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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

(Home >> Backup >> Legacy Backup Configuration)


This interface allows you to configure how your server creates and stores backup files. You can configure automatic backups, backup retention schedules, and backup storage locations.


We strongly recommend that you only use WHM's Backup Configuration interface (Home >> Backup >> Backup Configuration) to configure backups of your server. We plan to remove the Legacy Backup Configuration interface from WHM in a future release.



Configuration OptionDescription
Backup Status

Select the Legacy Backup feature's setting:

  • Enabled — Enable backups and restorations.
  • Disabled — Disable backups and restorations.
  • Restore Only — Disable backups and allow restorations.
Backup Interval

Select the interval at which you wish to run automatic backups. You can select Daily, Weekly, or Monthly.

  • If you select Daily, your server will create both monthly and weekly backups.
  • If you select Weekly, your server will also run monthly backups.
Backup RetentionSelect the backups that you wish to retain.
Days to Run BackupSelect the days on which you wish to run backups.
Remount/Unmount Backup Drive

Select whether you wish to remount and unmount the specified backup drive while backups run.


To enable this option, you must have a separate drive, mount point, or network file system (NFS) drive.

Bail Out If Backup Drive Mount FailsSelect whether you wish to cancel the backup process if the backup drive fails to mount.
Incremental Backup

Enable this option if you wish to only back up and restore data that changes.


If you enable this option, you cannot restore the account to a time before your last backup.


You cannot enable this option with FTP backups. This option does not use file compression.

Backup AccountsSelect whether you wish to back up accounts. If if you disable this option, the system only backs up system files. This option is disabled by default.
Compress Account BackupsSelect whether you wish to compress backup files.
Backup Configuration Files

Select whether you wish to back up configuration files.


The system does not require configuration files in order to restore a backup.

Backup SQL Databases

Select from the following options for this setting:

  • Per Account Only — Creates an individual database backup for each account.
  • Entire MySQL Directory — Creates a single backup for the entire MySQL® directory.
  • Per Account and Entire MySQL Directory — Creates both individual backups for each account and a single database backup that contains the entire MySQL directory.
Backup Access LogsSelect whether you wish to store access logs.
Backup Bandwidth DataSelect whether you wish to store bandwidth data.
Use local DNS zone files rather than retrieving the latest zone updates from the cluster.Select Enabled to cause the pkgacct script to use the local DNS zone file, rather than search the cluster for the latest zone record. This may improve performance, but may also result in outdated DNS information when you restore an account.
Backup Type

Select from the following options for this setting:

  • Standard — Select this option to store backup files locally or on a network file system.
  • Remote FTP (Accounts Only) — Select this option to store backup files on a remote server.
EXPERIMENTAL: Use Hard Links for weekly and monthly backups to reduce disk usage and backup time.Select whether to use hard links for weekly and monthly backups.
EXPERIMENTAL: Enable use of optimized account backup tool.This setting instructs the backup utility to use the /usr/local/cpanel/bin/pkgacct script if it exists and is executable.
Remote FTP Host (Remote FTP Backup Only)

If you select the Remote FTP (Accounts Only) option, enter the remote FTP server's IP address in the Remote FTP Host text box.


When you specify the backup host, exclude the FTP protocol.

FTP Backup User (Remote FTP Backup Only)If you select the Remote FTP (Accounts Only) option, enter the FTP account's username in the FTP Backup User text box.
FTP Backup Password (Remote FTP Backup Only)If you select the Remote FTP (Accounts Only) option, enter the FTP account's password in the FTP Backup Password text box.
FTP Backup DirectoryIf you select the Remote FTP (Accounts Only) option, enter the directory in which you wish to store backup files.
FTP Backup TimeoutIf you select the Remote FTP (Accounts Only) option, enter the number of seconds of inactivity after which the FTP transfer times out. This option defaults to 120.
FTP Backup Passive ModeIf you select the Remote FTP (Accounts Only) option, enable this option if the remote server is behind a firewall, or if FTP backups fail.
Backup DestinationIf you use Standard backups, enter the directory in which you wish to store backups.
Select Specific UsersClick Select to select the users whose accounts the system automatically backs up.

After you configure backups to your preferred settings, click Save.

Our backup system copies and stores backup files in multiple locations. This means that for a period of time, your server has two identical files on the file system. Also, when you copy and store a new file, it increases disk input and output (I/O) significantly when you work with large accounts. The system uses hard links to fix these issues.

A hard link is similar to a symlink but can make multiple references to a single inode. This allows our backup system to point a monthly or weekly backup file to an existing daily backup file, without the need to copy and store two different backup files. Ultimately, this prevents redundancies and reduces disk I/O.

For more information, read the Wikipedia articles about hard links, symlinks, and inodes.

Use a mounted file system

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

You can configure a file system to use the noexec option by default. To do so, edit the /etc/fstab file. This file contains a list of mountable file systems and their configuration options.


The backup utility only mounts or unmounts partitions that appear in the /etc/fstab file.

To configure a mountable file system that automatically uses the noexec option, edit its entry in the /etc/fstab file to resemble the following example:

/dev/sda5 /backup ext3 defaults,noexec 0 0


Users who wish to mount or unmount a partition must place the partition in the /etc/fstab file.


The example above describes the following configuration options:

DeviceDefault mount pointfile system typeMount optionsDump optionfsck order


To remount a backup disk while the system boots, run the following command:

mount -o remount,noexec /backup

Run backups manually

To run a backup manually, run the /usr/local/cpanel/scripts/cpbackup script.

If the backup is up-to-date and you wish to run backups anyway, run the /usr/local/cpanel/scripts/cpbackup --force script.

A note about backups

The backup process runs as the cPanel user whose data it backs up. The backup process does not back up files or directories that a user cannot access.

  • The backup includes all of the files that the user owns.
  • The backup includes files that the user does not own but that the user can access.
  • The backup does not include files that the user does not own and cannot access—even if they exist in the user's home directory.


The cpbackup script does not back up files that the nobody user owns in the public_html directory. Some third-party software, such as phpBB, puts files in this directory. Files in this directory do not belong to a particular user. As a result, the cpbackup script ignores these files. To prevent this complication, manually backup any desired files in a cron job, and then exclude these files from the cpbackup script.

Additional information

For more information about backups, read our Legacy Backups FAQ documentation.