nightly web server backups, backup website files? or backup complete server system?

I’m setting up a backup system on my linux web server. The backup will be done nightly to an external hard drive. Typically, what is the best way to handle backups? In mind I see two possibilities. Back up the complete server system including operating system files and configs (everything in the / directory), or just backup the website files in the user directories individually (example: backup /home/www). Is one way or the other bad practice?

Thanks for your help.

Just backup documents only. Space is a commodity and you might find you fill it up which can get costly.

Rebuild the operating system and then restore the users’ files if you have any issues.

One of the benefits of using a VE such as OpenVZ or Xen is that you can backup and restore an entire server with 1 click, and can be done automatically when a fault is detected. Just something to consider!

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Thomas says:

Just backup documents only. Space is a commodity and you might find you fill it up which can get costly.

Rebuild the operating system and then restore the users’ files if you have any issues.

One of the benefits of using a VE such as OpenVZ or Xen is that you can backup and restore an entire server with 1 click, and can be done automatically when a fault is detected. Just something to consider!
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