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This document is for a previous release of cPanel & WHM. To view our latest documentation, visit our Home page.

For cPanel & WHM 11.48

What are my backup options?

You can configure backups for your server in WHM's Backup Configuration interface (Home >> Backup >> Backup Configuration). This interface allows you to configure the way in which backups run on your server.

What does the system store in a backup?

System backup files include system files and directories. 

Account backup files include home directory contents, databases, email and email settings, DNS records, and other account-related information.

Which files does each cPanel user's backup include?

After you enable account backups, the backup process runs as the cPanel user who owns the backed-up data. The system does not back up anything that a user does not own and cannot access.

  • The system includes all of the files that the user owns in the backup.
  • The system includes any files that the user does not own but has access to in the backup.

Can I select specific users' accounts to back up?

Use WHM's Backup User Selection interface (Home >> Backup >> Backup User Selection) to select specific cPanel accounts to back up.

How does the system back up DNS zones?

If you use a DNSONLY cluster, the pkgacct script examines all of the DNS zones in the DNS cluster to find the record with the newest serial number. It then stores that DNS zone in the backup.

By default, backups are cluster-aware and pull the account's zone from the DNS cluster itself. To pull the account's zone from the local machine, enable the Use Local DNS option in WHM's Backup Configuration interface (Home >> Backup >> Backup Configuration).

How can I use the rsync script with a cPanel & WHM backup?

We do not support backup procedures that use the rsync script.

While it is possible to use the rsync script with cPanel & WHM backups, we strongly recommend that you use cPanel-provided tools to ensure reliable backups. Under certain conditions, the rsync script may corrupt SQL database backups.

Which scripts run backups?

The following scripts are the main scripts that run backups:

For more information, read our /scripts/pkgacct — Package a cPanel account documentation.

Where does the system store backup logs?

The system stores backup logs in the /usr/local/cpanel/logs/cpbackup/ directory. The log filenames correspond to the second at which the system created them, in Unix epoch time.

Where does the system store backups?

You can select the location in which you wish to store backups in the Configure Backup Directory section of WHM's Backup Configuration interface (Home >> Backup >> Backup Configuration).


You must provide an absolute path to the local backup directory.


Use the BACKUPDIR variable to retrieve the system's current setting from the /etc/cpbackup.conf and /var/cpanel/backups/config files, as in the following example:

: awk '/BACKUPDIR/{print FILENAME": "NR": "$0}' /etc/cpbackup.conf
/etc/cpbackup.conf: 8: BACKUPDIR /backup
/var/cpanel/backups/config: 28: BACKUPDIR: /backup

What does the system back up when I select configuration files? Where can I find the backups?

When you back up configuration files, the system automatically stores the files in the dirs and files directories. When you back up the entire MySQL directory, its contents are stored in the dirs directory.

cPanel & WHM backs up the following files and directories:





To configure system backups to include custom files or directories, create a new file or directory in the /var/cpanel/backups/extras directory (for example, /var/cpanel/backups/extras/etc). In that file, enter a fully qualified path to any files that you wish to back up (for example, /etc/example.conf).


The server administrator can edit the /etc/my.cnf file to change the MySQL data directory location. In such a case, WHM will back up the directory at its new location.

Can I run backups on a mounted filesystem?

If you use a mounted filesystem to store backups, we strongly recommend that you mount the system with the noexec option. If you pass the noexec parameter to the mount parameter, the binaries cannot run on the mounted filesystem.

To configure a mountable filesystem to automatically use the noexec option whenever it mounts, edit its entry in the /etc/fstab directory to reflect the following example:

* *nfs        /path/to/nfs       ext3        defaults,noexec        0  0*

The example above describes the following configuration options:

DeviceDefault mount pointFilesystem typeMount optionsDump optionfsck order
nfs/path/to/nfsext3defaults, noexec00

Can I control when backups run?

To choose which days to run backups and how many backups to retain, use the Scheduling and Retention section of the  Backup Configuration  interface (Home >> Backup >> Backup Configuration). 

  • You must manually alter the times at which backups run.
  • You can manually edit the dates on which backups run in the  /var/cpanel/backups/config  file.

To choose the time at which backups run, manually edit the root user's crontab.

For example, by default, the backup runs at 2:00 am. To change this time to 3:30 pm, run the following commands:

  1. Run the crontab -l command to retrieve the time at which the Backups crontab runs. You will receive output that is similar to the following example: 

    0 1 * * * /usr/local/cpanel/scripts/cpbackup
  2. Run the crontab -e command to open the cron editor.
  3. Alter the 0 2 * * * /usr/local/cpanel/bin/backup line to resemble the following line:

    30 15 * * * /usr/local/cpanel/bin/backup


     For more information about the time syntax of Crontab, read the Wikipedia Cron page.

My backup partition is locked and will not unmount itself. How do I fix this?

There is a known incompatibility when cPanel & WHM runs on CloudLinux™ under Centos 5.X. After a nightly backup or restore runs, the backup partition becomes stuck in an active lock.

The next time that you perform a backup or restore, you will see an error that is similar to the following example:

[backupmount] Cannot umount: /backup. This mountpoint is still in use and has an active lock 

mount: /dev/sdb1 already mounted or /backup busymount: according to mtab, /dev/sdb1 is already mounted on /backup


To resolve this problem, run the following commands as the root user:
mount -r /backup
mount -o remount,rw /backup
umount /backup