Downloading Scheduled Backups

Hey there,

I converted a clients server to Virtualmin GPL recently. I am trying to figure out some way to allow someone to download their backups easily.

I have a couple of questions along the way.

I created a couple scheduled backups, one that does a full backup on the 1st of each month. Its destination is: Local file /home/servername/backup/full/%Y.%b.%d

I created a second one that does incremental backups every day at 4am to avoid doing it at the same time as the full backup. Its destination is: Local file /home/servername/backup/incremental/%Y.%b.%d

I have them both deleting old backups older than 32 days.

Is this particular method I am using the best way to do it?

On another server using Virtualmin Pro with 30 domains I had them both going at the same time but since last night was the 1st they both tried to go at the same time I guess and the incremental had an error trying to dump the sql files. (Dumping MySQL database … gzip failed!). So then I now have them going to separate subfolders inside the backup folder on both servers.

I have them backing up to a backup folder inside their virtual servers directory and this was adding the backup folder into the next days backup. So I eventually found the Excluded Directories under Administration Options, eventhough I thought it should be under Backup and Restore. I am guessing it was moved for some reason or another though. Took me ages to find it eventhough I new exactly what it was called. Even searching for Excluded Directories didn’t bring me to it.

And now you know right where I am at. Now it appears to be backing the files up just fine. However I am missing one part. The ability for my client to download the files. I can log into ftp and see them there. I can probably even download them, though I can’t delete them since they are owned by root but they should delete automatically after 32 days. Hopefully the server has space to keep them. The problem is I don’t want to download them or have to delete them if the server needs more space. I want my client to deal with that. Unfortunately she is old and doesn’t know how to use FTP and doesn’t want to learn. I could just run a command after backup to chmod the files to her ftp user. Maybe even one to send an email with a download link that logs her browser into ftp so she can download the backups. The thing is I don’t know how reliable that is. What if it lost connection, maybe she wouldn’t even know the backup was incomplete and she wouldn’t be able to resume it either. Maybe I am just being crazy now.

Is there an option to send an email or change the owner of the files somewhere already or do I have to write a script to do them?

Is there a way to make the backups available in Usermin? She already has a login for there and it only makes sense to put them right in there instead of emailing them to her. Any ideas on how to do this?

Sorry for the long post and so many questions. It is just hard to deal with clients sometimes when they find it hard to learn new things or simply dont have the time or desire to learn.

Thank you muchly for your time!


Is this particular method I am using the best way to do it?

Some people do more frequent full backups (such as once a week) – but if what you have works for you, then go for it :slight_smile:

Regarding what you’re trying to do with the backups with your users – I don’t really know of a good way to do that, but that may be because what you’re after is a bit atypical :slight_smile:

Backups tend to be something that’s moreso handled by the admin than the various users on the system. Backups are usually kept as far away from them as possible :slight_smile:

Personally, I’d keep your backups as-is, have Virtualmin delete them when they’re more than N days old, and if your users want a copy of the backup, have them go into Virtualmin to get it.

They are able to log into Virtualmin, and use the Backup and Restore option to generate a backup file that they’d be able to download.


Well she is going to be hosting images, thousands of them. In fact I think she said she had 15000 of them now and she wants to sell them from her server. She is only getting more images each day. They are around 5-10 megs each, then they have their thumbnails and resizes. So doing a full backup once a week might fill that drive and several others up before 32 days is up. I guess if they start running out of disk space they will just have to get more disks. So I was hoping those incremental backups would do the trick and hopefully they are reliable enough for that then since you didn’t seem to think it was a problem =)

They still want a way to be able to download their backups. So I guess it looks like I have to then create a new Webmin user especially for backups and give that user permission to the Virtualmin Virtual Servers (GPL). When I log into that it seems like way too many options to give them still unfortunately. Hehe I don’t see that turning out well at all for some reason. I still download the backups whenever I do a major change but they just want a single link they can click to download existing backups and another one they can click to delete it to save space, though they don’t even have to do that.

I still like the Usermin idea since they already can login as that user and will already be forced to learn that interface. But to do this I probably should first add an option to give permission for the link to backups to be used by that user somehow. Maybe in the screen where I am editing the mail user it can show up in the Other user permissions area somehow. Then I have to find out how to actually make a link show up in Usermin according to that option and list the backups and have a way to download. Maybe the delete link can be an option in the Other user permissions area too since it does automatically delete them.

To do this I am guessing I would have to find out how to make a Usermin Module somehow. So if possible, how much would it cost for you or whoever programs these things to do this? And if not possible, I guess I have a crap load of learning to do =)