The ProBoards Scraper command line tool pbs can be used to scrape part or all of a ProBoards forum.


usage: pbs [-h] [-u USERNAME] [-p PASSWORD] [-o <path>] [-D] [-U]
           [-v {0,1,2,3,4,5}] url

positional arguments:
  url                   URL for either the main page, a board, a thread, or
                        a user

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -o <path>, --output <path>
                        Path to output directory containing database and
                        site files (default ./site)
  -D, --no-delay        Do not rate limit requests
  -U, --no-users        Do not grab user profiles (only use this option if
                        a database exists and users have already been added
                        to it)
  -v {0,1,2,3,4,5}, --verbosity {0,1,2,3,4,5}
                        Verbosity level from 0 (silent) to 5 (full debug);
                        default 2

Login arguments:
  -u USERNAME, --username USERNAME
                        Login username
  -p PASSWORD, --password PASSWORD
                        Login password

Required arguments

  • url: The URL for the forum homepage, users page, a user profile, a board, or a thread to be scraped. See the url parameter of proboards_scraper.run_scraper() for more information.

Optional arguments

  • -u/--username: Optional login username; must be used with --password. Login credentials are optional, but password-protected or members-only pages cannot be accessed without them.

  • -p/--password: See --username.

  • -o/--output: Path to the output directory where the database and any downloaded files (e.g., images) will be written. The SQLite database file will written to forum.db, images will be written to a subdirectory named images, and scraper logging output will be written to a subdirectory named logs.

  • -D/--no-delay: This flag disables rate-limiting by the scraper. See the request_threshold, short_delay_time, and long_delay_time attributes of proboards_scraper.ScraperManager for more information on rate-limiting values and behavior.


Disabling delays between requests may result in request throttling or being blocked by the server.

  • -U/--no-users: This flag disables the users page from being scraped when the forum homepage URL is given for url. This might be desirable if a previous attempt to scrape the site was interrupted (after all users from the members page have been scraped but before scraping of the rest of the site completed) to avoid going through the user profiles again.

  • -v/--verbosity: This argument controls the amount of logging output. The logging behavior is defined in proboards_scraper.__main__.configure_logging().


Scrape the entire forum

pbs https://yoursite.proboards.com -u user -p pass

Scrape all user profiles

pbs https://yoursite.proboards.com/members -u user -p pass

Scrape a specific user’s profile

pbs https://yoursite.proboards.com/user/4 -u user -p pass

Scrape a specific board

pbs https://yoursite.proboards.com/board/2/boardname -u user -p pass


This scrapes all threads in the board and recursively scrapes any sub-boards.

Scrape a specific thread

pbs https://yoursite.proboards.com/thread/123/thread-title -u user -p pass