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Restoring Files with Borgmatic

If you use Borgmatic for your regular backups, it may be easier to use the Borgmatic syntax, provided you have a correctly configured configuration file.

Note: You should be comfortable using the command line. If you prefer a graphical, client, look into our Vorta Tutorial instead. These instructions should work on macOS and popular Linux flavors, like Debian, Ubuntu, as well as Red Hat, Fedora and CentOS.


You should already have Borg, as well as Borgmatic installed and know how to use the command line. If you didn’t install Borg yet, have a look at this previous guide. Please refer to the official borgmatic documentation for setting up Borgmatic. If your repository is hosted on BorgBase, your config file can be automatically generated for you using the Configuration Assistant.

Step 1 - Listing the Archives

Assuming that you have Borgmatic correctly configured and making backups, you would first need to find the backup you need to restore by listing the archives.

$ borgmatic -l

After choosing the backup, you would then add it to the borgmatic -x command

$ borgmatic -x server-2020-04-01T12:11:41

Step 2 - Extracting the Archives

Make sure you are in the directory you would like to restore to, as it will extract the files into it.

If you would only like restore a particular directory from a backup, its as easy as adding --restore path to the command, along with the directory or file you would like to restore (minus the first /).

For example, if you would like to only restore /mnt/catpics from the same archive, the full command would be:

$ borgmatic -x server-2020-04-01T12:11:41 --restore-path 'mnt/catpics'

This will restore the full path of that particular directory, but will only include that directory.


If you already keep your Borg settings in Borgmatic, you should also use it to extract backups. For more details also see their own documentation.