What does this error mean?

I am trying to create a scheduled daily backup to an SSH server that will delete old backups after 3 days. I have selected the strftime-style checkbox, but am being presented with this error:

Failed to save scheduled backup : Deletion of old backups is only supported when a date-based destination is used, and strftime substitutions are enabled

A date-based destination? What does that mean?

What does your destination directory look like?

It would need the year, month, and day in it.


  1. as in my/path/%y/%m/%d ? this makes it mandatory to enable “create dest directory”, correct?

  2. also, the instructions for “one file per server” tell me to NOT enter a filename, but to use a directory instead. does this mean that i cannot use my/path/mybackupfilename-%y-%m-%d ? it would be nicer to have it this way instead of scattered over different directories.

  3. i would like to use passwordless (cert) based login with auto entered password. ssh to the backup server works fine for a human user logged in as root. in setting up the backup job, i entered the IP, path (as in #1, at least for now) and the username. it doesnt work. it just stays at “Starting backup of 2 domains to my/path/%y/%m/% on SSH server xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx”. is it possible to get it to work this way?


You can use cert-based logins by setting up an SSH key for the root user.

That is – if you log into your Virtualmin server as the user “root” – that user would need to be able to log into your backup server with an SSH cert. Once root on your Virtualmin server is able to use a passwordless login, it should then work fine within the Virtualmin backups.

As far as backups go – the filenames are set to be “domain_name.tar.gz” – you’d have to use different directories when backing up different days/months.


and do i need to enable “Create destination directory?”


If I use the following filename: “public_html/server_name/virtualmachine_name/%y.%m.%d.tar.gz” along with “One file per server”

PROBLEM: I end up having the same file overwritten over and over and I end up with a single backup, for the last backed up vhost. There has got to be a more intelligent way to handle this.


Is there a special char that can be used to place the vhost name in the backup filename?


Is strftime uncompatible with “One file per server” (when a server has multiple vhosts) ??


Hmm, so you do have the strftime option checked in the backup screen?

If that is indeed checked, I’d guess that’s the problem, that the strftime may not work using the one-big-file mode.


yes its checked. but you might be misunderstanding the problem. if i used one big file (for all vhosts), it WOULD work. the problem is with using one file per vhost - each subsequential backup overwrites the previous one.

maybe the backup module could use some rework. i wish i could contribute to that, but i dont have the necessary skills.

thanks andrey!

just put /%y/%m/%d after the destination folder and also tick create directory
for example:-
destination folder = /my_backups/%y/%m/%d