github-backup is a simple tool you run in a git repository you cloned from GitHub. It backs up everything GitHub publishes about the repository, including branches, tags, other forks, issues, comments, wikis, milestones, pull requests, watchers, and stars.
First install Haskell's stack tool. For example, on a Debian system:
sudo apt-get install haskell-stack
Then to build and install github-backup:
stack install github-backup
There is also a Makefile, which uses cabal to build, and installs a man page, bash completion file, etc. This is recommended for use when making packages of github-backup.
github-backup with no parameters, inside a git repository cloned
from GitHub to back up that repository.
Or, if you have a GitHub account, run
to clone and back up your account's repositories, as well
as the repositories you're watching and have starred.
Why backup GitHub repositories
There are a couple of reasons to want to back this stuff up:
In case something happens to GitHub. More generally because keeping your data in the cloud and relying on the cloud to back it up is foolish.
In case someone takes down a repository that you were interested in. If you run github-backup with your username, it will back up all the repositories you have watched and starred.
So you can keep working on your repository while on a plane, or on a remote beach or mountaintop. Just like Linus intended.
What to expect
Each time you run github-backup, it will find any new forks on GitHub. It
will add remotes to your repository for the forks, using names like
github_torvalds_subsurface. It will fetch from every fork.
It downloads metadata from each fork. This is stored
into a branch named "github". Each fork gets a directory in there,
torvalds_subsurface. Inside the directory there will be some
torvalds_subsurface/watchers. There may be further
directories, like for comments:
You can follow the commits to the github branch to see what information changed on GitHub over time.
The format of the files in the github branch is currently Haskell serialized data types. This is plain text, and readable, if you squint.
github-backup is repository-focused. It does not try to back up other information from GitHub. In particular, social network stuff, like users who are following you, is not backed up.
github-backup does not log into GitHub, so it cannot backup private repositories.
Notes added to commits and lines of code don't get backed up yet. There is only recently API support for this.
The labels that can be added to issues and milestones are not backed up. Neither are the hooks. They could be, but don't seem important enough for the extra work involved. Yell if you need them.
github-backup re-downloads all issues, comments, and so on each time it's run. This may be slow if your repo has a lot of them, or even if it just has a lot of forks.
Bear in mind that this uses the GitHub API; don't run it every 5 minutes.
GitHub rate limits the
API to some small number of requests per hour when used without
authentication. To avoid this limit, you can set
GITHUB_OAUTH_TOKEN obtained from
https://github.com/settings/tokens) in the environment and
it will log in when making (most) API requests.
Anyway, github-backup does do an incremental backup, picking up where it left off, so will complete the backup eventually even if it's rate limited.
github-backup was written by Joey Hess firstname.lastname@example.org
It is made possible thanks to:
- Mike Burns's haskell github library
- GitHub, for providing an API exposing this data.