Backing up your OpenProject installation

We advise to backup your OpenProject installation regularly — especially before upgrading to a newer version.

What should be backed up

In general the following parts of your OpenProject installation should be backed up:

  • Data stored in the database
  • Configuration files
  • Uploaded files (attachments)
  • Repositories (subversion, git) if applicable

Package-based installation (DEB/RPM)

The DEB/RPM packages provide a backup tool which can be used to take a snapshot of the current OpenProject installation. This tool will create a backup of all parts mentioned above. The backup tool is invoked by executing the following command:

sudo openproject run backup

The command will create backup files in the following location on your system:


The content of that directory should look very similar to the following.

root@ip-10-0-0-228:/home/admin# ls -al /var/db/openproject/backup/
total 1680
drwxr-xr-x 2 openproject openproject    4096 Nov 19 21:00 .
drwxr-xr-x 6 openproject openproject    4096 Nov 19 21:00 ..
-rw-r----- 1 openproject openproject 1361994 Nov 19 21:00 attachments-20191119210038.tar.gz
-rw-r----- 1 openproject openproject    1060 Nov 19 21:00 conf-20191119210038.tar.gz
-rw-r----- 1 openproject openproject     126 Nov 19 21:00 git-repositories-20191119210038.tar.gz
-rw-r----- 1 openproject openproject  332170 Nov 19 21:00 postgresql-dump-20191119210038.pgdump
-rw-r----- 1 openproject openproject     112 Nov 19 21:00 svn-repositories-20191119210038.tar.gz

You should then copy those dump files to a secure location, for instance an S3 bucket or some sort of backup server.

Docker-based installation

If you are using docker-compose, then the data volumes are managed by Docker and you should have a look at the official Docker documentation for instructions on how to backup.

If you are using the all-in-one container, then you can simply backup any local volumes that you chose to bind-mount with the -v option when launching the container. For instance if you launched the container with:

sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/openproject/{pgdata,assets}

docker run -d -p 8080:80 --name openproject -e SECRET_KEY_BASE=secret \
  -v /var/lib/openproject/pgdata:/var/openproject/pgdata \
  -v /var/lib/openproject/assets:/var/openproject/assets \

Then you would need to backup the /var/lib/openproject folder (for instance to S3 or FTP server).

Dumping the database

When using docker-compose you can simply dump the database from the database container.

docker exec -it db_1 pg_dump -U postgres -d openproject -x -O > openproject.sql

This assumes that the database container is called db_1. Find out the actual name on your host using docker ps | postgres.

All-in-one container

If you need a regular dump of the database you can get one using pg_dump like this:

docker exec -it $OP_CONTAINER_NAME su - postgres -c 'pg_dump -d openproject -x -O' > openproject.sql

Where $OP_CONTAINER_NAME is the name of your OpenProject container. If you don’t know it you can find it using docker ps | grep openproject.

Importing the dump into a new container

Follow the instructions in the restoring section to import a dump into a new container.