Livejournal Archive Tools
July 10, 2016 4:23 PM   Subscribe

Livejournal Archive Tools
There were no good tools for downloading your Livejournal archive here in the year of our lord 2016, so I dusted off my exceedingly dusty Ruby book and set about trying to see if I could maybe fix that.

Right now there are two scripts.

getljxml.rb—Edit this ruby script to include your LJ username, password, and start year, and it'll log into LJ and fetch XML files for every month up to the present. This should work on basically any computer that can run ruby scripts. This is useful just for getting your LJ archive—LJ's XML archive format is pretty sparse, so the resulting files are mostly human-readable right out of the box.

lj2dayone.rb—This script takes a given LJ XML archive file, parses it out, and adds entries to the beautiful Day One Mac app. NOTE: You must have the Day One command line interface tool installed to make this work. This script does some very simple formatting to make LJ subject lines look nice, and to sanitize lj-cut and lj-user tags.

Caveats: entries added to Day One via my lj2dayone.rb have some very mild entity formatting weirdness, particularly around em-dashes. Feel free to suggest fixes. (I AM NOT A PROGRAMMER!).
Role: programmer
posted by Sokka shot first (9 comments total)
This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's Request -- Brandon Blatcher

Will it work on LJ clones/forks, like Dreamwidth and Insanejournal?

There's also LJArchive, but it hasn't been updated in three years; I have no idea if LJ's changes have made it unworkable. (I haven't posted to my LJ in a few years, so I haven't bothered keeping up with changes--I blog intermittently at Dreamwidth.)
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:59 PM on July 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Does it have a special option that auto-downloads all the good Harry Potter LJ fanfiction but filters out the gross ones?
posted by Wretch729 at 5:28 PM on July 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Hm - I'm not a programmer and unless the directions are 1) go to this website 2) enter your credentials 3) click "download", I'm not sure I can figure it out.

Anyway to clarify how to use these scripts for a super non-tech-person?
posted by too bad you're not me at 1:43 PM on December 30, 2016

I used this and it worked like a charm. Thank you so much!
posted by jessypie at 8:10 PM on January 11, 2017

posted by dorothyisunderwood at 10:12 PM on February 8, 2017

On the first try I attempted to download via right-clicking the file on Github. Note to others: don't do that. It downloads an HTML file rather than a Ruby script.

On the second try I discovered that my text editor was smartening the quotes. Fixed that in preferences.

Got it on the third try! Weirdly, it created files for every month of 2017. Small price to pay to have my backup!
posted by rednikki at 10:10 PM on April 11, 2017


This is helping me get out of LJ after their recent egregious Terms of Service update. I'd been writing there since 1999 and had typed in old journal content back to 1991 so I'd have it all searchable in one place.

Thank you!!
posted by champignon at 12:01 PM on April 14, 2017

I just used your tool and it worked perfectly! Thanks so much for providing this resource :)
posted by Mouse Army at 7:25 AM on July 2, 2017

Anyone know if the import script works with Day One version 3?
posted by littlemonster515 at 2:12 PM on March 10, 2019

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