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Nextcloud backup and restore

Backup Nextcloud

Ensure to have regulary backups from _0 (Sunday) to _6 (Saturday) of your Nextcloud, including at least:
– the webfolder: /var/www/nextcloud
– the datafolder: /var/nc_data/appdata_<id>
– and the database: nextcloud.

Please substitute ubuntuusername and the database password nextcloud with yours. Switch into sudo mode:

sudo -s

1. Turn maintenance mode on:

sudo -u www-data php /var/www/nextcloud/occ maintenance:mode --on

2. Backup the webfolder:

tar -cpzf /home/ubuntuusername/ncserver_`date +"%w"`.tar.gz -C /var/www/nextcloud .

3. Backup the datafolder:

tar -cpzf /home/ubuntuusername/ncdata_`date +"%w"`.tar.gz -C /var/nc_data .

4. Backup the database:

mysqldump --single-transaction -h localhost -unextcloud -pnextcloud nextcloud > /home/ubuntuusername/ncdb_`date +"%w"`.sql

5. Turn maintenance mode off:

sudo -u www-data php /var/www/nextcloud/occ maintenance:mode --off


6. A Nextcloud backup example (

It won’t backup your personal (user) data, but you will be able to restore the entire Nextcloud instance.
Please don’t forget to backup your personal (user) data either!

# enbale Maintenance Mode to prevent users from working with Nextcloud
sudo -u www-data php /var/www/nextcloud/occ maintenance:mode --on
# create directory first: mkdir /backup -p
# create directory first: mkdir /backup-repository -p
# declare dateformat and numbering of backups
# print start date/time 
echo "START: $(date)"
# list of folders to be backed up, feel free to add/remove directories
# declare the backup filename
# change directory
# start rsync to back up the folders
	if [ -d "$FOLDER" ];
		echo "Copying $FOLDER..."
		rsync -AaRx --delete $FOLDER $BACKUP_STORE
		echo "Skipping $FOLDER (does not exist!)"
# copy the fstab
[ -f /etc/fstab ] && cp /etc/fstab $BACKUP_STORE/etc/
# copy the mail configuration
[ -f /etc/msmtprc ] && cp /etc/msmtprc $BACKUP_STORE/etc/
# create a database back up
mysqldump --single-transaction -h localhost -unextcloud -pnextcloud nextcloud > $BACKUP_STORE/ncdb_`date +"%w"`.sql
# print the database backup size
mysql -hlocalhost -unextcloud -pnextcloud -e "SELECT table_schema 'DB',round(sum(data_length+index_length)/1024/1024,1) \
 'Size (MB)' from information_schema.tables WHERE table_schema = 'nextcloud';"
# create the directories
mkdir -p $(dirname $ARCHIVE_FILE)
# compress all data
tar -cpzf $ARCHIVE_FILE .
# print back up size
echo "nc_backup size: $(stat --printf='%s' $ARCHIVE_FILE | numfmt --to=iec)"
# stop all services
/usr/sbin/service nginx stop
/usr/sbin/service mysql stop
/usr/sbin/service redis-server stop
/usr/sbin/service php7.3-fpm stop
# remove copied files 
[ -f $BACKUP_STORE/ncdb_`date +"%w"`.sql ] && rm -f $BACKUP_STORE/ncdb_`date +"%w"`.sql
[ -f /etc/msmtprc ] && rm -f $BACKUP_STORE/etc/msmtprc
[ -f /etc/fstab ] && rm -f $BACKUP_STORE/etc/fstab
# if ModSecurity is enabled remove the '#'
#echo "+---------+-------+--------------+"
#echo "|   ModeSec Access denied        |"
#echo "+---------+-------+--------------+"
#/bin/cat /var/log/nginx/error.log /var/log/nginx/error.log.1  | egrep -i "access denied" | \ 
egrep -i "id \"[0-9]{6}\"" -o | sort | uniq -c | sort -nr
#echo "+---------+-------+--------------+"
#echo "|   ModeSec Warnings             |"
#echo "+---------+-------+--------------+"
#/bin/cat /var/log/modsec_audit.log | egrep -i "warning\." | egrep -i "id \"[0-9]{6}\"" -o | sort | uniq -c | sort -nr
#echo "+---------+-------+--------------+"
# restart all services
/usr/sbin/service nginx stop
/usr/sbin/service mysql restart
/usr/sbin/service redis-server restart
# enable if Collabora and/or OnlyOffice are used
#/usr/bin/docker restart COLLABORAOFFICE
#/usr/bin/docker restart ONLYOFFICE
/usr/sbin/service php7.3-fpm restart
/usr/sbin/service nginx restart
# disable maintanance mode
sudo -u www-data php /var/www/nextcloud/occ maintenance:mode --off
# Nextcloud optimizations
/usr/bin/redis-cli -s /var/run/redis/redis-server.sock <<EOF
sudo -u www-data php /var/www/nextcloud/occ files:scan --all
sudo -u www-data php /var/www/nextcloud/occ files:scan-app-data
# check for Nextcloud updates
echo "Nextcloud apps are checked for updates..."
sudo -u www-data php /var/www/nextcloud/occ app:update --all
# print end date/time
echo "END: $(date)"
# substitute properly to send backup status mails and enable it
#mail -s "Backup - $(date +$CURRENT_TIME_FORMAT)" -a "FROM: Your Name <>" < /path/to/your/logfile
exit 0

Restore Nextcloud according to the chapters before

A restore of your Nextcloud even consists of
– the webfolder: /var/www/nextcloud
– the datafolder: /var/nc_data/appdata_<id>
– the database: nextcloud.

We demonstrate a restore exemplarily from a Monday backup (_1) what have to be substituted properly. Switch into sudo mode:

sudo -s

1. Turn maintenance mode on:

sudo -u www-data php /var/www/nextcloud/occ maintenance:mode --on

2. Stop services:

/usr/sbin/service nginx stop
/usr/sbin/service php7.3-fpm stop

3. Delete the old directories:

rm -r /var/www/nextcloud/
rm -r /var/nc_data/

4. Create the directories new again:

mkdir -p /var/www/nextcloud/
mkdir -p /var/nc_data/
tar -xpzf /home/ubuntuusername/ncserver_1.tar.gz -C /var/www/nextcloud/
tar -xpzf /home/ubuntuusername/ncdata_1.tar.gz -C /var/nc_data/

5. Apply the permissions:

chown -R www-data:www-data /var/nc_data /var/www

6. Restore the database:

– Delete the old database

mysql -h localhost -uroot -pnextcloud -e "DROP DATABASE nextcloud"

– Create an empty one

mysql -h localhost -uroot -pnextcloud -e "CREATE DATABASE nextcloud CHARACTER SET utf8mb4 COLLATE utf8mb4_general_ci"

– Grant access

mysql -h localhost -uroot -pnextcloud -e "GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES on nextcloud.* to nextcloud@localhost"

– Restore the database

mysql -h localhost -unextcloud -pnextcloud nextcloud < /home/ubuntuusername/ncdb_1.sql

7. Restart services:

/usr/sbin/service php7.3-fpm start
/usr/sbin/service nginx start

8. Fingerprint:

After restoring a backup of your data directory or the database, you should always call maintenance:data-fingerprint once. This changes the ETag for all files in the communication with sync clients, allowing them to realize a file was modified.

sudo -u www-data php /var/www/nextcloud/occ maintenance:data-fingerprint

9. Turn maintenance mode off:

sudo -u www-data php /var/www/nextcloud/occ maintenance:mode --off


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