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by Graham Williams
Duck Duck Go

Mirror Websites

20200526 A popular use case for wget is to make a complete copy of a website, perhaps for local perusal or local archival. For example, we might backup a conference website for archival and historical purposes:

$ wget --mirror --convert-links --adjust-extension --page-requisites \
  --no-parent https://ausdm18.ausdm.org/
This will create a directory called ausdm18.ausdm.org in the current working directory. Browsing to this directory within a browser using a URL like file:///home/kayon/ausdm18.ausdm.org will interact with the local copy of the web site.

Another use case is to download all of the available Debian packages that start with r as available from a particular Debian mirror.

  $ wget --mirror --accept '.deb' --no-directories \
    http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ubuntu/pool/main/r/

Useful comman line options include -r (--recursive) which indicates that we want to recurse through the given URL link. The --mirror option includes --recursive as well as some other options (see the manual page for details). The -l 1 (--level=1) option specifies how many levels we should dive into at the web site. Here we recurse only a single level. The -A .deb (--accept) resticts the download to just those files the have a deb extension. The extenstions can be a comma separated list. The -nd (--no-directories) requests wget to not create any directories locally—the files are downloaded to the current directory.

For a website that no longer exists, the wayback machine is useful. To copy a website from there, install the wayback machine downloader and then:

$ wayback_machine_downloader http://ausdm17.azurewebsites.net/
Unlike wget, fixed links are not updated to be internally consistent. That will need to be done by hand.


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