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OpenEMR Backup Tools

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Words of advice on backing up:

  • The first most basic requirement of any database is a regular, frequent, comprehensive backup system.
  • Losing data should terrify you.
  • Hardware fails. Lightning strikes happen.
  • A good backup strategy is drudgery but nothing will give such a warm, glowing, fuzzy, feeling like successfully recovering your system from a recent backup after a lightning strike that burns out a critical component on your server.
  • Backup your databases on a regular basis (daily is best). Make frequent secure backups of the MySQL data and the data in the openemr web directory.
  • If you have the resources it is best to back up to an off site facility. This can be done electronically over a secure internet connection (VPN) or you can burn CDs / DVDs and carry them off site.
  • Always backup before starting an upgrade.


  • Ubuntu Backup : This method/script will backup the complete MySQL database and the complete OpenEMR web directory. It will automatically backup encrypted data to a local directory and burn the encrypted data to a multisession DVD(so, you can just leave the same DVD in the drive). Here is a link to the raw script, if wanted:
  • Backing Up Using the Built In Tools : OpenEMR has a built in 'backup' facility. this page describes how to use it, and how to manually perform the same task.
  • Dump Database - Hourly  : This procedure creates a database dump every hour and cleans out old backups once a day.
  • Automated Backups to an Alternate Server : Rod's preferred method (documentation sponsored by IPPF).