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Last updated: 27 Jul 2023

Restore an Individual Postgres Production Database in AWS RDS

If you need to restore an entire RDS instance please see this manual page instead.

Restoring From S3 Backups

We take nightly database backups and save them to the govuk-<environment>-database-backups S3 bucket inside a folder named after the RDS instance (for example publishing-api-postgres).

To restore a backup from the most recent copy follow the steps below:

How To Run the Sync Script

  1. SSH into the db_admin machine. If you are using GDS CLI you can run the following command to ssh into the correct machine:
gds govuk connect ssh -e <environment> db_admin
  1. To find the command you need to run to restore a specific database, list the govuk-backup user’s cronjobs, then grep for the database name you need:
  sudo -iu govuk-backup crontab -l | grep <database_name>


  sudo -iu govuk-backup crontab -l | grep publishing_api
  1. Copy the command that starts with “pull”. For example, if you were restoring the publishing_api database you’d need this line:
/usr/bin/ionice -c 2 -n 6 /usr/local/bin/with_reboot_lock /usr/bin/envdir /etc/govuk_env_sync/env.d /usr/local/bin/ -f /etc/govuk_env_sync/pull_publishing_api_production_daily.cfg
  1. Start a tmux session as the govuk-backup user:
sudo -iu govuk-backup tmux
  1. Then run the command you copied previously.

  2. The script will inform you when it’s complete. To switch between tmux windows, press Control-B then n. To disconnect from tmux, press Control-B then press d. To reconnect, run sudo -iu govuk-backup tmux a

See the govuk-env-sync manual page for more information.