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A python utility to automate backup process
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Savior is a python program that create snapshots of your data. By data, I mean regular files, but also databases (MySQL or PostgreSQL).

Contrary to other tools, savior try to be light and simple both for set up and usage. It does SNAPSHOTS, a.k.a complete saves of data. Not incremental or differential. If you need these kind of saves, please consider using another tool.

Savior is released under GPLv3 licence.


  • Tar ang Gzip files and directories, with simple exclude rules
  • Backup MySQL and PostgreSQL databases (both locally or remotely)
  • Keep your different types of data (files, databases) together ("datasets") , so you can find and restore them easily
  • Transfer backups to one or many FTP server (via FTP or SFTP)
  • Automatic saves via crontab
  • Command line utility if you want to save manually
  • Global and per-dataset settings : regularity, number of snapshots to keep, credentials, backup servers...
  • Send mail to one or many contact with results of backup process


Savior is a young (november 2013) and personnal project.

As it deals with data, and data is important, please, try it carefully before using it in critical operations. Do some test backups first, and ensure your data is backed up properly, without loss or corruption of any kind.

Feel free to report any issue you may encounter.


Savior works as follow:

  1. You define your settings : save recurrency, number of save to keep, etc.
  2. You define your hosts:
    • FTP servers on which you want to backup your files
    • Database server you want to save
  3. You define some datasets. A dataset is a collection of files and/or databases you want to save together

Savior is designed to be as flexible as possible. This mean you can override most global settings in datasets configuration.

This allow you to have two datasets with different save settings, for exemple:

  • "important_website" dataset, collecting production MySQL database and website PHP files, that saves every day, keeping 10 last saves on 3 different FTP servers
  • "apache_configuration" dataset that saves your apache config every week, keeping 2 saves on 2 different FTP servers

You can save as many datasets as you want, the only limit is available space on your hard drives. On FTP servers, datasets will be stored like this :

|-- important_website
|   |-- 2013-11-19--17h54 # a snapshot of important_website on 2013-11-19
|   |   |-- application.tar
|   |   |-- base_prod.sql
|   `-- 2013-11-20--17h54 # a snapshot of important_website the day after
|       |-- application.tar
|       |-- base_prod.sql
`-- apache_configuration
    `-- 2013-11-19--17h54
        `-- files.tar
    `-- 2013-11-20--17h54
        `-- files.tar


Get savior

via Git

git clone

via wget

mv savior-master savior

You got it ! Remember to cd in this directory :

cd savior

Prepare your system

Depending on your needs, you will have to install some packages on your machine.

The easy way

To install all dependencies, on Debian-like distributions, you can run:

bash install/debian/

This will install both system packages and python packages

The precise way

If you want to install only the packages you will need, have a look at scripts inside install/yourdistribution:

bash install/yourdistribution/    # to install only pip and python packages
bash install/yourdistribution/  # to install only mysql libraries
# etc...

If you only need to install python packages, just run :

pip install -r install/python_requirements.txt

The 'my distribution is not listed' way

In this case, you're on your own. Requirements are listed under install/ If you want to help, you're welcome !

You're done ! You can now configure your savior instance and get it to work.



Copy the provided settings file and edit it with your very own informations:

cp sample-settings.ini settings.ini
nano settings.ini

All options are described in the file, read carefully ;)


Host file is used to log to FTP and database servers. Copy the provided hosts file and edit it with your very own informations:

cp sample-hosts.ini hosts.ini
nano hosts.ini

All options are described in the file, read carefully ;)

As this file will contain sensitive informations, remember to secure it:

chmod 750 hosts.ini

For specific settings, have a look at the docs directory.


Savior use files under datasets directory to describe what need to be saved and how. You can create your first dataset with:

cp datasets/examples/example datasets/my_first_dataset
nano datasets/my_first_dataset

All options are described in the file, read carefully ;)

You can create as many datasets as you want, as long as you store them in datasets folder (files in subdirectories are not parsed).


Once you're done with configuration, you can run the savior via command line. It's useful when you want to know if your configuration works as expected.

To get some help on available commands, just run:

python --help


The save command is

python save

It will: - save and backup all datasets (if needed) - clean old saves (if needed) - send a mail to admins

You can add options to this command:

# force save process (days_between_save settings will be ignored)
python save -f 

# Save only my_dataset
python save --datasets my_dataset 

# Save my_dataset and my_other_dataset
python save --datasets my_dataset my_other_dataset

# Save my_dataset without sending mail
python save --datasets my_dataset -nm 


If, for some reason, you want to delete a bunch of saves, purge is the answer to your problem:

# purge all datasets
python purge

# purge my_dataset
python purge --datasets my_dataset

Use carefully !


Clean will delete old saves from both local and remote server. By default, clean is called after a successfull save command, so you should not need it.


# clean all datasets
python clean

# clean my_dataset
python clean --datasets my_dataset

Automating save process

The point of savior is to automate things. Command line is nice, but in most case, you'll want to use a crontab to save your datasets. When you have checked via command line that your configuration works, you can add the following to your crontab:

crontab -e 

# add the following lines at the end to save your datasets everyday, on midnight :
# Savior
0 0 * * * python /path/to/savior/ save > /dev/null 2>&1

Sometimes, you may meet permissions problems when backing up files from local system. In this case, one solution is to run the save process as root :

sudo crontab -e

# add the following lines at the end to save your datasets everyday, on midnight :
# Savior
0 0 * * * python /path/to/savior/ save > /dev/null 2>&1

Contact, help and bug report

If you want to improve savior, your help is welcome. Feel free to send me any question or suggestion relative to savior via Git repository. If you don't have a github account, we can't get in contact via email :

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