Where are Plesk Backups Kept?

Plesk incorporates a useful backup utility which allows an easy backup of your server, on a schedule or just when you please (AKA log in and click backup…). You can choose between local backups and remote backups too, allowing you to co-locate your backups for safety.

When the backup process is interrupted there can be huge temporary files left which will soon fill up your server and cause it to cease all processes. You won’t be able to access Plesk or any MySQL, for example. We had this problem recently on a client’s server where his FTP server was full – but the system had continued making backups in the temp folder. These were not moved or removed so it was a matter of days before these 20GB+ backups filled his HDD.

There’s an easy way to solve this problem.

Using a SSH client (such as PuTTY), log into your server with the root account. This will allow you unrestricted access.

You will then need to navigate to the /var/lib/psa/dumps/ directory as this is where the backups are stored by default.

In this directory is a folder for each Client on the Plesk server (these are the numbers) and a temp folder. If you cd to the temp folder you can remove (using the RM command) any old files, and failed backup files. For example, to delete backup.backup from the current directory:

rm backup.backup

If you’re looking to move the backups to a new server, or download them, you can find them in /client_number/domain_number/ as large backup files. You can use the move command to move it to a web accessible location. For example, to move the file backup.backup from the current directory to a top website directory, you would use:

mv backup.backup /var/www/vhosts/3cc.org/httpdocs/backup.backup

I would then be able to access backup.backup from http://www.3cc.org/backup.backup.

These commands were useful quite recently when a server needed reinstalling. We simply downloaded a backup of every site on the server, reinstalled the server, added all the domains back into Plesk and uploaded the files into their former positions. The Plesk backup agent then restored the sites.

Simple & effective.