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How to Backup your Desktop using Pika Backup

Pika Backup is a GTK program designed to make simple backups based on borg. Frequent rumors that this software’s name is related to a monster with electrical abilities are unfounded.


  • Set up new backup repositories or uses existing ones
  • Create backups locally and remote
  • Save time and disk space because Pika Backup does not need to copy known data again
  • Encrypt your backups
  • List created archives and browse through their contents
  • Recover files or folders via your file browser
  • Supports automatic scheduled backups and clean up of old archives [version 0.4.0-beta-1 or newer]
  • Source can be found here


Pika Backup can be installed from;

  • Flathub > $ flatpak install flathub org.gnome.World.PikaBackup
  • On Arch though the AUR repo
  • Built from Source using Gnome-Builder

Setup repository

  • Create a SSH key - add it to your .ssh/config - see here for futher information
  • Create a repository on borgbase
  • Initialise

    $ borg init -e repokey-blake2

  • The URL in Pika is different to the borg command line & vorta - instead it will look as below. > ssh://
  • (Recommended) Add a password.
  • Additional flags can be utilised via the advanced options box.
  • Choose whick files & folder to backup & which to exclude.

Setup repository [0.4.0-beta-1 or newer]

  • Create a SSH key - add it to your .ssh/config
  • Create a repository on BorgBase
  • Version 0.4.0 supports user@host:path syntax

Auto-Backups [requires 0.4.0-beta-1 or newer]

  • Click scheduled backups
  • Toggle ‘Regularly Create Backups’
  • Choose a frequency (Daily, Weekly, Monthly etc)
  • There is an option to ‘Regualrly Delete Old Archives’ which may be useful if you have storage constraints