Backup and recovery

This chapter describes the commands and processes you use to back up and recover your Helix Core Server. For information about multi-server backup and recovery, see the Backing up and upgrading services section under Deployment architecture.


To reduce the risk of data loss,

  • Validate your backup procedures and follow them.

  • Take checkpoints and rotate journals on a regular basis. See Checkpoint files and Journal files.


If your site is very large (gigabytes of db.* files), creating a checkpoint might take a substantial amount of time. Therefore, consider:

  • only creating a checkpoint at the end of each work week, while rotating the journal file during your nightly backup

  • performing checkpoints on a separate instance of your Helix Core p4d Server database. See the Support Knowledgebase article, Offline checkpoints.


If you are using Helix Core Extensions, see Backup of server extensions in Helix Core Extensions Developer Guide.

Version files versus database files (metadata)

The Perforce service stores two kinds of data: versioned files and metadata.

  • Versioned files are files submitted by Helix Server users. Versioned files are stored in directory trees called depots.

    There is one subdirectory under the server’s root directory for each depot in your Helix Server installation. The versioned files for a given depot are stored in a tree of directories beneath this subdirectory.

  • Database files store metadata, including changelists, opened files, client workspace specifications, branch mappings, and other data concerning the history and present state of the versioned files.

    Database files appear as db.* files in the top level of the server root directory. Each db.* file contains a single, binary-encoded database table.