Restoring to new server is not successful

I obviously do not understand the restore process.

I’ve run the restore probably a dozen times. There were times that I got errors but adjusting the path to secret_key solved that.

I have also wiped the server numerous time and reinstalled MIAB on a fresh machine.

This is what I’ve most recently run:

export PASSPHRASE=$(cat /home/user-data/secret_key.txt)
sudo -E duplicity restore --force file:///home/user-data/backup/restore home/user-data/backup/encrypted

Then I through the setup again.

curl -s | sudo bash

Once complete, there are no accounts and no DNS entries from the backup/restore. It just behaves like a new installation of MIAB.

I run restore again and this is what is returned:

Local and Remote metadata are synchronized, no sync needed.

I’ve searched and dug through countless discussion topics and tried a few of those - no joy.
I could just run a fresh install and re-enter all the account info but I’d rather know how to restore.

I’m lost. What am I doing wrong?

Full disclosure: I haven’t done a restore of MiaB, so just guessing.

I don’t really think this will matter, but the restore instructions state to run sudo mailinabox. Also, if it were me, I would put all the restore files and key and everything in a different location outside of /home/user-data/. However, I don’t know that makes any difference (or possibly it doesn’t work).

You may get more attention posting over in the slack channel.

I actually have tried those variations but i just rebuilt the VPS again so I’ll give it another shot.

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I looked through a different file path and discovered that the mailboxes have been imported.


The issue is that when I login to the MIAB CP, there are no domains or email users.

Now, maybe a crazy question - if I have not yet changed glue records and I’m only accessing the NEW install via the IP, would that prevent the data from appearing in the CP?

If you are accessing via the IP address (e.g.,, I can’t see how.

It should just give a bunch of errors about stuff not resolving correctly.

Actually, I’m not completely sure, because it could be that it configures everything brand new on restoration, but that seems like an unusual way to do a restoration, but as I haven’t done one, and I really should.

I think i found the issue - about to run another restore - standby…

I found the issue - a pesky little slash! I found it referenced by brownj in Nov 2019.

Restore location needs to be ‘/home/user-data’ NOT ‘home/user-data’.

(I was missing the preceding ‘/’)

It is also helpful to remove the ssl cert on the new install.

rm -rf /home/user-data/ssl/*

THEN re-run the MIAB installer.

I’ll move the dns/glue records later tonight.

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