File recovery with Proxmox Backup Server

After some server maintenance, I’ve noticed that one of my servers just isn’t right. I don’t know exactly what happened, but the network doesn’t want to work. Since I treat all my servers as cattle and not pets (and even then there’s some debate within the DevOps community about this ?), I’d rather just rebuild the server and move on with my life. While I’m not fully automated in my environment (yet! it’s a work in progress!), provisioning a new VM is a bit of a manual task. I still operate backups, but sometimes I use random issues like this as an excuse to rebuild something to my standards.

Since I run Proxmox religiously, it should be no surprise that I use Proxmox Backup Server as my backup solution. PBS is a must if you’re running Proxmox! It’s made it easy to migrate VMs as well as to restore when something gets messed up. It’s also easy to grab a file or files from a VM that you can’t otherwise access to SCP.

Recovering a file

All of this will happen within your Proxmox node where the VM resides. Hopefully you didn’t delete it! Or if you did, recreate it with the same ID.

From your VM, go to the backup tab.

Select the backup and then click on the File Restore button.

Navigate through your disk’s filesystem to find the data you need. In my case, I’m grabbing my proxy.conf file from NGINX as this server is my internal reverse proxy. I’ll also grab my wildcard LE cert and key.

What’s helpful is that if you download a folder, it will download the contents as a zip file.

And just like that, you can save any important files from your backups!

Hopefully in the future, they enable the ability to do file recovery from the PBS datastore interface. That would make this process a lot easier.

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