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Best Practices - Backup on Gaia OS Technical Level

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Snapshot Management
  3. System Backup (and System Restore)
  4. Save Configuration (and Load Configuration)
  5. Recommended backup plan
  6. Recommended steps in case of Disaster Recovery
  7. Related backup tools
  8. Comparison of backup methods
  9. Related documentation
  10. Related solutions


1. Introduction

There are a few methods to perform a backup of your Check Point system running Gaia OS. They differ by size, time of creation and content. This article provides overview of all available backup methods and recommendation for configuring effective backup scheme.

The built-in Gaia backup procedures:

  • Snapshot Management
  • System Backup (and System Restore)
  • Save/Show Configuration (and Load Configuration)

All methods can be used to backup your Security Gateways, Security Management and Multi-Domain Server.

All methods are appliance-specific and can only be restored on the same model of appliance.


2. Snapshot Management

The snapshot creates a binary image of the entire root (lv_current) disk partition. This includes Check Point products, configuration, and operating system.

Starting in R77.10, exporting an image from one machine and importing that image on another machine of the same type is supported.

The log partition is not included in the snapshot. Therefore, any locally stored FireWall logs will not be saved.


3. System Backup (and System Restore)

System Backup can be used to backup current system configuration. A backup creates a compressed file that contains the Check Point configuration including the networking and operating system parameters, such as routing and interface configuration etc., but unlike a snapshot, it does not include the operating system, product binaries, and hotfixes.


4. Save Configuration (and Load Configuration)

Allows saving Gaia OS configuration settings as a ready-to-run CLI script. This allows you review your current setup and quickly restore the Gaia OS configuration.


For complete backup of the system and maximum confidence, Check Points recommends combining all three methods as part of the backup plan (Snapshot Management, System Backup/Restore, Save/Load Configuration). This will allow multiple restore points, redundancy and reliability of overall restore procedure.


  • Snapshot - after a fresh installation, before an upgrade, and before a hotfix installation.
  • Scheduled Backup - monthly or weekly, depending how frequently you perform changes in your configuration and policy.


  1. Revert to a Snapshot - restores the Check Point version with all the setup details, including type (management/gateway) and installation of hotfixes.
  2. Restore from Backup - restores latest system configuration with all recent network and security configuration.
  3. Compare the output of Clish command "show configuration" to the saved configuration to verify that Gaia OS configuration was restored properly.
  4. Install policy on this machine (if it is a Security Gateway / StandAlone).


Tool Description
migrate export
  • The migrate tool is located in the $FWDIR/bin/upgrade_tools/ directory.
  • This command backs up all Security Management configuration, independent of hardware, OS or Check Point version.
  • The output file does not include OS information.
  • For built-in help, run:
    [Expert@HostName:0]# $FWDIR/bin/upgrade_tools/migrate --help


  • These tools are used to backup SmartEvent / SmartReporter Server R77.30 and lower.
  • For details, refer to sk102452.
  • This tool is used to perform advanced backup of Multi-Domain Security Management Server.
  • Refer to Multi-Domain Security Management Administration Guide (R76, R77) - Chapter 12 'Multi-Domain Security Management Commands and Utilities' - Command Line Reference - mds_backup.


8. Comparison of backup methods


"upgrade_export" /
"migrate export"
How much time
does it take ?
30 - 60 minutes 5 - 30 minutes Few seconds Depends on
Size of output file
on Security Gateway
5-100 GB Depends on
Few KB N/A
Size of output file
on Management Server
5-100 GB 5-100 GB Few KB Depends on
Does it back up
Gaia OS configuration ?
Yes Yes Yes No
Does it back up
Products configuration ?
Yes Yes No Yes
Does it back up
Hotfixes ?
Yes No (*) No No
Does it back up
Check Point
logs ?
No No No Not by default.
Use the flag "-l"
in the syntax
to backup the
SmartView Tracker
logs as well
Does it support
automatic scheduling ?
No Yes No No
Can you restore
from different version ?

Note: Snapshots cannot be restored from a version which includes different partitioning system (e.g. GPT) or default filesystem (e.g. xfs) For example, you cannot restore R77.30 snapshots in R80.30 3.10
No With manual
Upgrade is performed
when importing to
a newer version
Does it require to close
SmartConsole GUI clients ?

R7x - No
R80 - Yes

Note: Backup on R80.10 Jumbo Hotfix Accumulator Take 245, R80.20 Jumbo Hotfix Accumulator  Take 103, R80.30 Jumbo Hotfix Accumulator Take 71 - No

No No
Does it require to stop
Check Point services?
No No No No
Does it require reboot ? No No No No

(*) Does not apply to "mds_backup".


  • Gaia Administration Guide (R77):
    • Chapter 10 'Maintenance' - System Configuration Backup
  • Multi-Domain Security Management Administration Guide (R76, R77):
    • Chapter 12 'Multi-Domain Security Management Commands and Utilities' - Command Line Reference - mds_backup
    • Chapter 12 'Multi-Domain Security Management Commands and Utilities' - Command Line Reference - mds_restore


Applies To:
  • This SK replaces sk105385

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