Making Qubes OS backups more efficient

Hi, I wrote a guide explaining how to backup Qubes through restic or borg. I hope sending links to my blog is allowed :thinking: I didn’t find anything in the community rules that would forbid doing so, but if I’m wrong, please tell me so I can delete my post :+1:


It’s a bit unfortunate that qvm-backup MUST encrypt backups, otherwise restic/borg would really benefit from deduplication.

The qubes backup tools isn’t great for doing hourly backups, it doesn’t back up the state of running VMs. If you want to use it for hourly backup, you need to restart the qubes before every back up.

I like the qubes backups for disaster recovery, for me it can’t replace frequent file level backups.

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I made a slight change to the script (using restic as it supports multiple hosts) on my system. It’s installed in a template, and I’m running it manually from AppVm where I want to backup home.

Restic is able to prune per host, so in a single repository you can manage multiple AppVm easily. With the split SSH, I’m asked when restic is doing something on the remote repository. Works well in addition to occasional full backups, which suites more dom0 or templates than AppVM with data in it.

If you are interested, I made a small script (in bash) that can backup all qubes with a list of exceptions. It can be used to automatically backup everything except not-important qubes.

It also supports backing up single qubes (one by one), or as a qubes groups.
Saving one by one is not present in Qubes OS out of box, so writing scripts like that is the only options.

Hi Balko, I am interested about your back-up scripts.

Discussing incremental back-ups here nowadays if it makes sense to you : Incremental backup possibilities

I wrote the guide when I was a qube beginner. I didn’t realize the backups were encrypted, so it’s not incremental at all. They are just stored and managed by restic, but there is no possible deduplication because of the encryption done by Qubes OS :confused:

thank you for clarification :slight_smile: