25 Outstanding Backup Utilities for Linux Systems in 2020

Backup on personal computers or servers is always important to prevent permanent data loss. Therefore getting to know different backup tools is very important especially for System Administrators who work with large amounts of enterprise-level data and even on personal computers.

It is always a good practice to keep on backing up data on our computers, this can either be done manually or configured to work automatically. Many backup tools have different features that allow users to configure the type of backup, time of backup, what to backup, logging backup activities and many more

In this article, we shall take a look at 25 outstanding backup tools that you can use on Linux servers or systems.

Honorable Mention – CloudBerry Backup

CloudBerry Backup for Linux is a cross-platform cloud backup solution with advanced backup configuration settings and providing total security of data.

CloudBerry Backup for Linux
CloudBerry Backup for Linux

With this tool you can backup files and folders to the cloud storage of your choice: it supports more than 20 wide-known cloud storage services. CloudBerry Backup works with Ubuntu, Debian, Suse, Red Hat, and other Linux distributions and is also compatible with Windows and Mac OSs.

The primary backup features are:

  • Compression
  • 256-bit AES Encryption
  • Scheduled backup
  • Incremental backup
  • Command-line interface
  • Retention policy and more.

1. Rsync

It is a command-line backup tool popular among Linux users especially System Administrators. It feature-rich including incremental backups, update whole directory tree and file system, both local and remote backups, preserves file permissions, ownership, links and many more.

It also has a graphical user interface called Grsync but one advantage with the rsync is that backups can be automated using scripts and cron jobs when used by experienced System Administrators on the command line.

Rsync Backup Tool
Rsync Backup Tool

We’ve covered so many articles on rsync tool in the past, you can go through them below:

  1. 10 Useful Commands on Linux Rsync Tool
  2. Sync Two Servers Using Rsync on Non-Standard SSH Port
  3. Sync Two Apache Linux Web Servers Using Rsync Tool

2. Fwbackups

It is free and open-source software which is cross-platform and feature-rich and users can contribute to its development or just participate in testing it. It has an intuitive interface that allows users to do backups easily.

It has features such as:

  1. Simple interface
  2. Flexibility in the backup configuration
  3. Remote backups
  4. Backup an entire file system
  5. Exclude files and directories plus many more
fwbackups for Linux
fwbackups for Linux

Visit Homepage: http://www.diffingo.com/oss/fwbackups

3. Bacula

It is open-source data backup, recovery and verification software that is designed to be enterprise-ready with certain complexities, though these complexities actually define its powerful features such as backup configurations, remote backups plus many more.

It is network-based and is made up of the following programs:

  1. a director: program that supervises all operations of Bacula.
  2. a console: program that allows a user to communicate with the Bacula director above.
  3. a file: program that is installed on the machine to be backed up.
  4. storage: program that is used to read and write to your storage space.
  5. catalog: program responsible for the databases used.
  6. Monitor: program that keeps track of all events happening in different parts of Bacula.
Bacula Backup Tool for Linux
Bacula Backup Tool for Linux

Visit Homepage: http://www.bacula.org/

4. Backupninja

It is a powerful backup tool that allows users to design backup activity configuration files that can be drooped in /etc/backup.d/ directory. It helps to perform secure, remote and also incremental backups over a network.

It has got the following features:

  1. Easy to read ini style configuration files.
  2. Use scripts to handle new types of backups on your system.
  3. Schedule backups
  4. Users can choose when status report emails are mailed to them.
  5. Easily create a backup action configuration file with a console-based wizard (ninjahelper).
  6. Works with Linux-Vservers.
BackupNinja Tool
BackupNinja Tool

Visit Homepage: https://labs.riseup.net/code/projects/backupninja

5. Simple Backup Suite (sbackup)

It is a backup solution for Gnome desktop where users can access all configurations via the Gnome interface. Users can use regex to specify file and directory paths during the backup process.

It has the following features:

  1. Creates compressed and uncompressed backups.
  2. Supports multiple backup profiles.
  3. Allows logging, email notifications.
  4. Scheduled backups and manual backups.
  5. Split uncompressed backups into several chunks.
  6. Supports local and remote backups.
Simple Backup sbackup Tool
Simple Backup sbackup Tool

Visit Homepage: https://sourceforge.net/projects/sbackup/

6. Kbackup

It is an easy to use backup tool for the Unix operating system and can be used on Linux. It can create archives and compress them using tar and gzip utilities respectively.

Kbackup has got the following features:

  1. User-friendly and menu-driven interface.
  2. Support for compression, encryption and double buffering.
  3. Automated unattended backups.
  4. High reliability.
  5. Support for full or incremental backups.
  6. Remote backup across networks.
  7. Portable and extensive documentation among others.
kBackup Tool for Linux
kBackup Tool for Linux

Visit Homepage: http://kbackup.sourceforge.net/

7. BackupPC

It is a cross-platform backup software that can run on Unix/Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. It is designed for enterprise-level use with a high-performance measure. BackupPC can be used on servers, desktop, and laptop computers.

It has some of the following features:

  1. File compression to reduce disk space usage.
  2. No need for client-side software.
  3. Flexibility during the backup restoration
  4. Flexibility in configuring through different parameters.
  5. User notifications about the need for backups and so on.
BackupPC Server
BackupPC Server

Visit Homepage: https://backuppc.github.io/backuppc/

8. Amanda

Amanda is open-source software that works on Unix/GNU Linux and Windows. It supports native backup utilities and formats such as GNU tar for backups on Unix/Linux. And for backups on Windows machine, it uses a native Windows client. Users can set up a single backup server to store backups from several machines on a network.

Visit Homepage: http://www.amanda.org/

9. Back In Time

It is simple and easy to use backup tools for Linux operating system and works by taking snapshots of specified directories and backing them up.

It has features such as configuring:

  1. Storage location to save snapshots.
  2. Manual or automatic backups.
  3. Directories to backup.
Back in Time Backup
Back in Time Backup

Visit Homepage: https://github.com/bit-team/backintime

10. Mondorescue

This is a free backup and rescue software that is reliable and all features-inclusive. It can perform backups from personal computers, work stations or servers to hard disk partitions, tapes, NFS, CD-[R|W], DVD-R[W], DVD+R[W] and many more.

It also has data rescue and recovery abilities during the backup process in case of any destructive events.

Mondorescue Backup Tool for Linux
Mondorescue Backup Tool for Linux

Read More: How to Backup/Clone Linux Systems Using Mondo Rescue

11. Box Backup Tool

It is an open-source backup tool and can be configured to work automatically. It has features such as:

  1. Online backups
  2. Backup daemon for automated backups
  3. Storage of backups in files
  4. Data compression and encryption
  5. Tape like behavior
  6. Choice of backup behavior plus many others

Visit Homepage: https://github.com/boxbackup/boxbackup

12. Luckybackup

It is a free powerful, quick, reliable and easy to use backup and sync tool that is powered by the Rsync backup tool.

It is feature-rich with features such as:

  1. Preserve ownership and file permissions.
  2. Create multiple backup snapshots.
  3. Advanced options files and directories.
  4. Exclude options and use rsync options and many more.
LuckyBackup Tool
LuckyBackup Tool

Visit Homepage: http://luckybackup.sourceforge.net/

13. Areca

It is an open-source backup tool that is intended for personal use and it allows a user to select a set of files or directories to backup and select the backup method and storage location.

It has features such as:

  1. Email notifications about the backup process.
  2. Simplicity in use in terms of configurations.
  3. Browse archives and many more.

Visit Homepage: http://www.areca-backup.org/

14. Bareos Data Protection

It is an open-source set of programs that allows users to backup, recover and protect data on Linux systems. It is an idea forked from the Bacula backup tool project and works on a network in a client/server architecture.

The basic functionalities are free but payment is required to use professional backup features. It has features of the Bacula backup tool.

Visit Homepage: https://www.bareos.org/en/

15. BorgBackup

BorgBackup is a free open source, efficient as well as secure command-line based deduplicating archiver/backup tool with support for compression and authenticated encryption. It can be used to perform daily backups and only changes in files since the last backup is archived, using the deduplicating approach.

The following are some of its key features:

  • It is easy to install and use.
  • Supports encryption of all data.
  • Uses the authenticated encryption techniques to ensure secure backups.
  • It is also very fast.
  • Supports space-efficient storage.
  • It also supports optional compression of data.
  • Supports remote backups over SSH.
  • Supports mounting backups in the same way as filesystems.
Borg Backup Tool For Linux
Borg Backup Tool For Linux

Visit Homepage: https://borgbackup.readthedocs.io/en/stable/

16. Restic

Restic is a free open source, efficient, easy-to-use, fast and secure command-line based backup program. It is designed to secure backup data against attackers, in any kind of storage environment.

The following are its key features:

  • It is cross-platform, works on Unix-like systems such as Linux, and also Windows.
  • It is easy to install, configure and use.
  • Uses encryption for securing data.
  • It only backs up changes in data.
  • Supports verifying of data in the backup.
Restic Backup Tool for Linux
Restic Backup Tool for Linux

Visit Homepage: https://restic.net/

17. rsnapshot

Rsnapshot is a free open source backup tool for Unix-like operating systems, based on rsync. It is designed to take a filesystem snapshot on local machines, as well as remote hosts over SSH. Rsnapshot supports periodic snapshots and users can automate backups via cron jobs. In addition, it is also efficient in managing disk space used for backups.

Read More: https://www.tecmint.com/rsnapshot-a-file-system-backup-utility-for-linux/

18. Burp

Burp is a free open source, efficient, feature-rich and secure backup and restores software. It is designed to work over a network in a client/server architecture (server mode works on Unix-based systems such as Linux, and clients run on Unix-based and Windows systems), and in that case aims to minimize network traffic for reliable results.

Below are its key features:

  • Supports two independent backup protocols: protocol I and II; each with different features.
  • Supports network backups.
  • Supports resuming of interrupted backups.
  • Supports backing up and restoring files, directories, symlinks, hard links, fifos, nodes, permissions as well as timestamps.
  • It also supports the scheduling of backups.
  • Supports email notifications about successful or failed backups.
  • Offers a live ncurses monitor on the server.
  • Supports storage data deduplication like many other backup tools.
  • Supports compression of data on a network and in storage.
  • Supports auto signing of SSL certificate authority and client certificate, and many others.

Visit Homepage: https://burp.grke.org/

19. TimeShift

Timeshift is a backup and restores tool for Linux systems which takes incremental snapshots of the filesystem at regular intervals. It works in a similar way as rsnapshot (since it uses rsync and hard-links to create snapshots), but offers certain unique features that are not present in its counterpart. Additionally, it is designed to only backup system files and settings.

The following are key features of Timeshift:

  • Only takes a snapshot of system file and settings, user data such as pictures, music, etc are not archived.
  • Takes filesystem snapshots using rsync+hardlinks, or BTRFS snapshots.
  • Supports scheduled snapshots.
  • Supports multiple backup levels with excluding filters.
  • Allows for restoring snapshots during system runtime or from live devices(such as USB).
Timeshift System Restore Tool for Linux
Timeshift System Restore Tool for Linux

Visit the Github Repository: https://github.com/teejee2008/timeshift

20. Duplicity

Duplicity is a free open source, secure and bandwidth-efficient backup tool based on rsync. It creates encrypted backups of directories in tar-format archives and backs them on the local or remote machine over SSH. When launched for the first time, it performs a full backup, and in subsequent backups in the future, it only records parts of files that have changed.

Below are duplicity’s key features:

  • It’s easy-to-use and employs a standard file format.
  • It only tracks and considers changes in files since the last backup.
  • It creates incremental archives that are space-efficient.
  • Creates encrypted and/or signed archives for security purposes.
  • Supports signatures and deltas of directories and regular files in tar-format.

Read More: Create Encrypted and Bandwidth-efficient Backups Using Duplicity

21. Déjà Dup

Déjà Dup is a simple, secure and easy-to-use backup tool for Linux systems built for encrypted, off-site, and regular backups. It allows for local, remote, or cloud backup storage with services such as Google Drive and Nextcloud.

Deja Dup Backup
Deja Dup Backup

Below are Déjà Dup key features:

  1. Uses duplicity as the backend.
  2. Supports encryption and compression of data.
  3. Supports incremental backs up, allowing you to restore from any particular backup.
  4. Supports scheduling of regular backups.
  5. You can easily integrate it into a GNOME desktop environment.

22. UrBackup

UrBackup is an open-source easy to setup client/server backup system for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, that through a mixture of image and file backups carry out both data security and speedy restoration time.

UrBackup Tool for Linux
UrBackup Tool for Linux

Below are UrBackup key features:

  1. Secure and efficiently complete and incremental image and file backups via a network.
  2. A web interface that displays the status of the clients, current activities and statistics.
  3. Backups reports send to users or administrators.
  4. Easy to use file and image restore using CD/USB drive.
  5. Easy to configure and use file backup access.
  6. E-Mail notifications if a client machine is not backed up for a given amount of time.

23. rclone

Rclone is a powerful command-line program written in Go language, used to sync files and directories from multiple cloud storage providers such as Amazon Drive, Amazon S3, Backblaze B2, Box, Ceph, DigitalOcean Spaces, Dropbox, FTP, Google Cloud Storage, Google Drive, etc.

rclone Sync Data
rclone Sync Data

24. Relax-and-Recover

Relax-and-Recover is a setup-and-forget Linux bare metal disaster recovery and system migration program, which is used to create a bootable image and restores from an existing backup image. It also enables you to restore to the different system hardware and can, therefore, be used as a migration tool as well.

Relax and Recover Tool for Linux
Relax and Recover Tool for Linux

Always remember that backup is very important and helps prevent data loss and you can use various backup tools for Linux to carry out a regular backup of your data.

You could be using a backup tool that we have not looked at, let us know of it by posting a comment and hope you find the article helpful and always remember to stay connected to Tecmint.com.

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75 thoughts on “25 Outstanding Backup Utilities for Linux Systems in 2020”

  1. I have tried a lot of these listed, and had issues with several. The two I love and have had zero issues with are Timeshift (listed in the article) which I use to backup my operating system.

    The other one I use is Grsync, which uses rsync as it is backbone. Great interface, easy to setup and zero issues. This one is great for backing up my data/files. Highly recommend.

  2. I’m new to Linux (20+ years on windows) and have used Mint for about a year (love it!). I have always run full bare metal backups on Windows and kept the last X versions of the images somewhere else but I’m surprised none of the packages above can’t image the entire drive while running in Linux.

    I understand Linux is way more stable but hard drives still fail. After a long search I believe Relax & Recover can do what I want but I’m still trying to get that to work.

    Can someone explain why running bare metal backups on Linux is not a popular thing?


    • Generally the backups of Desktop Linux machines include a simle “rsync” of the /home directory/partition and /etc plus a list of the packages you have installed in case of a full restore.

      The reason is that the core of the applications that you install are binaries with (usually) a default config in /etc or /usr/share/ or similar which is what is used on your first usage of the application. After that you’ll get a config file in your HOME dir under eg .applicationname or “.config/applicationnamerc” or similar.

      This means that, unlike MS Windows where it is all integrated together and intertwined and interconnected and removing of invalidating one DLL will make your system unstable, then on UNIX/UNIX like system such as Linux you only need to save the specific alterations for the applications in use.

      If you use your installation as a server then /var/log/ might be of interest as well or other dynamic content you create eg databases where you use mysqldump or pg_dump or similar to make a full text based backup to a storage location you also include in your rsync backup.

      For servers etc. then you use either the old tape backups or now a days cloud backups (which just stores the content on disks somewhere else for easy recovery). But for servers you take a little more interest in other things such as custom applications you install etc. but things in the operating system aren’t really that “important” as they are installable on brand new bare metal replacement in 10-30min + the restore of the lasted rsync.

      This saves you a lot of proprietary intertwined and interconnected restore conflicts and you can restore a single file or user.

      The whole idea about “everything is a file” in the UNIX world from sockets, file-descriptors, to pipes and network connections (pro-grammatically speaking) are all files which means that only the only intertwined/interconnected “thing” you have on your server is applications using shared libraries eg glibc or libqt or libgtk+ etc.

      If you want to make sure you don’t have to reinstall then buy a secondary drive and run eg btrfs with the 2 drives in raid 1 and you’ll have the possibility to replace one of the drives without other downtime than powering off your desktop computer.

      For systems that support hot-pluggable disks then you don’t even need to power down to replace just like a proper RAID controller. The difference between using eg btrfs as the RAID entity vs hardware is that it actually does CRC checking of the data it writes and reads.

      Btrfs has 1 drawback, besides the steap leaming curve and possible tuning, is that it is COW (Copy On Write) which makes it unsuitable for high performing databases, unless you run it on SSD’s in RAID1 or 5 or similar due to how data is written to the disk.

      TLDR; Backups in Linux (unix based OS’es) are different from the Redmond version as they don’t have to work with the binary blobs of interwined/interconnected applications that break very easily and require (as you mention) full drive backups.
      Alternatively if you want the “full disk backup” you are used to, then you can mount a NAS/SAN and use ‘sudo dd if=/dev/sdX of=/path/to/NAS_SAN_mount/yyyymmdd.backup.iso’ if you like to be able to do a full disk backup – it just requires an identical disk to restore to using a reverse of the above parameters from a LiveCD/LiveDVD boot :-)

  3. No mention of BorgBackup or Restic, the two most powerful Linux programs yet. BackInTime is mislabeled and Timeshift (now included in Linux Mint) also doesn’t get a look in though it’s a must have, regardless of what else is used (provides a Windows Restore type capability, permitting changes to be reverted quickly and easily after software installation or configuration issues).

    Meanwhile, some of those included are no longer supported / being updated and have issues: Sbackup and LuckyBackup. This is not an “outstanding” list. Much of this could be presented in a matrix of features. What’s missing is any discussion of different types of backup and when one or other is appropriate, so the end result is bewildering choice for the new user and very skimpy information.

  4. I agree with Philipp Storz, abd was irritated that BURP was not included in your list. Burp is free, open source, client/server backup that does compression and deduplication, uses the rsync libs for efficiency, yet is far easier to set up and configure than some of the other systems you list. It has clients for all of the usual suspects.

    • @William,

      Actually we haven’t heard about Burp earlier, but now included in the article as per user suggestions..

  5. Hello Aaron, regarding Bareos, you write:

    “The basic functionalities are free but payment is required to use professional backup features.”

    This is not true. All functionalities of Bareos are freely available, it is a true open source software.

    It has no part that is not available, and there is also only one product.

    The payment is only required to get access to up-to date binaries and to get support,
    the sourcecode and the first release of each major version is binary form is freely available.

    It would be nice if you could correct the information regarding bareos.

    Thank you very much,

    best regards,



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