Sending JIRA Data to Support

To replicate reported problems, Atlassian support staff may ask you for a copy of your JIRA data.

As of JIRA 4.1.1, it is no longer possible to send data via the Administration -> Support Request page. Please see below for instructions on providing a manual XML Backup.

Manual XML Backup

To perform a once-off backup, follow the steps below.

  1. Log in as a user with the 'JIRA System Administrators' global permission.
  2. Select 'Administration' > 'System' > 'Import & Export' > 'Backup System' (tab) to open the 'Backup JIRA data' page.
    (tick)Keyboard shortcut'g' + 'g' + type 'backu'

    (info) As shown in the screenshot above, the backup will be stored within the export subdirectory of the JIRA Home Directory.
  3. When the backup is complete, a message will be displayed, confirming that JIRA has written its data to the file you specified.
  4. Attach the generated file on disk to a support request on

Support requests are often resolved significantly faster if a data export is provided as it will allow our legendary supporters direct access to a copy of your instance. We understand that sometimes this may be a difficult option due to the sensitivity of your data and have written an anonymising tool to handle this particular scenario.

Anonymising JIRA Data

The JIRA inbuilt backup functionality will produce a ZIP file containing either 1 or 2 XML files, depending on the version that is being used. These files are a copy of the entire contents of JIRA's database, encoded in XML, that can be used to restore an instance - we have further detail on this in our Automating JIRA Backups documentation.

As of JIRA 4.4, the backup functionality will produce a ZIP file that contains 2 XML files. These files will be activeobjects.xml and entities.xmlOnly entities.xml will need to be anonymised - please do not attempt to anonymise the activeobjects.xml. For versions prior to 4.4, only one XML file will be produced with the same naming convention as the ZIP it is compressed as (for example 1970-Jan-01– will expand to 1970-Jan-01--0001.xml).

  1. Ensure that the JAVA_HOME variable has been configured, as in our Setting JAVA_HOME documentation.
  2. Download the JIRA Anonymiser.
  3. Create a temporary directory.
  4. Unzip the anonymizer in the temporary directory.
  5. Unzip the JIRA backup ZIP file (for example in the temporary directory.
  6. Anonymise the backup file with the below commands:

    $ java -Xmx512m -jar joost.jar <JIRA BACKUP>.xml anon.stx > <NAME OF ANONYMISED BACKUP>.xml

    For example, this would be anonymising a JIRA backup with the naming convention from JIRA 4.4+:

    $ java -Xmx512m -jar joost.jar entities.xml anon.stx > anon-entities.xml

    (warning) Depending on the size of the backup, additional memory may need to be allocated to the JVM. In order to do this, increase the value of the Xmx in increments of 128m.

  7. Compress the generated anonymised XML backup file (e.g: anon-entities.xml) and the activeobjects.xml(JIRA 4.4.x + only) into a ZIP or tarball.
  8. Attach that ZIP or tarball onto the support issues as raised on
  9. The temporary directory can now be removed.
The screenshot below is a simple example of how it is run in the command prompt of Windows XP:

Information about the Anonymiser

The anonymiser currently replaces the following text with x's:

  • Issue summary, environment, and description.
  • Comments, work logs, change logs.
  • Project descriptions.
  • Descriptions for most elements (notification schemes, permission schemes, resolutions).
  • Attachment file names.
  • "Unlimited text" custom fields.

Please check the anonymised backup, anon-backup.xml, to ensure it's clean enough for the needs of your organisation before sending it to Atlassian.


Invalid XML Characters

If, when the anonymiser runs, an error indicates that there are invalid XML characters in the XML backup of the database, run our utility to remove invalid XML characters first before anonymising.

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