Best Ubuntu backup software

Although Ubuntu Linux is known for being a very stable operating system, it can’t protect your files against a failing hard drive or other components that can corrupt your files. Therefore it is always a good idea to regularly create backups. There are many types of backup software, and many possible backup strategies which can be implemented on Ubuntu using free and open source software, so how do you pick the best one?

In this tutorial, we have compiled a list of our favorite backup tools for Ubuntu Linux. These days, backup programs are easy to use and will give you the peace of mind you need when it comes to the longevity of your data. Check out our picks below to find one that suits you best. Give them a try. You might be surprised.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • Best backup software tools for Ubuntu Linux
Best Ubuntu backup software
Best Ubuntu backup software
Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Ubuntu Linux
Software Timeshift, Déjà Dup, Borg Backup, Fsarchiver, rsnapshot
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Best Ubuntu backup software

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Here are some of our top picks for backup software on Ubuntu Linux. Which tool is right for you? Read about the various advantages of each tool below and feel free to try any of them out, as they are all very simple to install.


Timeshift is an application which allows us to create incremental backups of our Ubuntu Linux system. The tool is similar to the Apple Time Machine, and can work as a frontend for rsync or use the BTRFS filesystem snapshot feature under the hood. Timeshift will allow you to browse that snapshot any time, like you would a normal directory of files. If your system gets corrupted or goes through some undesirable change, it is easy to restore your system as it was by using Timeshift.

How to install it:

$ sudo apt install timeshift

What we like about it:

  • Create snapshot backups
  • Can back up system files and settings
  • rsync and BTRFS support

Déjà Dup

Déjà Dup is a free an open source program we can use to easily create incremental data backups on Ubuntu Linux. The program is basically a graphical frontend for Duplicity; its goal is to hide complexity, be simple and easy to use. Backups created with Déjà Dup can be encrypted and stored locally and remotely, even using storage space provided by services like Google Drive.

How to install it:

$ sudo apt install deja-dup

What we like about it:

  • Simple to use
  • Can store backups on cloud services like Google Drive
  • Good for scheduling personal backups

Borg Backup

Borg is a very useful application we can use to create deduplicating backups on Linux. Free and open source software, it is, for the most part, written in Python and supports data compression and encryption. Thanks to the data de-duplication feature, only data which actually changes is archived, and this let us optimize both disk space and execution time.

How to install it:

$ sudo apt install borgbackup

What we like about it:

  • Supports data encryption
  • De-duplicates files in backup
  • Can create snapshots of file system


Fsarchiver is a free software utility that let us create file level backups of one or multiple file systems in a single archive. One big advantage of this kind of backup is that we can restore it on a file system smaller than the original one (but of course large enough to contain all the files); this is usually impossible when performing block level backups, using tools like partclone or dd.

How to install it:

$ sudo apt install fsarchiver

What we like about it:

  • Creates file level backups
  • Can restore on different size file system
  • Supports many file system types


rsnapshot is a backup tool written in Perl that utilizes rsync as its back-end. rsnapshot allows users to create customized incremental backup solutions. Essentially, rsnapshot will create 1 full backup and then subsequent backups will backup only files that have changed. The true power of rsnapshot is its ability to utilize hard-links between each backup. Each backup will appear to be a full backup. In reality each new backup consists of newly created or updated files. rsnapshot can be used over a LAN and can also be ran from cron.

How to install it:

$ sudo apt install rsnapshot

What we like about it:

  • Incremental backups using hard links
  • Is a snazzy front end for rsync
  • Can create scheduled and offsite backups

Closing Thoughts

In this tutorial, we learned about some top picks for backup software on an Ubuntu Linux system. These tools can give us peace of mind that our personal and system files are protected in the case of a failing hardware component, computer theft, ransomware, or any other unfortunate circumstance where our files are lost.