A computer system without proper backup is just as vulnerable as software without updates. The problem occurs when we want to restore our system to a certain point in time and cannot find the right tool to do it. In this guide, I’ll show you two tools you can use to back up a Linux system. No particular distribution is required on your computer for this tutorial. You can have whatever you need. You need to know how to choose a Linux backup tool that is efficient and faster to get things done.
Backup tool for servers
Most cloud services now offer one-click backups for small and large virtual private servers, also known as VPS, but they are usually ineffective because the servers do not return to their original state. The problem is even more severe on bare metal servers. Here are a few tools to help you stay safe.
Rsync is the fastest, most versatile backup utility out there. It is usually preinstalled on most distributions. If it didn’t come with your distribution, you can install the most popular distributions using the commands below.
Debian / Ubuntu
$ sudo apt install rsync
$ sudo dnf install rsync
$ sudo yum install rsync
- Rsync can efficiently synchronize remote files with a local system.
- It has easy-to-use command line syntax that will help new users get started right away.
- Rsync works more or less like a file manager.
- With Rsync, we don’t have to worry about aiming assistance.
- If you have an online target, Rsync can connect and transfer the files. This makes Rsync an efficient backup tool.
- The only downside to Rsync is that it doesn’t have a GUI. Therefore, the user must work from the command line to back up the remote directories.
Backup tool for desktops
We have several tools available to back up our local hard drives to avoid bad times. As mentioned earlier, Rsync can also be used for desktops. However, it does not provide an optimal user interface for desktop users. We have developed intuitive tools for your needs.
Timeshift has a first-class graphical user interface. It is not preinstalled on systems other than Linux Mint. You can install it from your distribution’s repositories. Here are the commands to get it done.
Debian / Ubuntu
$ sudo apt install timeshift
$ sudo dnf install timeshift
$ sudo yum install timeshift
- Timeshift has an intuitive user interface that helps new users get through the tool faster
- Timeshift can create multiple backups with one click.
- It can schedule daily, weekly and monthly backup points of your hard drive.
- It can work side by side with Rsync and other backup tools.
- Setup is minimal and the software runs faster on startup.
- User data is excluded by default when creating backups.
- Timeshift won’t work with remote files until it’s configured with some other tools like rsync.
- The biggest disadvantage of Timeshift is that it doesn’t support backups to external devices.
- Restoring backups from the running system requires a reboot to complete the restore process.
In this guide, we learned how to choose a specific utility for a specific task. We’ve looked carefully at various backing software to decide whether to use the above two on servers and desktops.