Best Linux Desktop Backup Utilities

Linux desktop backup software to have in place before the Big Crash.
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Over the years I've found that it matters very little which Linux distribution we use when being dealt a heavy data loss. Clearly the importance of data backup is right up there with remembering to secure a network or making sure current software patches are applied.

In short, it's a pretty darned big deal.

But rather than dwell on the obvious downsides to revisiting one’s hindsight in losing data, I've decided instead to focus on the best backup utilities available for Linux on the desktop – software you’ll need before the big crash.

Enterprise ready

BaculaBacula is said to be the premiere enterprise-ready backup solution for those needing to pull out the big guns in keeping their data secure. The plus side is its power. This is one of the best methods of backing up servers and workstations in an enterprise setting. Despite its power however, it's not for the casual user, as you will be knee-deep in documentation before its first run. It's powerful, but also rather complex to use.

Amanda– I've always felt like that if you're looking for enterprise backup without looking to roll up a solution from scratch, Amanda is a great option. It's most definitely easier to use than Bacula and I don't believe that Amanda uses MySQL/PostgreSQL for its backups. This alone can be a huge benefit. Like Bacula, Amanda is best suited for enterprise users looking for a professional backup solution. Amanda is also network backup friendly.

Mondo Rescue– Like most enterprise backup solutions, Mondo Rescue provides great support for network backups, tape drives and other enterprise backup needs. It should also be noted that some very big name companies use Mondo due to its enterprise ready dependability. After a disastrous loss of data, you can restore everything that was lost or just as much as you choose.

Clonezilla – This is a disk cloning tool that I use in my own home office, but it happens to be suitable for the enterprise environment as well. Designed to be the ultimate alternative for Norton Ghost, Clonezilla is a friendly way to keep partitions or hard disks backed up safely, without a lot of complexity. Some might claim that it feels a little bit like Mondo Rescue, but Clonezilla uses Partclone along with other technologies.

For the home office

Simple Backup – If you simply want to have specific files and folders backed up, kept safe and not have to worry about it, this is a good choice. No problem, using SBackup (Simple Backup) offers this functionality with flying colors. It's simple to run, is available for most Linux distributions and will allow both local/off-site backups easily. SBackup also works nicely with external storage devices or SSH to a remote location, depending on how a scheduled backup is setup.

FlyBack– Based on rsync technology, FlyBack provides the most effective use of system resources possible. You can setup FlyBack to only backup what's needed. And because it sets up a time for each backup saved, you can opt to recover your system based on a specific date of backup. The software's creator was inspired by Apple's Time Machine and the ability to provide a time-based recovery is thanks to rsync.

TimeVault– Considered to be a bit more intensive to use than FlyBack, TimeVault also differs from FlyBack in that it doesn't rely on rsync. I'd consider TimeVault to be reasonably worthwhile for those folks who are interested in seeing the graphs representing their data being backed up. Like FlyBack, data is available in time-based increments. So for a restoration, just select the date you'd like to restore.

Grsync – Rsync is considered a standard among many Linux enthusiasts. After all, rsync can provide the user with great control to minimize wasted storage space by only backing up what has changed. Grsync comes into the picture as a GUI front end to rsync. It basically puts a friendly face to an already powerful tool.

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Tags: Linux, Linux downloads, backup, backup software, open source apps

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