Integrated restoration in the Core version. Users of Akeeba Backup Core, our free version, can now restore backups on the same server through the component, without having to upload Kickstart and go through all the manual restoration hassle.
Improved display of large log files. Some really big log files could crash the browser or cause a server timeout, preventing you from being able to download the log file. Now you have to explicitly allow the display of these large logs and when you do they are rendered using more efficient plain text display.
Improved tooltip display. Tooltips in the Configuration page are no longer static. If you want to make them static click on the label: the tooltip will remain open so you can use it as a reference for changing the respective configuration field. Please note that you can no longer copy text from tooltips as a result of this change.
Bug fixes. The 5.0.x series were arguably very buggy. Rewriting the component from scratch did introduce several obscure issues we had never run into before and couldn't test for: tests will only detect the problems the testers have run into into the past and designed their tests to detect. This time, with your collective feedback, we ran more tests than we thought was sane – and fixed the issues you reported and a few more which almost everybody missed. We hope we get bonus points for fixing issues caused by third party extensions that break the Joomla! core API (FaLang, I'm looking at you) and hosts disabling the public API to innocent built-in PHP features (Tokenizer) which exist in PHP for 10 years and are, ironically, used by PHP itself to parse PHP files. There are a few more obsure issues but we'll spare you the gory details; we fight these dragons so you don't have to.
We also fixed two obscure bugs regarding the use of a dollar sign followed by open curly brace in database passwords (due to a nearly undocumented PHP feature) and compatibility with newer servers where the get_magic_quotes_runtime function is correctly not available. We also noticed that many servers out there have operating system kernel core dumps in the public_html directory and you were backing them up. That's a waste of space so we now exclude all core dump files (named similar to core.1234) automatically. This will cause the backup size to decrease, substantially in many cases. Please don't report this to us as a bug, it's a bug in your server setup: these core dump files should never be there in the first place! Tell your host.
The following features were originally added in the 5.0.x series.
Automatic detection and working around of temporary data load failure. Some servers remove Akeeba Backup's "memory" files, causing the backup to fail. Now Akeeba Backup detects this error condition and automatically works around that, using the much slower but safer database storage instead.
Better workarounds for PHP opcode caches during and after backup extraction and site restoration.
Direct download link to Akeeba Kickstart in the Manage Backups page for easier manual restoration.
Easier discoverability of backup scheduling with links shown after the Configuration Wizard has completed and a toolbar button in the Configuration page.
Download log button in ALICE for easier filing of tickets.
Better workarounds for browsers' password auto-fill, making sure that the ANGIE and JPS password fields are not magically filled in by your browser with the wrong password.
We only support Joomla! 3.4 or later, including 3.5. We strongly advise you to run Joomla! 3.4.7 or later for security reasons. Older versions of Joomla! have known major security issues which are being actively exploited to hack sites. Do note that these security issues were fixed on Christmas Eve 2015 thanks to the effort of our development team who contributed their time and knowledge to make Joomla! more secure.
Support for PHP 5.3 is discontinued. It's end of life since August 2014 and widely considered a security risk, unfit for production sites. Our software requries PHP 5.4 or later and is compatible with PHP 5.4, 5.5, 5.6 and 7.0. We strongly recommend using PHP 5.6 or 7.0.
We'd like to remind you that Joomla! 3.4 does NOT support PHP 7. PHP 7 is only supported by Joomla! 3.5.0 and later versions. Akeeba Backup will work perfectly fine (and very fast!) on a Joomla! 3.5 or later site running on PHP 7.0.
We want to sincerely thank all the people who took the time to download, install and test the two beta releases of Akeeba Backup 5.1.0. Their feedback has been invaluable in identifying and fixing all remaining bugs – including some obscure ones that have been there for several years. You guys and gals rock!