Backup and Restore

This is archived documentation for InfluxData product versions that are no longer maintained. For newer documentation, see the latest InfluxData documentation.

InfluxDB has the ability to snapshot a single data node at a point-in-time and restore it.


Backing up the Metastore

InfluxDB’s metastore contains internal information about the status of the system, including: user information, database/shard metadata, and which retention policies are enabled. While a node is running, you can create a backup of your instance’s metastore by running the command:

influxd backup /path/to/backup

Where /path/to/backup can be replaced with the directory where you would like the backup to be written to. Without any other arguments, the backup will only record the current state of the system metastore. For example, the command:

$ influxd backup /tmp/backup
2016/02/01 17:15:03 backing up metastore to /tmp/backup/meta.00
2016/02/01 17:15:03 backup complete

Will create a metastore backup in the directory /tmp/backup (the directory will be created if it doesn’t already exist).

Backing up a Database

To backup a database, you will need to add the -database flag:

influxd backup -database mydatabase /path/to/backup

Where mydatabase is the name of the database you would like to backup, and /path/to/backup is where the backup data should be stored. Optional flags also include:

  • -retention <retention policy name> - This flag can be used to backup a specific retention policy. For more information on retention policies, please see here. If not specified, all retention policies will be backed up.

  • -shard <shard ID> - This flag can be used to backup a specific shard ID. To see which shards are available, you can run the command SHOW SHARDS using the InfluxDB query language. If not specified, all shards will be backed up.

  • -since <date> - This flag can be used to create a backup since a specific date, where the date must be in RFC3339 format (for example, 2015-12-24T08:12:23Z). This flag is important if you would like to take incremental backups of your database. If not specified, all timeranges within the database will be backed up.

Note: Metastore backups are also included in per-database backups

As a real-world example, you can take a backup of the default retention policy for the telegraf database since midnight UTC on February 1st, 2016 by using the command:

$ influxd backup -database telegraf -retention default -since 2016-02-01T00:00:00Z /tmp/backup
2016/02/01 18:02:36 backing up rp=default since 2016-02-01 00:00:00 +0000 UTC
2016/02/01 18:02:36 backing up metastore to /tmp/backup/meta.01
2016/02/01 18:02:36 backing up db=telegraf rp=default shard=2 to /tmp/backup/telegraf.default.00002.01 since 2016-02-01 00:00:00 +0000 UTC
2016/02/01 18:02:36 backup complete

Which will send the resulting backup to /tmp/backup, where it can then be compressed and sent to long-term storage.

Remote Backups

To capture a backup from a remote node, specify the host and port of the remote instance using the -host configuration switch:

$ influxd backup -database mydatabase -host /tmp/mysnapshot

Where all of the flags above still apply to remote hosts.


To restore a backup, you will need to use the influxd restore command.

Note: Restoring from backup is only supported while the InfluxDB daemon is stopped.

In order to restore from a backup, you will need to provide the path to the backup. The command:

influxd restore /tmp/backup

Will attempt to restore the contents of the /tmp/backup. The optional flags for restoring a backup are:

  • -metadir <path to meta directory> - This is the path to the meta directory where you would like the metastore backup recovered to. For packaged installations, this should be specified as /var/lib/influxdb/meta.

  • -datadir <path to data directory> - This is the path to the data directory where you would like the database backup recovered to. For packaged installations, this should be specified as /var/lib/influxdb/data.

  • -database <database> - This is the database that you would like to restore the data to. This option is required if no -metadir option is provided.

  • -retention <retention policy> - This is the target retention policy for the stored data to be restored to.

  • -shard <shard id> - This is the shard data that should be restored. If specified, -database and -retention must also be set.

Following the backup example above, the backup can be restored in two steps. First, the metastore needs to be restored so that InfluxDB knows which databases exist:

$ influxd restore -metadir /var/lib/influxdb/meta /tmp/backup
Using metastore snapshot: /tmp/backup/meta.00

Once the metastore has been restored, we can now recover the backed up data. In the real-world example above, we backed up the telegraf database to /tmp/backup, so let’s restore that same dataset. To restore the telegraf database:

$ influxd restore -database telegraf -datadir /var/lib/influxdb/data /tmp/backup                                                                         
Restoring from backup /tmp/backup/telegraf.*
unpacking /var/lib/influxdb/data/telegraf/default/2/000000004-000000003.tsm
unpacking /var/lib/influxdb/data/telegraf/default/2/000000005-000000001.tsm

Note: Once the backed up data has been recovered, the permissions on the shards may no longer be accurate. To ensure the file permissions are correct, please run:

$ sudo chown -R influxdb:influxdb /var/lib/influxdb

Once the data and metastore are recovered, it’s time to start the database:

$ service influxdb start

As a quick check, we can verify the database is known to the metastore by running a SHOW DATABASES command:

influx -execute 'show databases'
name: databases

The database has now been successfully restored!