TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library

> tklbam-backup error: a previous backup is still in progress


I have searched but not seen related answer.

While gone traveling for 3 months my AWS account was blocked for non-payment.

Paid up and now reinstated the account.

But tklbam showing an error on my server.

> tklbam-backup
error: a previous backup is still in progress

I've waited 2 days now but nothings changed.

It seems like some kind of glitch occured when the S3 account was shut off.

The last backup showing in the hub is on 6th July.

Anyone any ideas?

Also, I've added a new tkl server to my newly reinstated AWS and thats backing up fine.

Any advise much appreciated,


Jeremy Davis's picture

Use the Hub feedback

Use the Hub feedback (blue button on left) to contact the devs. I suspect they'll have to do something from behind the scenes...

Devs noreply

Hi Jeremy and thanks for pointing me where to go.

I left a message through the feedback button as you suggusted and also through an email a few days later but no responce.

I'm sorry but just a very cautious guy and afraid to touch anything case i loose everything.

I hate asking stupid questions but could you tell me if a simple reboot will safely disconnect the frozen "previous backup is still in progress" and allow me to make a new backup.

Thanks again

Jeremy Davis's picture


Normally they are pretty responsive. I suspect that they are working through a backlog of emails....


Just under a lot  of pressure from a client to make some changes.

Feel he's getting worried I'm taking so long.

But afraid to proceed without backups working again.

Alon Swartz's picture

Sorry for the terribly late reply...

Sorry for the terribly late reply. I just grepped TKLBAM's sourcecode for the error you mentioned:

lock = PidLock("/var/run/tklbam-backup.pid", nonblock=True)
except lock.Locked:
    fatal("a previous backup is still in progress")

I've personally never come across this, so here's some advice I can offer:

  • Get the pid per the lockfile (cat /var/run/tklbam-backup.pid)
  • Check if the process is still running (ps -A |grep $pid)
    • If it is not running, then you should be able to just delete the lockfile.
    • If it is running though, then you should kill the process (kill -9 $pid), then delete the lockfile.

If you have any issues, or aren't sure of anything, please post back.

A big thank you

Just made a new full backup :).

Did what you said

Found pid using                                       cat /var/run/tklbam-backup.pid

Checked if the process was running with      ps -A |grep 20396

Killed the process with                              kill -9 20396


I didn't delete any lockfile as not sure where it was.

i think the lockfile is here /var/lib/dpkg/lock.

I just launched a backup from webmin and it worked.

Do I need to delete lockfile??


Again, many, many thanks

Alon Swartz's picture

Glad you're sorted out...

When I said lockfile I was referring to /var/run/tklbam-backup.pid - but it seems you don't need to manually delete it. Glad you're up and running again...

Guest's picture

Excellent answer, thanks!

Thanks for this, I've just started playing with Turnkey and tried to run a backup but closed my computer before it was done. Then couldn't backup again until finding this. Worked a treat.

For newbies like me note the pid (process id) that is output after the first command goes on the end in place of 20396. Took me a sec so you can see how new to linux I am.

Found pid using                                       cat /var/run/tklbam-backup.pid

Checked if the process was running with      ps -A |grep 20396

Killed the process with                              kill -9 20396

Guest's picture

Thanks Owen

Thanks for the step by step.  Worked for me too.

Bjørn Otto Vasbotten's picture

Killing the process helped!

The 'cat /var/run/tklbam-backup.pid' command was very useful.


After that i could simply login to and find the process from there and kill it

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