The database-backup tasks will be skipped when an external MySQL (like Amazon RDS) is configured. Please read the notes below.


The packagecloud backup system currently handles 2 kinds of backups:

  • config backup, which backs up all configuration, gpg keys, rails secrets and user seed files in /etc/packagecloud/*

  • database backup, which is an percona xtrabackup of the database


Backup configuration is located under the backups namespace in /etc/packagecloud/packagecloud.rb.

# Controls whether config backups are taken regularly
backups['config_backup'] = false

# Controls whether database backups are taken regularly
backups['database_backup'] = false

# Where to store backups locally
backups['local_backup_path'] = "/var/opt/packagecloud/backups"

# Where to store backups on S3
backups['remote_backup_path'] = "backups"

# Controls whether we should upload backups to S3
backups['s3_upload'] = true

# How many backups to keep around
backups['keep_num'] = 10

# How often to take automatic backups, in seconds
backups['frequency'] = 86400 # 24 hours

# S3 Credentials
backups['aws_access_key'] = "XXXXXXXXXXXXX"

# Controls whether we should try to create the bucket before upload
backups['aws_create_bucket'] = true

# Name of S3 bucket to place backups
backups['aws_bucket_name'] = "packagecloud-backups-023f"

# S3 Region to use
backups['aws_region'] = "us-west-2"

#### These settings were added in v2.0.5

# Whether to use percona's xbstream format, uses slightly more disk space, but allows parallel compression/decompression
backups['use_xbstream'] = true

# How many threads to use for compression/decompression (only used if use_xbstream is true)
backups['backup_threads'] = 1

Note that a backup to the local disk is always taken if backups are enabled. Enabling "s3_upload" in the backup configuration will upload the backup to s3 in addition to storing the file locally.

Manual backups

It is recommended that users take a backup prior to upgrading their packagecloud installation, especially if automatic backups are turned off.

You can take a backup at any time using any of the following commands:

CommandPurpose and Side Effects
sudo packagecloud-ctl backup-databaseCreate a database backup. This commands has no effect for external databases like Amazon RDS. Please see the Amazon RDS documenation for more information.
sudo packagecloud-ctl backup-configCreate a configuration file backup.
sudo packagecloud-ctl backup-allCreate both a configuration file and database backup. As mentioned above, the database backup is skipped for Amazon RDS. Please see the Amazon RDS documenation for more information.

Note: Manual backups do not produce any logs, only STDOUT

Listing backups

To get a list of all database backups taken, run the following commands: sudo packagecloud-ctl backup-database-list or sudo packagecloud-ctl backup-config-list for config backups.


To restore a backup, for example, a config backup located at /var/opt/packagecloud/backups/packagecloud-config-backup.1426626633.tgz, you can run sudo packagecloud-ctl backup-config-restore /var/opt/packagecloud/backups/packagecloud-config-backup.1426626633.tgz and it will restore from that backup. Same for database backups, just using sudo packagecloud-ctl backup-database-restore instead.

Restoring backup to a brand new computer

The procedures for restoring a config and database backup are as follows:

1) apt-get install packagecloud or yum install packagecloud as usual but do not run sudo packagecloud-ctl reconfigure

2) copy the most recent packagecloud-config-backup.tgz file to the new server

3) copy the most recent packagecloud-database-backup.tgz file to the new server

4) run sudo packagecloud-ctl backup-config-restore /path/to/packagecloud-config-backup.tgz

5) now that your configuration and gpg keys are in place, sudo packagecloud-ctl reconfigure

6) a site should now be running with your settings but a blank database

7) run sudo packagecloud-ctl backup-database-restore /path/to/packagecloud-database-backup.tgz

8) Now everything should be up and running like it was before


Logs for automatic config and database backups are available at /var/log/packagecloud/config-backups/current and /var/log/packagecloud/database-backups/current, respectively.

Note: Manual backups do not produce any logs, only STDOUT