Help for Administrators > Backup and Recovery > UNIX > About Backup and Recovery

Audience: Administrators

About Backup and Recovery

This topic offers some tips on system-wide backups and describes the tools in Blackboard Learn for incrementally backing up courses and organizations.

System Backup and Recovery

Administrators should backup the database and file system according to the needs of the Institution. Blackboard Learn supports full backup and restores at the operating system and database levels. As a general rule, daily backups should be kept for two weeks, as errors may not appear for several days. Recovery plans should include how to restore the entire system. For assistance restoring the system, contact Blackboard Technical Support by logging in to Behind the Blackboard at

Incremental Data Protection

Blackboard Learn includes the following utilities for incrementally backing up individual courses and organizations:

The command line tool that processes batch operations for Export/Import and Archive/Restore is a powerful tool for backing up course and organization data. To learn more about using these utilities, see How to Export, Archive, and Restore Courses in Batch.

Note:  The default size limit for content uploaded though the user interface is 250 MB. When attempting to upload files larger than 250 MB using the interface, users will receive an error. This limit does not apply to Web Folder or Shared Locations uploads. To upload larger files, administrators can upload the files using the command line or they can increase the Tomcat default size setting. To learn more about uploading files using the command line, see How to Export, Archive, and Restore Courses in Batch. To increase the maximum upload limit, modify the parameter located in webapps/blackboard/WEB-INF/config/struts/reporting-struts-config.xml. The file size upload limit is tied to Tomcat, therefore it is not encountered with WebDAV uploads. Because the setting is tied to Tomcat, the services must be restarted for the change to take effect.

Avoiding Recovery of Files During Upgrade

During a Blackboard Learn upgrade, items such as custom folders, and archived snapshots which are stored directly beneath the blackboard_home directory are moved to a time-stamped backup directory. Customized files and folders that are not Blackboard-owned will be considered unexpected and moved to the backup directory. To avoid your customized non-Blackboard-owned files from being moved during an upgrade, create client-dirs.txt and client-files in your config directory. List each file and folder's relative path to your blackboard_home directory on its own line in the respective text file. The files do not accept wildcards, so the files and folders must be specified individually. This method must be used with caution to avoid a partially upgraded environment, and if the file is Blackboard-owned and customized it will still be overwritten with the new version.