Q015 - Joomla! custom public folder with Dereference Links enabled


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Joomla!™ 5.0 and later allows you to use a custom public folder, i.e. a directory where your site will be served from that's different to where your Joomla! files are installed in. This is implemented by creating symbolic links (a.k.a. “symlinks”) from your Joomla! installation's directory to the public directory.

This feature is enabled on your site.

Akeeba Backup, by default, backs up symlinks without dereferencing them, i.e. by storing only the link's target in the backup archive, not the contents of the file or folder the link points to. When, however, you set the Dereference Symlinks option to Yes in the backup profile's configuration you invert this behaviour. In other words, Akeeba Backup will back up the contents of the symlink, as if it were a real file or folder.

The Dereference Symlinks option is enabled in your backup profile.

This combination of Joomla! and Akeeba Backup options is invalid for two reasons:

  1. Your backup size would be far bigger than it needs, since your core Joomla! files, third party extension files, media, etc would be backed up twice: once backing up the main folder of your site, and once again backing up the public folder of your site.

  2. The public folder of your site MUST contain symlinks. If it contains real files and folders any changes made to the site itself, such as updating Joomla! or third party extensions, would not be applied to the public folder where your site is served from. This will cause of sort of problems, from security issues not being fixed, to possible corruption of data in your database.

As a result, you MUST set Dereference Symlinks to No in the backup profile's configuration (the Configuration page of Akeeba Backup) before backing up your site.