Microsoft-owned source code management service GitHub has designed what it calls the GitHub Archive Program to store a 21 terabyte of active repositories into a vault in a frozen Norwegian mountain. GitHub aims to “preserve open-source software for future generations,” courtesy of GitHub Arctic Code Vault, which is supposed to preserve all active public repositories for at least a thousand years. This initiative was first announced at last year’s GitHub Universe.
GitHub Arctic Code Vault
Earlier this year, GitHub managed to take a snapshot of all active public repositories on the website to archive in the vault till at least 3020. Over the last several months, GitHub managed to write 21TB of repository data to 186 reels of digital photosensitive archival film.
“Our original plan was for our team to fly to Norway and personally escort the world’s open source code to the Arctic, but as the world continues to endure a global pandemic, we had to adjust our plans,” said Julia Metcalf, Director of Strategic Programs at GitHub. “We stayed in close contact with our partners, waiting for the time when it was safe for them to travel to Svalbard.”
GitHub shipped the boxes with 186 film reels to Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, which is located 1000 km north of the European mainland:
“It traveled to the decommissioned coal mine set in the mountain, and then to a chamber deep inside hundreds of meters of permafrost,” Metcalf added.
A local logistics company stored all the active GitHub repositories in the Arctic Code Vault on July 8, 2020, the Microsoft-owned company has confirmed.
Arctic Code Vault Badge
GitHub has also designed the Arctic Code Vault Badge to “recognize and celebrate” contributions of developers. GitHub profiles feature the badge in the highlights section alongside a mention: Arctic Code Vault Contributor.
Partnership with the Internet Archive
GitHub has also joined hands with Internet Archive and several other Archive Program partners to further preserve GitHub public repositories on their websites. So far, the Internet Archive has archived 55TB of data.
In addition to the Internet Archive, GitHub is also working with Software Heritage Foundation and Project Silica.