Backing up data
This page describes how to back up your Jira data, and establish processes for maintaining continual backups. Backing up your Jira data is the first step in upgrading your server to a new Jira revision, or splitting your Jira instance across multiple servers.
Creating a complete backup of Jira consists of two stages:
1. Backing up database contents
There are two options available to back up database contents:
- RECOMMENDED Using native database backup tools
- Using Jira's backup utility
For regular backups in production use, we strongly recommend that you use native database backup tools instead of Jira's XML backup service.
When Jira is in use, there’s no guarantee that XML backups will be consistent as the database may be updated during the backup process. Jira doesn't report any warnings or error messages when an XML backup is generated with inconsistencies and such backups will fail during the restore process. Native database backup tools offer a much more consistent and reliable means of storing (and restoring) data while Jira is active.
Option 1: Use native database backup tools
All serious databases come with tools to back up and restore databases (the "MS" in RDBMS). We strongly recommend these tools in preference to the backup option described below, as they:
- ensure integrity of the database by taking the backup at a single point in time
- are much faster and less resource-intensive than Jira's XML backup
- integrate with existing backup strategies (e.g. allowing one backup run for all database-using apps)
- may allow for incremental (as opposed to "full") backups, saving disk space
- avoid character encoding and format issues relating to Jira's use of XML as a backup format
Option 2: Use Jira's backup utility
For all of the following procedures, you must be logged in as a user with the Jira system administrator global permissions.
To perform a once-off backup, e.g. before an upgrade, follow the steps below.
This section explains how to perform a once-off backup (e.g. before an upgrade). You can also configure scheduled XML backups, as described in Automating Jira application backups.
To do a once-off backup:
- In the upper-right corner of the screen, select Administration> System.
Under Import and export (the left-side panel), select Backup system to open the Backup Jira data page.
In the File name field, enter the name of the backup file. Make sure that Jira has the necessary file system permissions to write to this location.
The backup will be stored within the
exportsubdirectory of the Jira application (shared) home directory.
Select the Backup button and wait until your Jira data is backed up. Jira will save your XML backup as a zipped archive file.
When the backup is complete, you’ll see a message confirming that Jira has written its data to the file you specified.
2. Backing up the
It’s crucial that you back up your Jira application’s
data directory, which is a sub-directory of the Jira application home directory (
jira-home for short).
data directory contains application data for your Jira instance. For example, issue attachments are stored in the
Backing up the JIRA index
The Jira index is stored in a different sub-directory,
<Jira-home>\caches. On large instances, we recommend that you enable "restorable index" in the system options to create backups of the index that you can restore later.
There’s no one specific way to back up the data directory, but here are a couple of methods you might consider:
- On Microsoft Windows. You can write a a batch script copying the directory, and schedule it to run periodically. To set up scheduled tasks, search for the “Task Scheduler” in the Windows task bar.
- On Linux/Solaris. You can write a small shell script placed in
/etc/cron.daily.The script would back up files to a directory like
/var/backup/jira. It is best to copy an existing script in
/etc/cron.dailyto ensure the alignment with local conventions (file locations, lockfiles, permissions).
If you have put your
attachments directory in a custom location rather than inside the
data directory, you'll need to back up your
attachments directory separately.
If you have a large file, see How to transfer large files to Atlassian.