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Chapter 3. Using the Akeeba Backup component

Table of Contents

Custom administrator menu items
Control Panel
Backup
Configuration
Manage Backups
Restore Latest Backup
Site Transfer Wizard
What to do if you don't have any menu items to Akeeba Backup
Pages outside the Control Panel panes
Common navigation elements
The Control Panel
Warning and error messages in the Control Panel
Full page errors
Download ID messages
Media files' permissions
CloudFlare RocketLoader
Missing mbstring
Obsolete PHP version
Front-end backup Secret Word
Insecure output directory
Configuration Wizard
Migrate your settings from an older Akeeba Backup version
Editing the component's Options
Back-end
Front-end backup
Push notifications
Permissions
Basic Operations
Profiles Management
Configuration Wizard
Configuration
The main settings
Basic Configuration
Advanced configuration
Site overrides
Optional filters
Quota management
Fine tuning
Database dump engines
Native MySQL Backup Engine
File and directories scanner engines
Smart scanner
Large site scanner
Archiver engines
ZIP format
JPA format
Encrypted Archives (JPS format)
DirectFTP
DirectFTP over cURL
DirectSFTP
DirectSFTP over cURL
ZIP using ZIPArchive class
Data processing engines
No post-processing
Send by email
Upload to Amazon S3
Upload to BackBlaze B2
Upload to Box.com
Upload to CloudMe
Upload to DreamObjects
Upload to Dropbox (v2 API)
Upload to Google Drive
Upload to Google Storage (JSON API)
Upload to Google Storage (Legacy S3 API)
Upload to OneDrive and OneDrive for Business
Upload to Microsoft Windows Azure BLOB Storage service
Upload to OVH Object Storage
Upload to OpenStack Swift object storage
Upload to RackSpace CloudFiles
Upload to Remote FTP server
Upload to Remote FTP server over cURL
Upload to Remote SFTP server
Upload to Remote SFTP server over cURL
Upload to SugarSync
Upload to iDriveSync
Upload to WebDAV
Backup now
Troubleshooting backup issues
Backup fails after switching to another browser tab, browser window or application
Where are my backup files?
How can I download my backup files?
Why do I get warnings about unreadable files or folders?
I got an "AJAX loading error" when backing up. What should I do?
My backup files are not being uploaded to Amazon S3
How do I know that my backup archive works?
What happens if I have a backup or restoration problem?
Manage Backups
Integrated restoration
Manage remotely stored files
How the Manage Backups page works with local and remote backup archive files and where quota management fits in
Import archives
Import archives from S3
View Log
Include data to the backup
Multiple Databases Definitions
Off-site Directories Inclusion
Exclude data from the backup
Files and Directories Exclusion
Database Tables Exclusion
RegEx Files and Directories Exclusion
Regular Expressions recipes for files and directories
RegEx Database Tables Exclusion
Regular Expressions recipes for database tables
Automating your backup
Taking backups automatically
Front-end backup, for use with CRON
Remote JSON API
Native CRON script
Alternative CRON script
Joomla Scheduled Tasks (without CLI)
The two Akeeba Backup task types
DANGER AHEAD: Caveats on using Joomla Scheduled Tasks.
Setting up your site for lazy backup scheduling
Setting up your site for scheduling using a URL CRON job
Setting up your site for scheduling using a CLI CRON job
Checking for failed backups automatically
Front-end backup failure check, for use with CRON
CRON script for backup failure check
Alternative CRON script for backup failure check
Site Transfer Wizard

This chapter documents all pages and features of the Akeeba Backup component. We decided to organise it by each core Joomla feature or component page you will see using our extension. When there is an interconnection between features we attempt to provide links between the documentation pages and adequate information to explain this interconnection.

Custom administrator menu items

Joomla allows you to create custom administrator menus. This is a very powerful feature, allowing you to customise the backend Joomla interface for your clients to provide better User Experience e.g. by creating task-based menu items instead of the generically-named default Joomla menu items. Akeeba Backup offers full support for this feature.

Most of Akeeba Backup's custom menu item types were created with site integrators and web site agencies in mind. Typically you want to offer your client a simple, obvious way of doing backup operations (take, restore or transfer backups). Up until now you had to tell them to go to the quite busy Akeeba Backup page and click on just the one thing you want them to. As we all know, clients get easily distracted and start changing things they shouldn't be touching. The custom menu types below are designed to offer perfectly tailored access to the component areas that most users need. Taking and restoring a backup can become a no-brainer, reduced to simply clicking on a back-end menu item.

Control Panel

This menu item type lets you access Akeeba Backup's main page (control panel). This is the same menu item type Joomla! creates by default when you install the component.

Please remember that excluding files, folders and database tables as well as including external folders and additional databases (for the Professional edition) can only be done through the Control Panel page. It's always a good idea having a link of this type in your custom menu.

Backup

This menu item type allows the users to take backups. The default options let this work just like clicking on the Backup Now icon in Akeeba Backup's Control Panel page, i.e. the user can select an alternative backup profile, enter a backup description and/or comment and then take a backup or change their mind and return back to the Control Panel page. However the additional options let you do more interesting stuff.

The available options are:

Force backup profile

Select the backup profile which will be pre-selected in drop-down of the Backup Now page. Selecting (None) default to the currently active backup profile, as selected in other pages of the Akeeba Backup component. By default that's profile #1. This is especially useful with the Start immediately option below.

Start immediately

When enabled the backup will start right away, without asking the user to enter a backup description or comment and without the option to change their mind. This is equivalent to using the One Click Backup feature inside Akeeba Backup.

We strongly recommend using this with the Force backup profile option above. Use it to set up which profile you want the backup to be taken with. This allows you to set up one-click backup menu items.

Hide toolbar

When this option is disabled the user will see the Control Panel and Help buttons at the top of the page. The former will take them back to Akeeba Backup's main page whereas the latter opens the documentation page for the Backup Now page. If you are setting up a one-click backup menu item with the options above it's a good idea to enable this option to hide these buttons. That's especially useful when you are setting up a simple menu for use by your client and you don't want them to accidentally cancel the backup by clicking on these buttons.

Return URL

Set up an internal URL to redirect the user after a successful backup. An "internal URL" is a URL pointing to a page in your site's administrator area, without the domain name and /administrator/ part of it. For example, to take someone back to the Joomla! main page set this to index.php without anything else before or after it. To take someone back to Akeeba Backup's main page set this to index.php?option=com_akeeba.

[Warning]Warning

Due to the way Joomla's menu manager works, it expects the URL to be URL-encoded. This means that question marks must be replaced %3F and so on. Don't worry about it. Enter the URL regularly and save the menu item twice in a row. We have employed a trick to force URL-encoding of the value when re-saving the menu item. Unfortunately due to a missing feature in Joomla's API we can't employ the same or a similarly clever trick the first time you save the URL.

Configuration

This menu item type allows the users to modify the main configuration of the current backup profile. It's equivalent to pressing the Configuration button in Akeeba Backup's main page.

Manage Backups

This menu item type allows the users to manage backup attempts. This includes viewing all backup attempts, viewing / changing the backup description and comments, have access to logs, download the backups, manage remotely stored backups and restore any of the past backups (as opposed to only the latest backup). It's equivalent to pressing the Manage Backups button in Akeeba Backup's main page.

Restore Latest Backup

[Note]Note

This menu option type is only available and will only work with Akeeba Backup Professional.

This menu item type allows the users to restore the latest backup taken with the specified backup profile. This is especially useful if you teach your site administrators (or the clients for whom you're building sites) to take a backup right before trying to do something which could go wrong such as updating a component, changing configuration settings or doing batch operations on content.

The only option is Backup Profile which lets you choose which backup profile's latest backup attempt will be restored.

Idea: use the same profile you've set up in a menu item of the Backup type that you've told the client to always use before any dangerous operation. This way you can offer your clients an easy way to undo their most common mistakes!

Site Transfer Wizard

[Note]Note

This menu option type will only work with Akeeba Backup Professional.

This menu item type allows the users to transfer and restore the latest backup on a different server. It's equivalent to pressing the Site Transfer Wizard button in Akeeba Backup's main page.

Idea: you can train your clients to use this to deploy a site from the staging to the live server.

What to do if you don't have any menu items to Akeeba Backup

Depending on how you've set up your site's administrator menu and/or if you've hit a Joomla! bug that sometimes occurs on extension update you may end up without a menu item to Akeeba Backup. Other times you may have deliberately chosen not to display a menu to Akeeba Backup to keep clients from changing the backup settings. The question remains. How can you access Akeeba Backup and how can you restore menu items manually?

The following instructions are generic Joomla! usage tips and don't have to do with how our software works. We provide them as a courtesy. If these instructions don't work for you please do not contact Akeeba Ltd for support. We cannot offer support for generic Joomla! use. Instead please do ask for help in the Joomla support forum at http://forum.joomla.org.

Accessing Akeeba Backup

You can always access Akeeba Backup by visiting the /administrator/index.php?option=com_akeebabackup URL on your site, after logging in to your site's back-end.

That is to say, if your site's administrator URL is http://www.example.com/administrator/index.php enter the URL http://www.example.com/administrator/index.php?option=com_akeebabackup in your browser's address bar to access Akeeba Backup.

Restoring Joomla's default administrator menus

You need to access the /administrator/index.php?option=com_modules URL on your site, after logging in to your site's back-end.

From the drop-down that currently reads Site select the option Administrator.

Find the module which displays your administrator menu. Usually it's called Admin Menu. Click on it to edit it.

From the Menu To Show drop-down select Use System Preset. Then click on Save & Close.