Quick server move to another machine (rsync user-data)


Just a quick question, does simple rsync-ing the ‘user-data’ directory is a supported method of moving the MIAB to another machine? I have successfully made a backup restore test and it works, but is slow. I would minimize the downtime of my e-mail services. Can I do a full rsync instead of backup restore?

the included backup activity seems to only contain files inside /home/user-data. In theory so long as you minded the permissions and software versioning, i suppose an rsync would work (painfully slow though in some cases)…
also bear in mind that custom configurations to postfix and others would need to be replicated on your new box. This happened to me in my latest machine-to-machine cutover with my AWS special stuff…

Thanks for the reply. I am also thinking “it should work”, but… you know… it is always better to ask before not after.

I am using a vanilla Box installation with only one addition: local postgrey whitelist, so I should be fine.

Unfortunately ISPs are blacklisted by their AS or range of IP addresses and we can’t do much about it. Microsoft blocks 25 on their non-Enterprise subscriptions and you can’t event ask them to unblock.

Same story, different cloud. I spent years building my reputation as a trusted sender IP, until the entire swath of EC2 addresses was flagged by blacklists. It’s extra work to send outbound through SES, but they have excellent controls.

You may find that RSYNC is slow like crazy, and your time would be better spent halting services, making one last backup, and FTP’ing (or secure) the bundle across to your new machine. I found that RSYNC can be slower than all of that.

Good luck with it all!

Any method to move the user-data directory is fine. It’s (almost) exactly what the official backup/restore method does (the only difference is the backups don’t contain the user-data/backup directory).


Will the backup history be preserved if I will rsync the user-data directory? I am using remote mounted filesystem to hold user-data/backup/encrypted folder.

I did a test, and the backup was much slower, although I use Azure Files Service as a backup location and it may be the reason.

The rsync was 100Mbit/s so I find it good enough.

Here is my experience doing the migration related to the upgrade to Ubuntu 22.04. I ended up using rsync:

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