File Archive

Frequently asked questions

General questions

I just discovered Is there a list of demos I can download, a kind of top10?

Between 2002 and 2012, we have been organizing the Awards, an annual gala which honored the best releases of the past year. The awards were decided by a small experienced jury who vote for the nominated demos. So, the awards nominees and winners are an excellent choice to start with.

Other viewing suggestions can be found on sites such as:

What are the differences between a demo and an intro?

The big difference is the size. An intro is usually no bigger than 64Kb while a demo will usually be approximately between 256Kb and several megabytes.

Should I be worried when my anti-virus software reports a virus/trojan/packer in a file downloaded from

Maybe, but probably not.

Many intros and demos use a packer to decrease their file size. Unfortunately some malware attempts to disguise itself by using similar packers. Good anti-virus software will be able to unpack files to test whether the packed file is a virus or not, but some less sophisticated anti-virus scanners can't do this and will always report a virus when they detect such a packer.

In most cases you can simply ignore these false positives. However, it's possible that a virus has slipped through our radar, so you should always be careful when your anti-virus software complains about a file. You can scan the file with some alternative anti-virus programs to see if they also report a virus. You should also send a copy of the file to the company that created the anti-virus software so that they can analyze the file. The more complaints they get about false positives, the sooner they'll fix their software to correctly identify these files.


I have problems downloading from your site!

You can login to the ftp servers from with username 'anonymous'. Use your email as a password and you should be doing fine.

How do I run demos I downloaded? Why does it tell me my 3D card sucks? What's an ADF file?

Sometimes readme.txt files tell you which hardware and OS is needed, sometimes they don't. Having the perfect equipment to run a demo is sometimes difficult even for veterans, even though it has gotten better since PC demos started to run on higher level operating systems like Windows.

Keep in mind that demos often require state of the art hardware: if you know that your hardware is a bit behind the times, try to download demos that were released while it was still state of the art.

You can also try reading fact-sheets and comments on sites such as to know more about specific requirements.

I am unable to download anything from 'incoming' directory - there is '550 - permission denied' error occuring constantly.

Incoming directory is write-only so you just have to wait for the files to be processed and moved in the correct directories. Normally this is done within a day or two, but it might take more depending on the season. If it's urgent, you can always send a mail to the FTP admins to hurry up.


I am a party organiser. How do I upload the productions?

Here's what you need to do:

  1. Use your favorite ftp client, and connect to using the "anonymous" login.
  2. Go to /incoming/parties/[partyyear]/ (if the year directory doesn't exist, create it.)
  3. Create a directory for your party as such: <party-name><party-year> (e.g. myparty03)
  4. Create a subdirectory for each competition and upload the archives in their respective dirs.

Don't forget to upload your party's competition results in a results.txt file, which begins by describing the party itself and when/where it was held.

A few hints that can spare us a lot of work:

  • Sanitize your filenames. To avoid encoding issues, filenames should consist of lowercase alphanumeric characters and underscores only. Remove all spaces or accented characters.
  • Prefer ZIP over RAR.
  • Please, do NOT upload entries unpacked if they consist of several files. One entry should always be one single file.

If you are unsure on how to structure it, check other party directories on our archive.

I entered a competition in a party, but I don't see my entry in the party directory. What should I do?

Please upload it to[partyyear]/[party-name]/[compo-directory]/

You can do this by ftping to, logging in as user anonymous with your emailaddress as your password, go to the directory /incoming/<party-name>/, and upload the files in the right compo directory, creating any of those directories if they don't exist.

Also please be mindful that organizers sometimes take some time to upload all the material from the party; if you don't see any entries from the party in the archive, perhaps wait a day or two, or inquire with the organizers.

I released a demo, but not at a party. What should I do?

The rules are much the same as above: Log in to, and go either to /incoming/demos/groups/ or /incoming/demos/artists/ (whichever is applicable), create a dir and upload the file. We'll take care of the rest in the coming days.

I have uploaded a file to the incoming directory, but it's been sitting there for a long time - what can I do?

The best you can do is wait. As you know is obviously a non-profit organization being ran by people in their spare time across the world, so maintenance times can vary, but we aim to go through the incoming directory at least once a week.


Where are the current mirrors of

Currently we have mirrors in the following servers:

I have a capable server and would like to become a mirror? What can I do? How much bandwidth/space will it take?

We must first thank you for your offer. Mirrors of are welcomed and encouraged by us.

Mirroring us is easy, but requires some diskspace and available bandwidth; in terms of the latter, a decent 24/7 uplink of at least 10Mbit/s should be sufficient.

As far as diskspace required goes, here's a quick breakdown of our directory sizes (as of Apr 2024):

233G	demos
3.2G	graphics
6.3G	mags
481G	music
1.6T	parties
 |         1.1M	  1987
 |         11M	  1988
 |         30M	  1989
 |         4.8G	  1990
 |         220M	  1991
 |         459M	  1992
 |         294M	  1993
 |         2.0G	  1994
 |         1.5G	  1995
 |         3.3G	  1996
 |         5.2G	  1997
 |         7.3G	  1998
 |         9.1G	  1999
 |         16G	  2000
 |         31G	  2001
 |         37G	  2002
 |         37G	  2003
 |         41G	  2004
 |         39G	  2005
 |         90G	  2006
 |         55G	  2007
 |         71G	  2008
 |         52G	  2009
 |         70G	  2010
 |         45G	  2011
 |         45G	  2012
 |         74G	  2013
 |         81G	  2014
 |         58G	  2015
 |         74G	  2016
 |         72G	  2017
 |         68G	  2018
 |         87G	  2019
 |         62G	  2020
 |         72G	  2021
 |         109G	  2022
 |         122G	  2023
 |         26G	  2024
96G	resources

If the entire archive is too big to mirror you can decide to only mirror certain sections of the archive. Our mirror system can handle partial mirrors so people will only be directed to your mirror for files that are actually on it. We suggest to mirror at least the latest party directories, because those are the most downloaded files.

We prefer the usage of our rsync server for mirroring purposes. The services are "" for the archive and "" for the mirrors archive. But you can also use an ftp based mirror setup by normally connecting to our anonymous ftp site at using the mirror package from sunsite.

Our mirrors usually transfer 10 to 15 GB of traffic each day. This should give you an idea of the bandwidth you can expect to need.

After this, I would like to set up the mirroring. Now, I've never mirrored anything with rsync, so I will need some help.

Mirroring with rsync is pretty simple: we have an rsync daemon running at, simply connect to that and let the machines do the rest.

If you want to mirror the whole archive, just use this command line:

rsync -rvult --delete /your/target/directory/

Put this in a crontab and let it run as frequent as you feel like it, although you probably shouldn't run it more than once a day.

If you only want to mirror only select parts of the archive, that's fine too; this is how a sample script that mirrors the music section, mags section and the party releases from 2000 till now would look like:

# change this to whereever your mirror is hosted on your machine

mirrorit() {
  mkdir -p "$MIRRORBASEDIR/$1" && rsync -rvult \
 --delete "$1/" "$MIRRORBASEDIR/$1/"

# do the party releases from 2000
endyear=`date +%Y`
while [ $year -le $endyear ]; do
  mirrorit /parties/$year
  year=$(($year + 1))

# do music and mags sections
mirrorit /music
mirrorit /mags

# and done

Also note that if you're setting up a HTTP mirror, you need to disable automatic directory index fallbacks (e.g. DirectoryIndex disabled in Apache), because some of our directories have an index.htm or index.html file in them which will block users from browsing that directory.

Once you're done, send us a mail!


Do you have an API one could utilize?

Yes! You can read the documentation here.


We would like to use / resell / remix / feature some of the work we downloaded from! Can you give us permission?

The International Scene Organization only has distribution rights of the works contained in its archive.

Not all of the works (songs, demos, graphics, videos) present in our archives are in the public domain. As such you need to contact the respective authors yourself to ask them specifically if they are willing to let you use their work either commercially or non-commercially.

To do so we suggest you either read the contact info if present in the ftp directory, or from the archives and accompanying text files.

We know it can prove difficult sometimes to locate the copyright holders from the handles they leave with their file. You are then advised to try to reach them through the email addresses contained in readme files.