Automating Server Backup on Shutdown

Automating Server Backup on Shutdown


In the world of server administration, ensuring that your data is backed up regularly is crucial to maintaining the integrity and availability of your services. One way to streamline this process is by automating server backups. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to set up an automated backup system using Systemd and Shell Scripts, making it easier than ever to protect your data.

Step 1: Create a Systemd Service Unit

Systemd is a powerful init system that allows us to manage system services, including our backup script. To start, we’ll create a Systemd service unit by running:

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/santoshm-shutdown.service

Create file with following commands.


PROJECT_DIR="$(dirname "$(readlink -f "$0")")"

cd "$PROJECT_DIR" || exit
php artisan online-backup-system-command
echo "...Successful..."

This file will define our backup service.

Description="santoshm database backup" mysql.service



Here’s what each section of the service unit file does:

  • [Unit] Section:
    • Description: This is a human-readable description of your service. It provides a brief explanation of what the service does. In your case, it describes that this service is related to SantoshM database backup.
    • After: This directive specifies the units that must be started before this service can start. You’ve listed and mysql.service, indicating that this service should start after the network is up and the MySQL service is started.
    • Before: This directive specifies the units that should be started after this service. You’ve listed,, and, indicating that this service should start before the system is powered off, shut down, or rebooted.
  • [Service] Section:
    • Type: This directive specifies the service type. In your case, it’s set to oneshot, which means the service will be considered active until the script (specified in ExecStart) exits.
    • ExecStart: This is the command or script that will be executed when the service is started. In your case, it’s /var/www/santoshm/, which is your backup script.
  • [Install] Section:
    • WantedBy: This specifies the target units for which this service is a wanted dependency. In your case, it’s set to,,, and This means your service is wanted when the system is shutting down, rebooting, powering off, or exiting.
systemctl daemon-reload

# to check the log. If something goes wrong, run this command and you will see issue at top but in reverse style.
journalctl -u santoshm-shutdown.service --reverse

Step 2: Save and Exit

Save the file and exit the text editor.

Step 3: Enable the Service

Now, let’s enable our newly created service:

sudo systemctl enable santoshm-shutdown.service

This command tells Systemd to start our service when the system boots up and stop it when the system is shutting down.

If you want to if the service is working or not use this command.

sudo systemctl start santoshm-shutdown.service

# restart if existed
sudo systemctl restart santoshm-shutdown.service

Step 4: Create Your Backup Script

Before we can take advantage of our new service, we need a backup script. Create your backup script (e.g., /var/www/santoshm/ and make sure it contains the necessary backup logic. Adjust the path and content as per your requirements.

Step 5: Make the Script Executable

Ensure that your backup script is executable by running following command. `Please note, this is important, else .sh file wont execute.`

chmod +x /var/www/santoshm/

Step 6: Testing the Configuration

You can now test your backup system by rebooting your server:

sudo reboot

During the shutdown process, Systemd will trigger your backup script, creating a backup of your data.


In this guide, we’ve shown you how to automate server backups using Systemd and Shell Scripts. By creating a Systemd service unit and a backup script, you can ensure that your data is regularly backed up, enhancing the reliability and security of your server. Automating backups not only saves time but also provides peace of mind, knowing that your data is safe even in unexpected situations.

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