The official documentation has moved to http://docs.couchdb.org — The transition is not 100% complete, but http://docs.couchdb.org should be seen as having the latest info. In some cases, the wiki still has some more or older info on certain topics inside CouchDB.
There are three types of variable data files to backup:
- Database files
- Configuration files
- Log files
Actually, you can copy a live database file from the OS at anytime without problem. Doesn't matter if its being updated, or even if its being compacted, the CouchDB never-overwrite storage format ensures it should just work without issue.
For all platforms, locate your database, configuration, and log files and perform a filesystem copy. Be careful to preserve file permissions, too. Archive these files to wherever you want-- ideally on a different machine in a different physical location -- with appropriate security limiting access.
For example, here are the directories to backup for a CouchDB install on Ubuntu:
- Configuration: /etc/couchdb/
- Database files: /var/lib/couchdb/
- Logs: /var/log/couchdb/
And to backup for a CouchDB install on Windows where %couch% is where you've installed or unpacked CouchDB:
- Configuration: %couch%\etc\couchdb\
- Database files: %couch%\var\lib\couchdb\
- Logs: %couch%\var\log\couchdb\
Note: Before CouchDB 1.0 intermediate releases can have incompatible database file formats. For details on migrating those, see BreakingChanges.