Lab Currently Closed Closed All Day on Monday (Presidents' Day) more »
Keeping backups on hand is crucial to maintaining any website. While your data is protected from hardware failure by the OCF's backup infrastructure, you will find you need a backup history of your own when you need to:
You can make easy-to-restore backups over SSH by following the examples on this page. You could alternatively use SFTP, but this wouldn't allow you to back up a database.
Making a backup of your website document tree (where all the
etc. files are) is as simple as making a copy of your files into your home
folder. If you maintain multiple websites, you can make individual backups of
each; otherwise, you can just back up
To save on storage space, you should archive and compress these backups as
.tar.gz files. If you have a folder
~/backups created, you
can save your website
~/public_html there with the following command:
tar czhf ~/backups/backup.tar.gz ~/public_html
To restore the backup, you would first remove the contents of
rm -r ~/public_html) and then extract the compressed file.
cd ~/public_html tar xzhf ~/backups/backup.tar.gz
Do not try to backup your
public_html folder by copying it directly! It is
not a real directory, but a link to where the files are actually stored.
Instead, explicitly copy all the files inside to another directory or use the
the commands on this page which were written to do so.
For many websites and frameworks, the web document tree only makes up half the site; the rest of the data resides in the database. Particularly, if you are using WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, you will have to backup your database alongside your web directory.
If you are using a MySQL database, you can use
mysqldump to make snapshots.
Instructions are on the MySQL page, but the basic syntax
to make a backup is
mysqldump username > ~/backup.sql
and, to restore, is
mysql -D username < ~/backup.sql
You should compress these files with
gzip as they can be quite large. The
above commands can be modified to do this. To save,
mysqldump username | gzip -c > ~/backup.sql.gz
and, to restore,
gzip -dc ~/backup.sql.gz | mysql -D username
By default, you have to enter your MySQL every time you make a backup, which is
inconvenient. Worse, if you forget the password and uses
makemysql to reset
it, it will break your old website backups! If you want to save the trouble,
follow our instructions to create
~/.my.cnf which will
allow you to use MySQL without entering the password by hand.
If you have an old website you want to archive and remove from public view, you
can make a backup of it using the above instructions and then delete your
webiste files and database. When deleting files, be sure to delete the contents
public_html and not just
public_html itself, which is a mere
The easiest way to remove the contents of your database is to log into
phpMyAdmin at https://pma.ocf.berkeley.edu with
your OCF username and MySQL password. There, you can select all tables using
the check boxes and select
Drop to delete them all.
If you instead wanted to delete the whole database, you could use the command
mysqladmin -uusername -p drop username
However, you would need to run
makemysql to create a new database, which
would permanently change your password.
Suppose your OCF account name is
johndoe and you have WordPress installed
~/public_html. A typical backup might look like this:
johndoe@tsunami:~$ mysqldump johndoe | gzip -c > ~/mysql-backup-7-26-15.sql.gz Enter password: johndoe@tsunami:~$ tar czhf ~/site-backup-7-26-15.tar.gz -C ~/ public_html
while a restore would look like this:
johndoe@tsunami:~$ gzip -dc ~/mysql-backup-7-26-15.sql.gz | mysql -D johndoe Enter password: johndoe@tsunami:~$ tar xzhf ~/site-backup-7-26-15.tar.gz -C ~/ public_html
If you were using
.my.cnf, you wouldn't even have to enter your database
The only real security concern is that you don't leave any backup files in your
public_html directory. Doing so would allow anybody to download all your raw
data and e.g. steal your website login information and find and exploit other