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Ruby scripts for downloading LiveJournal XML and importing to Day One.
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LiveJournal Archive Tools

These include:

  • LiveJournal downloader
  • Day One importer (for downloaded XML files)

Credits / Changelog

Written by @papatangosierra. This version was modified by @chipotle (Watts Martin) to make the following changes:


  • Move configuration to YAML file
  • Add last_year configuration
  • Only write month files that actually have entries


  • Drop "classic" Day One support
  • Use Pandoc for real Markdown processing
  • Refactor XML handling
  • Fix regex bugs


  • More idiomatic Ruby

The original files do not specify a license.

getljxml.rb: download LiveJournal XML

Download getljxml.rb and lj.sample.yml and put them together in a directory. Your LiveJournal will be downloaded to a folder in this directory named lj-xml.

Rename the lj.sample.yml to lj.yml and open it in a text editor. This is a configuration file that specifies your username, password, and the years you want to download.

username: chipotle
password: "my-crazy-password"
first_year: 2001

Put in your own username and password, of course. This script sends them to the LiveJournal server just like your browser, and doesn't send them anywhere else, so your password is not being stolen. (You'll probably need quote marks around the password if it has any remotely unusual characters in it.) Change first_year to the first year you want to import. If you don't want to export all of your journal, you can also add a last_year line, like last_year: 2015.

NOTE: Make sure that your username and password are surrounded with single straight quotes, not curly quotes!

Open up a terminal window and cd to the directory that getljxml.rb is in. Type:

chmod u+x getljxml.rb

(That only has to be done once, not every time you want to run the script.) Then, run the script with:


After the script finishes, you should now have a new lj-xml folder. In that folder, you'll have a bunch of .xml files, each one corresponding to a month of entries from your Livejournal. Months with no entries won't have files for them.

Running on Windows

First, you'll need to install Ruby:

Then, you'll need to install cURL:

Then you should be able to follow the steps above.

lj2dayone.rb: Import LiveJournal XML to Day One

  • You must install Pandoc.
  • You must have Day One version 2 or higher.
  • You must have installed the command line tool ("Install Command Line Tools..." in Day One's menu). This installs a command called dayone2.

And, you must install Pandoc, which converts from the HTML-in-XML entries downloaded by getljxml.rb to Markdown formatting used by Day One:

Download the lj2dayone.rb script to the same folder you put getljxml.rb in.

Create a new journal called "LiveJournal" in Day One. The entries will be imported here. (If you want to change this, you can edit the lj2dayone.rb script; look for the journal_name = 'LiveJournal' line and enter a different name.)

Open up a terminal window and cd to the directory that lj2dayone.rb is in. Type:

chmod u+x lj2dayone.rb

(That only has to be done once, not every time you want to run the script.) Then, run the script with:

./lj2dayone.rb lj-xml/*.xml

The lj-xml/*.xml part is the path to the LiveJournal XML files; if they're somewhere else, use that path.

Depending on how many LJ entries you have to import, this could take a few minutes. Once's it's finished, you can open up Day One and gaze upon your beautiful new archive.

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