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Tabblo logo
Status Offline
Archiving status Saved! User lookup
Archiving type Unknown
Project source
Project tracker
IRC channel #archiveteam-bs (on hackint)

A post called Goodbye Tabblo by Ned Batchelder (former Tabblo employee).

Tabblo Lifeboat

Ned Batchelder (former Tabblo employee) wrote Tabblo Lifeboat, a Python script that helps users to download their tabblos.

We have everything. Thanks!

Thanks to your help we've downloaded almost everything. We're currently organizing the files before uploading them to

How to help archiving

Easy option: You can also do this with the ArchiveTeam Warrior, a virtual machine you can download from [1]. Install the appliance, boot and choose the Tabblo project from the menu.

There is a distributed download script that gets usernames from a tracker and downloads the data.

Make sure you are on Linux, that you have curl, git, a recent version of Bash. Your system must also be able to compile wget with the Lua extensions.

  • Get the code:
    git clone git://
  • Get and compile the latest version of wget-warc-lua:
  • Think of a nickname for yourself (preferably use your IRC name).
  • Run the download script with
    ./ "<YOURNICK>"
  • To stop the script gracefully, run
    touch STOP
    in the script's working directory. It will finish the current task and stop.


Note that these instructions require Homebrew

  • brew tap ArchiveTeam/tools
  • brew install tabblo
  • cd `brew --prefix tabblo`
  • Run the download script with
    ./ "<YOURNICK>"
  • To stop the script gracefully, run
    touch STOP
    in the script's working directory. It will finish the current task and stop.


  • Compiling wget-warc will require dev packages for the various libraries that it needs. Most questions have been about gnutls; install the gnutls-devel or gnutls-dev package with your favorite package manager. You'll also need the liblua library (liblua5.1-0-dev on Ubuntu) or lua-devel on RPM based distributions.
  • Downloading one user's data can take between 10 seconds and a few hours.
  • The data for one user is equally varied, from a few kB to several MB.
  • The downloaded data will be saved in the ./data/ subdirectory.
  • Download speeds from are not that high. You can run multiple clients to speed things up.

Downloading ZIPs

There is a script to download the Tabblo ZIP files. (This includes pictures and text, but no comments, profile pages et cetera.) The script downloads a range of 1000 Tabblos and uploads the ZIP files to For example, see the first range.

To participate:

  1. Get the code from [2]. You need Bash and Curl to run it.
  2. Claim one or more ranges (each range includes up to 1,000 Tabblos, so try claiming one or two ranges first). Add your name to the table below.
  3. Run the script: ./ $RANGE, e.g. ./ 12 to download and upload Tabblos 12,000 to 12,999.

To speed things up a range can be divided in 10 parts (of 100 Tabblos each), so you can download several parts at the same time. For example:

for i in 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ; do
  ./ $RANGE $i &

Once you've run the script once, rerun it to check if everything was down- and uploaded successfully.

Ranges Downloader Status
0 - 9 alard Done
10 underscor Downloading
11 - 15 bsmith093 Done
16 - 99 alard Done
100 - 499 alard Done
500 - 549 underscor Downloading
550 - 599 Short Downloading
600 - 699 Hydriz Done
700 - 720 closure Done
721 - 999 Short Downloading
1000 - 1099 closure Done
1100 - 1399 alard Done
1400 - 1499 Hydriz Done
1500 - 1845 alard Downloading
1846 - 1850 Wait... This is the newest range, please download other ranges first

Site structure


Tabblos have an url of the form, where #ID# is the numeric id of the tabblo. Tabblos are numbered sequentially, the last number at the time of writing is 1843370.

A tabblo consists of one HTML page with some text and one or more images. You can click on the images to get a large version, but apart from the larger image that won't give you more than is on the tabblo page. Most tabblos have comments, which are included in the page's HTML.

Running wget --page-requisites on a tabblo url will probably save all available information.

From the Tabblo Lifeboat we learn that Tabblo offers a nice way to download a tabblo in a zip file. This zip file will also give you the original photo files. Download url: You have to log in before you can download this zip file (but once you're in you can download any tabblo, not just your own).

There's one other catch: the zip download will fail first. The first time you download it you'll get an incomplete zip file, the next time you try it you'll get a little bit more. Repeat downloading until you get the complete zip file. (Probably has something to do with caching.)

Conclusion, to download a tabblo we'll probably want to do something like this:

  wget --page-requisites --warc-file tabblo
  while ! unzip -t ; do
    wget -O --header="Cookie: tabblosesh=###"


TODO The user pages (e.g. have everything you'd expect from a social network: comments, photos, friends, favorites, messages.