Backup automation (Linux)


In Linux/Unix and similar operating systems, task automation is handled by the cron service. Most hosting providers allow managing this service.

The Plesk control panel example below shows how to automate backup creation.

IMPORTANT! Make sure that and have the necessary execution rights.
For more details, refer to “Appropriate execution rights for and”

Step #1

Enter the Admin Area and go to Admin >> Data Backup & Restore. The absolute file path to the script will display on the bottom part of this page.

Do not close this browser window – we will need this path later.

Step #2

In a new browser window, open the Plesk control panel and navigate to the Home page:

IMPORTANT! Your view may differ. The description given here is an example only.


Click the Crontab icon. The following page will display:

In the System user section, click the name of your main system user (should match your main FTP user).

The following window will list the cron jobs associated with this user. If there are no jobs, the list will be empty as on the following screenshot:

Click the Schedule a Task icon to create a new cron job. The job creation form looks as follows:

Step #3
Before creating a cron job, you should decide how often you want complete backups to be created. To determine the right backup frequency, look at how often changes to your store are made.

Suppose that you you receive several orders a day, change their statuses, and make changes to the product catalog. In this case, daily backups would be reasonable.

Sheduling the job time is important. Backups are best performed when your store has the least visitors. For example, this could be at 1 A.M. (local time).

You should also consider the following:

cron job time is set based on server time, which can differ significantly from your local time.
cron job time always uses the 24-hour format.

Let’s look at an example. You’ve decided that:

Your store has the least visitors at night, so backup should be scheduled for 01:00 (local time).
The difference between server time and local time is +5 hours. This means that when you have 01:00, the server has 06:00 (6 in the morning). This is the cron job time.


Complete the cron job creation form:

Enter 0 for Minute.

Enter 6 for Hour.

Enter * for Day of Month, Month, and Day of Week.

Enter the string from Step 1 for Command.

Click OK to create the task:

Step #4

To receive notifications when the script is run, click the Preferences icon. In the form that opens, enter the e-mail address to which notifications will be sent.

Enter your e-mail address in the field Send Crontab messages to e-mail. Click OK to save the changes.

This completes backup automation for your online store.

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