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Re: Automating backups

Peter Houppermans wrote:

[pg_dump et al]

I think there's scope for creating some script that handles the backup automagically so it can be stuck in a cron job. The idea is to give people a framework to work with - adding FTP/SCP/DVD burning/switching on coffee makers is up to local conditions - and ideally this backup should be in a format that allows restore of the complete accounts as well as the code (also allows for making backups prior to fundamental structural changes in code/database - always nice to be able to go back the old "machine").

Well from a database perspective, pg_dump gives you that. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect people that are running LedgerSMB to also knows the basics of backing up PostgreSQL.

Granted pg_dump does not give you code, which would have to be handled differently, and yes it does make sense to allow someone to click a button in the app and have it correctly create a backup, and then allow you to download said backup.

As far as adding crons for automated backups? That is a system administrators job and I for one would be ticked if an APP automagically starting add crons to one of my production machines.

Granted, we should document how one could do it themselves.

In addition to that, lesson no 1 of Business Continuity Processes is that a backup is not a backup unless you (a) can restore it and (b) regularly test and exercise the restore process - ergo a restore methodology would not go amiss either.


Bottom line: good question that probably deserves more attention re answer, not everyone is a (very responsive) top coder like you :-).

Not suggesting that this is not a good question. The answer to your question is pg_dump, which is a PostgreSQL application. You can see the docs here:


As for disasters, I've been there re. failing and incomplete backups - it's not the most popular discovery at 4am when you're busy reviving a system that is needed 9am.. This means that the steps prior to restoring the DB as you describe in part (2) of your answer probably need scripting too (most likely by using a complete tar.gz archive of code and db dump).

True all of this would need scripting for automation. We take contributions :).


Joshua D. Drake

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