Snapshot/Backup Software Suggestions


In terms of system snapshots for BTRFS and/or backing up files in general, I am only really experienced with tar for backing up, and it isn’t exactly an ideal solution…
Moreover, I completely failed with using BTRFS snapshots (my own fault) when I tried a year ago, so I haven’t bothered since.

I would like something that could do both incremental backups and snapshots, but I am not opposed to having two different applications that would do them separately, such as timeshift for snapshots and back-in-time for backups.

There is a large amount of software that can do either of these, and I am a bit overwhelmed. Therefore, I was curious if anyone had anything they use regularly that they could recommend.
I am only familiar with the above mentioned software, kup, kbackup, rsync (not interested in rsync) in name only.

Apparently, bup-backup, by extension kup since it uses it, has the capability to generate parity data, which is highly desirable.

Let me know your thoughts!

I don’t think there is any tool that supports both backups and btrfs snapshots.

For snapshots, if you want a GUI, the two main options are timeshift and/or snapper/btrfs-assistant.

For backups, there are a huge number of options. If you want real backups, I recommend borg backup. There is a GUI for it called Vorta. This supports full deduplicated backups.


I second borg/Vorta for backups.

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btrbk is a good tool for this. You can maintain snapshots on the system like Snapper, but can also configure snapshots to be sent to another device like another hard drive or an SSH target to create backups. I have been using it for a while for non-system subvolumes (personal files, etc) and it has been working out great.

If you need to restore a whole subvolume to a previous state, with btrbk you have to do that manually. However, restoring the whole subvolume to a previous state is almost never what I want for subvolumes with personal files anyway.

I also use Snapper for the root subvolume, and of course the mighty Btrfs Assistant for managing those snapshots. This is not a backup strategy of course, but does make restoring system snapshots very simple and fast.

I also use Borg, or more specifically borgmatic for backing up a home server and a few other things. It took a little tinkering to get it set up how I wanted, but now that it’s done it “just works”.

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