Dreamback - really simple backup for your dreamhost accounts

software development


Hey guys,

Just wanted to let you know about a small project I’ve been working on to automate backup of my Dreamhost users using the backup account that Dreamhost provides.

To give it a try, go here:

EDIT This tool is designed to backup normal Dreamhost user files to the Dreamhost provided Personal Backup space.

I’d love questions, feedback, bug reports, and anything else you want to tell me (here or @palexander). I’ve been running this for about two months backing up 22GB of data across seven separate users and its working pretty well.

Key Features

  • easy to install and setup
  • runs without you thinking about it
  • uses hard links to reduce storage space
  • doesn’t store passwords (uses ssh keys)

Possible Future Features

  • SQL database backups
  • External storage (S3/Glacier/other)
  • Cool things people ask for :slight_smile:

What Dreamback doesn’t/won’t do
This isn’t meant to be a custom tool with a ton of options. If people really want something in that direction, I’ll think about exposing some of the configuration options that are under the hood.

Feel free to fork on github and do pull requests if it suits you!

Note on security
I’ve tried to think about security while doing this. Having a single account with ssh key access to all of your other Dreamhost accounts may not be ideal. I would suggest creating a separate account to act as your “backup” account and set an “impossible-to-hack” password on it.


Sounds nice, but should you not contact DreamHost about this, so they can run tests and if it works properly they could add it to the (one-install) goodies.


Correct me if I’m simply mistaken about how this tool works, but DreamHost’s Unlimited Policy prohibits storing backup content on the web servers. We provide a separate “backup user” with up to 50 GB of free storage for all customers, and that’s where we recommend that you keep data which doesn’t need to be on our web servers.

palexander, can you hold on to this tool for a bit and rework it such that it’ll only back up to a DreamHost backup user or to external services? Please contact me if you have any questions.


andrewf, I agree with your statement about the unlimited policy, but it could just be a temp backup which is then downloaded to their computer and deleted from DH-account.

My concern would be more if “all” DH users start using it “daily” is the server load, even if it auto backups to external services.


@andrewf - I will clarify this in my description. The tool is designed so that it ONLY allows backup to the dreamhost-provided backup user, and that is how I use it. It runs in a user account, obviously, and it does store files there temporarily but they are deleted after the backup is processed.

@ronthai - I’m not sure of the load it generates. It is mainly running rsync. Since Dreamhost does not offer guaranteed backup, I think there should be something workable that allows for daily backups, and I’m not aware of anything better than rsync. Perhaps I can change the nice value so that it runs at a lower priority than other processes since it shouldn’t matter how long in realtime the process takes.

I’m not trying to kill Dreamhost here. I’ve been a loyal customer for 10 years. Just trying to make it easier for people to have reliable backups.


palexander, don’t get me wrong I think it is a great idea and I am sure many people will love it and need it.

For me personally, I do not need it.
My website are either WordPress, which I backup with a plugin and then download;
Forum based, which I backup with a plugin and then download;
or basic html which I design on my computer, so I always have it as a backup.

But the amount of topics/posts in the forum are shocking of people who do not have a backup if something went wrong with their website and then they complain here and to support. But the customer is responsable for their own backups, so I think it is a great project/idea, but would be perfect if done in conjunction with DH.

I hope this gets of the ground and you get all the support from DH to implicate it in their system.
I have been with DH now over 7 years (after many other “bad” hosts) and am here to stay.


I wrote a script that does same thing, but I have to go there and run it.
After backup is done, I download everything to my PC and also send to BK account.


I run an rsync backup to the backup server, and that seems to be enough, though it’s a bit glitchy since that server was fixed due to a hardware issue.

I also use rsync to my offsite backup as well.