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How to mock Google Cloud Storage during development?


Jan 08 2022 at 23:30 GMT

I am using Google Cloud Storage to store user-generated content in my app.

However, when developing my app locally, I do not want to use my production Google Cloud Storage bucket.

Is there any way to mock Google Cloud Storage locally, so that uploaded files are stored on my file system and can be easily accessed on a localhost URL?

1 Answer

Mike The Programmer

Jan 09 2022 at 13:25 GMT

Setting up the mock with Docker

You can mock Google Cloud Storage with Docker by using the fsouza/fake-gcs-server Docker image.

Here's how you can run it locally using docker run:

docker run -d -p 5050:4443 -v storage_data:/storage fsouza/fake-gcs-server -scheme http

Or if you prefer docker-compose:

version: '3.9'

    image: fsouza/fake-gcs-server
      - '5050:4443'
    command: -scheme http
      - storage_data:/storage

Note that I specified -scheme http so that the service can be accessed using http instead of https to not deal with TLS certificate issues.

Additionally, in order to persist uploaded files across container restarts, I specified the volume storage_data mapping to the container's /storage directory.

Once you have the service running locally, it will be accessible on localhost on the specified port, in our example we chose 5050.

Configuring the client

You can instruct the Google Cloud Storage client to use the http://localhost:5050 API endpoint when in development.

The specific code to configure the client depends on the programming language that you're using.

So, if you're using the @google-cloud/storage client for NodeJS, you would do the following when in development:

const Storage = require('@google-cloud/storage');

const storage = new Storage({ apiEndpoint: 'http://localhost:5050' });

It might be handy to have a getStorage function that returns the storage configured based on the environment:

function getStorage() {
  if (inDevelopment) {
    return new Storage({ apiEndpoint: 'http://localhost:5050' });
  } else {
    return new Storage();

Creating a bucket

In order to have a bucket in the mock Google Cloud Storage, you need to manually create it.

Assuming that the bucket name is stored in the GOOGLE_CLOUD_STORAGE_BUCKET_NAME environment variable, you can create it if it doesn't exist already using the following initBucket function:

async function initBucket() {
  if (inDevelopment) {
    const bucketName = process.env.GOOGLE_CLOUD_STORAGE_BUCKET_NAME;
    const storage = getStorage();

    const [buckets] = await storage.getBuckets();

    const foundBucket = buckets.find(({ name }) => name === bucketName);

    if (foundBucket) {
      console.log(`Bucket "${bucketName}" found!`);


    await storage.createBucket(bucketName);

    console.log(`Bucket "${bucketName}" created!`);

You can call this function inside of a script that runs before you start your dev server so that you know that the bucket exists when your dev server starts.

Accessing uploaded objects

Let's say you have a bucket named and you upload a file named image.jpg, you can access it using the following URL:


Notice that ?alt=media at the end. Without it, you would get a JSON payload with the info about that file instead of the actual file.

Also, you you can access a JSON with info about all the uploaded files using the following URL:


Since the file URLs differ between development and production, it might be handy to have a getFileUrl helper function:

const bucketName = process.env.GOOGLE_CLOUD_STORAGE_BUCKET_NAME;

function getFileUrl(fileName: string) {
  if (inDevelopment) {
    return `http://localhost:5050/storage/v1/b/${bucketName}/o/${fileName}?alt=media`;
  } else {
    return `${fileName}`;
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