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Backing Up Linux Systems Using Restic

Restic is a modern backup program that can back up your files from Linux, BSD, MacOS, or Windows. Restic is easy, being a single executable that you can run without a complex setup. Restic performs incremental backups, only transferring the parts that actually changed in the files you back up. Restic deduplicates, saving more data in the same amount of space. Restic is secure, using cryptography in every part of the process. You can easily verify your backups, enabling you to make sure that your files can be restored when needed. Restic is completly open source, so your data will remain your data.

Before setting up your backup we need to know the answers to a few questions:

  • What are you trying to back up? (e.g. systems & size)
  • Where are you backing up to?
  • What do you want to call your restic backup repository?
  • Who has access to the backups? (students, TAs, or only you)
  • How often do you want the backups run?
  • Do you want to protect your backup set with a specific encryption key?
  • Do you have any questions for us?


Initializing a Restic Repository

Preparing a new repository is the first step. We need to create a location where your backed up data will reside. You can create your repo on any mounted filesystem or with many cloud providers.

If you wanted to create a repository at /srv/restic-repo, run the following command and enter the same password twice:

$ restic init --repo /srv/restic-repo
enter password for new repository:
enter password again:
created restic repository 085b3c76b9 at /srv/restic-repo
Please note that knowledge of your password is required to access the repository.
Losing your password means that your data is irrecoverably lost.

Backing Up

Restoring from Backup