Mastodon: Manual backups

This is an updated version (02-02-2024)

This manual is a transcript of the way that I have made a backup of my Mastodon instance. Please make sure you are careful and use your brain while following this manual.

Preparing the backup folder

  1. Log in as root
  2. cd /home/mastodon
  3. mkdir backups
  4. cd backups

Making the backups

  1. Database (three steps)
    su - mastodon
    cd /home/mastodon/backups
    pg_dump -U mastodon mastodon_production -F t > DATE_FILENAME.tar
    
    

    Example: pg_dump -U mastodon mastodon_production -F t > 2024-02-02-mastodon_production.tar

  2. Settings file (one step)
    cp /home/mastodon/live/.env.production /home/mastodon/backups/DATE_.env.production
    
    

    Example: cp /home/mastodon/live/.env.production /home/mastodon/backups/2024-02-02-.env.production

  3. Redis (two steps, perform as root)
    exit
    cp /var/lib/redis/dump.rdb /home/mastodon/backups/DATE_dump.rdb
    
    

    Example: cp /var/lib/redis/dump.rdb /home/mastodon/backups/2024-02-02-REDIS-dump.rdb

You can now check your backups folder to see if all three files are present. This is also a good moment to copy the backup files to another, safe, location.

If you wish to backup your assets like images and stuff (User-uploaded files), backup the folder named “public/system”. Keep in mind that this folder can be rather large. Actually, it can become rather massive.

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