How To Create Efficient Backups
Linux Format|November 2021
Backups aren’t just a safety net for Trekkies such as Shashank Sharma, but a way of life. But they can take up quite a lot of space if not done right…
Shashank Sharma

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The main website of the project is https:// borgbackup.org. You can access the official documentation at https:// borgbackup. readthedocs. io. The main website also provides links to free resources as well as commercial support and services around Borg.

Most backup strategies lead to a lot of wasted space because you invariably end up making copies of the same data over and over again. In essence, data deduplication is the process of comparing chunks of data, and retaining only a single unique copy, thereby saving disk space. When deployed as a data backup strategy, this means that only changes since the last backup are stored.

Backup tools for Linux are as prolific as browsers, video players or even text editors, BorgBackup, or just Borg, is a deduplicating backup utility. Released under the BSD license, the project was forked from Attic, a popular backup utility, in 2015. Thanks to the data deduplication technique, Borg is suitable as an everyday home or even enterprise backup solution, with a host of features that make it a breeze to use.

Since Borg is only interested in changes since your last backup, the entire process is fast and efficient. Even better, Borg also supports compression, which further limits the amount of disk space eaten by backups. Finally, Borg also supports client-side encryption, so you can safely encrypt backups before they are transmitted to remote storage locations. Apart from all that, Borg backups can be mounted as a filesystem. This means that you can use a file manager to examine the contents of the backup, and restore only specific files.

The Borg are good!

No self-respecting Trekkie ever thought of Borg as good, but here at LXF towers, we are pleased to break the mould. You can gauge the popularity of Borg from the fact that it’s available in the software repositories of most popular desktop distributions. The project’s website, however, cautions that the repositories might not always carry the latest version. Thankfully, the current release, version 1.1.17, is available in most popular distributions such as Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, Mageia, Arch, openSUSE Tumbleweed, and others.

The project’s website has a list of distributions, and the version in their repositories. Run the sudo pacman -S borg command to install BorgBackup on Arch/ Mageia. You can similarly run the dnf install borgbackup command to install it on Fedora.

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