Restoring Wiki From Time Machine Backup


wiki.pngI have been tinkering with a new Mac Mini Server recently installed at our studio. While I consider myself tech savvy, I don’t pretend to be an expert on such subjects as DNS configurations, advanced firewalls, VPN and NAT. So while trying to setup the server as a gateway between the web and our office, it was not entirely unexpected that I would leave myself stranded at the bottom of a very deep hole, dug using my own ignorance. There was no way out so I had little alternative but to roll back to the last Time Machine backup taken before my ill advised networking adventure. 

Apple proudly sings the virtues of using Time Machine as a backup solution for Mac OS X Server 10.6. However, while I had no problem restoring the system, I was left with some unexpected issues once the server was rebooted. Most services worked as advertised but upon launching the company wiki and blogs within Safari, I was presented with a ‘503 error’ page. 

After nearly 4 hours of scouring support forums, knowledge bases and mailing lists I finally got the bottom of the issue. Time Machine automatically skips over caches and log files when creating a backup. Usually this is no problem but it seems that the ‘teams’ service that powers the wiki and blogs feature in Mac OS X Server requires the presence of its log file to operate correctly. This discovery finally led me to a knowledge base article on that gives step by step instructions on recreating the necessary files and restoring the correct permissions to the wiki directory. 

By following the instructions below I was able to restore wiki functionality…

To restore the Web service (server):

  1. Open Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities).
  2. Execute these commands, each on its own line, followed by Return. Note: When using these commands you will be prompted for an administrator’s password.

    sudo mkdir /var/log
    sudo mkdir /var/log/apache2

  3. To restore the Wiki service (server), run the following commands in addition to those above:

    sudo mkdir /Library/Logs/wikid

    sudo chown _teamsserver:_teamsserver /Library/Logs/wikid

After running these commands restart your server.

4 Responses to “Restoring Wiki From Time Machine Backup”

  1. 1 Luke Garfoot

    This is very helpful stuff… I knew there would be issues with rebuilding my server and trying to get the wiki back up and running on it, and thank god i found this before doing it.

    Thanks 🙂

  2. 2 Phil

    Perfect, worked like a charm. Thank you for sharing this info.

  3. For OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion it works like this:

    get the Backup file in /Library/Server/PostgreSQL For Server Services/Backup/dumpall.psql.gz

    extract the file to /tmp/dumpall.psql or to an other directory

    Follow the instructions in like this:

    sudo chown -R _teamsserver:_teamsserver /Library/Server/Wiki/FileData
    sudo chmod -R +a “www allow search” /Library/Server/Wiki/FileData
    sudo serveradmin stop wiki
    sudo serveradmin start postgres_server
    cd /Applications/
    sudo ./dropdb -h “/Library/Server/PostgreSQL For Server Services/Socket” -U collab collab
    sudo ./createdb -h “/Library/Server/PostgreSQL For Server Services/Socket” -U collab collab

    Then use “psql” instead of “pg_restore”:
    sudo psql -U _postgres -d collab -h “/Library/Server/PostgreSQL For Server Services/socket” -f /tmp/dumpall.psql
    Start the Wiki Server
    sudo serveradmin start wiki




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