To any Drupal 7 gurus out there... I have hundreds of PDFs that need to be uploaded to users as their own private attachment. I've created the PDFs in the folder:-

../website-files/userfiles-{uid}/filename.pdf (There's one for each uid)

My field_data_field_attachments table has the "field_attachments_fid" column with the id relating to the file_managed table.

This is all pretty self explanatory, until... I find the file_managed table has two mysterious columns:-


Both seem to be MD5 checksums, e.g:-


So my question is; how do I correctly generate these two values for each attachment I import to the DB?

Thanks, Darren

  • 1
    Those should be indexes, not fields...one for primary key (pk) and a unique index for the uri field (unique_uri)
    – Clive
    Nov 20, 2012 at 17:16
  • Thanks Clive - So they should be generated automatically by SQL when I import the data?
    – Darren
    Nov 20, 2012 at 18:18
  • I would guess so, where exactly are you seeing these extra fields? Is it an SQL dump file?
    – Clive
    Nov 20, 2012 at 18:22
  • Yeah, It's a SQL dump where I see the two keys. The __unique_uri field is generated by SQL, but the __pk value must be generated in PHP. I've tried an MD5 of the URI but not sure if that's correct.
    – Darren
    Nov 20, 2012 at 19:15

2 Answers 2


You want to try and use the drupal api to move these files into drupal. Since you talk about private files, I assume you've enabled a private filesystem ... or else this discussion is pointless as all your files with be public :).

Once you've done that you could take your hundreds of files and put them in your server someplace and use file_move to place them into the drupal private filesystem using a small php script.

A module tutorial with a private file upload widget can be seen at this blog post and uses the drupal api to store a private file. Private files typically use hook_file_download which that blog post also shows to allow access to the file.

  • Yeah I got private files enabled :) Ah - So there's no way for me to easily generate the keys so I simply import the data at the SQL level? EDIT just seen Clive's comment above - these two values should hopefully be generated automatically when I import the rest of the table data...
    – Darren
    Nov 20, 2012 at 18:15

OK, I've given up trying to do it in raw SQL due to the intricate referential integrity of the Drupal datamodel (OK, I admit defeat!! :)

The following code bootstraps drupal, then moves files from an input directory to the private-files folder on the local drive and uses the Drupal file_save() API to create the Drupal file registers, then updates the user profile custom field (in my case called "field_attachments").

hope it helps anyone trying to do the same. (I created a standalone PHP file called "importuserfiles.php" in the root of the drupal folder using the code below)

define('DRUPAL_ROOT', getcwd());
$_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'] = "localhost"; // Necessary if running from command line
require_once DRUPAL_ROOT . '/includes/bootstrap.inc';

$local_from_path = 'c:\\inputfiles'; // root folder of your input folders.
$drupal_private_base = 'c:\\website-files'; // root location of Drupal's private website files.

$di = new RecursiveDirectoryIterator($local_from_path); 
foreach (new RecursiveIteratorIterator($di) as $filename => $file) {

    $user_id = explode('-', $di);   // the userid is held in the folder name (userfiles-uid) 
    $uid = $user_id[1];             // so pull the second value from the array (after userfiles-)

    echo $filename . ' - ' . $file->getSize() . ' bytes. Attaching to user: ' . $uid . '<br/>';

    $local_to_path = $drupal_private_base . '\\userfiles-' . $uid . '\\' . basename($filename); // the destination folder on the local file system for this user.

    $drupal_to_path = "private://userfiles-" . $uid.'/'.basename($filename); // the private files folder URI for this user.

    echo "Moving file: " . $filename . " To: " . $local_to_path . '</br>';

    mkdir($drupal_private_base . '\\userfiles-' . $uid); // make the destination folder in case it doesn't exist.

    //move the file to the new location
    if (!rename($filename, $local_to_path)) {
    echo "failed to move $file.. </br>";

    $user = user_load($uid); // load the user object

// create the file object for Drupal...
$filetosave = new stdClass();
$filetosave->filename = basename($filename);
$filetosave->filepath = $filename;
$filetosave->uri = $drupal_to_path;
$filetosave->filemime = file_get_mimetype($filename);
$filetosave->filesize = filesize($filename);
$filetosave->display = 1;
$filetosave->description = basename($filename); // just use the filename as the description
$filetosave->uid = $uid; 
$filetosave->status = FILE_STATUS_PERMANENT;
file_save($filetosave);  // save the file so Drupal registers it.

$user->field_attachments['und'][] = (array)$filetosave; // add the file to the file field called "field_attachments"

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