Backing up a VPS
The Forth Road Bridge
Nick Hood

Backing up a VPS

2019, Dec 14    

I regularly back up the files on my VPS1. I do this using a script run from the terminal on any convenient machine, usually a MacBook laptop. This is the script:

[ ! -d ~/Downloads/VPS_rsync ] && mkdir -p ~/Downloads/VPS_rsync
cd ~/Downloads/VPS_rsync
rsync -avz user@server.tld:/path/to/vhosts/ .
date >>

The first line tells OSX that what follows is a bash script and should run in the Bourne Again Shell (bash). Next, a folder is created in the current user’s download directory, which is then made the current working directory.

The rsync command is then issued with a username and the name of the server to be backed up - in this case server.tld, and the directory on the server to be backed up. I am backing up the vhosts directory which contains all of the files and folders that my VPS serves. The dot at the end of that line tells rsync to download the data to the current directory. The server will issue a login challenge.

The last line of the script prints the current timestamp to a file. Once complete (it can take a while) the files can be relocated to an offline storage.

  1. Virtual Private Server. A rented computer that contains, manages and serves websites and other services on the Internet. Mine is in London.