How to bring back Scheduled Backups in Plesk 11

For those of you who hadn’t noticed, automatic scheduled backups are no longer working in Plesk 11 with some distributions. It’s not just you, and it’s not just your configuration. It’s a known issue according to this forum thread.

Lucky for us there’s a simple script which can bring this ever so important functionality back. Why Parallels is not addressing this with a Micro Update is beyond me (we’re already at 11.0.9 MU15 and it’s September 2012 at the time of writing).

In this article I’ll show you how to install the script step by step. I assume you’re logged onto your system as root and know your way around the command line.

First of all we need the script on our server. The actual location of the file on your system doesn’t matter as this is a shell script and we’ll execute it in a moment.

You can find the script on page 1 of this forum thread, or in case that link ever goes down here’s a local copy on my server:

You can either FTP it to your server (any web space will do) or you can grab it via wget.

Now let’s unzip it so we can use the script:

Once you have it, change permissions of the file so we can execute it:

And finally, let’s run the script:

That’s it! You’ll receive no feedback whatsoever, it should just work. No need to reboot your system or restart Plesk. No need to manually schedule the script – Plesk should take care of it from here.

To verify that it actually works, log in to your Plesk Panel and head over to Tools and Settings – Backup Manager. Schedule a backup in a few minutes time. I recommend using your server configuration only (without the content) as this will complete the backup much quicker.

Also, check your server time before you schedule the backup: if your server says it’s 15:10, schedule the backup for 15:15. Grab a coffee and see if it’s worked (in our example you should see results by 15:20).

Just as a reminder: even if you’re backing up to an FTP repository, Plesk will always create a backup to the local server first and then copy the file over afterwards. Just in case you see your backup popping up on your local server, check again in a moment.

YIKES: I’ve just found out that manual backups are transferred to the FTP repo, but scheduled backups are not! It’s a known issue, we’re all waiting for a solution there…

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14 thoughts on “How to bring back Scheduled Backups in Plesk 11

  1. I have tried implementing this fix and it all works fine until I execute the file. It doesn’t show any error or success message and nothing shows up in the cron tab so it still isn’t working…

    Any suggestions?


    1. Hi Jack,

      Once you run the script it installs itself into Plesk, there’s nothing added in the cron tab, nor will there be a success message. Try scheduling a backup in Plesk as you normally would, not via the command line. Then see if Plesk has created it for you as you’d expect.

      1. Hi,

        Yeah I realised afterwards, I was expecting it to show on the cron tab as a scheduled task but it doesn’t. It does work though, thanks for posting you;re a life saver!



  2. UPDATE:
    Allegedly the issue was fixed with MU 20, however many of us believe it has not been sufficiently addressed. Looks like even though scheduled backups are created again, but the dump files never get copied to the FTP repositories. Not good!

    Log messages from those backup tasks are given as “Success”. Looks like the issue affects both fresh installations as well as upgrades. I’ve submitted a ticket to the support team and will keep you posted on updates here.

      1. Hi Björn,

        sadly not – but that was entirely my fault. I’ve just moved countries (UK to US) and haven’t yet followed up with them. I must admit it’s been 14 days so they’ve probably closed my ticket by now. As soon as I’m settled I’ll try again.

        Out of interest, what’s your configuration that’s not backing up? I’ve got this mainly on CentOS 5.8, not on 6.3. And affected systems have been upgraded, fresh installs seem to work fine.

  3. Have you gotten support/updates to this?

    YIKES: I’ve just found out that manual backups are transferred to the FTP repo, but scheduled backups are not! It’s a known issue, we’re all waiting for a solution there…

    1. Hi Tony,

      sadly I haven’t – the plot thickened a bit: I have reason to believe that it was my FTP repository that kept timing out for any amount of data over and above 2.6GB. Not sure why, but smaller backups have started to work after adding this script to my setup. I can also confirm that single domain backups work fine when automated, and that the server configuration (being much smaller) also gets backed up on schedule.

      BUT… I used to be able to make backups server-wide of 30GB and more via FTP. I’m still puzzled as to what’s changed. Speed into my FTP server? Who knows. I’ll keep digging. In the meantime, if you have any clues please let me know.

  4. I’m running Plesk 11.0.9 #32 and I can use scheduled FTP backups on small files, but I have a domain with 15gb and it always fails. I looked into the logs and it says that there isn’t enough disk space. I know Plesk saves the file locally and then FTP’s it over to my backup.. what I can’t figure out is where it saves the file and how can I change where it saves it so I can point it to a drive that has over 100GB available. I don’t know if this is a bug in Plesk still or if I just need to change configs.

    1. Hi Matt,

      backups in Plesk are stored in /var/lib/psa/dumps. They look different than what gets saved via FTP though, which I assume is just a zipped version of a collection of files. Old backups are hiding in that directory, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on it and clear it out occasionally. I’ve written it down here – I could never remember this either:

      How to change this path I don’t know I’m afraid. The Parallels Forum is probably your best bet – let me know if you find out.

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