ArchiveBox
The open-source self-hosted web archive.

▶️ Quickstart | Demo | Github | Documentation | Background & Motivation | Changelog | Roadmap

"Your own personal internet archive" (网站存档 / 爬虫)

ArchiveBox takes a list of website URLs you want to archive, and creates a local, static, browsable HTML clone of the content from those websites (it saves HTML, JS, media files, PDFs, images and more).

You can use it to preserve access to websites you care about by storing them locally offline. ArchiveBox imports lists of URLs, renders the pages in a headless, autheticated, user-scriptable browser, and then saves archive of the content in multiple redundant common formats (HTML, PDF, PNG, WARC) that will last long after the originals disappear off the internet. It automatically extracts assets and media from pages and saves them in easily-accessible folders, with out-of-the-box support for git repositories, audio, video, subtitles, images, PDFs, and more.

How does it work?

Simply download the repo, then run the ./archive < urls command each time you want to import new links and update your archive ./output HTML folder. ArchiveBox is written in Python 3 and uses wget, Chrome headless, youtube-dl, pywb, and other common unix tools to save each page you add in multiple redundant formats.

It doesn't require a constantly running server or backend, just run the command and open the generated output/index.html in a browser to view the archive. It can import and export JSON (among other formats), so it's easy to script or hook up to other APIs. If you run it on a schedule and import from browser history or bookmarks regularly, you can sleep soundly knowing that the slice of the internet you care about will be automatically preserved in multiple, durable long-term formats that will be accessible for decades (or longer).

CLI Screenshot Desktop index screenshot Desktop details page Screenshot
Demo | Usage | Screenshots
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Quickstart

ArchiveBox has 3 main dependencies beyond python3: wget, chromium, and youtube-dl. To get started, you can install them manually using your system's package manager, use the automated helper script, or use the official Docker container. All three dependencies are optional if disabled in settings.

# 1. Install dependencies (use apt on ubuntu, brew on mac, or pkg on BSD)
apt install python3 python3-pip git curl wget youtube-dl chromium-browser

# 2. Download ArchiveBox
git clone https://github.com/pirate/ArchiveBox.git && cd ArchiveBox

# 3. Add your first links to your archive
echo 'https://example.com' | ./archive                  # pass URLs to archive via stdin

./archive https://getpocket.com/users/example/feed/all  # or import an RSS/JSON/XML/TXT feed

One you've added your first links, open output/index.html in a browser to view the archive. DEMO: archive.sweeting.me
For more information, see the full Quickstart guide, Usage, and Configuration docs.

(pip install archivebox will be available in the near future, follow our Roadmap for progress)


Overview

Because modern websites are complicated and often rely on dynamic content, ArchiveBox archives the sites in several different formats beyond what public archiving services like Archive.org and Archive.is are capable of saving.

ArchiveBox imports a list of URLs from stdin, remote URL, or file, then adds the pages to a local archive folder using wget to create a browsable HTML clone, youtube-dl to extract media, and a full instance of Chrome headless for PDF, Screenshot, and DOM dumps, and more...

Using multiple methods and the market-dominant browser to execute JS ensures we can save even the most complex, finicky websites in at least a few high-quality, long-term data formats.

Can import links from:

  • Pocket, Pinboard, Instapaper
  • RSS, XML, JSON, HTML, Markdown, or plain text lists
  • Browser history or bookmarks (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE, Opera, and more)
  • Shaarli, Delicious, Reddit Saved Posts, Wallabag, Unmark.it, and any other text with links in it!

Can save these things for each site:

  • Index: index.html & index.json HTML and JSON index files containing metadata and details
  • Title: title title of the site
  • Favicon: favicon.ico favicon of the site
  • WGET Clone: example.com/page-name.html wget clone of the site, with .html appended if not present
  • WARC: warc/<timestamp>.gz gzipped WARC of all the resources fetched while archiving
  • PDF: output.pdf Printed PDF of site using headless chrome
  • Screenshot: screenshot.png 1440x900 screenshot of site using headless chrome
  • DOM Dump: output.html DOM Dump of the HTML after rendering using headless chrome
  • URL to Archive.org: archive.org.txt A link to the saved site on archive.org
  • Audio & Video: media/ all audio/video files + playlists, including subtitles & metadata with youtube-dl
  • Source Code: git/ clone of any repository found on github, bitbucket, or gitlab links
  • More coming soon! See the Roadmap...

By default it does everything but you can disable or tweak individual options via environment variables or config file.

The archiving is additive so you can schedule ./archive to run regularly and pull new links into the index. All the saved content is static and indexed with JSON files, so it lives forever & is easily parseable, it requires no always-running backend.

Background & Motivation

Vast treasure troves of knowledge are lost every day on the internet to link rot. As a society, we have an imperative to preserve some important parts of that treasure, just like we preserve our books, paintings, and music in physical libraries long after the originals go out of print or fade into obscurity.

Whether it's to resist censorship by saving articles before they get taken down or edited, or just to save a collection of early 2010's flash games you love to play, having the tools to archive internet content enables to you save the stuff you care most about before it disappears.


Image from WTF is Link Rot?...

The balance between the permanence and ephemeral nature of content on the internet is part of what makes it beautiful. I don't think everything should be preserved in an automated fashion, making all content permanent and never removable, but I do think people should be able to decide for themselves and effectively archive specific content that they care about.

Comparison to Other Projects

The aim of ArchiveBox is to go beyond what the Wayback Machine and other public archiving services can do, by adding a headless browser to replay sessions accurately, and by automatically extracting all the content in multiple redundant formats that will survive being passed down to historians and archivists through many generations.

ArchiveBox differentiates itself from similar projects by being simple, one-shot CLI inferface for users to ingest builk feeds of URLs over extended periods, as opposed to being a backend service that ingests individual, manually-submitted URLs from a web UI.

Private Local Archives vs Centralized Public Archives

Unlike crawler software that starts from a seed URL and works outwards, or public tools like Archive.org designed for users to manually submit links from the public internet, ArchiveBox tries to be a set-and-forget archiver suitable for archiving your entire browsing history, RSS feeds, or bookmarks, including private/authenticated content that you wouldn't otherwise share with a centralized service.

Because ArchiveBox is designed to ingest a firehose of browser history and bookmark feeds to a local disk, it can be much more disk-space intensive than a centralized service like the Internet Archive or Archive.today. However, as storage space gets cheaper and compression improves, you should be able to use it continuously over the years without having to delete anything. In my experience, ArchiveBox uses about 5gb per 1000 articles, but your milage may vary depending on which options you have enabled and what types of sites you're archiving. By default, it archives everything in as many formats as possible, meaning it takes more space than a using a single method, but more content is accurately replayable over extended periods of time. Storage requirements can be reduced by using a compressed/deduplicated filesystem like ZFS/BTRFS, or by setting FETCH_MEDIA=False to skip audio & video files.

An alternative tool pywb allows you to run a browser through an archiving proxy which records all traffic to WARC files. ArchiveBox intends to natively support live proxy-archiving using pywb in the future, but for now it only ingests chunks of links at a time via browser history, bookmarks, RSS, etc.

Read more

Whether you want learn which organizations are the big players in the web archiving space, want to find a specific open source tool for your web archiving need, or just want to see where archivists hang out online, our Community Wiki page serves as an index of the broader web archiving community. Check it out to learn about some of the coolest web archiving projects and communities on the web!


Documentation

We use the Github wiki system for documentation.

You can also access the docs locally by looking in the ArchiveBox/docs/ folder.

Getting Started

Reference

More Info