How to restore an issue on Redmine

I take care of several Redmine based platforms, and every now and then I get a report about an issue that disappeared under unknown circumstances. Logs show that it is usually caused by someone with too many privileges who accidentally deleted the issue, but that’s another story.

Let’s see how we can restore an accidentally (or not) removed issue. This guide assumes you have both database and filesystem backups that contain the removed issue. The procedure is shown for MySQL, but a similar approach can be used with other databases.

Disclaimer: I have used this method on Redmine 3.2 and 3.3 instances, but I’m not sure if it works on older Redmine versions. Anyways, I take no responsibility for any unexpected consequences, make sure you understand every step and double check before executing anything!

Database preparation

Create a new database, which you will use to restore the backup into:


And then import your latest database dump inside it:

$ cat /path/to/dump.sql | mysql -uroot -p restoreissue

Restore database contents

Now let’s assume the following parameters:

  • xxx is the numeric id for the removed issue.
  • redmine is your production database

Restoring database objects can be achieved by executing the following SQL statements:


INSERT INTO redmine.issues 
    FROM restoreissue.issues
    WHERE id = @ISSUEID);

INSERT INTO redmine.journals 
    FROM restoreissue.journals
    WHERE journalized_id = @ISSUEID
      AND journalized_type = 'Issue');

INSERT INTO redmine.journal_details
  (SELECT d.*
    FROM restoreissue.journals j 
    INNER JOIN restoreissue.journal_details d
    ON = d.journal_id
    WHERE j.journalized_id = @ISSUEID
      AND j.journalized_type = 'Issue');

INSERT INTO redmine.attachments
  (SELECT * FROM restoreissue.attachments
    WHERE container_id = @ISSUEID
      AND container_type = 'Issue');

After running these statements, your issue should be accessible again using a browser.

Restore attachments

This step is only required if your issue had files attached.

Let’s assume your Redmine instance is located at /opt/redmine. Restore /opt/redmine/files from your backup somewhere else, and copy your attachments to their original location adapting the following commands to your case (e.g. by using scp from a snapshot of your VM instead of cp):

cd /your/backup/path
mysql -uroot -p -N -B -e \
  "SET @ISSUEID = xxx;
   SELECT CONCAT(disk_directory, '/', disk_filename)
   FROM restoreissue.attachments
   WHERE container_id = @ISSUEID
   AND container_type = 'Issue'" | while read F; do

   cp -a "$F" /opt/redmine/files/${F}

Clean up

Do not forget to remove your temporary database and your restored files.