No native backup, sync and snapshot features in Nextcloud

Hello, why are there no native backup, sync and snapshot features in Nextcloud? :thinking:

You have to go through server backups. For me, this is a big weak point of Nextcloud (and dangerous!). :warning:

I dream of simple, native and user friendly backup and restore features. :slightly_smiling_face:

So that everyone can make their backups easily and without technical knowledge. Thank you.

Hi there, see GitHub - nextcloud/backup: A backup app that enables admins to create backups of a Nextcloud instance and also restore it for a possible solution

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Watch last question in “Nextcloud Hub 22 live announcement and Q&A” (06.07.2021):

It would be very cool to make it possible for a standard user to zip all Nextcloud stuff (files and app data) from old nextcloud and move it to another nextcloud. That would be freedom.


It’s a command line server solution. There are many like this. It’s not an integrated, simple and GUI solution in Nextcloud for Nextcloud user.

I think you’re looking at this from a USER point of view rather than server/admin.

So from a user perspective;

  1. There is certainly a native sync option, using the desktop application.
  2. Backups are somewhat challenging, because you need to decide what data goes into the backups. Is it just the files themselves? Or are you also trying to store settings, contacts, etc., etc., etc.? Files can easily be backed up by a user by using any of a million tools that are capable of connecting to webdav. Not sure why you think it should be initiated within nextcloud, since that actually complicates things greatly and does nothing to improve reliability of the backup, after all, you would need something configured to receive the backups, which by definition MUST be external to the nextcloud instance, or it won’t do you any good at all if the server catches on fire.
  3. Snapshot is a function of the backup policy you decide on.

There is a major challenge to backing up a single-user’s entire nextcloud account. The challenge is that every plugin will have its own data stored in custom tables with a custom schema in the database, so the only practical way to back that up is going to be at the system level.

I’m really not sure why you think that the design of nextcloud makes something dangerous. Either administer your own server and run proper solid backups yourself, or make sure that the server admin has implemented a backup policy that you are comfortable with.

Nexcloud is dangerous because it is a dead end for your data.
People think it is a backup system when it is not.

I bet that a large majority of Nexclouds are not backed up.

And no, it’s not complicated to create a native backup system. Most open source programs do this (like Wordpress).

And yes of course this backup system should be configurable and you should be able to choose the destination of your backup.

And no, system backups are not the solution, they address other issues.

Yes, the lack of native data backup in Nexcloud is a big problem.

A real cloud manages data as containers that can be moved, duplicated, exported ect … And there is no open source program intended for end users for that. And certainly not Nextcloud.

Well. People also think RAID is a backup. Or a NAS system like Synology. And even though these systems have backup solutions built in, people don’t use them. Because to do that they would need a second system or at least an external HDD that they sporadically connect to it.

I bet that a large majority of NAS Systems, Computers, Laptops, or generelly anything a home user uses, is not properly backed up.

That is simpley not true! There is no native backup solution integraded with Wordpress, that makes a one-klick backup including all settings, files, other contents, plug-ins, settings of the plugins, like you describe it. But it seems to me that there are hundreds and thousends of tutorials and third party plugins for backup. A “normal” user would be just as overwhelmed with it as he is with Nextcloud.

Aha? Then describe to us, what a “real” cloud is, and how it does all that automagically for you, and you still retain full control over your data. Sounds like marrketing buzzword bingo to me :wink:

Don’t get me wrong. I would love it if Nexctcloud would bring a backup solution. But it’s just not that simple that you can implement a “one fits them all” backup solution in one afternoon. Especially since the product is used on all kinds of devices from toasters to high-end clusters. With different operating systems, databases, Add ons etc… And diffrent installation methods. But of course you are welcome to cntribute such a backup app to the community, if it is that easy :wink:

Yes, it’s simple, not in an afternoon, but it’s simple. And instead of endlessly developing unnecessary gadgets (soon Nexcloud will make coffee), go back to basics: file management. This requires having a good native and accessible backup system, with versioning and snapshot. Maybe some won’t use it. But Nexcloud will finally have done its job.

Even the filebackup is not so simple, if it should have features like snapshots and support various backup targets etc… Should the host’s file system be used to manage the snapshots or should Nextcloud manage them somehow? Should this be developed from scratch or should a tool like rclone be integrated? It gets complicated quickly if you want it to be truly native and still run on everything from a 1€ hosting plan to a high-end server, support diffrent databases etc… Something like that would be more of an appliance, and that job has been outsourced to third-party devs. Nextcloud itself provides the software and documentation. The rest is up to third parties, either the user or the providers of the diffrent appliances like NCP, The Nextcloud VM, Docker etc.

Nextcloud wants to be a Groupware solution like Google Workspaces or M365. They won’t go back to a simple filesharing solution. You can downsize it to that, if you uninstall all addionial apps. But if Nextcloud would introduce such a backup solution, it would have to cover at least everything that gets installed and enabled if you install the groupware package. Things like Calendar, Contacts, Mail etc… I’m not saying it can’t be done. But something that lets you do a one-click export from the WebGUI and re-import everything to another or a newley installed Nertxloud is certainly not an “easy” task. Not with the range of installation options and usecases that Nextcloud tries to cover.

You think it’s complicated, I don’t think so. Nothing really rocket science. It takes thought, design and development. Just work. And that this feature be included in the roadmap, so that Nextcloud comes back to what is important …

In other words it takes recources. And it has to be done right, if it is an “official” app. Otherwise it would be even more dangerous, than no backup functionality at all. And you would be the first to complain if it doesn’t work correctly on your 5€ hosting platform, or your Raspi or Docker environment etc etc…

Frank did tease something in the video @devnull posted. We’ll see what exactly is coming and when. After all Nextcloud is FOSS. If it takes too long or has not enough features, anyone can contribute… It just takes thought, design and development. Just work :wink:

You mean what is imortant to you. Look at the many feature requests here in the forums… I am surprised that no one has asked for an app to control their coffee maker :wink:

Nextcloud Hub is a groupware solution. You may or may not like that. But a native backup solution has to take that into account. If you are looking for a pure file-sync solution, Nextcloud might just not be the right product for you…

Nexcloud is the right product for me, for my friends, for my colleagues, for my clients.
But with a native backup and data management solution, for every user. It’s obvious.

If you don’t understand it, take a step back. Take a trip, take a vacation, come back and ask yourself what an open source application that logs so much data should offer its users.

What is the most important? What is the most critical? And what does the law ask of us? :thinking:

Does SharePoint or Exchange and other commercial products, that cost big money, have integrated backup solutions? No you have to use expensive third party solutions or expensive add ons.

I understand very well. You want a free and selfhosted one-click solution with every bell and whiste attached to it.

Backups. You should already be doing them and not waiting for an intergrated button :wink:

And I understand that it would be nice to have a tightly integraded solution. I already agreed with you on that point. And Frank obviously sees it the same way. But someone has to do it, and it has to be done right. And I repeat myself: It is FOSS. Everybody can contribute. It just takes thought, design and development. …or money. :wink:

For Nextcloud Pi, you have some integrated backup solution:

also with restore instructions:

Even if you are not using Nextcloud Pi, the scripts are in their repositories and you can use them, as well as a ton of different other FOSS backup tools. Advantage of NC Pi, they know that you use your own device with full access and also know the configuration (filesystem etc).

There is/was also an app doing backups:
It’s just regarding the database and doesn’t seem to work on current versions.

Around these tools, you can take a look at the thoughts and problems related to backups.

@Ditiwi : How would you design your backup solution?
Should every user be able to define their backup? With encryption? For some potential attacker of your Nextcloud account, it should be impossible to delete old backups from the Nextcloud system. So it has to be an app that runs everything through php?
Or just on a server level? How about the hosting users? Full backup, incremental, from snapshots? Local and/or remote? Some own script, or use an existing software? Independent of filesystem?
Automized restore? Full restore, just specific users or even specific files?

I prefer to have all this optional and easy to use. :grinning:

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Very happy to discover that NextCloudPi has provided solutions, so it is possible contrary to what some claim … :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Should every user be able to define their backup? With encryption?

Yes, encryption is not an option in Europe (for legal reasons)

For some potential attacker of your Nextcloud account, it should be impossible to delete old backups from the Nextcloud system.

Exported snapshots cannot be deleted from Nexcloud.

So it has to be an app that runs everything through php? But just on a server level? How about the hosting users?

Yes, this is not about creating server backups, but software backups for all users.

Full backup, incremental, from snapshots?

Local incremental and snapshots on third party media. The two are complementary and essential.

Local and / or remote? Some own script, or use an existing software? Independent of filesystem?

Local and / or remote according to the user’s choice. Native Nextcloud. Independent of the filesystem.

Automized restore? Full restore, just specific users or even specific files?

By user, no automatic and full but manual restore. Automatic restore overwrites all your current data, which is too dangerous.

You didn’t ask for solutions. You were just complaining about the non-existent native backup solution and I was trying to explain why it’s not that simple… I even mentioned NCP and other appliances in one of my posts… ;-p

NCP is indeed a very nice and complete solution, but it provides it’s own scripts and UI to manage and backup Nextcloud. It’s not a native solution!

Just wanted to made that clear :wink:

Doing this properly is hard and takes a lot of effort. I would rather use a dedicated, tried and true backup solution than some half-baked feature or app.

Backup software needs to ensure proper snapshots, de-duplication, disaster recovery, data integrity and preferably also secure data transfer and storage (->encryption). Implementing this in Nextcloud would be reinventing the wheel IMHO.

I personally use and recommend borg backup.

Or restic. Or many others of the rsync family.

Like NCP, we could just share backup scripts/procedures for certain situations. The most simple is if you are using your own server (or in virtual server, or containers). There is a lot of backup software, I don’t know if Nextcloud can invent another one that beats them all.

that would be really something interesting to be done in Nextcloud and can’t be done with external solutions.

@PancakeConnaisseur @tflidd

Talk to you again and again about server backups that have nothing to do with the issue of my request.

It doesn’t have to be difficult to design a backup system native to Nexcloud for its all of its daily users (not for geeks) and that should be the priority.

There are dozens of WordPress plug-in backup software solutions that work well and are widely used. What exists for Wordpress is perfectly developable for Newcloud. You just have to have a sense of priorities and stop telling stories. At work !

You do realize that Nextcloud is free and open Source Software. The Nextcloud GmbH and the community arround it does not owe you anything. You can use the product as is at home or in your company for free and without restrictions. You can participate in the development or not. You can share your developments with the community or not. You can discuss the product with the community, provide ideas, criticism or help others. You can use one of the many appliances, such as NCP, which by the way is a community project made by volunteers. But there’s one thing you can’t do: Order the community or Nextcloud GmbH what to do! Of course you can do that, hell you are are doing it! But it’s not very productive imho…