How to Backup Your DesktopServer Installation

How to Create a Complete DesktopServer Installation Backup

By gathering the following files you will have a complete DesktopServer installation backup:

  • application folder (XAMPP on Mac or xampplite on Windows), 
  • project preferences file (com.serverpress.desktop.json), 
  • actual website files. 

Please note that unlike using DesktopServer’s built in export feature, the installation backup you create following the directions above will capture all of your websites  but is not cross platform portable. You can restore only to the same platform (Mac or Windows) that you created the backup from. Likewise, your username and file paths should remain identical in order to restore a functional installation.

Follow these steps to make a complete backup of your DesktopServer Installation, which will include all your development site files.

1) Stop Web and Database Services (Close MySQL and Apache Processes)

To perform a manual uninstall, please ensure that the MySQL server and Apache web server process are not running. You may stop these processes from running by doing either of the following:

  • Reboot your system. 
    • By default, neither Apache or MySQL are configured to start on login. These processes should not be running after restarting your system. 
    • You should not have services set to “autostart” (via the XAMPP control panel)  as using this feature on Windows is not supported.
  • Use DesktopServer to Stop Services.
    • Run DesktopServer.
    • Select the first option to “Stop or restart the web and database services”.
    • Then, select “Stop the web and database services”. 
    • Close DesktopServer after stopping the services.

2) Verify MySQL and Apache are not running. 

Before we begin, you should ensure that the Apache and MySQL database services are turned off before backing up or copying your DesktopServer application folders. You can safely backup your DesktopSerer installation after ensuring that the services are not running and all open files are closed. Here is how:

WINDOWS SYSTEM

Please be sure to verify that both MySQL and Apache are not running by checking your Task Manager:
  1. First, start the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc and select the “Processes” tab.
  2. Next, be sure to click the checkbox/button to “Show processes from all users“. You can arrange the process list by alphabetical order by clicking the Image Name column.
  3. Locate and right-click the mysqld.exe or httpd.exe process in the Image Name column (one or more instances of httpd.exe may appear), and select “Open File Location”.

The file location path should reveal the folder on your hard drive of where the Apache web server (httpd.exe) or MySQL database server is running from. The parent folder should begin with xampplite. **If the folder path differs, you have a conflicting process from another web or MySQL server installation. Apache web server and MySQL database services are not running when the httpd.exe and mysqld.exe processes are not listed.

MACINTOSH SYSTEM

Please be sure to verify that both MySQL and Apache are not running by checking your Activity Monitor: 

  1. First, start the Activity Monitor app from your Applications/Utilities folder and be sure to set the drop down combo box to All Processes.
  2. Next, click to highlight the mysqld or httpd process in the Process Name column (one or more instances of httpd may appear). You can arrange the column by alphabetical order by clicking the column name.
  3. Click the Sample Process icon in the toolbar to locate the path of the running process.

The path should reveal the folder on your hard drive of where the Apache web server (httpd) or MySQL database server is running from. The parent folder should begin with /Applications/XAMPP. If the folder path differs, you have a conflicting process from another web or MySQL server installation. Apache web server and MySQL database services are not running when the httpd and mysqld processes are not listed.

3) Close XAMPP / DesktopServer Related Services and Applications

  • Windows: Please close any related XAMPP applications such as DesktopServer, Trace, and any other apps from your C:xampplite folder.
  • Mac: Please close any related XAMPP applications such as DesktopServer, Trace, XAMPP Control, and any other apps from the Applications/XAMPP folder.

4) Backup the XAMPP application folder. 

This contains your DesktopServer application files as well as your MySQL database that contains all of your posts, pages, theme and plugin settings for all of your websites. 

  • On Windows, C:xampplite
  • On Macintosh, the folder is at /Applications/XAMPP

5) Backup the project preferences file. 

This file is essential as it holds all of the file paths and database credentials for your website projects that allows DesktopServer to copy, cleanup, or export your websites. Because this is a hidden file, it is easier to simply locate and open the file using a text editor and selecting all of the contents to copy and paste into a new text document. 

Use the steps here to locate and open the file for your platform:

Windows Vista / 7 / 8 Systems

  1. Close DesktopServer.
  2. Open the hidden file at C:\ProgramData\DesktopServer\com.serverpress.desktopserver.json using Notepad (set the file type combo to “All Files”).
  3. Select all the text and copy & paste it into a new document to make a backup copy of this document.

If you do not have hidden files turned on, Windows 8 users can use the View pull down menu, hidden files check box. Windows 7 and Vista users click here for instructions

On Windows XP Systems

  1. Close the DesktopServer program if it is running.
  2. Open the hidden file at C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\DesktopServer\com.serverpress.desktopserver.json using Notepad (set the file type combo to “All Files”).
  3. Select all the text and copy & paste it into a new document to make a backup copy of this document.

If you do not have hidden files turned on, Windows XP users can click here for instructions.

On Macintosh OS X Systems

  1. Close the DesktopServer application if it is running.
  2. Open the hidden file at /Users/Shared/.com.serverpress.desktopserver.json using Text Edit or Text Wrangler which is free in the App Store (press Shift + Command + . [period] to see hidden files in the Open dialog window).
  3. Select all the text and copy & paste it into a new document to make a backup copy of this document.

If using Text Wrangler, see click the image to the left for options to view and edit hidden files.

6) Lastly, do not forget to backup your actual website files (CSS, JavaScript and PHP files). 

By default, DesktopServer will have created these files in your /Users/[username]/Document/Websites folder. 

We strongly recommend using  DesktopServer’s native export feature (simply select your site and click “Next” until a zip file is produced; you do not need to fill in anything) or the manual method for backing up your individual development websites. This creates a portable file that can be archived, shared, or ported to another system.

You Now Have a Complete DesktopServer Installation Backup

By gathering the following files you will have a complete DesktopServer installation backup:

  • application folder (XAMPP on Mac or xampplite on Windows), 
  • project preferences file (com.serverpress.desktop.json), 
  • actual website files. 

Please note that unlike using DesktopServer’s built in export feature, the installation backup you create following the directions above will capture all of your websites but is not cross platform portable. You can restore only to the same platform (Mac or Windows) that you created the backup from. Likewise, your username and file paths should remain identical in order to restore a functional installation.