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Convert Directories, Files and Zip Files to Web Archives (WARC)

Project description

warcit is a command-line tool to convert on-disk directories of web documents (commonly HTML, web assets and any other data files) into an ISO standard web archive (WARC) files.

Conversion to WARC file allows for improved durability in a standardized format, and allows for any web files stored on disk to be uploaded into Webrecorder, or replayed locally with Webrecorder Player or pywb

(Many other tools also operate on WARC files, see: Awesome Web Archiving – Tools and Software)

WARCIT supports converting individual files, directories (including any nested directories) as well as ZIP files into WARCs.

Basic Usage

warcit <prefix> <dir or file> ...

See warcit -h for a complete list of flags and options.

For example, the following example will download a simple web site via wget (for simplicity, this retrieves one level deep only), then use warcit to convert to

wget -l 1 -r
warcit ./

The WARC should now have been created!

Mime Type Detection and Overrides

By default, warcit supports the the default Python mimetypes library to determine a mime type based on a file extension.

However, it also supports using python-magic (libmagic) if available and custom mime overrides configured via the command line.

The mime detection is as follows:

  1. If the filename matches an override specified via --mime-overrides, use that as the mime type.
  2. If mimetypes.guess_type() returns a valid mime type, use that as the mime type.
  3. If --use-magic flag is specified, use the magic api to determine mime type (warcit will error if magic is not available when using this flag).
  4. Default to text/html if all previous attempts did not yield a mime type.

The --mime-overrides flag can be used to specify wildcard query (applied to the full url) and corresponding mime types as a comma-delimeted property list:

warcit '--mime-overrides=*.html=text/html; charset="utf-8",image.ico=image/png' ./

When a url ending in *.html or *.ico is encountered, the specified mime type will be used for the Content-Type header, by passing any auto-detection.

Charset Detection

Charset detection is disabled by default, but can be enabled with the --charset auto flag.

Detection is done using the cchardet native chardet library.

A specific charset can also be specified, eg. --charset utf-8 will add ; charset=utf-8 to all text/* resources.

If detection does not produce a result, or if the result is ascii, no charset is added to the Content-Type.

ZIP Files

warcit also supports converting ZIP files to WARCs, including portions of zip files.

For example, if a zip file contains:
+-- some_other_data/

It is possible to specify the two paths in the zip file to be converted to a WARC separately:

warcit --name my-warc.gz http://

This should result in a new WARC my-warc.gz converting the specified zip file paths. The some_other_data path is not processed.

WARC Structure and Format

The tool produces ISO standard WARC 1.0 files.

A warcinfo record is added at the beginning of the WARC, unless the --no-warcinfo flag is specified.

The warcinfo record contains the full command line and warcit version:

WARC-Type: warcinfo
WARC-Record-ID: ...
WARC-Date: 2017-12-05T18:30:58Z
Content-Type: application/warc-fields
Content-Length: ...

software: warcit 0.2.0
format: WARC File Format 1.0
cmdline: warcit --fixed-dt 2011-02 ./path/to/somefile.html

Each file specified or found in the directory is stored as a WARC resource record.

By default, warcit uses the file-modified date as the WARC-Date of each url. This setting can be overriden with a fixed date time by specifying the --fixed-dt flag. The datetime can be specified as --fixed-dt YYYY-MM-DDTHH:mm:ss or --fixed-dt YYYYMMDDHHmmss or partial date, eg. --fixed-dt YYYY-MM

The actual WARC creation time and path to the source file on disk are also stored, using the WARC-Created-Date and WARC-Source-URI extension headers, respectively.

For example, if when running warcit --fixed-dt 2011-02 ./path/to/somefile.html, the resulting WARC Record might look as follows:

WARC-Date: 2011-02-01T00:00:00Z
WARC-Created-Date: 2017-12-05T18:30:58Z
WARC-Source-URI: file://./path/to/somefile.html
WARC-Type: resource
WARC-Record-ID: ...
Content-Type: text/html
Content-Length ...


Additionally, warcit adds revisit records for top-level directories if index files are present. Index files can be specified via the --index-files flag, the default being --index-files=index.html,index.htm

For example, when running: warcit ./path/ and there exists a file: ./path/subdir/index.html, warcit will create:

  • a resource record for
  • a revisit record for pointing to

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