Setting up Backups to BorgBase

Time to get real on backups. 💪 The Setup section helps you to choose a backup tool and start backing up your files.

Step 1 - Choosing a Backup Tool

Currently BorgBase offers support for two backup tools. Choosing the right one depends on your specific situation. Here a quick comparison:

  Borg Restic
Initial Release 2010 2015
Deduplication Yes Yes
Compression Yes, different algorithms Yes, Zstandard only
Encryption Yes, optional Yes, always
Transport protocol SSH HTTP/2
Transport authentication SSH keypair Username and password
Programming language Python/C/Cython Go
Multi-threaded No (planned) Yes
Installation Included in many Linux distros, single PyInstaller binary available, or with pip Single Go binaries for many platforms available
Desktop GUIs Yes, Vorta and Pika Backup No
Related projects and tools Many community projects with additional tools, e.g. Borgmatic Some, but not as many as Borg

As you can see the features of both tools are relatively similar. For new backups, Borg is more efficient and uses less memory. Restic is faster if little data changed and if there isn’t much data to compress. See here for an in-depth benchmark.

In terms of tooling and options, Borg is more mature, while Restic focuses on a more basic set of features. Here some rough guidance on which one to choose:

  • If Borg comes with your distro and you are comfortable using SSH keys, use Borg.
  • If you don’t usually use SSH keys and prefer the simplicity of a username and password, use Restic.
  • If you need low memory consumption (like on a VPS), use Borg.
  • If you have a high-latency connection (over 100ms), Restic may do better.
  • If you need a desktop GUI for macOS or Gnome, use Borg.

Step 2 - Create Backup Repository

Next you will create a new “repository” for your backup. A repository groups multiple snapshots (or archives) together and keeps related files. Usually one machine will use one repository. In some cases it can also make sense to share a repository between different machines to benefit from shared deduplication.

To add a new repository on BorgBase, log into your account, go to the Repositories page and click Add Repo. This will ask you to pick a name, region and format. There are also optional settings like limiting the storage quota.

Step 3 - Initialize Repository and Upload Files

This step will depend on the backup tool you chose previously. We provide you with copy & paste commands to get started quickly. To view them, head to the Setup page and choose the repository you just created. You will see commands for the chosen backup tool. For more details, see our documentation for each tool:

If you already have an existing repository, you can also import it using SFTP.