How to backup Redmine using the Bitnami Docker image

In a previous post I detailed how to install Redmine on Linux using the excellent Bitnami docker image.

This post will teach you how to easily make an online backup of your Redmine installation. Note that automating the backup is not within the scope of this post.

We assume that the redmine is installed as shown in my previous post in /var/lib/redmine. and that you want to backup to my.backup.server:~/redmine-backup/ using rsync.

Backing up the Redmine data

This is pretty easy, as the data is all in just one directory. You can sync it using

rsync --checksum -Pavz /var/lib/redmine/redmine_data my.backup.server:~/redmine-backup/

Note that old versions of files in redmine_data will be overwritten, however files that are deleted locally will not be deleted on the backup server. To me, this seems like a good compromise between the ability to recover deleted files and the used storage space.

Backing up the Redmine database

This part is slightly more complicated, since we need to access the MariaDB server running in a different container. *Important note:*The container ID can change so it is not sufficient to just find the container ID once and then use it. You need to determine the appropriate ID each time you do a backup. See below on instructions how to do that.

Full command:

docker exec -it $(docker container ls | grep redmine_mariadb_1 | cut -d' ' -f1) mysqldump -uroot bitnami_redmine | xz -e9 -zc - > redmine-database-dump-$(date -I).sql.xz

Let’s break it down:

The resulting file is called e.g. redmine-database-dump-2019-02-01.sql.xz and it’s placed in the current directory. Ensure that you run the command in a suitable directory. Run it in /tmp if you don’t know which directory might be suitable.

Now we can rsync it to the server:

rsync --checksum -Pavz redmine-backup-*.sql.xz my.backup.server:~/redmine-backup/

Since the filename contains the current data, this approach will not overwrite old daily backups of the database, so you can restore your database very flexibly.