Incremental backups not working correctly?

On my main server, I have a full VM backup performed on Sunday night for a domain and incremental backups the other days of the week.

The incremental backups are taking the same space that the full backups are, which is about 30g. Most of that is actually email.

I recently changed servers and the problem went away for the first week. The Sunday full backup was about 30g, and each incremental backup for the remainder of the week was about 1.5g. This week, it's back to each of the incremental backups being 30g.

I don't think this has anything to do with it but thought I'd mention it. For this client, their backups are stored in /home/client/virtualmin-backup, and "virtualmin-backup" is excluded from the backups. I believe this is working properly or each backup would be 2x as large as the previous days as we store 2 weeks of backups on the server (and send a copy to a S3 bucket).

Do you know why this wouldn't be working?

Thanks, Steve



Okay, after chatting with Jamie, I think I know what the issue is.

Though it may require ignoring what happened last week, as currently I can't really explain that :-)

I see that there is a "Full" backup running, which stores it's files at a location like this:


It appears that Full backup is just backing up Web data. However, since it's technically a Full backup, that's what is being used by the incremental to compare against.

Do you need that particular backup, since you have other full and incremental backups running?

No, but if we ever need to restore just the website and database, it's a lot easier to use that backup than doing it from the full backup which would also restore all of that mail to it's previous state, which would result in critical mail being lost.

It looks like that minimal full backup is running on Sunday, just after the primary full backup.

Perhaps you could change the order around, so that the primary full backup runs after the minimal one?

Or you could even move the minimal one to Saturday after the last incremental runs.


I switched those 2 backups before last weekend like you suggested and it seems to be working so far. I am waiting to see how it acts going > 1 week since it worked for a week the other way and then started growing.