Question about backup

I am having a problem configuring a backup for my system.

My system has one virtual server, vserver. Its home directory is /home/vserver. I also created a backup user and assigned /home/backup as its home directory and the Dropbox repository resides in /home/backup/Dropbox.

The problem is that my backup script is backing up the Dropbox repository. Since the backup is stored in the repository, it grows geometrically - and this is a really bad idea. Thus, I want to exclude /home/backup from the backup.

In my backup plan, the first thing I tried was to uncheck ‘include homes directory’, but I cannot uncheck this. Furthermore, I really do want to back up /home/vserver.

The next thing I considered was to put an entry in the box for ‘Files to exclude from each domain’, but there is no relative path under /home/vserver that gets me to /home/backup. (I am taking the definition of ‘under’ too literally, i.e., could I enter …/backup?)

Anyway, was hoping for some guidance/suggestions. Thanks.

How exactly did you create this “backup” user? What is its relation to your virtual server? Virtualmin should not know anything about users created outside of its scope, and thus should not touch /home/backup at all, that’s why I’m confused here. :slight_smile:

My apologies for the slow reply. Based on your comment, I wanted to reassure myself that the problem reported is real. It is.

To answer your questions:

  • I am not sure, see next answer
  • I thought the answer was ‘none’, but I do see the backup user listed as a user for the virtual domain. This is most certainly the cause of the problem.

I deleted user backup from the virtual server and recreated it via webmin->System->users and groups. Hopefully this will resolve the problem.

Sadly, the problem is not resolved. Backup has now run for three days - the second day the file size was twice that of the first day; and the third day the file size was twice that of the second day.

Clearly the Dropbox folder is being backed up. Can you suggest how I can stop this? One approach, I assume, is to simply move the home directory for the backup user out of /home. But there must be a better way - any suggestions?

Unfortunately I have no suggestions here really, since I’m completely stumped as to why Virtualmin should include a home folder that has nothing to do with its virtual servers in a backup. Normally it cannot do that.

To analyze this, I can offer you to do a Skype/screen sharing session; I’d have to take a look at your system myself. Please note though that, should this take longer than about 30 minutes, I’d have to charge a moderate fee. Need to make a living. :wink: If you’d like that, please tell me your Skype screen name or send me a contact request to “Loc2262”.


Yeah I’ve never heard of a case where Virtualmin would backup a user outside of a Virtual Server.

If you look in “Edit Users” for the Virtual Server on your system (you mentioned just having one Virtual Server, correct?) – do you see that backup user listed there?

Also, what’s generating the backup – is it Virtualmin’s Scheduled Backup that’s performing that?



This is quite interesting (which means, WTF!?)

I deleted the user backup from the virtual server, then recreated the user backup from webmin. However, the backup user still appears under my virtual server!

If I had to venture a guess, I would suggest that when the user is deleted from the virtual server, that some file is not being properly updated…

There is at least some good news - the backup behavior now makes sense!

Yeah, if the user exists as part of your Virtual Server, then it would indeed get backed up, as part of the Virtual Server backup.

If the user was deleted using Webmin, and not Virtualmin, Virtualmin wouldn’t ever remove that user from being associated with that domain.

You could always try creating a new user, with a new name, doing so outside of Virtualmin – and use a different directory to put the Dropbox contents in.


What’s odd, though, is that I did delete the user via Virtualmin, not Webmin…

I added myself as a user to the hgrvp VPS. Now it appears if I delete this user, all the files will also be deleted. This user was created long before this VPS was. Backups are now impossible…

I was placing the backup tar file in my home directory. since I was listed as a user for the VPS, my home directory was being backed up as well. thus the geometric increase in size. It was always creating a new backup that included the old one!

Now, how do I get out of this without deleting my own home directory? Check out the images in the previous post. It doesn’t look like Vmin provides a way to delete a user from a VPS without deleting the user’s home directory!

With “VPS” you mean Virtualmin virtual server?

Indeed when you delete a Virtualmin user, the home directory is always deleted. Suggestion would be: Create a new user through Webmin, outside of Virtualmin, and move the contents of the current home directory there. Then delete the Virtualmin user.


I assume that when a virtual server is created that various files, other than /home/VirtuaServer, and created and/or modified. I expect that these files have information such as the users associated with said virtual server. If there a document which lists these files and where they are located? I would like to look around and try some experiments before pursuing the original question.