BackupBuddy Specifications: Server Configuration and Minimum Requirements

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Server configuration is a very complex topic and varies widely between hosts, server operating systems and even the personal preference of the server administrator. The following are server recommendations for full BackupBuddy functionality - note that this is not an exhaustive list of requirements but represents those things that, from experience, cannot necessarily be taken for granted as being provided (should be provided) by all hosting that claims to support WordPress.

Contents

Server Recommendations (Full Functionality)

  • Linux hosting platform (64 bit) - see Note 1
  • Apache 2.2+ server - see Note 2
  • mySQL 5.1+ - see Note 3
  • PHP 5.3+ (64 bit) - see Notes 4, 5
  • WordPress 3.8+
  • suexec or SuPHP (or other equivalent) environment so that file operations run as hosting account user (WordPress developers recommend such a hosting environment for security reasons) - see Note 6
  • PHP exec() function enabled (and command line mysqldump/zip/unzip utilities available providing faster and more efficient operation than fallback PHP based equivalents) - see Notes 7, 8

Notes:

  1. Required for backups > 2GB in size and/or Dropbox for uploads >300MB or "chunked" uploads, otherwise 32 bit; Windows hosting platform is only officially supported for local (desktop) development
  2. Other server types such as LiteSpeed or Nginx may need additional configuration, e.g., LiteSpeed does not fully support WordPress out-of-the-box and will need you or your host to ensure it is configured properly; Windows specific servers such as IIS are not officially supported
  3. Other compatible database server types such as MariaDB may be used but are not officially supported and you and/or your host are responsible for ensuring compatibility and resolving any issues arising
  4. PHP 5.3+ required by Dropbox for uploads >300MB or "chunked" uploads, otherwise PHP 5.2+
  5. 64 bit PHP required for backups > 2GB in size (this is due to a technical limitation of PHP), otherwise 32 bit
  6. Some hosts run their web server processes as a hosting specific user whilst your hosting files/directories are owned by your hosting account user - this can cause you problems when the web server process running WordPress needs to perform file operations such as creation/writing/deletion
  7. Command line utilities such as mysqldump, zip and unzip are native server executables and run much faster and are more efficient in resource usage than the equivalent functionality implemented through PHP based scripting - even if available these cannot be used if the hosting has disabled the PHP exec() function
  8. MySQL utilities available on the web server such as mysqldump must be contemporary (same release) as the MySQL installation running on the database server; Info-ZIP zip version 2.31+ for backups <= 4GB, Info-ZIP zip version 3.0+ for backups > 4GB; Info-ZIP unzip version 5.52+ - for availability please see Additional Information below.

Minimum Server Recommendations (Reduced Functionality)

NOTE: Some features of BackupBuddy will be unavailable or limited if running on minimum recommendations. Large sites may not be able to be backed up with these minimum features.

  • Linux hosting platform (32 bit) - see Note 1
  • Apache 2.2+ server - see Note 2
  • mySQL 5.x+ - see Note 3
  • PHP 5.2+ - see Note 4
  • WordPress 3.7+ - see Note 5

Notes:

  1. Absolute maximum backup size 2GB (this is due to a technical limitation of PHP); Windows hosting platform is only officially supported for local (desktop) development
  2. Other server types such as LiteSpeed or Nginx may need additional configuration, e.g., LiteSpeed does not fully support WordPress out-of-the-box and will need you or your host to ensure it is configured properly; Windows specific servers such as IIS are not officially supported
  3. WordPress v3.2+ requires mySQL 5.0.15+; Other compatible database server types such as MariaDB may be used but are not officially supported and you and/or your host are responsible for ensuring compatibility and resolving any issues arising
  4. WordPress v3.2+ requires PHP 5.2+
  5. We are trying to maintain bare minimum backup functionality for older versions, even as far back as pre-3.0 (though it may not be pretty nor is it guaranteed to work perfectly at this time; we recommend only performing backups & direct restores for older versions and use it for safety while upgrading to the latest WordPress).

Additional Information

  • Packaged Info-ZIP zip and unzip utilities are available for all common Linux based hosting platform operating systems such as Ubuntu, RedHat, etc. and your host support should be able to make these available if not already provided. For Windows based servers we provide these executables as a courtesy (available here) but you are recommended to source your own versions as required and you must have the ability to install these executables in your WordPress site installation directory and configure your server to allow execution of the zip.exe and unzip.exe files for them to be usable.
  • The wp-config.php file must be in WordPress installation directory or the parent directory.
  • The web server process must have write permissions on the directory or directories under which backups, temporary files and logs are to be stored. On a standard installation this would be /wp-content/uploads/ but may be different for customized installations (although currently temporary files, generated at each backup, will always be stored in /wp-content/uploads/backupbuddy_temp/)
  • For a full backup there must be free disk space greater than the entire size of your site once compressed (if using zip compression) plus the size of the database to be dumped or the entire size of your site (if not using zip compression) plus the size of the database to be dumped. For a database only backup there must be free disk space greater than the size of the database to be dumped.
  • The hosting must allow the web server process to create single files at least as large as your required site backup file size - this can be estimated from the accumulated size of you site files plus the database size and there should also be some headroom to allow for the overhead of the backup zip file format. Base the requirement on a backup without compression and then there should be no problems with a backup with compression. The majority of hosts have no such file size limit but some will have and it may be anything from a few GB down to something as low as 64MB. If asking your host about this make sure they understand you are asking about file size limits for the web server process as hosts may have a limit on this but not on the file size you might be able to, for example, upload by FTP or create in some other way. Whilst it is possible for you to adapt your backup requirement to hosting file size limitations it is never ideal and often you would be better moving to a host that better meets all your hosting requirements.

See also


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