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Who.png Why ?

There is several reason why it is important to "backup" a complete instance of Dolibarr. For example:

  • Because you plan to make an upgrade and want to do a go back to previous version if it fails.
  • Because you want to move Dolibarr from one server to another server.
  • And of course, to be able to make a restore to be safe if something bad happens (crash disk, hack corruption, ...)

For all the above reasons, it is recommended to regularly make a new backup of all data used and saved by Dolibarr.

Who.png What to save ?

Dolibarr save its data in 3 different spaces. They all must be saved before each version upgrade to be sure to be able to get back its data if a problem occurs or if you want to go back on previous version. This is the 3 kind of data you need to save to be sure to loose nothing.

A) The database

The database contains all data you have added from Dolibarr screens (except the attached/generated files that are presented in next chapter). Saving the database must be done in a global way (all content). It is advised to save the database regularly. See the chapter "How" later in this document.

B) Documents

All documents related to your Dolibarr instance are saved into directory defined into your config file dolibarrdir/htdocs/conf/conf.php. If you kept the choice by default during first installation, it should be something like dolibarrdir/documents. This directory must be completely saved. When making an upgrade, the upgrade process should not change this directory, however this directory can be read and write by web server at any time, it might be altered by a bad action or a bug. To be sure to keep all your joined files and be able to restore them if they are accidentally deleted or altered, just make a copy of all content of this directory.

Note: copying the whole folder containing all your documents might be an heavy process, so if you can't do this regularly, at least make a backup of your database (which should be a lot smaller and would still enable you to recover most of your data, which can then be used to regenerate most of your documents).

C) The configuration file

The configuration file should not be modified by upgrade process, but it is more prudent to save it also when you do an upgrade. The configuration file is called conf.php and you can find it into directory dolibarrdir/htdocs/conf/. Make a copy of this file into the dedicated area of your backup.

Note: This backup is however optional as you can still rebuild this file manually from scratch or with the Dolibarr install wizard if you know your database credentials (this file contains only parameters to connect to database and directory where you Dolibarr is installed). When making a restore, it is still possible to rebuild this file by an installation from scratch.

D) Code change

Finally, any custom development of modules, ie: all php files (or others) that would have been added or modified to accommodate specific needs, should also be saved. In most cases, you are not concerned by this point.

Who.png When ?

Frequency of backups depends on how often you use Dolibarr and what you accept to loose if something happens. More often the frequency, less data will be lost in case of a crash/failure.

Also, you can choose to backup more often one part (like the database) that is more critical, and less regularly others because they are more heavy (like the documents).

As a good starting point, you database should be backed every 1 month or even every 1 week depending on your usage, while documents can be backed every 6 months or every 1 month depending on your usage once again.

Also, the conf.php file needs to be backed only once (since it only changes if you change your host, and anyway can be made manually).

Who.png How ?

A) The database

There are 4 ways to backup your database:

Using Dolibarr system backup tool

This is the simplest way to make your backup, and in addition all your backups will be stored on server and will be listed, so that you can retrieve any version anyday.

If you use a recent enough version of Dolibarr, just log into Dolibarr with an administrator account (only admins can use system tools).

Then go to Home -> System tools -> Backups. Choose your options for your backup (you can keep all default values).

Alternative: the default method MySQL Dump (mysqldump) also needs that you have access to the mysqldump binary in execution on your server. If you are on a shared host that disable the mysqldump usage, you can try other method called MySQL Dump (php). This method is not guaranted at 100%, so please try it first by yourself by making a backup and then restoring it on a local non production server to check that your data is correctly saved.

Using mysqldump

If you prefer a manual mode, you can also use the backup tool designed for your database. With Mysql, the command to backup your database into a file is :

mysqldump -u user -pyourpass --result-file=mysqldump_databasename_version_date.sql databasename

where :

  • user is MySQL user that Dolibarr use to connect to database,
  • yourpass is password of MySQL account user (warning, no space between the p and yourpass),
  • databasename is the name of Dolibarr database.

Those informations (user, password and database) are available into your configuration file dolibarrdir/htdocs/conf/conf.php

The result file ("dump file"), is called mysqldump_databasename_version_date.sql where

  • version is the dolibarr version (ex: 3.7).
  • date can be replaced with a date, recommanded format is YYYYMMDD, with YYYY the year (ex. 2011), MM is month number (ex. 05) and DD is day in month (ex. 18).

With value used as example, we will get a dump file called mysqldump_databasename_3.7_20110518.sql.

If you want to have your file compressed (compressé) :

mysqldump databasename -h host -u user -pyourpass -l --single-transaction -K --add-drop-table=TRUE --tables -c -e --hex-blob --default-character-set=utf8 | bzip2 > mysqldump_databasename_version_date.bz2

Dump file will be generated with a bzip compressed format.


With Linux, to make a regular backup at 1:30 each day into file mysqldump_databasename_DD.sql.bz2, you can add this into your cron file:

30 1 * * * mysqldump databasename -h host -u user -pyourpass -l --single-transaction -K --add-drop-table=TRUE --tables -c -e --hex-blob --default-character-set=utf8 | bzip2 > mysqldump_databasename_`date +%d`.sql.bz2

Using phpMyAdmin

Do not use phpMyAdmin to save your database ! phpMyAdmin generates some dump files, but if you used default option, you won't be able to restore it. You must enable one specific option for you to be able to restore your backup later on (if you forgot to do so and already have a backup that you want to restore, please read the note about FOREIGN_KEY_CHECKS below).

In phpMyAdmin, click on the tab Export, then select your Dolibarr's database/tables (depending whether you are in multi-database view or tables view), and then enable the option Disable foreign key checks, also check that the output will be SQL, and then you can validate your export. Also, not that, even with this option, backup is NEVER guaruanted with phpMyAdmin and is OFTEN useless. The only secured method is to use mysqldump (from Dolibarr or manually. See the two previous chapters).

Using another Third-Party Tools

You can also use third-party database backup softwares, like php scripts that you can upload on your server (such as db2SQL by Howard Yeend or BigDump), or also use database designer/workbench softwares which generally offer to remotely connect to your database and allow you to make a full backup (along to remotely manage your database).

Warning.png in any case, your sql backup file should disable foreign keys prior to restoring, else your backup won't be restorable because of foreign keys clashing! Eg: Add FOREIGN_KEY_CHECKS in headers and footers:

-- SQL Dump
-- Server version: 5.5.8


/*!40101 SET NAMES utf8 */;

CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS `llx_accountingaccount` (






Warning.png Mysqldump (using command line tool or using Dolibarr backup tool) is the most secure way to backup your data because it is developed along MySQL and thus is always up-to-date. PhpMyAdmin and other thirdparty tools may generate a correct SQL dump but may be outdated or miss some features (depending on options you choose).

B) The documents

Just copy the Documents folder (dolibarr/documents by default) to your local backup directory.

Note: If you made a backup of the database with the System Tools of Dolibarr, the sql dump files also resides in the Documents folder, and thus will be copied along.

C) The configuration file

A simple copy of file conf/conf.php into a directory dedicated to your backup is enough.

Astuces.png Restore

This topic is explained into page Restores.