Grants:IdeaLab/Commons tarballs seedbox

status: idea
Commons tarballs seedbox
idea creator:
project contact:
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created on: 19:55, 25 January 2014

Project idea

  • Assumption: mirroring our data is imperative.
  • Fact: Our media mirrors are poor, especially for Wikimedia Commons; but the Internet Archive lends us a big hand.
  • Problem: as of 2013 IA bandwidth is congested, wiki researchers expressed difficulties in downloading such datasets from them.
    • The network was improved in July 2014. From the 2013 ISC Annual Report: «In 2013 we expanded our relationship with our largest Hosted@ partner, Internet Archive to include the provision of 3rd party Internet Transit Services.»
  • Non-solutions:
    • WMF cannot offer mirrors because it would be a waste of their expensive space (source Ariel Glenn),
    • almost all the mirror services of the world were contacted and none could help.
  • Idea: the Internet Archive is fueled by cheap 3 TB disks, often bought as discounted external HDD. Computational power and home bandwidth are basically free nowadays. Make a seedbox.
  • Alternatives: w:en:User:Emijrp/Wikipedia Archive#Help seed the garden of knowledge.

Project goals


Assemble a 30 TB seedbox with less than 1500 € and maintain it for free.

Setup and example cost:

  • raspberry pi freenas, 30 €
  • 10 3 TB external HDD via USB or SATA in a RAID, 1100 €
  • an 80plus high quality PSU and a case, donated by me
  • some cables for powering and connection, few tens €
  • power and a 10/10 Mb/s fiber connection donated by me (home powered by the Alps' dams btw), or 1000/1000 by a friendly university lab's ethernet port.


  • stuff can be bought via WMIT to save VAT and not become a personal asset,
  • if the experiment fails the hard disks can be donated to the Internet Archive,
  • we don't need redundancy and stuff, it's just a copy of something we maintain elsewhere,
  • torrent will take care of keeping the copies in good shape (unless there are hardware failures),
  • if computational power didn't suffice I can donate an old computer or two to the cause,
  • poor disk reading speed is ok, our bandwidth won't be higher than that anyway,
  • with all the efforts I always fail to consume my bandwidth, but Milan is the most fiber-rich city of Europe so if there's a need I may get a 100/100 connection with little more out of my pocket,
  • a researcher can't take more than few weeks to download all the data, but if torrents are better seeded we can find more home seeders for small chunks of the data.


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