noob question on forum backup

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jowhit
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noob question on forum backup

Post by jowhit » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:14 pm

hi all,
i've just started using phpbb3.2 and need a little advice on backups.
namely, which files from the server do i need to backup ? i've been taking a copy of everything from the server, which as you can imagine, seems to take forever :(
is it necessary to back up everything, or do i just need to back up certain files and/or folders ?

jo.

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stevemaury
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Re: noob question on forum backup

Post by stevemaury » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:19 pm

The only files you need to back up are the contents of the /files folder, the /store folder and the /images/avatars/upload folder. The important thing to back up is the database, and there are extensions for automating that.I

If you store your database backups in the /store folder, you only need to backup the latest file.
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Re: noob question on forum backup

Post by invenio » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:24 pm

What about files such as the config.php in the root directory? That's going to be unique to the board, isn't it?

I've been using phpbb for a few years now but still consider myself a noob. Let me ask a question as well. Let's say I make a total backup of all the files once, and then I wanted to just backup files that may be changing after that. What directories and files should I be backing up?

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Re: noob question on forum backup

Post by stevemaury » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:30 pm

There is no need to back up config.php, as it is easily rebuilt. OTOH, there is no harm in doing so.

The only files that change are the ones I mentioned above.
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Re: noob question on forum backup

Post by invenio » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:38 pm

I see. Thanks for the clarification as they may help me with my weekly Saturday morning ritual of backing up the database via ACP and then doing a full download of all the board files via ftp and zipping it into a single backup file.

Can I make a suggestion? Steve, you are obviously one of the most knowledgable and helpful people here. Do you think it may be a worthwhile thing to make a backup guide article for the Knowledge Base section of the site?

Maybe have different recommendations for how to make a full backup (say right before you try a version upgrade), to these more limited regular bases incremental upgrades for files that would be unique to the board, and for those that may have changed some of the code. Just a thought that I think could be helpful for many as we should all be doing backups afterall.

Again, thanks for the clarification.

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Re: noob question on forum backup

Post by thecoalman » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:52 pm

Ideally you should be backing up the database once a day and even hourly incremental backups but that gets a little complicated. A quick search brings up this extension for automating creating the backup:

viewtopic.php?f=456&t=2400156

Most FTP clients will have a way to sync folders on the server with your local copy, most also have a way to schedule it. You want to keep some older copies, suppose you accidently wipe out a bunch of posts. If your delete the old backup and then only have copy of the new backup it's pointless for recovery.

The only trouble with this is managing it. If you have root access look at this:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/automysqlbackup/

This will generate scheduled backups on the server. For example you can set it to create a backup once a day, they rotated out every 7 days. It will create a weekly backup that gets rotated out every four weeks. It creates a monthly backup that gets rotated out 6 months or never... In other words you have a backup for each of the last 7 days, 1 for each of the last 4 weeks and one for each month.

Using your FTP software you schedule it to sync the folders for the daily and weekly backups, in sync mode it will automatically delete the local backups that no longer exist on the server. For the month, just keep them all.

You can do the same thing with the files on the entire site, you may not need to do it for all files but it's a hell of lot easier to restore a site when you have the entire thing up to date and ready to rock and roll as local copy.
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Re: noob question on forum backup

Post by stevemaury » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:07 pm

invenio wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:38 pm
Do you think it may be a worthwhile thing to make a backup guide article for the Knowledge Base section of the site?
https://www.phpbb.com/support/docs/en/3 ... or-domain/ - see the "BACKUP" section.
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Re: noob question on forum backup

Post by invenio » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:13 pm

stevemaury wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:07 pm
invenio wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:38 pm
Do you think it may be a worthwhile thing to make a backup guide article for the Knowledge Base section of the site?
https://www.phpbb.com/support/docs/en/3 ... or-domain/ - see the "BACKUP" section.
Yes, but that is the full backup method (that I also use) which is apparently not needed per your advice above.

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Re: noob question on forum backup

Post by HiFiKabin » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:56 pm

How I do it can be read HERE

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Re: noob question on forum backup

Post by invenio » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:04 pm

So basically, the only unique files for any standard install of phpBB are:

/images
/files
config.php
(and the database obviously)

What about the extensions folder, I know you can always download the extension files from the official download site? Does the data for the extensions reside in the database or local files? If locally, is it in the /ext folder and thus that would need to be added to the regular backup schedule?

Thanks for the input, as a noob this has been some really interesting information for me. I'm glad I won't have to download 1,000's of extra phpBB files with every backup from now on. It seems like that took more time than the /files directory (which represents +90% of the actual data size).

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Re: noob question on forum backup

Post by david63 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:58 pm

invenio wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:04 pm
? Does the data for the extensions reside in the database or local files?
Where the data resides will be dependent on the extension but for any validated extensions the data should be either in the database or in the store folder.
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Re: noob question on forum backup

Post by invenio » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:34 pm

I only use the official "Board Announcements" extension. Probably safer if I add the /ext folder to the backup list then.

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Re: noob question on forum backup

Post by jowhit » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:23 am

thank you to everyone for all the info :)
not having to backup everything now will be a great time saver for me :)

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Re: noob question on forum backup

Post by david63 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:29 am

invenio wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:34 pm
Probably safer if I add the /ext folder to the backup list then.
No point - there should not be any changes to those files - so you would be able to use a fresh copy of the files in a worst case scenario.
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Re: noob question on forum backup

Post by invenio » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:04 pm

So to summarize a standard board install (with extensions), the only things that would potentially have board specific files that could not be downloaded from the official phpBB website would be:

/files
/images
/store
config.php
(the database)

And the contents of /store may be optional based on the type of extension we have installed or if there database backups there. I think this summarizes all of the above comments?

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