This question is in reference to Atlassian Documentation: Backing up data
On linux, does that mean that I want to backup whole ../data folder or just the ../data/attachements folder?
Also mentioned linux snapshot, is that necessary or is using the rsync to pick that up OK?
Depends on what you want from the backup.
You can completely recreate a JIRA from a database backup plus the attachments, but that does involve re-creating the application server separately and then giving it the two sets of data.
If you want to be able to duplicate the system rapidly, then yes, you should backup the installation and all the data
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