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Backup & Restore

Last edited on December 15, 2022

Keep secure backups of your keystore and password!

Data Directory

All data relating to a specific Geth instance gets written inside a data directory. The default data directory locations are platform specific:

  • Mac: ~/Library/Ethereum
  • Linux: ~/.ethereum
  • Windows: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Ethereum

Accounts are stored in the keystore subdirectory. The contents of this directories should be transportable between nodes, platforms, and client implementations.

To configure the location of the data directory, the --datadir parameter can be specified. See CLI Options for more details. There may exist multiple data directories for multiple networks (e.g. a separate directory for Ethereum Mainnet and the Goerli testnet). Each would have subdirectories for their blockchain data and keystore.

It is important to backup the files in the keystore securely. These files are encrypted using an account password. This needs to be securely backed up too. There is no way to decrypt the keys without the password!

Cleanup

Geth's blockchain and state databases can be removed with:

geth removedb

This is useful for deleting an old chain and sync'ing to a new one. It only affects data directories that can be re-created on synchronisation and does not touch the keystore. Specifically, passing the removedb command with no arguments removes the full node state database, ancient database and light node database (although light nodes are not currently functional for proof-of-stake Ethereum).

Blockchain Import/Export

Export the blockchain in binary format with:

geth export <filename>

Or if you want to back up portions of the chain over time, a first and last block can be specified. For example, to back up the first epoch:

geth export <filename> 0 29999

Note that when backing up a partial chain, the file will be appended rather than truncated.

Import binary-format blockchain exports with:

geth import <filename>

And finally: REMEMBER YOUR PASSWORD and BACKUP YOUR KEYSTORE

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