Simple program to back up Instapaper favorites in plaintext and html form.

pip install instacache==0.2.3



Python script to back up clean text and full html versions of Instapaper bookmarks. Tested on ArchLinux, should work on other distros/OSX.


  • Python 2.x
  • wget (available through every Linux dist package manager, or homebrew on Mac.
  • Instapaper subscription for access to full API


The recommended method of installation is via pip:

pip install instacache

This will place in your bin folder for easy access.


To use Instacache, you need an Instapaper subscription, which gives access to the full developer API as well as a consumer key and secret for OAuth. While I could conceivably ship mine with Instacache as this is an "app", I don't know how to keep that information secret in an open python script.

Create the file ~/.instacache/.credentials with the following contents:

consumer_key = <your consumer key>
consumer_secret = <your consumer secret>

Then you can use the application as follows. After running login once, you should be fine to run backup in a crontab.

usage: instacache [-h] [-f FILE] {login,user,backup} ...

Cache Instapaper articles

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -f FILE, --file FILE  File in which to store instacache information

  {login,user,backup}   command to issue
    login               login and create an oauth token
    user                show the currently authed user
    backup              back up instapaper articles


Instacache was a pretty quick hack job. There's a lot of things that could be better about it:

  • make code cleaner, follow Python naming conventions
  • (test and) handle error cases
  • allow backup of entire instapaper list in addition to single folder
  • remove wget dependency
  • migrate to Python 3

These are all "do them if they cause problems" TODOs for me, so if they are causing you problems, create an issue or shoot me an email.