17 February, 2021 #Citrix

How to Backup Citrix ADC

We all know that backups are important, but exactly how did it work again for the Netscaler? Let me help you with the following guide!

Pick your scenario:

I like GUI’s
  • Create Backup with GUI
  • Restore Backup with GUI
I like CLI’s
  • Create Backup with CLI
  • Restore Backup with CLI

Before we get started..

There are two backup levels, consider which one you need beforehand.


A basic backup contains the data that relatively gets changed the most.
For example, but not limited to:


A full backup contains the basic backup files with the addition of files that are changed less frequently. For example Certificates and License files.
The maintained list of included files can be found on Citrix’s website here.

Create Backup GUI

First we create a backup in the GUI.

Before we do that, let’s save our running configuration.
If you restart a Netscaler with Running configuration that is not saved, it will be gone on the next boot.
You can see that there is a difference between your running and saved configuration if the ‘save button’ is colorized.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-20-1024x207.png

Colorized Save Button Left / Non-Colorized Right

Now that all the configuration is saved we can create the backup.
To create the backup on the Netscaler appliance, browse towards:

Configuration > System > Backup and Restore > Backup/Import
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-15.png

To create the backup press the Backup button.
You can see that there are two different versions of backup ‘level’.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-18.png

After you chose a backup level, click on Backup

You will be presented with the following screen.
It’s important to save your backup to a local folder now, as the Netscaler might be malfunctioning at your time of need for the backup.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-19.png

You are now done with creating a backup. Be sure to put somewhere safe as this backup contains most information about your Netscaler.

Restore Backup GUI

Navigate to System / Backup and Restore click the checkbox on the appropiate backup and select the restore action

The screen that follows allows you the click the ‘Skip Backup’ button.
This will prevent a new backup from being taken when the restore is executed.
Press restore to restore the selected backup.

Now you need to do a warm reboot on the Netscaler for the backup to take effect.

Navigate to System > Reboot

You can use a warm reboot for this, saving the configuration is up to you..

The Netscaler will now reboot and restore the backup.

Create Backup CLI

Connect to your Netscaler appliance over SSH with any tool you prefer.
I use Putty which can be downloaded here.

Log in with your credentials.
Be advised to change NSROOT as your default username/password. I still use NSROOT because this is my (offline) homelab for testing.

Use the following command syntax

create system backup BackupHere -level Full -Comment OptionalComment

*Replace BackupName with your backup name
*Replace Full with either Basic or leave it Full
*You can remove the -Comment switch if you dont want to add a comment

If you want to see your current backups you can do so with the following command, mind you the ‘s’ in backupS is optional ;).

show system backups

Restore Backup with CLI

it’s rather short and simple to restore a backup with the CLI.
Use the following command:

restore system backup BackupName.tgz

now to actually restore the backup you need to do a warm reboot.

reboot -warm

The backup will now restore on the appliance.

5 Comments on How to Backup Citrix ADC

  • Felix Reply

    Hi, Mick.
    I do backup with Cli (log in with nsroot) and use the following command: create system backup test_fb -level full.
    Get ‘Done’.
    In the ns.log: [24067]: fill_fileinfo(): Memory limit reached for maximum files to be packaged in a single backup file. May not backup/restore all files specified specified in CONF file.
    It’s true, the backup is not complete.
    I have 9 admin partition in my VPX appliance hosted on VMware ESXi.
    Problem appeared after upgrading from build 13.1 b12.51 to 33.52.
    If I do revert to snapshot, than no error in log and backup file is really full.
    The number of vCPUs = 2 and 8 GB memory is available on HA nodes.
    Maybe I really need to increase the amount of memory on the VM, for example up to 12 GB.
    What would you advise in this situation?


    • Mick Hilhorst Reply

      Hi Felix,

      Sorry for the late reply, it has been crazy busy with all the firmware updates.

      This is not an error I have encountered before, but it sounds to me like there might be a bit of clutter on the NetScaler that is clogging your backups. Random thought; how many SSL certificates are present on the NetScaler?

      You can easily rule out if that is causing problems by doing a ‘Basic’ backup instead of a ‘Full’ one.
      Does the basic backup also generate this error?

      Kind Regards,


      • Felix Reply

        Hi Mick,

        Pardon. Unfortunately, it was not possible to check your advice earlier.
        Yes, basic backup also generate this error in my working evironment.
        Assumed that the appearance of the error is related to the number of admin partitions.
        I create new VPX appliance NS13.1 42.47.nc and setup a small number of entities in it (LB-VIP), adding several certificates.
        Then, I began to create admin partitions with a small number of test entities in them (3-4 LB-VIP and same number certificates ). At the same time simultaneously checking the execution of a full backup.
        After creating the sixth admin partition, even empty (without test entities), the error reappeared.
        So, the error was easily reproduced in the new appliance, which did not have time to collect different entities.

        Thank you so much!

        • Mick Hilhorst Reply

          Hi Felix,

          No problem, I am sad to hear that you still experience these issues.
          It took me a little while to answer you as I wanted to recreate the situation.
          I tried to replicate the issue with the following specs:

          -Firmware 13.1 45.61.nc
          -HA pair (though one is currently disabled)
          -2GB RAM
          -7 admin partitions created with little to no configuration present

          My backups work just fine.
          I was wondering.. if you go to:

          System -> Partition Administration -> Partitions there is a button called ‘statistics’.
          This button will show you the memory consumption per partition.
          Mine, with barely any configuration all tell me the ‘Memory Usage(%)’ stat is around 50-60.
          The maximum memory is set to ’10’.

          It could be that your message is referring to this memory, instead of your actual available RAM. I’d expect I otherwise get the same error with 2GB.
          Please let me know what you find, I’m curious what’s causing this :).

          Kind Regards,


  • Felix Reply

    Hi Mick,

    Replied to you by mail. I hope my answer doesn’t end up in spam =).
    Thank you so much for your help and your time!

    Best Regards,

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You Might Be Interested In