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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 an 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 back up 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 back up current system configuration. A backup creates a compressed file that contains the Check Point configuration. This file includes the networking and operating system parameters, such as routing and interface configuration etc., but unlike a Gaia snapshot, it does not include the operating system, product binaries, and hotfixes.

Note: A Gaia backup, unlike a Gaia snapshot, can be restored on the same or a different appliance running the same Check Point Gaia OS version and hotfixes.


4. Save Configuration (and Load Configuration)

Allows saving Gaia OS configuration settings as a ready-to-run CLI script. This allows you to 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 allows 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. Do one of these:
    • Revert to a Gaia Snapshot - restores the Check Point version with all the setup details, including type (management/gateway) and installation of hotfixes.
    • Restore from a Gaia Backup - restores latest system configuration with all recent network and security configuration.
  2. Compare the output of Gaia Clish command "show configuration" to the saved configuration to verify that Gaia OS configuration was restored properly.
  3. If this is a Security Gateway / StandAlone, install policy on this machine.


Tool Description

Applies to R80.20 and higher versions.

migrate export

Applies to R80.10 and lower versions.

  • 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
  • Refer to the Command Line Interface (CLI) Reference Guide for your version > Chapter "Multi-Domain Security Management Commands" > Section "mds_backup".


  • These tools are used to back up 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 the Command Line Interface (CLI) Reference Guide for your version > Chapter "Multi-Domain Security Management Commands" > Section "mds_backup".


8. Comparison of Backup Methods

Enter the string to filter this table:

"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


(does not apply to "mds_backup")

No No
Does it back up
Check Point
No No No

Not by default.

Use the flag "-l"
in the syntax
to back up the
SmartView Tracker
logs as well.

Does it support
automatic scheduling?

R81 and higher - Yes

R80.40 and lower - 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 a snapshot from the R77.30 version on an R80.30 3.10 version.
No With manual
Upgrade is performed
when importing to a newer version
Does it require to close
SmartConsole GUI clients?

R81 and higher - No

R80.40 - No (only from R80.40 Jumbo Hotfix Accumulator Take 53)

R80.30 - No (only from R80.30 Jumbo Hotfix Accumulator Take 215)

R80.20 - Yes

R80.10 - No (only from R80.10 Jumbo Hotfix Accumulator Take 278)

R80 and lower - Yes

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


  • Gaia Administration Guide for your version:
    • Chapter "Maintenance" > Section "Snapshot Management"
    • Chapter "Maintenance" > Section "System Backup"
  • Command Line Interface (CLI) Reference Guide for your version:
    • Chapter "Security Management Server Commands" > Section "migrate_server"
    • Chapter "Multi-Domain Security Management Commands" > Section "mds_backup"
    • Chapter "Multi-Domain Security Management Commands" > Section "mds_restore"


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