' to hint at browsers that they should probably display a jpeg image:


deleting pastes

Actually, that picture is already on imgur; let's delete that paste and make a shorturl instead:

$ curl -X DELETE http://ptpb.pw/17c5829d-81a0-4eb6-8681-ba72f83ffbf3
http://ptpb.pw/ullp deleted.

shortening URLs

$ curl -F c=@- http://ptpb.pw/u <<< https://i.imgur.com/CT7DWCA.jpg

Well, it is shorter..

syntax highlighting

Put my latest 'hax.py' script on pb:

$ curl -F c=@- http://ptpb.pw/ < hax.py
long: AEnOPO7bF9Qyyt_WUltBlYWHs_-G
sha1: 49ce3ceedb17d432cadfd6525b41958587b3ff86
short: s_-G
url: http://ptpb.pw/2AcJ
uuid: bfd41875-dcac-4b6b-92e9-97a55d4f8d89

Now I want to syntax highlight and draw attention to one particular line:


private pastes

Perhaps we have some super sekrit thing that we don't want be be guessable by base66 id:

$ curl -F c=@- -F p=1 http://ptpb.pw/ < SEKRIT_hax.py
long: ACCzjDcun9TqySwSUjy_yRpGxWIK
sha1: 20b38c372e9fd4eac92c12523cbfc91a46c5620a
short: xWIK
url: http://ptpb.pw/ACCzjDcun9TqySwSUjy_yRpGxWIK
uuid: 876e09b5-09d4-454c-8570-b627af54abd1

vanity pastes

Witness the gloriousness:

$ curl -F c=@- http://ptpb.pw/~polyzen <<< "boats and hoes"
long: AEz1_jLk-awIvq73RxQq_n1aQ46a
sha1: 4cf5fe32e4f9ac08beaef747142afe7d5a438e9a
short: Q46a
url: http://ptpb.pw/~polyzen
uuid: ab505051-0766-41dd-85d9-e739e62de58d
$ curl http://ptpb.pw/~polyzen
boats and hoes

sunsetting pastes

Create a paste that self destructs in 2 minutes:

$ echo "This message will self-destruct in two minutes" | curl -F sunset=120 -F c=@- http://ptpb.pw/
date: 2016-03-22T17:15:50.396279+00:00
digest: 3a9c705adf9a941b175631a5e6f11eb575f067e6
long: ADqccFrfmpQbF1YxpebxHrV18Gfm
short: 8Gfm
size: 46
status: created
sunset: 2016-03-22T17:17:50.395045+00:00
url: http://ptpb.pw/8Gfm
uuid: 751f7e0b-7ce1-4b81-852b-57c5844e8d3a
$ curl http://ptpb.pw/8Gfm
This message will self-destruct in two minutes
$ sleep 2m
$ curl http://ptpb.pw/8Gfm
date: 2016-03-22T17:15:50.396000+00:00
digest: 3a9c705adf9a941b175631a5e6f11eb575f067e6
long: ADqccFrfmpQbF1YxpebxHrV18Gfm
short: 8Gfm
size: 46
status: expired
sunset: 2016-03-22T17:17:50.395000+00:00
url: http://ptpb.pw/8Gfm

terminal recording

Create and upload a recording using asciinema:

$ asciinema rec term.json
~ Asciicast recording started.
~ Hit Ctrl-D or type "exit" to finish.
$ echo tralalalala
$ exit
~ Asciicast recording finished.
$ curl -F c=@term.json http://ptpb.pw/
digest: f9704e9ae63bb5f5aad145a871f260557673d185
long: APlwTprmO7X1qtFFqHHyYFV2c9GF
short: c9GF
status: created
url: http://ptpb.pw/c9GF
uuid: 9dffb318-04f5-437c-9899-6e7c7eed04af

Then watch the playback with the t handler (http://ptpb.pw/t/c9GF in this case).



This feature is considered highly experimental, and its API/semantics changed in subtle but signtificant ways in the future

First you'll need a DNS name that points to the pb instance you want to use namespaces with.

Start by creating a new namespace:

$ curl -X POST http://ptpb.pw/n/buh.io
name: buh.io
status: created
uuid: 326117ad-2969-4a0a-a3d7-04eef09127ab

With the namespace uuid, you can modify any paste in that namespace. Namespace pastes are a little different in that they are always referenced by label; while sids and uuids exist internally, no route can access namespace'ed pastes that way.

You authorized yourself via the X-Namespace-Auth header:

$ auth=326117ad-2969-4a0a-a3d7-04eef09127ab
$ curl -H "X-Namespace-Auth: $auth" -F c=@- https://buh.io/foo <<< loltrain
date: 2016-01-17 02:52:29.179089
digest: 7bcbab9cb9dbf26c5cdbf02e1f67f93fdb6237ea
label: foo
namespace: buh.io
status: created
url: http://buh.io/foo
uuid: 5f9dc40c-35df-4298-977c-6baeeb56bed1

You'll notice we access the namespace via its DNS name instead of the 'real' pb domain name. This is what internally allows you to use the special namespace labels, which have relaxed restrictions: they can be any length (including zero-length), and don't need to start with a tilde.

DELETE and PUT work as usual, except you reference the paste via namespace+label instead of uuid.

shell functions

Like it? Here's some convenience shell functions:

pb () {
  curl -F "c=@${1:--}" http://ptpb.pw/

This uploads paste content stdin unless an argument is provided, otherwise uploading the specified file.

Now just:

$ command | pb
$ pb filename

A slightly more elaborate variant:

pbx () {
  curl -sF "c=@${1:--}" -w "%{redirect_url}" 'http://ptpb.pw/?r=1' -o /dev/stderr | xsel -l /dev/null -b

This uses xsel to set the CLIPBOARD selection with the url of the uploaded paste for immediate regurgitation elsewhere.

How about uploading a screenshot then throwing the URL in your clipboard?

pbs () {
  gm import -window ${1:-root} /tmp/$$.png
  pbx /tmp/$$.png

Now you can:

$ pbs
$ pbs 0

The second command would allow you to select an individual window while the first uses the root window.

Perhaps we'd like to do the terminal recording with a single command.

pbs () {
  asciinema rec /tmp/$$.json
  pbx /tmp/$$.json

View the recording by prepending a t/ to the paste id.

native clients

There are some native clients for interacting with pb, below are the ones we know of: