Borg testimonial

Had the first big data loss scare of my linux life today when three directories of files I need for work and life in general, and that I keep synced across a number of machines with syncthing, were suddenly empty across all my machines (for reasons that are still mysterious to me). I had set up borg backups around a year ago that run every night via cron, but, against all the good advice out there, I had never practiced actually restoring files from them. Today it took just a few minutes ddg’ing to figure out how to restore the directories and it worked like a charm. I am once again amazed and grateful at all this incredible community-supported software.


IMO, Borg is the best Linux backup utility for serious data protection.

Glad it worked out for you.


2 posts were split to a new topic: Timeshift vs Borg

It would be helpful if you could describe the way to restore the data. I’m a borg user, too (and I added a little 'matic by using borgmatic). I did some simple dry runs with rsync in order to be prepared for the worst to come.

OK, I’m not very practiced in writing linux tutorials, but I’ll take a whack at it…

I have an rpi that I use as a syncthing server of sorts, which is to say that all the data directories I share between machines link back to the rpi so that I have single point from which to do backups. A cronjob uses borg to do nightly backups from the rpi to the hard drive on another machine (called backup-machine in the commands below) using ssh.

So to restore, I first got on the rpi and listed the backups that are stored on the backup-machine:

borg list ssh://drhoopoe@backup-machine:/home/drhoopoe/.backups/rpi

This gave me a list of all the backups (and yeah, I know it’s odd and maybe a bad idea to keep the backups from one machine in the home directory of another, but that’s how it’s set up currently). I then used borg extract with the --dry-run and --list flags to see if the files I’m missing were still present in last night’s backup:

borg extract --dry-run --list ssh://drhoopoe@backup-machine:/home/drhoopoe/.backups/rpi::rpi-2022-01-22T22:30:02 home/drhoopoe/Documents/Name_of_lost_directory

It lists all the files that would be restored if it weren’t a dry run, and they’re the ones I’m looking for, so I then run the command again without the --dry-run flag:

borg extract --list ssh://drhoopoe@backup-machine:/home/drhoopoe/.backups/rpi::rpi-2022-01-22T22:30:02 home/drhoopoe/Documents/Name_of_lost_directory

And wa-la, I have my files back on the rpi and thus, via syncthing, on my other machines too.


Perfect! Thanks a lot!