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Various tools for full or partial backup are described in the Software -> Backup section of this wiki. Suggested techniques include:


  • rsnapshot or dirvish
    • provides freqent, space-efficient, reverse-delta incremental backups
  • snapshot
    • generally requires that data be on a BTRFS filesystem and uses inbuilt snapshotting function within that filesystem
    • can require huge storage space
  • rsync
    • simple implementations synchronise files in a backup repository with those in a working system
      • does not provide incremental, historic view
      • rsnapshot/dirvish are a simpler way to provide incremental backups

Operating System

Minimal Approach

a backup of the folder /etc can assist restoring settings to a fresh installation of the same distribution and release.

Reverse Delta

rsnapshot or dirvish can be configured to do frequent backups of system as well as data files

  • frequency could vary between data & system files


this function within BTRFS can produce system and/or data snapshots, at various trigger points


This is an "off-line" technique:

  • does not lend itself to repetitive, incremental backups
  • might be the best approach for replacing HDD/SSD containing system files

Clonzilla is the widely used tool