Checked your .snapshot folder lately?


Guess when DH says their backups aren’t guaranteed they weren’t kidding. The last backup that ran on my account was Nov 18 2007.

Fortunately I’ve been doing my own backups, so this post is more out of curiosity to find out if I’m alone.


Mine were last updated less than 24 hours ago (on January 24, 2008 at 01:07).

Are you sure you are looking at the correct dates? For sites that have existed awhile, you can’t go by the dates that are shown in your FTP client for the directories (they may have been created some time ago).

A better way to determine your actual .snapshot directories’ status is with the “stat” command from the shell, and note that files that haven’t changed will not show new dates. :wink:



I didn’t think about that, but a quick stat check confirms an 11-18-07 change date.

Additionally the only folder in .snapshot is named 20071118.185145


I think that probably indicates you should generate a support request (assuming you have had files change since that date). :wink:



Yeah, tried submitted a ticket and got a proverbial ‘go jump in a lake’ response.

“I’m sorry for the trouble. Dreamhost tries to provide backups as a courtesy and they are not guaranteed to be available due to disk space constraints. If you need to rely on backups, then creating your own backup solution is really the best option. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.”


Well, that doesn’t tell yo much, does it. I’m still curious as to what files are actually in there (mine are “up to date”) :wink: That said, they are correct with that answer - I never rely on DH’s site backups (the TOS makes it clear that I should not!), though I do appreciate the convenience when I badly bork something during development.

Having the ability to just cp an older version from the .snapshot rather than having to dig ouot my backups is pretty convenient. :wink:



I learned that the hard way when everything including the .snapshot folder disappeared and their response was ‘oops, backup from your home PC.’ Like you said, it’s still nice to have snapshots even if I still maintain my own backups.

Makes me feel warm n fuzzy that they aren’t even going to attempt a look at my account to see why backups aren’t running.


I understand that, but are you 100% sure that they are not “running”.

I brought this up on the Freenode #dreamhost IRC channel last night, and though I’d share part of the discussion here.[22:08] <G> thats when the directories were created.... [22:08] <G> tell them to look at say .snapshot/Maildir/cur [22:08] <G> errr [22:08] <rlparker> not for me ... created yesterday ;-0 [22:09] <G> .snapshot/hourly.0/Maildir/cur [22:09] <rlparker> I *do* think the guy is prolly looking at the wrong date [22:09] <Sabrejack> the snapshot directories are not normal unix directories [22:10] <Sabrejack> they're virtual-ish, made by the filers. they're built from diffs [22:11] <G> [22:13] <rlparker> G: so ... no change of data, no updated timestamp? [22:13] <G> look at the Access dates [22:13] <rlparker> Yea, I saw that [22:14] <G> and the contents are correct for those periods–rlparker


Not entirely sure I’m following, but if I understand correctly, the gist is that even though the folder in my snapshot directory seems to indicate a November backup it could be a current backup and I just don’t know it? Is that correct?

Other than the folder name, the only other data point I’m keying off of is my gallery data folder which is missing all of December (Christmas) and January (baby birth) photos.


Yep. That is the gist of it, but if your directories don’t have the recent baby pictures, then it does look as though the backups were not being made.



Dreamhost hates me…

Me entire site just got zero’d with no online backups to be had. File server burped…whoops…so sorry.

On the bright side, it loads ridiculously fast now. :frowning:

Sure I have my local backup, but it’s going to take a bit to upload 50G worth of photos. DAMMIT!!!


Damn that’s unfortunate to say the least.

Were you able to save the database? I’ve tried resuming large files and it worked flawlessy over ftp so you should be able to queue up your photo directories and have them uploading while sleeping/at work, etc.

Hope all goes well.


Fortunately SmartFTP will autoresume if it came to that point, but like last year my ‘site was down with no chance of data recovery’ to ‘tada here is your data’, same thing happened last night.

The dejavu is killing me. bah!

Speaking of dejavu…bad_httpd is back again.

Bummer, but it’s better than Bluehost…


Couldn’t agree more.

There’s info in the Wiki regarding bad_httpd I believe :wink:


Thank you OP for sharing your discovery! And the DH response to your support inquiry.

I checked my own account(and will be checking on others - both personal and biz) and found that one user doesn’t even have .snapshot directories(anywhere). This is a change that happened sometime in the last 3-4 months since I last checked filesystem backups.

Interesting. Very good to know, especially in advance of the upcoming cluster move. And always a good datapoint for comparison. No cheap host will guarantee backups but it’s certainly true that some do better than others at delivering it…

Thanks again for sharing the heads-up!



Well, how 'bout that…Through no effort of my own (or DH’s for that matter), my .snapshot folder is full of backups as of 1/30/08.