Backup solution to free hosting provider

Hey all, long time no see :slight_smile: Used to be quite active here a few years ago.

Anyway, I’m the admin of a relatively small forum. Our backups clock in at under 1GB, and will likely stay that way for the next few years.

I want to set up backups with a cloud provider that’s not tied to my identity, so that I can share login details with other forum owners. This excludes Amazon S3, which is our current solution, tied to my Amazon account. Google Drive would also be a little problematic (would have to create a special account, which requires phone number validation nowadays). Sharing a folder might be another solution, but that would chew up my Google Drive quota.

So is there a free cloud provider for backups that Discourse supports? I’ve spent the last ~15 minutes searching through threads, and it appears most plugins but S3 are deprecated or broken :frowning: Happy to be wrong and pointed to a working solution.

Also, any ongoing work on building this into Discourse? Is it a lot more complicated than it seems to use Dropbox’s API and upload the latest backup file?

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Why aren’t you looking at any S3 compatible service? There are many now…

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Are they admins on your forum? You don’t need to share your S3 login details if that’s the case. They can download backups in the Admin → Backups. Discourse will generate a secure link to download directly from S3.

It should be a lot simpler to create plugins for different storage providers than it was before the rewrite of the backup storage backend. I guess there isn’t a high demand for anything else than S3, so nobody created a plugin yet.


You could run a Dropbox container that synced to Dropbox, or go old school and old school and rsync the files to some other location.

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The idea is to have access to the backups off-site in case our hosting blows up. If Discourse could keep pushing the links to the latest backups somewhere (e.g. into a Google Sheet), that would be interesting.

I use Rclone with a cron job to move my backups to a non-S3 destination. Might be an option for you?


I use rsync to my machine every few days, that’s the best option for me for now while keeping the costs really down. I keep 3-5 backups online with Discourse and up to 15 locally (sometimes I forget to delete the old ones).

A totally free option is kinda difficult. You could have a script that runs in the Discourse server and copies the file from there to any other place (Google Drive, Dropbox) with their API and a Cronjob.

Other option is to use S3 or S3-alikes as DigitalOcean’s Spaces (5$/250GB)


Indeed, it was super easy to follow this guide and setup rclone for use with a shared Gmail/Google Drive account that our team shares access to. 15GB of storage is more than enough.

Using the sync rclone command means that only the current backups will be stored on Google Drive. this is actually a lot more convenient than the default/built-in AWS plugin, because that one didn’t delete the old backups, nor the log files, and I had to log into AWS and delete them manually now and then.

Note that you need to run rclone cleanup as well, before rclone sync, in order to clean up the Trash. Otherwise Google Drive may run out of space, because files in Trash still count against the quota.


FWIW, there is a s3 disable cleanup site setting: Disable the removal of backups from S3 when removed locally.


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