Documentation for JIRA 4.3. Documentation for other versions of JIRA is available too.

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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. See also Restoring JIRA data and Restoring a Project from Backup.

Creating a complete backup of JIRA consists of two stages:

Table of Contents

1. Backing up database contents

There are two possibilities: native database backup tools, or JIRA's XML backup utility.


For production use, it is strongly recommended that for regular backups, you use native database backup tools instead of JIRA's XML backup service.

When JIRA is in use, XML backups are not guaranteed to be consistent as the database may be updated during the backup process. JIRA does not report any warnings or error messages when an XML backup is generated with inconsistencies and such XML backups will fail during the restore process. Native database backup tools offer a much more consistent and reliable means of storing (and restoring) data.


Using 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 XML 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.

See the documentation for your database on how to set up periodic backups. This typically involves a cron job or Windows scheduled task invoking a command-line tool like mysqldump or pg_dump .


Using JIRA's XML backup utility

To perform a once-off backup, e.g. before an upgrade, follow the steps below.

(info) You can also configure scheduled XML backups, as described in Automating JIRA Backups.

  1. Log in as a user with the 'JIRA System Administrators' global permission.
  2. Bring up the administration page by clicking either the 'Administration' link on the top bar or the title of the Administration box on the dashboard.
  3. Under the 'Import & Export' sub-menu in the left-hand navigation column, click the 'Backup Data to XML' link. This will display the 'Backup JIRA data' page:
    Screenshot: The Backup JIRA Data Page

    (info) As shown in the screenshot above, the backup will be stored within the backups directory of JIRA Home.
  4. In 'File name' field, type the name of the backup file. Ensure that JIRA has the necessary file system permissions to write to this location. (This should be the case if JIRA has permission to write to the JIRA Home directory.)
  5. (Optional but recommended) Select the 'Backup as Zip' check box.
  6. Click the 'Backup' button, and wait while your JIRA data is backed up.
  7. When the backup is complete, a message will be displayed, confirming that JIRA has written the data to the file you specified.

2. Backing up the data directory

The data directory is a sub-directory of your JIRA Home Directory. It contains application data for JIRA, e.g. if you have attachments enabled, all files attached to JIRA issues are stored in the data\attachments directory (not in the database).

To back up the data directory, you need to create a snapshot of the data directory (including all files and subdirectories), then back up the snapshot. Note that the directory structure under the data directory must be preserved in the snapshot.

Creating this snapshot is an operating system-specific task, e.g.:

  • On MS Windows, a batch script copying the directory can be written and scheduled periodically (Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Scheduled Tasks). There are also various utilities available to simplify this (eg.
  • On Linux/Solaris, it is best to write a small shell script, placed in /etc/cron.daily , backing up files to a directory like /var/backup/jira . It is best to copy an existing script in /etc/cron.daily to ensure local conventions (file locations, lockfiles, permissions) are adhered to.
titleYour "attachments" directory may be located elsewhere

If you have put your attachments directory in a custom location (see Configuring File Attachments) rather than inside the data directory, you will also need to back up your attachments directory using the snapshot method described above.