Version 2.6 is a legacy release, and these documents are no longer being maintained.

Data backup

A data backup plan and schedule is critical for disaster recovery (e.g. hard drive failure, data corruption). Make sure to backup all important data on a regular basis. We also recommend backing up your data before making any changes to AtoM or the underlying database, such as a software upgrade, etc.

Database backup - overview of options

We recommend reviewing the overview linked below provided by Wordpress for backing up AtoM data, as both applications use MySQL:

You can follow these instructions using either the MySQL CLI tool, phpMyAdmin, or MySQL Workbench.

For more detailed instructions on using the MySQL CLI tool to back up AtoM’s database, see:

See also

Uploads and Downloads

AtoM stores user uploads and downloads in two directories found just below the root AtoM installation directory.


The uploads directory is used to store digital objects.

The uploads directory typically has one main subdirectory called r. Inside this, the next subdirectories are based on the authorized form of name of repository records in the AtoM instance. If users have themed the repositories, then a repository directory will contain a conf subdirectory, in which you’ll find uploaded banners and logos.

Lower subdirectories after this are used to house digital objects. For each uploaded or linked object, AtoM will add a SHA-256 hash of the object and then, to avoid collisions and aid in retrieval, it will create a specific set of subdirectories based on this hash - 3 subdirectories named after the first 3 characters in the hash, followed by a final nested subdirectory named after the remaining hash characters.


Older versions of AtoM used only 2 initial subdirectories before creating a final subdirectory with the remaining hash characters.

The resulting structure looks like so when viewed in a file explorer:

An image of the uploads directory's organization

If your database includes digital objects, you will want backup the files in /uploads on a regular basis.

An example of creating a zipped tarball of your uploads directory:

cd /usr/share/nginx/atom
tar cvf uploads.tar uploads/
gzip uploads.tar


AtoM’s downloads directory is where reports, cached xml, generated and uploaded finding aids and downloads created by the job scheduler (such as clipboard exports) are kept:

An image of the downloads directory's organization

While previous exports might be considered transitory data not worth keeping, you may want to back up the rest of the contents of this directory.


You may choose to delete the contents of the jobs subdirectory before backing up the downloads directory - this subdirectory generally contains zip files of previous exports. As such, it is temporary data and may not need to be kept. We recommend leaving the jobs subdirectory itself in place, for future exports.

If you want to delete the contents of this directory, you can use the following command:

rm -f /usr/share/nginx/atom/downloads/jobs/*

An example of creating a zipped tarball of your downloads directory:

cd /usr/share/nginx/atom
tar cvf downloads.tar downloads/
gzip downloads.tar

Translations backup

Each public AtoM release includes new user interface translations supplied by the global AtoM translation community. However, users with sufficient permissions can also add local user interface translations directly via AtoM’s user inteface. For more information, see:

If you are actively translating the application interface, you will also need to backup the translation files in the /apps/qubit/i18n directory.


At this time, we are troubleshooting challenges in the translation migration process from older releases to 2.6. Please see issue #5505 for progress - we will update this documentation with instructions when the tranlsation migration process has been optimized and tested. Thank you in advance for your patience.

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