S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen
owlfish

How to back up your LJ

There isn't one good way to back up your LJ, but you have a number of options for doing so. Things to consider: do you just want the content to read through again later? Or is there a chance you'll want to re-import the data to some other web site at some point? Of the reimportable formats, .xml is easier to read, but .cvs is an option too. (Never having needed to - thus far - import my LJ entries to anywhere, I can't tell you the logistics of doing so.) Do you want to save all the comments on your posts, or just the posts themselves?

Another issue with backups: not every solution works on every platform.

Multi-OS solutions
  • The dull-and-tedious method: Go to LJ's Export Journal Page, choose XML or CVS; type in the first year and month in which you posted to LJ; hit "Proceed"; save page, .xml or .cvs content only; hit back button. Type in next month's number. And so forth. Will NOT save comments. (Note: Tedious, but it's how I've been backing up my LJ to .xml for years. I'm considering alternatives, however, since it would be rather nice to retain comments as well.)

  • LJDump. A python script, so will work on many platforms, but will require comfort with command line interactions. Edit ljdump.config.sample, rename it to ljdump.config, then run it, python ljdump.py. Produces a directory of saved posts WITH comments, in XML. (Note: It errored on me first run; hopefully C. can debug it for me when he's home; most other people seem to be having better luck with it as is. It fails when the names or comments on userpics have non-ASCII characters in them. Use ljmigrate instead - it's based on ljdump, but works better.)

  • ljmigrate is based on ljdump but has solved many of the problems which the earlier version has. I've found it much more reliable.

  • LJBook - Produces a PDF, so will be useless if you ever wanted to import your LJ entries into any other format; but good for preserving the whole look-and-feel, including comments, for reminiscing and referring to later. (Note: Not currently loading for me. I'm betting it's overloaded right now.)


There are plenty of other backup tools out there, but they tend to be platform-specific, such as LJ Backup or LJArchive for Windows. If you use the relevant platform, however, they may be a better solution for you.

LJ FAQ on the subject is here. See also ljbackup_dev. Also, if you use Scrapbook, none of these will back that up for you. (See here for ways of doing so via other means.)

If anyone has better advice on this subject, please point me to it! A quick initial trawl didn't reveal any collated information on the subject, although it must be out there.
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