tumblr_backup.py is a script that backs up your Tumblr
The backup includes all images both from inline text as well as photo posts. An index links to monthly pages, which contain all the posts from the respective month with links to single post pages. Command line options select which posts to backup and set the output format. The audio and video files can also be saved.
By default, all posts of a blog are backed up in minimally styled HTML5.
You can see an example of its output on my home page.
- Download and unzip
or clone the Github repo from
- Copy or symlink
tumblr_backup.pyto a directory on your
tumblr_backup.pyblog-name as often as you like manually or from a cron job. The recommendation is to do a hourly incremental backup and a daily complete one.
There are two optional dependencies that enable additional features:
The fastest option to install these packages is via the package manager of your operating system (apt-get, synaptic, yum, brew, etc). If this is not feasible, download and install from the links above.
tumblr_backup.py [options] blog-name ...
-h, --help show this help message and exit -O OUTDIR, --outdir=OUTDIR set the output directory (default: blog-name) -D, --dirs save each post in its own folder -q, --quiet suppress progress messages -i, --incremental incremental backup mode -j, --json save the original JSON source -k, --skip-images do not save images; link to Tumblr instead --save-video save video files --save-audio save audio files -b, --blosxom save the posts in blosxom format -r, --reverse-month reverse the post order in the monthly archives -R, --reverse-index reverse the index file order -a HOUR, --auto=HOUR do a full backup at HOUR hours, otherwise do an incremental backup (useful for cron jobs) -n COUNT, --count=COUNT save only COUNT posts -s SKIP, --skip=SKIP skip the first SKIP posts -p PERIOD, --period=PERIOD limit the backup to PERIOD: 'y': the current year 'm': the current month 'd': the current day (i.e. today ;-) YYYY: the given year YYYY-MM: the given month YYYY-MM-DD: the given day -N COUNT, --posts-per-page=COUNT set the number of posts per monthly page -Q REQUEST, --request=REQUEST save posts matching the request TYPE:TAG:TAG:…,TYPE:TAG:…,…. TYPE can be text, quote, link, answer, video, audio, photo, chat or any; TAGs can be omitted or a colon-separated list. Example: -Q any:personal,quote,photo:me:self -t TAGS, --tags=TAGS save only posts tagged TAGS (comma-separated values; case-insensitive) -T TYPE, --type=TYPE save only posts of type TYPE (comma-separated values; from text, quote, link, answer, video, audio, photo, chat) --no-reblog don't save reblogged posts -I FMT, --image-names=FMT image filename format ('o'=original, 'i'=<post-id>, 'bi'=<blog-name>_<post-id>) -e KW, --exif=KW add EXIF keyword tags to each picture (comma-separated values; '-' to remove all tags, '' to add no extra tags) -S, --no-ssl-verify ignore SSL verification errors
blog-name: The name of the blog to backup.
If your blog is under
.tumblr.com, you can give just the first domain name
part; if your blog is under your own domain, give the whole domain name. You
can give more than one blog-name to backup multiple blogs in one go.
The default blog name can be changed in the script.
LANG: These variables, in decreasing importance,
determine the locale for month names and the date/time format.
The exit code is 0 if at least one post has been backed up, 1 if no post has been backed up, 2 on invocation errors, 3 if the backup was interrupted, or 4 on HTTP errors.
Backup via settings.py
To backup a list of tumblr addresses, copy
settings.py, and add the addresses to the list in that file.
tumblr_backup backs up all posts in HTML format.
The generated directory structure looks like this:
./ - the current directory <outdir>/ - your blog backup index.html - table of contents with links to the monthly pages backup.css - the default backup style sheet custom.css - the user's style sheet (optional) override.css - the user's style sheet override (optional) archive/ <yyyy-mm-pnn>.html - the monthly pages … posts/ <id>.html - the single post pages … media/ <image.ext> - image files <audio>.mp3 - audio files <video>.mp4 - video files … json/ <id>.json - the original JSON posts … theme/ avatar.<ext> - the blog’s avatar style.css - the blog’s style sheet
outdir is the
-D is used, one folder per post is generated, and the post's
images are saved in the same folder. The monthly archive is also stored in a
folder per month. This results in the same URL structure as on the Tumblr page.
The directories look like this:
./ - the current directory <outdir>/ - your blog backup index.html - table of contents with links to the monthly pages backup.css - the default backup style sheet custom.css - the user's style sheet (optional) override.css - the user's style sheet override (optional) archive/ <yyyy-mm-pnn>/ index.html - the monthly page … posts/ <id>/ index.html - the single post page <image.ext> - the image file(s) for this post <audio>.mp3 - audio files <video>.mp4 - video files … … json/ <id>.json - the original JSON posts … theme/ avatar.<ext> - the blog’s avatar style.css - the blog’s style sheet
The modification time of the single post pages is set to the post’s timestamp.
tumblr_backup applies a simple style to the saved pages. All generated pages
The index pages are recreated from scratch after every backup, based on the
existing single post pages. Normally, the index and monthly pages are in
reverse chronological order, i.e. more recent entries on top. The options
-r can be used to reverse the order.
If you want to use a custom CSS file, call it
custom.css, put it in the
backup folder and do a complete backup. Without a custom CSS file,
tumblr_backup saves a default style sheet in
backup.css. The blog's style
sheet itself is always saved in
It you want to override just a few default styles, create the file
override.css in the backup folder. This file is included automatically by the
default style sheet. You may have to mark your overriding styles with
!important to make them stick because
override.css is imported first in the
Tumblr saves some image files without extension. This probably saves a few
billion bytes in their database.
tumblr_backup restores the image extensions.
If an image is already backed up, it is not downloaded again. If an image is
re-uploaded/edited, the old image is kept in the backup, but no post links to
it. The format of the image file names can be selected with the
It must be noted that saved inline images (from non-photo posts) keep their name. This means that only the first image with any given name will be saved; the others with the same name will point to the first one.
The download of images can be disabled with option
-k. In this case, the
image URLs will point to the original location.
-e, IPTC keyword tags can be added to image files. There are
-e kw1,kw2adds the post's tags plus
-e ''adds just the post's tags
-e -removes all keywords from the image
In incremental backup mode,
tumblr_backup saves only posts that have higher
ids than the highest id saved locally. Note that posts that are edited after
being backed up are not backed up again with this option.
In JSON backup mode, the original JSON source returned by the Tumblr API is saved
json/ folder in addition to the HTML format.
Automatic archive mode
-a is designed to be used from an hourly cron script.
It normally makes an incremental backup except if the current hour is the one
given as argument. In this case,
tumblr_backup will make a full backup. An
example invocation is
tumblr_backup.py -qa4 to do a full backup at 4 in the
morning. This option obviates the need for shell script logic to determine what
options to pass. If you don't want cron to send a mail if no new posts have
been backed up, use this crontab entry:
0 * * * * tumblr_backup -qa4 <blog-name> || test $? -eq 1
This changes the exit code 1 to 0.
In Blosxom format mode, the posts generated are saved in a format suitable for
re-publishing in Blosxom with the Meta
plugin. Images are not
downloaded; instead, the image links point back to the original image on
Tumblr. The posts are saved in the current folder with a
.txt extension. The
index is not updated.
In order to limit the set of backed up posts, use the
The most recent post is always number 0, so the option
-n 200 would select
the 200 most recent posts. Calling
tumblr_backup -n 100 -s 200 would skip the
200 most recent posts and backup the next 100.
-n 1 is the fastest way to
rebuild the index pages.
-T limits the backup to posts of the given type.
-t saves only
posts with the given tags.
-Q combines both: it accepts comma-separated
requests of the form
TYPE:TAG1:TAG2:…, where the tags for each post type can
be different. Omitting the TAGs is allowed; this saves posts of this type with
any or no tags. Example:
-Q any:personal,quote,photo:me:self saves all posts
tagged 'personal', all quotes, and photos tagged 'me' or 'self' or 'personal'
(because of the
--no-reblog suppresses the backup of reposts of other blogs'
If you combine
posts matching all criteria will be backed up.
All options use only public Tumblr APIs, so you can use the program to backup blogs that you don’t own.
tumblr_backup is developed and tested on Linux and OS X. If you want to run
it under Windows, I suggest to try the excellent Cygwin
See here. There are no formal releases so check back often!
- bdoms for the initial implementation
- WyohKnott for numerous bug reports and patches
- Tumblr for their discontinued backup tool whose
output was the inspiration for the styling applied in