How to backup when short on disk space?

I’m trying to use the Backup Virtual Servers tool to backup my server via FTP to a machine that’s located in the same rack as my web server. I’ve tested it successfully on a small subdomain that I have and it works great. But my main virtual server is 90GB in size (all jpeg files) and there is only 40GB of free space on the disk. Obviously, the backup process fails when writing the TAR file because the server runs out of disk space. Is there an easy solution to this that I’m missing or do you generally need to always have about 50% of free disk space in order to make a backup?

I had thought that a good solution to this problem would be to attach an external drive to the server for the sole purpose of hosting the TAR file prior to transfer. But I’m not sure if it’s possible to tell Virtualmin to save the temporary file to an alternative location (the external drive).

Any thoughts would be much appreciated!


Hey Rob,

Yeah, you’d definitely need some free disk space to hold the tar files for your Virtual Servers, if you use Virtualmin to back everything up.

You can lessen how much is required by choosing the “Transfer each virtual server after it is backed up” option, but since it’s one Virtual Server you have that’s so large, that might not help you much :slight_smile:

Other options?

Well, you can always do what you suggested – pop in another drive, and use it for handling the backups. You just have to change Webmin’s temp directory, which defaults to something in /tmp.

Another option would be to use Virtualmin to backup everything but /home (assuming the majority of that 90GB is in /home).

So Virtualmin will backup your Virtual Servers config files, BIND Zone files, MySQL DB, etc, but ignore files in /home.

And then use rsync to pull your data in /home to another location, that would avoid having to add an external drive to your box.

To have Virtualmin not backup /home data, go into the “Features and settings” area on the backup page, and have it exclude “Server’s home directory and web pages”.

I hope that helps!