Making folder backups using Cron

Cron JobsAs I mentioned in yesterdays post on making backups of mySQL databases, earlier this year I migrated from a Microsoft Windows based web hosting package to a Linux based one. This meant I had to learn a few new ways of doing things, such as backing up databases or files, on a regular repeating basis.

This is accomplished on Linux web hosts using the Cron time-based scheduler. I needed to create two types of cron jobs; one to backup databases and one to backup files. Yesterdays post was on the databases and todays is on backing up files.

The syntax for backing up a files using Cron jobs will largely be the same on all web hosts.

The below example shows the syntax to backup a files, with the sections to change highlighted:

Created by Ian Grieve of azurecurve | Ramblings of an IT Professional ( This code is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Int). */
/bin/tar -czvf /home/{username}/backups/backup_{sitename}_$(date +\%Y\%m\%d\%H\%M\%S).tar.gz /home/{username}/{foldername}