The backup_fu plugin makes it redonkulously easy to:

A) dump your database and/or static files to tar/gzipped or zipped archives, and B) upload these archives to a private Amazon S3 bucket for safekeeping

This fork of the project allows backup and restore of PostgreSQL databases, and is known to work on the Morph AppSpace platform.

It also uses credentials in config/amazon_s3.yml if not supplied in backup_fu.yml


The ‘right_aws’ gem is required for backup_fu to function properly. Install with:

sudo gem install right_aws

Install the plugin with:

script/plugin install git://


Run the following to copy over the example backup_fu.yml config file:

rake backup_fu:setup

This copies the example config file to: config/backup_fu.yml.


For the list of available rake tasks:

rake -T backup_fu

Backing up your database:

rake backup

Dumping your database:

rake backup_fu:dump

Backing up your static files:

rake backup_fu:static:backup

Backing up both your database + static files:

rake backup_fu:all

Restoring from S3: BACKUP_FILE=myapp_1999-12-31_12345679_db.tar.gz rake backup_fu:restore

Advanced Configuration

See vendor/plugins/backup_fu/config/backup_fu.yml.advanced_example for the list of advanced configuration options.

Advanced options include: * specify static path(s) that should be backed up – i.e. backup your entire ‘public/static’ directory * change default dump path from RAILS_ROOT/tmp/backup to whatever * specify fully-qualified ‘mysqldump’ path * disable compression of database dump * choose between zip or tar/gzip compression * enable ‘nice’ with level specification to prevent backup_fu from bogarting your server

Cronjob Installation

Here are some cron job examples.

# Backup just the database everyday at 1am
0 1 * * * cd /apps/foo/current; RAILS_ENV=production rake backup > /dev/null

# Backup db + static @ 2am every 3 days, log the results to ~/backup.log (verbosity should be turned on if logging results) 0 2 1-313 * * cd /u/apps/shanti.railsblog/current; RAILS_ENV=production rake backup_fu:all >> ~/backup.log


— Enabling Verbosity

If you are experiencing any difficulties, the first thing you should do is enable verbosity by dropping this into config/backup_fu.yml:

verbose: true

— Mysqldump Issues

If your ‘mysqldump’ command is not in your path, you will need to specify it explicitly.

To see if mysqldump is in your path, execute:

which mysqldump

If you see output like “/usr/bin/which: no mysqldump in (…)” then you will need to specify the path manually.

Use ‘locate mysqldump’ or a similar tool to find the full path to your mysqldump utility.

Place an entry like the following in your config/backup_fu.yml file:

mysqldump_path: /usr/local/mysql-standard-5.0.27-linux-i686/bin/mysqldump

— Database Connection Issues

If you are seeing an error when running ‘rake backup’ like:

mysqldump: Got error: 2002: Can’t connect to local MySQL server …

Make sure you are specifying the RAILS_ENV for the target environment. i.e. for production:

RAILS_ENV=production rake backup or rake backup RAILS_ENV=production

— Connection reset by peer

When backing up, if you receive an error like:

rake aborted! Connection reset by peer

Chances are this is because your backup is huuge. There is currently no great solution for this problem.

On some systems, I have backed up 4GB+ files without a hitch. On other machines, an 80mb backup was choking on the S3 upload. After 3 attempts it went through.

Patching in some kind of email notification system on failure would probably be nice.

Patches welcome =)

— Tiny Static file .tar.gz Archive (static files not actually getting archived)

This may result if you are using a symlink for your static dir, such as:

public/static -> /shared/apps/foo/static

The solution to this is to specify the absolute static path in config/backup_fu.yml:

static_paths: /shared/apps/foo/static

Copyright © 2008 Shanti A. Braford, 2009 Bill Kirtley, released under the MIT license