Linux Backup Tool

A computer system without proper backup is as vulnerable as a piece of software without updates. The problem comes when we want to restore our system to a particular time point and can’t find the right tool to do so. In this guide, I will show you two tools that you can use to back up a Linux system. This tutorial doesn’t need a particular distribution running on your machine. You can have whatever you need. You must know how to choose a backup tool for Linux which is efficient and faster to get things done.

Backup Tool For Servers

Most of the cloud services now offer one-click backups for both small and large size virtual private servers, also known as VPS, but they usually are not effective as servers do not return to their original state. On bare metal servers, the problem is even more severe. Here are a few tools to keep you on the safe side.


Rsync is the fastest and versatile backup utility out there. It usually comes pre-installed with most of the distributions. If it didn’t come with your distribution then you can install using the following commands on the most famous distributions.


$ sudo apt install rsync


$ sudo dnf install rsync


$ sudo yum install rsync


  • Rsync can sync remote files to a local system in an efficient way.
  • It has an easy-to-use command-line syntax that helps new users to get started immediately.
  • Rsync works more or less like a file manager.
  • With Rsync, we do not need to care about destination support.
  • If you have an online destination, Rsync can connect and transfer the files. This makes Rsync and efficient backup tool.


  • The only con Rsync carries is that it doesn’t have any GUI. Therefore, the user needs to work in the command line to make a backup of the remote directories.

Rsync backup

Backup Tool For Desktops

We have several tools available to create backups of our local disks to avoid bad times. As discussed already, Rsync too can be used for Desktops. However, it does not provide an optimum user interface for desktop users. We figured out intuitive tools for your needs.

Meet Timeshift

Timeshift comes with a world-class graphical user interface. It doesn’t come preinstalled on systems except for Linux Mint. You can install it from your distribution’s repositories. Here are the commands to get it done.


$ sudo apt install timeshift


$ sudo dnf install timeshift


$ sudo yum install timeshift

TimeShift Backup


  • Timeshift has an intuitive GUI which helps new users to get through the tool faster
  • Timeshift can take multiple backups in one click.
  • It can schedule daily, weekly, and monthly backup points of your disk.
  • It can work side by side with Rsync and other backup tools.
  • Setup is minimal and software runs faster on launch.
  • User data is excluded by default when creating backups.


  • Timeshift doesn’t work with remote files until configured with some other tools like Rsync.
  • The biggest con of Timeshift is that it doesn’t support taking 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 certain task. We carefully looked at various back software to decide to use the above two on servers and desktops.

How to choose a Backup Tool for Linux

Karim Buzdar

About the Author: Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. You can reach Karim on LinkedIn