How To Back Up a Web Server

Q. I’m using Red Hat Enterprise Linux based Apache web server. How do I backup my Apache webserver, MySQL and PostgreSQL database to another disk called /backup and then copy it to other offsite backup ssh server called backup.example.com?

A. There are many tools under Linux / UNIX to backup a webserver. You can create a simple shell script to backup everything to /backup directory. You can also copy /backup directory content offsite using ssh and scp tool.

Step # 1: Create /root/backup.sh script

Use the following shell script (download link):

#!/bin/bash
# A Simple Shell Script to Backup Red Hat / CentOS / Fedora / Debian / Ubuntu Apache Webserver and SQL Database
# Path to backup directories
DIRS="/home/vivek/ /var/www/html/ /etc"

# Store todays date
NOW=$(date +"%F")

# Store backup path
BACKUP="/backup/$NOW"

# Backup file name hostname.time.tar.gz 
BFILE="$(hostname).$(date +'%T').tar.gz"
PFILE="$(hostname).$(date +'%T').pg.sql.gz"
MFILE="$(hostname).$(date +'%T').mysql.sq.gz"

# Set Pgsql username
PGSQLUSER="vivek"

# Set MySQL username and password
MYSQLUSER="vivek"
MYSQLPASSWORD="myPassword"

# Remote SSH server setup
SSHSERVER="backup.example.com" # your remote ssh server
SSHUSER="vivek"                # username   
SSHDUMPDIR="/backup/remote"    # remote ssh server directory to store dumps

# Paths for binary files
TAR="/bin/tar"
PGDUMP="/usr/bin/pg_dump"
MYSQLDUMP="/usr/bin/mysqldump"
GZIP="/bin/gzip"
SCP="/usr/bin/scp"
SSH="/usr/bin/ssh"
LOGGER="/usr/bin/logger"

# make sure backup directory exists
[ ! -d $BACKUP ] && mkdir -p ${BACKUP}

# Log backup start time in /var/log/messages
$LOGGER "$0: *** Backup started @ $(date) ***"

# Backup websever dirs
$TAR -zcvf ${BACKUP}/${BFILE} "${DIRS}"

# Backup PgSQL
$PGDUMP -x -D -U${PGSQLUSER} | $GZIP -c > ${BACKUP}/${PFILE}

# Backup MySQL
$MYSQLDUMP  -u ${MYSQLUSER} -h localhost -p${MYSQLPASSWORD} --all-databases | $GZIP -9 > ${BACKUP}/${MFILE}

# Dump all local files to failsafe remote UNIX ssh server / home server
$SSH ${SSHUSER}@${SSHSERVER} mkdir -p ${SSHDUMPDIR}/${NOW}
$SCP -r ${BACKUP}/* ${SSHUSER}@${SSHSERVER}:${SSHDUMPDIR}/${NOW}

# Log backup end time in /var/log/messages
$LOGGER "$0: *** Backup Ended @ $(date) ***"

Customize it according to your needs, set username, password, ssh settings and other stuff.

Step # 2: Create ssh keys

Create ssh keys for password less login from your server to another offsite server hosted at your own home or another datacenter. See following faqs for more information:

Step #3: Create Cron job

Setup a cronjob to backup server everyday, enter:
# crontab -e

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