5 Excellent Backup Tools for Linux

Featuring free Link backup applications for any sort of backup need. You can use these applications to perform a complete back up of a file, data, database, system or server.

BackupPC (Graphical User Interface)

BackupPC is a high performance free backup software suite for Linux that comes with a web-based user interface. It features clever pooling of identical files, no client-side software, and a powerful Apache/CGI user interface. BackupPC is highly configurable and easy to install and maintain.


BackupPC incorporates a Server Message Block (SMB) client that can be used to back up network shares of computers running Windows. It also supports DHCP clients as long as the client is registered with a name service such as DNS, Active Directory, or LDAP.

afBackup (Command-line)

afBackup is a free Client-Server Backup System that allows many workstations to backup to a central server. t is used to maintain archives on a backup server host or in a file. Archives can be created, extracted or their contents be listed.


It features

  • Authentication of the client is performed before it can take over control
  • Several servers can be configured for each client: the actual server is chosen by availability
  • Multi stream server, several clients can store to one server at the same time
  • Remote start option -> centralized administration
  • Access restriction for the streamer device -> security
  • Client-side per-file processing -> reliability. If the files and directories were first packed and then processed, by the server a single faulty bit in the processed stream would make the rest of the backup unaccessible for restore
  • Built-in compression (requires libz)
  • Data stream is written to tape in pieces of configurable size -> fast finding of files during restore
  • Tape position logging for each file -> fast finding of files during restore
  • Tape capacity is fully used
  • Flexible tape handling and configurable append mode
  • Full/incremental backups and verify
  • Raw partitions can be saved
  • Ordinary users can run the restore for their own files and directories, but only for these
  • Emergency recovery on different catastrophe levels
  • Command output saving feature: useful e.g for databases
  • Cartridge locations database maintained
  • Support for media changers
  • Client access to cartridge sets can be restricted

Flyback (Snapshot backups)

FlyBack is software for system backup and restore, which offers similar functionality to the Mac OS X Leopard’s Time Machine. FlyBack is a snapshot-based backup tool based on rsync. It creates successive backup directories mirroring the files users want to backup, but hard-links unchanged files to the previous backup. It has almost all of the required technology already built in to recreate it. This is a simple GUI to make it easy to use.


Key features include

  • Uses crontab to automate backups and cleanups
  • Has a graphical user interface (or can be run from a console)
  • Scans the entire directory structure when performing a backup
  • Selectively delete specific backups, yet retain files stored in previous backups
  • Offers a chronological view of a file system, allowing individual files or directories to be previewed or retrieved one at a time

rsNapshot (Synchronisation)

rsnapshot is a filesystem snapshot utility for making backups of local and remote systems. It can take incremental backups of local and remote filesystems for any number of machines. rsnapshot makes extensive use of hard links, so disk space is only used when absolutely necessary. rsnapshot is written entirely in Perl. It should work on any reasonably modern UNIX compatible OS, including: Debian GNU/Linux, Red Hat Linux, Fedora Linux, SuSE Linux, Gentoo Linux, Slackware Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Solaris, Mac OS X, and even IRIX.


Key features include

  • Uses rsync to transfer data
  • Can be used over ssh
  • Supports multiple levels of backup such as monthly, weekly, and daily
  • Stores previous versions as actual files and hardlinks to save space
  • All versions of the backup are accessible as plain files
  • NFS mounted user restores
  • Filename filters
  • Removable media


Based on DRBL, Partition Image, ntfsclone, partclone, and udpcast, CloneZilla allows you to do bare metal backup and recovery. It offers 2 type of backup programs including CloneZilla Live and Clonezilla server edition. It is suitable for single machine backup and restore. While Clonezilla Server Edition is for massive deployment, it can clone many more than 40 computers simultaneously.


Key features of CloneZilla

  • Free (GPL) Software.
  • Filesystem supported: ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs, xfs, jfs of GNU/Linux, FAT, NTFS of MS Windows, and HFS+ of Mac OS. Therefore you can clone GNU/Linux, MS windows and Intel-based Mac OS. For these file systems, only used blocks in partition are saved and restored. For unsupported file system, sector-to-sector copy is done by dd in Clonezilla.
  • LVM2 (LVM version 1 is not) under GNU/Linux is supported.
  • Multicast is supported in Clonezilla SE, which is suitable for massively clone. You can also remotely use it to save or restore a bunch of computers if PXE and Wake-on-LAN are supported in your clients.
  • Based on Partimage, ntfsclone, partclone, and dd to clone partition. However, clonezilla, containing some other programs, can save and restore not only partitions, but also a whole disk.
  • By using another free software drbl-winroll, which is also developed by us, the hostname, group, and SID of cloned MS windows machine can be automatically changed.

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