Apple Remote Desktop 2: Backing up the admin database

If you want to back up your Apple Remote Desktop 2 database files, the easiest way is to copy the files to another storage device. Apple Remote Desktop 2 stores information about client systems in Postgres database files located at: /var/db/RemoteManagement/

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You may back up these files individually or as a normal part of your routine backup schedule.

The quickest way to back up the files themselves is to use Terminal on the computer hosting the Apple Remote Desktop 2 RemoteManagement configuration. By default, this is the admin computer. Locally at the computer, you would use the "sudo" command to copy the "RemoteManagement" directory. Example:

$ sudo cp -R /var/db/RemoteManagement/ ~/Desktop/RemoteMangement/

The benefits of using this method are that you can automate the backup using the command as a shell script scheduled with a cron job, and file ownership permissions remain intact.

If the RemoteManagement configuration is stored on a secondary Apple Remote Desktop 2 computer, this scheduling can also be done using Apple Remote Desktop 2:

  1. In the Remote Desktop window, select the Target Computer from the Master List, where the RemoteManagement directory resides.
  2. Click the Terminal icon (Send Unix shell command...).
  3. Type these commands into the field:
    sudo killall ARDagent
    sudo cp -R /var/db/RemoteManagement/ ~/MyBackups/RemoteMangement/
    sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/


  4. Set the "Run command as:" to root. You may change the destination part of this command to better suit your configuration. File ownership remains intact using this method as well.

  5. Schedule the command to run at regular intervals by clicking the clock icon in the above window (see Note). Here's an example:


Note:: If you are using the Schedule feature with the Send UNIX command, then the Remote Desktop admin application will need to be running for the scheduled task to be executed.

Restoring your data
When restoration of the data is necessary,copy the files back to the original location by steps similar to those above, but reversing the origination/destination directories while Apple Remote Desktop 2 Admin is inactive.

For related information on transferring computer lists, see this article.

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