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Manage Backups

Manage Backups

This page is the single place you can review all your Akeeba Backup backup history, as well as administer the backup files. The bulk of the page consists of a standard Joomla!™ list table. Each row represents a backup attempt and displays a whole lot of information:

The check box column

Clicking the check box on the leftmost cell of a row selects this backup for an operation to be applied to it. Operations are activated by clicking on tool bar buttons. In case of an operation allowing a single row to be selected, the topmost selected row is considered as the sole selection.

Description

Displays the description you have set when you started the backup. If your backup has a comment attached to it, an info icon will also appear. Hovering your mouse over the info icon will show you a preview of that comment.

To the left of the description there's an icon indicating the backup origin, e.g. Backend, Frontend, JSON API, CLI and so on. Hover over it to see what each icon means.

Below the description you will see the date and time of the backup. The date / time format, timezone and timezone suffix are configured in the component's Options page.

Profile

Displays the numeric identifier (and description, if available) of the backup profile used during the backup. It is possible that since the time of the backup the profile may have been modified or even deleted!

Below it you will see the backup type. It indicates the backup type. A backup type may not be provided if the backup profile has been deleted in the meantime.

Duration

The duration of the backup in hours : minutes : seconds format. This information is not available for failed backups!

Status

Indicates the status of the backup. Hover over the icon to see what it means. It will be one of:

OK (Green)

A complete backup whose backup archive is available for download.

Obsolete (Gray)

A complete backup whose backup archive is either deleted, or was overwritten by another backup attempt.

[Note]Note

If you move your backup output directory's location, all your previous backups will appear as "Obsolete", even though you might have moved these backup files as well. This is not a bug. Akeeba Backup internally stores the absolute path to the backup files. When you move the output directory its absolute path changes, so Akeeba Backup is unable to locate the old backup files.

[Important]Important

If your host uses MySQL 4.0 the status will always appear as Obsolete and you will be unable to download the backup archive through your browser, as the result of limitations of this ancient, obsolete and unsupported MySQL version. You can still use your favorite FTP client to download the backup archives, though.

Remote (Blue)

Indicates a complete backup which has been uploaded to remote storage (e.g. Dropbox, Amazon S3, CloudFiles and so on), but it is no longer stored on your server. You can fetch the backup archive backup to your server any time (as long as you haven't manually removed the file from the remote storage) in order to restore it, clicking the Manage Remote Files link on the right-hand column.

[Note]Note

Not all remote storage engines support fetching back backup archives. Currently, only FTP, Amazon S3, CloudFiles and Dropbox support this feature.

Pending (Yellow)

A backup attempt which is still running. You should not see any such record, unless a backup attempt started while you were loading this page. In this case, you should not navigate to the Control Panel page! Doing so would invalidate the backup and wreck havoc. You have been warned! Another reason to see such an entry is a backup attempt which failed with a PHP fatal error, or which was abruptly interrupted (by the user or a PHP error). In this case, you can safely delete the entry and get rid of the backup file as well.

Failed (Red)

A backup attempt which failed with a catchable error condition.

Size

The total size of the backup archive in MB. If the files are not available on your server, i.e. the record is marked as "obsolete" or "remote", the size appears inside parentheses to let you know that the files are not available for download.

Manage and Download

Depending on the status of the backup it will show two or more buttons:

  • Download. Opens a popup which allows you to download the backup archive file(s) directly from your browser. However, this is NOT recommended. The only guaranteed method of downloading your backup archives error-free is using FTP or SFTP in BINARY transfer mode. Anything else has the potential to CORRUPT your backup archives for reasons beyond our control!

  • Manage remotely stored files. If the file is stored on a remote storage location, e.g. Amazon S3 or a remote FTP server, you will also see this button. Clicking on it will allow you to transfer the files back to your server, download them directly from the remote location or remove them from the remote storage.

  • Upload to <remote storage name>. If Akeeba Backup failed to upload your backup archive to remote storage you will be shown this button. Clicking it will have Akeeba Backup retry the upload to remote storage.

  • View Log. If your backup archive has a backup ID you will also see this button. Clicking it takes you to the View Log page to see the backup log file. If the backup status is anything other than OK this button will be grayed over as Akeeba Backup can't guarantee that the log file is present. Hover your mouse over the button to get the Log file ID which you'll need in the View Log page to look for this log file.

  • Info. Clicking this button tells you if the backup archive is currently present on your server, where to find it (relative to your site's root directory) and what is the name of the backup archive file. This allows you to download the backup archive over FTP/SFTP as discussed above.

Clicking on the label of each column allows you to sort the backup entries by the contents of that column. By default, Akeeba Backup sorts the records by the time of backup descending, so that the newest backup attempts will appear on top. Below the header there are four filter boxes. The first one allows you to filter by the backup description. The other two allow you to select a date range so that only backups attempted within this date range will be displayed. You can leave either of these boxes empty to allow an open start or end date respectively. The final box allows you to filter by backup profile.

On the top of the page you can find a tool bar with operations buttons. The Delete button will remove the selected backup attempt entries along with their backup archives (if applicable), whereas the Delete Files button will only remove the files (if found on your server). The Restore button (Akeeba Backup Professional only) will run the integrated restoration feature for the selected archive file. This feature can be used to restore your backup archive on the same server you backed up from or even a different server (live transfer of your site to another host!). The Discover and Import Archives (available since Akeeba Backup Professional 3.2) allows you to import any ZIP, JPA or JPS file, located anywhere in your server or Amazon S3, in the Manage Backups (formerly "Administer Backup Files") page in order to restore it on this or any other site.

[Note]Note

If you are interested in restoring your backup archives and your site is inaccessible or you're using the free Akeeba Backup Core edition, you can use Akeeba Kickstart or Akeeba eXtract Wizard to extract the archive and restore it on their server. The procedure is detailed in our Quick Start Guide and our Video Tutorials.

[Important]Important

Integrated restoration is only supported for Full Site and Files Only backup archives. Trying to use it with any other type of backup files will ultimately result in an error. This feature is available only to Akeeba Backup Professional - the paid version. Users of the Akeeba Backup Core version can follow our video tutorials or Quick Start Guide instructions to easily restore their backups using Kickstart or eXtract Wizard.

Backup description / comment editor

The View / Edit Comment button will open a page showing the description and comment of the currently selected backup row. You can freely edit both the description and the comment on that page and save your changes using the Save & Close button. The same page will open if you click on a backup record's description (appearing as a link).

Integrated restoration

[Warning]Warning

Using the integrated restoration you are OVERWRITING your site with the one contained in the backup archive. The same precautions apply as with any backup restoration.

The integrated restoration feature allows you to easily restore a previous backup directly on your server, as long as your backup archive still exists on your server of course. The whole idea behind this feature is that it is not necessary to manually download Kickstart, place it in your site's root and move the backup archive from the output directory to the site's root in order to perform the restoration. Instead, the integrated restoration feature takes care of extracting your backup archive directly from the backup output folder into your site's root and then allow you to run the embedded installer (Akeeba Backup Installer) to complete the restoration procedure.

The communication between your browser and the archive extraction script is encrypted with the AES128 (Rijndael) encryption method, using a random key produced as soon as you initiate the restoration of a backup archive. This ensures that a malicious user can't exploit the restoration script to mischievously extract your backup archive in your site's root with the intent to steal your database password. The encryption/decryption algorithm is implemented with standard PHP and Javascript code, eliminating the need for third party cryptography libraries and ensuring that under no circumstances unencrypted data will be exchanged between the browser and the server.

In order to start an integrated restoration begin by going to the Manage Backups page of the component. In that page check the checkbox next to the backup you want to restore and click the Restore button in the toolbar to will run the integrated restoration feature for the selected archive file.

The integrated restoration setup page

When you first start the integrated restoration feature, you are presented with a few settings. The first setting, appearing above the Start Restoration button, determines how the file extraction will be performed. The two available options are:

Write directly to files

All files will be extracted directly to their final location using direct PHP file writes. If your permissions settings do not allow some files or directories to be created/overwritten the process will fail and your site will be left in a half-restored state.

Use FTP uploads

Using this method, each file is first extracted to the temporary directory specified by the current profile and then moved to its final location using FTP. This is a "best effort" approach and can work with most servers. Do note that only unencrypted FTP (plain FTP) is supported. If you choose this option, you'll also have to specify the FTP connection settings.

[Tip]Tip

You can use this option to restore a backup on a different site. Just select this option and provide the FTP connection details to the other site before clicking on Start Restoration.

Hybrid

This mode combines the previous two in an intelligent manner. When selected, Akeeba Backup will first attempt to write to the files directly. If this is not possible, i.e. due to permissions or ownership of the file or folder being exracted, it will automatically make use of the FTP mode to overcome the permissions / ownership problem. It effectively works around a situation commonly called "permissions hell", where different files and folders are owned by different users, making it extremely difficult to overwrite them. This is a situation which happens very commonly on shared hosting. Therefore we strongly advise clients on shared hosting environments to use the Hybrid option.

[Note]Note

You MUST supply your FTP information for this mode to have any effect. If you do not do that the Hybrid mode will function exactly as the "Write directly to files" mode.

The default mode is writing directly to files, unless your site's Global Configuration indicates that the FTP layer should be used in which case the Hybrid mode is selected by default.

In the event that a partial restoration happens, your site will be left in a semi-restored state. Trying to access it will pop up the restoration script (ANGIE). If you want to retry the restoration using different settings, please remove the installation directory from your site's root manually, for example using FTP, before trying to access your site's administrator back-end.

If you chose to use the FTP mode, there are some connection settings you have to take care of. Do note that they are filled in with Joomla!'s FTP layer settings by default. Unless you chose not to store your FTP password in Joomla!'s configuration or if you have not configured the FTP layer yet, there is no need to change them. The settings are:

Host name

The host name of your site's FTP server, without the protocol. For example, ftp.example.com is valid, ftp://ftp.example.com is invalid.

Port

The TCP/IP port of your site's FTP server. The default and standard value is 21. Please only use a different setting if your host explicitly specifies a non-standard port.

User name

The username used to connect to the FTP server.

Password

The password used to connect to the FTP server.

Initial directory

The FTP directory to your web site's root. This is not the same as the filesystem directory and can't be determined automatically. The easiest way to determine it is to connect to your site using your favourite FTP client, such as FileZilla. Navigate inside your web site's root directory. You'll know you are there when you see the file configuration.php and directories such as administrator, components, language in that directory. Copy (in FileZilla it appears on the right hand column, above the directory tree) and paste that path in Akeeba Backup's setting.

Test FTP connection

Clicking on this button will tell you if the FTP connection could be established or not. If the connection is not successful you should not proceed with a restoration in FTP mode as it will fail immediately.

The whole process is fully automated, so there is not much to tell you about it. However, you must not that in order for the restoration procedure to work properly you must take care of the following:

  1. This feature is directly calling the administrator/components/com_akeeba/restore.php script. If you have a server-side protection, i.e. .htaccess rules, or permissions settings which prevent this file from being called directly the process will fail.

    Security note: The restore.php file is of no use to potential hackers. In order for it to work at all, it requires the restoration.php file (more on that on the next point of this list) to load. Even then, it expects a key which is not predefined and is only known to the restore.php script and the integrated restoration page of Akeeba Backup. As a result, it can't be used as a potential attack vector.

  2. Before the restoration begins, Akeeba Backup needs to create the administrator/components/com_akeeba/restoration.php file with all the archive extraction setup parameters. It is intelligent enough to use Joomla!'s FTP mode if it is enabled so as to overcome any permission problems, but you are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the permission settings are adequate for Akeeba Backup to create this file.

    If you have disabled Joomla!'s FTP layer, the permissions of the administrator/components/com_akeeba directory should be 0777 for the integrated restoration to work, or 0755 on hosts which use suPHP. You can change these permissions after the restoration is over, of course.

    If you are using Joomla!'s FTP layer and it was active when you were installing Akeeba Backup, you'll need to give this directory at least 0755 permissions, but you may have to manually remove restoration.php (but NOT restore.php!!!) after the site restoration is over.

  3. When the extraction of the backup archive finishes, you will be automatically forwarded to the Akeeba Backup Installer page on a new tab or window. DO NOT CLOSE THE INTEGRATED RESTORATION PAGE'S TAB/WINDOW! After you have competed the Akeeba Backup Installer process you are supposed to return to the Integrated Restoration page and click on the Finalize button to:

    • remove the installation directory from your site's root, and

    • remove the administrator/components/com_akeeba/restoration.php setup file to nullify the, already non-existent, potential risk of a malicious user abusing this script.