Which file system for a dedicated "data back up HDD" (W/ BorgBackup... or?)


I’d like to try and implement a backup process using borg (unless you recommend something else?) in order to save every piece of data present on every computer at home on two hard drives inside one of the computers (running on Arch btw…).

I’m a long way to achieve it (as I’m just hearing of borg as I speak… :clown_face:), but the very first question that arises is regarding the partitioning and formatting of the drives…

I use BTRFS on most computers as I try to keep snapshots of the running systems, would it be “the best” option for those data drives too… or not? (I guess the snapshots won’t be part of that backup “strategy” and won’t leave the systems they belong to anyway.).

Well, even if I briefly read BorgBackUp documentation on that matter, my (huge) lack of knowledge only made me understand that I shouldn’t use FAT (maybe I’ll go with NTFS then :sweat_smile: :grimacing: :clown_face:)… so… any input would be very much appreciated !

Cheers !!

I would stay away from FAT and NTFS as they do not have support for Linux File Permissions.

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That bit i got clear and sound :sweat_smile:

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Probably any filesystem will be good enough. Ext4 with journaling is solid simple choice.
Btrfs has some nice advantages like checksum of data, multiple copies of metadata and compression (it will probably see borg binaries as non-compresible though). If you already know how to work with btrfs I would stick with that. Or use one disk ext4 and one btrfs in case some nasty bug in the future breaks filesystem’s drivers and deletes all data.
You probably do not want an experimental FS. That’s all.


I use borg with BTRFS on spinning rust for backups. Mostly because it will complain about disk errors and manually scrubbing the drive for errors is nice.

On the other hand borg will technically make most of the btrfs features obsolete, since you are going to use borg snapshots and borg can check for bitrot itself.

Also borg will backup into it’s on format with big binary files, so the role of the underlying file system is virtually zero. As long as it isn’t FAT everything should be fine.


I’m just using EXT4 with Vorta/Borg, mainly to keep things simple as I’ve never used BTRFS before and Borg does data checking

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At the risk of piling on, EXT4 works perfectly and keeps life simple(r). But especially if you’re new to this world of backing up in Linux, rather than Borg, try out Vorta - which is a GUI wrapper around Borg.

Installing Vorta will bring Borg along with it for working behind the scenes of your interaction with Vorta. :vulcan_salute:

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Well… euh… kind of :grimacing: :sweat_smile:

Excellent idea indeed !!

Hmmmm, i see, thanks for pointing that out !