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Version: v2.7

Backing up Rancher

In this section, you'll learn how to back up Rancher running on any Kubernetes cluster. To backup Rancher installed with Docker, refer the instructions for single node backups

The backup-restore operator needs to be installed in the local cluster, and only backs up the Rancher app. The backup and restore operations are performed only in the local Kubernetes cluster.

Note that the rancher-backup operator version 2.x.x is for Rancher v2.6.x.


When restoring a backup into a new Rancher setup, the version of the new setup should be the same as the one where the backup is made. The Kubernetes version should also be considered when restoring a backup, since the supported apiVersion in the cluster and in the backup file could be different.


The Rancher version must be v2.5.0 and up.

Refer here for help on restoring an existing backup file into a v1.22 cluster in Rancher v2.6.3.

1. Install the Rancher Backup operator

The backup storage location is an operator-level setting, so it needs to be configured when the Rancher Backups application is installed or upgraded.

Backups are created as .tar.gz files. These files can be pushed to S3 or Minio, or they can be stored in a persistent volume.

  1. In the upper left corner, click ☰ > Cluster Management.
  2. On the Clusters page, go to the local cluster and click Explore. The local cluster runs the Rancher server.
  3. Click Apps > Charts.
  4. Click Rancher Backups.
  5. Click Install.
  6. Configure the default storage location. For help, refer to the storage configuration section.
  7. Click Install.

There is a known issue in Fleet that occurs after performing a restoration using the backup-restore-operator: Secrets used for clientSecretName and helmSecretName are not included in Fleet gitrepos. Refer here for a workaround.

2. Perform a Backup

To perform a backup, a custom resource of type Backup must be created.

  1. In the upper left corner, click ☰ > Cluster Management.

  2. On the Clusters page, go to the local cluster and click Explore.

  3. In the left navigation bar, click Rancher Backups > Backups.

  4. Click Create.

  5. Create the Backup with the form, or with the YAML editor.

  6. For configuring the Backup details using the form, click Create and refer to the configuration reference and to the examples.

  7. For using the YAML editor, we can click Create > Create from YAML. Enter the Backup YAML. This example Backup custom resource would create encrypted recurring backups in S3. The app uses the credentialSecretNamespace value to determine where to look for the S3 backup secret:

    kind: Backup
    name: s3-recurring-backup
    credentialSecretName: s3-creds
    credentialSecretNamespace: default
    bucketName: rancher-backups
    folder: rancher
    region: us-west-2
    resourceSetName: rancher-resource-set
    encryptionConfigSecretName: encryptionconfig
    schedule: "@every 1h"
    retentionCount: 10

    When creating the Backup resource using YAML editor, the resourceSetName must be set to rancher-resource-set

    For help configuring the Backup, refer to the configuration reference and to the examples.


    The rancher-backup operator doesn't save the EncryptionConfiguration file. The contents of the EncryptionConfiguration file must be saved when an encrypted backup is created, and the same file must be used when restoring from this backup.

  8. Click Create.

Result: The backup file is created in the storage location configured in the Backup custom resource. The name of this file is used when performing a restore.