Nextcloud Backup – Export – Import

How to backup your instance

Kyle Fazzari edited this page on 8 Aug 2019 · 7 revisions

The nextcloud snap includes an utility to backup and restore your instance. Right now it can export:

  • The apps
  • The database
  • The config
  • The raw data

But note that this does not cover exporting other settings, like HTTPS certificates.

Export everything

Run sudo nextcloud.export and it’ll turn on maintenance mode and dump a backup of your entire instance into a timestamped folder, something like 20190121-153921, inside /var/snap/nextcloud/common/backups/.

After the export is complete the snap will forget about it, so feel free to do whatever you like with it; one option could be to tar it, with a command like this:

sudo tar -cvf 20190121-153921_nextcloud-backup.tar /var/snap/nextcloud/common/backups/20190121-153921

Import everything

You can import an exported backup by running sudo nextcloud.import path/to/backup/dir.

Important! Importing a backup will completely blow away the current instance: it’ll drop the database, delete the installed apps, and delete all raw data, replacing each with that from the backup.

The only constraints are that:

  • This path needs to be available from confinement, so put it in /var/snap/nextcloud/common or /var/snap/nextcloud/current/ somewhere.
  • User root needs to be the owner.

So continuing with the previous example, these two commands would need to be executed before importing:

sudo mv 20190121-153921_nextcloud-backup.tar /var/snap/nextcloud/current/

sudo chown -R root:root /var/snap/nextcloud/current/20190121-153921/

Selective backup

Note that you can limit what is exported (and what is imported) with arguments that are documented if you run nextcloud.export -h or nextcloud.import -h.


    nextcloud.export [OPTIONS]
    Export data suitable for migrating servers. By default this
    includes the Nextcloud database, configuration, and data
    (equivalent to running nextcloud.export -abcd).

Available options:
    -h: Display this help message
    -a: Include the (non-default) apps
    -b: Include the database
    -c: Include the config
    -d: Include the data (can be quite large)

Tips & tricks

Q. Can exporting specify the data directory?
A. Not directly, but you should be able to use a symlink. For example, creating a symlink from the data directory to /var/snap/nextcloud/common/nextcloud/data

Q. Can I somehow export/import my HTTPS certs?
A. Yes, everything related to them is stored in the /var/snap/nextcloud/current/certs directory, so copying it and preserving its permissions and owner works.


The export/import tools are mostly written from the perspective of wanting to migrate your current install to another instance of the snap. Keep that in mind:

  • It won’t be particularly helpful in migrating to the snap from a non-snap install
  • Likewise, it won’t be particularly helpful in migrating away from the snap
  • It creates a copy of your config, trusted domains and all. If you’re migrating to a new domain name, keep this in mind– you’ll need to update the trusted domains yourself.