Which open source backup solution do you use?

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Even though lots of our data exists in the cloud today, you still need to protect your local files with a reliable backup solution. When I needed a new offsite backup solution for my Linux desktop files, I asked my editors and fellow Community Moderators at Opensource.com to share their recommendations. They provided some familiar and some new-to-me options.

Opensource.com administrator Jason Baker suggested Rclone and Rsync

The Community Moderators had a wide variety of suggestions. Like Jason, Alan Formy-Duval uses Rsync. Chris Hermansen uses a blended approach: he backs up his solid-state drive with Deja Dup, moves his music files to his servers with Rsync, and lets Dropbox back up his files on that service.

David Both uses homebrew scripts, while Chris Short suggested Restic, and Ben Cotton recommended Cronopete.

Seth Kenlon uses Rdiff-backup with a Raspberry Pi. He also uses Attachup, a pyudev application that keeps production data on a USB drive and backs it up to a computer.

After some more research, I settled on the perfect solution for me: Deja Dup. I like it because it is easy to configure, backs up my files once a day, and provides the offsite backup option I want. It gives me the measure of protection I was looking for.

All of this made me wonder about Opensource.com readers' favorite backup solutions for the Linux desktop. Please answer the poll above—and be sure to leave a comment if we didn't list your favorite.

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Educator, entrepreneur, open source advocate, life long learner, Python teacher. M.A. in Educational Psychology, MSED in Educational Leadership, Linux system administrator, Follow me at @Don_Watkins . Mastodon ID




I use a combination of borg backup and rsync in a 3-2-1 setup. The local backup is done with borg backup and the external one with rsync to an encfs encrypted folder. All run via cron.

I'm using Urbackup. Especially in a heterogenous environment it's great to be able to also create file/image backups of Windows systems (even while its running). On Linux you can also create file and image backup as long as you're using LVM.
One downside might be that its necessary to have client software installed AND a server running.

For my home server I use CloudBerry Backup in conjunction with BackBlaze B2.


I use rsync in a rather interesting script I wrote. The script creates a new entry for each day and uses the option


to create links to the most recent previous backups. This saves lots of media space and backup time.

I've used casync in certain use cases. It fits in nicely between a full backup solution and rsync/git.

I used to use duplicity, but got tired of having to manually do full backups at regular intervals, clean out old versions, etc. Borgbackup is much smarter, the only downside being it does not use GPG, but a symmetric key. (But since I use "pass" -- Jason Donenfeld's excellent "password-store", that works out OK).

But the reason I am writing is this: there's this absolutely fantastic software called "syncthing" that helps me backup even my daughter's Windows machine into a folder on my laptop, and so effectively I backup her machine also.

Syncthing is amazing. Files get moved across whenever both laptops are on and in the same WLAN, you don't have to think about it. On my laptop, I just treat that entire folder as something to be backed up using borg (or whatever Linux backup tool I would have used).

Basically, syncthing lets you back up Windows machines without having to find windows clients for your **Unix/Linux based** favourite backup tool!

(However, now that I have posted this, I have to say that I probably will not post anything again; your captcha is just way too finicky, and I had to disable my hblock-based hosts file to get it to work. Hardly worth the bother, honestly, and I would not have, if I hadn't already typed up all that stuff about syncthing.)

I use duplicati, as container in docker, in windows Mac and Linux, to my ssh server and also cloud storage.

Back in the old days, when my hard drive was small enough to fit on a DAT tape, I manually made backups using tar.

Today, I manually make backups to a USB hard drive (which is unmounted and disconnected when not in-use) using rsync.

Not technically a real backup but i use snapraid

Borg backup.. I have 207 TB backed up using 7.8TB of disk


I use a combination of dirvish, for periodic, aged snapshots of volatile data, and fsarchiver (combined with other glue for saving boot sectors, partition tables, RAID layout, etc). for bare-metal recovery.

I do manual backups to USB hard drives, and flash drives. I do not trust online backups at all and will never use them, as they are unreliable in many ways!

This is great! Lots of new information and ideas. I just started using Cronopete and I'm very impressed with its performance.

dirvish (basically a fancy wrapper around rsync)


Bacula on a Linux zfs file server backing up Windows servers.

duplicati too as it has many plugins for cloud providers

I use rsnapshot, rsync with a rolling backup

Did use rsync for a while but recently switched to Syncthing.

We use Amanda / Zmanda community edition for a blend of Windows Server, Linux and VMs coupled with LT5 tape.

I see what's more important that backups are its opposite -- getting rid of things. On some kind of regular/irregular basis you need to go through directories and try to remember why you kept this or that. The biggest candidates for deleting are things that you can easily reproduce. I try to be most aggressive with images from my camera soon after I download them, getting rid of bad ones or ones that don't convey anything in particular to me, as well as the duplicates I took "just in case".
Often I can delete entire directories.

Urbackup for local Windows/Linux backups to central Linux server and then borgbackup from central server to cloud periodically for disaster recovery.

BorgBackup :)

Back In Time is the favored rsync wrapper app for our company and for our clients; fast, intuitive, incremental snapshots for minimal storage space while supporting easy and flexible restores or permitting them through any file manager.

As it happens, I demonstrated Back In Time yesterday at our Boston-region FOSS User Group .

Borgbackup is flawless


Duplicati - it has deduplication, encryption, compression and automatic backups and supports lots of protocols and cloud service providers

Backup Ninja + Rsync

tar cf backup.tar * ; gzip -9 backup.tar

Back in the days of tape drives I used tar to backup Lotus Notes. After the tape drive died I used tar and rsync to backup the mail server to a NAS box on our LAN.

I use TimeShift.

I use rsync by my own script.. it's good and i've got no problem for my vps

Duplicity with a custom shell wrapper script called via crond daily.

Back In Time

tar ,rsync,and A self-created script

Luckybackup for personal use, Veeam for servers.

Sometimes, I use rsync to backup remotely:
#rsync -av --progress /home/mydata user@:/home/backupdata

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