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As my e-stores are too big to zip and download everything, I want to know what folders I should download from the old server and move to the new Magento installation, in order to get it quickly up and running?

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Generally speaking the only thing that gets really large on Magento is the media folder. The rest you can transfer easily by creating either a ZIP or TAR on the server.

In case you have access to SSH you can use the following command to create a TAR excluding the media and var directory.

tar -czf ./backup.tar --exclude=./media --exclude=./var ./

But if you're moving the database (with products etc) also you'll need the media directory as well as it contains the product images.

To transfer everything from one server to the other you can use the following if you have SSH access on both servers

scp -r -p /path/to/current/installation [user]@[serveraddress]:/path/to/destination
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    There is one dynamic bash script for backup magento db + files with many options, you may try that. FYI, I am using this script for almost every Magento project to take regular backups: blog.magepsycho.com/… – MagePsycho Sep 17 '13 at 6:35
  • nice! I'll give that a try – Sander Mangel Sep 17 '13 at 6:56
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I prefer to use rsync to do transfers

rsync -avz -e ssh /path/to/local/ user@removeserver.com:/path/to/new/

I would also exclude if you don't want to copy all the extra cache files.

You can hit this command more than once and it will only copy new items the second time!

The last thing is to move the DB: I normally do a dump and restore then update your core_config_data table

  • Are there any more advantages to using rsync over scp? Anyway, I already like it better then scp :) +1 – Sander Mangel Sep 16 '13 at 17:48
  • Once you've discovered rsync, you don't ever want to go back. – Fiasco Labs Sep 16 '13 at 18:17
  • You can add excludes and exclude lists in rsync – brentwpeterson Sep 16 '13 at 18:33
  • @brentwpeterson never worked with ssh, but what is path/to/new? is it webserver public_html? – Nofel Sep 17 '13 at 11:30
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    Another advantage is the --progress switch, which ads a nice progress bar. With scp you just don't know when it will be finished. – ProxiBlue Oct 11 '14 at 22:53

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