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Firefly III does not come with a built-in backup routine. Using your native OS tools is way more useful and faster.


The export function of Firefly III is not a backup mechanism

Self-hosted backup

Make sure you grab the following and store it somewhere safe:

  • The .env file in the root of your installation or the exact command you've used to launch Firefly III.
  • The entire database or database file (in /storage/database);
  • All uploads from /storage/upload;

The database can be exported using tools like phpMyAdmin or pgAdmin.


If you're running Firefly III in Docker, backup the following:

  • The Docker variables you've used to launch the container (s), and especially the APP_KEY-variable.
  • Any secrets you have used (database passwords).
  • The two volumes used by Firefly III: "upload" and "db"

That way you have everything you need in case of problems.

Manual backup using Docker

To backup the database volume, you could run something like this.

Backup with the following command:

docker run --rm -v "firefly_iii_db:/tmp" -v "$HOME/backups/firefly:/backup" ubuntu tar -czvf /backup/firefly_db.tar /tmp

And restore with:

docker run --rm -v "firefly_iii_db:/recover" -v "$HOME/backups/firefly:/backup" ubuntu tar -xvf /backup/firefly_db.tar -C /recover --strip 1

A word of caution: Check that the volume exists before trying to back it up. If a named volume doesn't exist Docker will create an empty one, and the command will backup that empty volume. This wipes out the existing backup.

To get a better idea of how this works, see Docker's official documentation.

Automated backup using Docker

See GitHub issue #4270 for some hints.

Last update: 2022-01-14