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database backups to AWS with python + cron
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Boto Backup

A simple python script that backs up a psql database with AWS.

What does it do?

It is a simple script that connects to a remote database, runs a database dump, and saves the dumpfile to an AWS account. It integrates easily with cron to run daily, hourly and every 15 minute database dumps. You can also run a one-off backup.

For my projects, I use this so that their is a unique daily file for each day, while the 15min and hourly files only include the data from the most recent run through.

How do you use it?

  • Clone the repo

    • git clone
  • Make a virtualenv for dependencies

    • virtualenv backups
  • Install your dependencies

    • pip install -r requirements.txt
  • Fill out the data in the config file. You will need:

    • a prefix for your filenames
    • Your psql credentials. Make sure your have dump privilages set up. If you haven't already done so, set up a .pgpass file so you are not prompted for your password. Learn more about .pgpass here
    • Your AWS credentials and which bucket you would like to store them in
  • Set up logs/mail if you need it

    • If you are running this locally, your OS probably has a mail program installed which will store crontab output and help debug any problems.
    • If you are setting up a remote server, you may have to set up a mail client. I used Postfix/mailutils on an Ubuntu server for mine. Learn more about Postfix/mailutils + Ubuntu here
  • Give it a test drive

    • python
  • If all looks good, try setting it up to run at an interval with cron. There is a sample cronjob here

Why did I do it this way?

Well my friend, the answer is simple. It works for what I need it to do and did what I was looking for. I'm a self taught designer exploring the dark arts of full stack development in my free time, and am by no means an expert when it comes to database maintenance.

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