Docker MySQL Backup
Even with Docker you need to care about backups.. ;-)
As you usually mount all the persistent data into the container the files will actually be on your host. Thus, you can simply do the backup of these files. However, for MySQL/MariaDB I prefer having an actual SQL-dump. Therefore I just developed the Docker MySQL-Backup tool. You will find the sources at the corresponding GitHub repository.
How does Docker MySQL-Backup work?
The tool basically consists of two scripts:
- a config file in
/etc/default/docker-mysql-backupto setup the path for the backup location and the path to gzip,
- the script
/etc/cron.daily/docker-mysql-backupwhich does the actual job.
/etc/cron.daily/docker-mysql-backup parses the output of the
docker ps command to find running containers of the MySQL image.
More precisely, it looks for containers of images that start with either
The actual filter command is
That of course only matches the original MySQL/MariaDB image names (if you have a good reason to derive an own version of that image please tell me!).
For every matching
$container the script will exec the following command:
With the following variables:
$BACKUP_DIRis a concatenation of
/etc/default/docker-mysql-backup) and the container name,
$NOWis the current time stamp as
Thus, the backups are compressed, organised in subdirectories of
$BACKUP_BASE, and the SQL-dumps have a time stamp in their names.
$BACKUP_BASE defaults to
/srv/backup/mysql/, but can be configured in
Last but not least, the script also cleans the backups itself.
It will keep the backups of the last 30 days and all backups of days that end with a
So you will keep the backups from the 2nd, the 12th, and the 22nd of every month.
As the script is stored in
/etc/cron.daily/ the cron tool will execute the backup script on a daily basis.
Restore a dump
Restoring the dump is quite easy.
Let’s assume your container’s name is
$container and the dump to restore carries the time stamp
Then you just need to run:
This will mount the backup directory in
/srv of the running container and then decompress and import the SQL-dump on the fly.
Manual installation through GitHub
Clone the Docker MySQL-Backup repository:
Copy the backup script to the
cron.daily (most likely
/etc/cron.daily/) directory on your system:
Copy the configuration to
Installation from my Apt repository
If you’re running a Debian-based system you may want to use my apt-repository to install the Docker MySQL-Backup tool. In that case you just need to run
Afterwards, look into
/etc/default/docker-mysql-backup for configuration options.
This way, you’ll always stay up-to-date with bug fixes and new features :)
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