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Backing up your server files

Here's a really easy way to do a quick backup. You need telnet and ftp access, but other than that it's pretty simple. Basically you are creating a compressed archive (tar file) of all your website files. This is a great way to archive EVERYTHING just in case something happens. (note that this does NOT backup a mysql database)

First, log into your server via telnet and work your way to your main web directory. You should be in the directory that contains all the files and directories you want to back up. On some servers it's www, on others its htdocs or httpd - whatever it's named, you need to be in that directory. For the uninitiated, you would use the "cd" command to change directory:

cd /home/yoursite.com/www

Then, once there you will type the following:

tar --create --verbose --file=backup.tar .

It will scroll through all the files as it adds them to the tar file. Once it's finished there will be a file called backup.tar in the directory you're in. A tar file is similar to a zip file and can be opened/viewed with WinZip or many other utilities.

You need to the FTP into your server with an FTP client like WS-FTP or something similar and download the backup.tar file to your hard drive. That's it! Make sure to delete the backup.tar file from your web server as they tend to be sizable if you have a lot of files in your account.

To restore the account, the easiest thing is to open up and extract the backup.tar file locally on your computer using WinZip - then just FTP the files you need back up to the web server.



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