The most popular way of backing up your Linux system are rsync and dump. The difference is that when using dump you need to work on a full image, where the rsync allows you to access individual files.

Backup using RSYNC command

From your local machine:

rsync -chavzP --stats /path/to/local/storage

From your local machine with a non-standard ssh or rsh port:

rsync -chavzP -e "ssh -p $portNumber" /local/path

On local network

rsync -chavzP -e "rsh -p $portNumber" /local/path

Or from the remote host, assuming you really want to work this way and your local machine is listening on SSH:

rsync -chavzP --stats /path/to/copy user@host.remoted.from:/path/to/local/storage
a fast, versatile, remote (and local) file-copying tool
-c, --checksum
       This  changes  the  way rsync checks if the files have been changed and are in need of a transfer.
       Without this option, rsync uses a "quick check" that (by default) checks if each file’s  size  and
       time  of  last  modification  match  between the sender and receiver.  This option changes this to
       compare a 128-bit checksum for each file that has a matching size.  Generating the checksums means
       that  both  sides  will expend a lot of disk I/O reading all the data in the files in the transfer
       (and this is prior to any reading that will be done to transfer changed files), so this  can  slow
       things down significantly.

       The  sending  side  generates its checksums while it is doing the file-system scan that builds the
       list of the available files.  The receiver generates its checksums when it is scanning for changed
       files,  and  will  checksum  any  file  that has the same size as the corresponding sender’s file:
       files with either a changed size or a changed checksum are selected for transfer.

       Note that rsync always verifies that each transferred file  was  correctly  reconstructed  on  the
       receiving side by checking a whole-file checksum that is generated as the file is transferred, but
       that  automatic  after-the-transfer  verification  has  nothing   to   do   with   this   option’s
       before-the-transfer "Does this file need to be updated?" check.

       For  protocol  30  and  beyond  (first  supported  in 3.0.0), the checksum used is MD5.  For older
       protocols, the checksum used is MD4.
-h, --human-readable
       Output numbers in a more human-readable format.  This makes big numbers output using larger units,
       with  a  K,  M,  or  G  suffix.   If  this  option was specified once, these units are K (1000), M
       (1000*1000), and G (1000*1000*1000); if the option is repeated,  the  units  are  powers  of  1024
       instead of 1000.
-a, --archive
       This is equivalent to -rlptgoD. It is a quick way  of  saying  you  want  recursion  and  want  to
       preserve  almost  everything  (with -H being a notable omission).  The only exception to the above
       equivalence is when --files-from is specified, in which case -r is not implied.

       Note that -a does not preserve hardlinks, because finding multiply-linked files is expensive.  You
       must separately specify -H.
-v, --verbose
       This  option  increases  the amount of information you are given during the transfer.  By default,
       rsync works silently. A single -v will give you information about what files are being transferred
       and  a  brief summary at the end. Two -v options will give you information on what files are being
       skipped and slightly more information at the end. More than two -v options should only be used  if
       you are debugging rsync.

       Note that the names of the transferred files that are output are done using a default --out-format
       of "%n%L", which tells you just the name of the file and, if the item is a link, where it  points.
       At  the  single  -v  level  of  verbosity,  this  does not mention when a file gets its attributes
       changed.  If you ask for an itemized list  of  changed  attributes  (either  --itemize-changes  or
       adding  "%i"  to  the  --out-format  setting), the output (on the client) increases to mention all
       items that are changed in any way.  See the --out-format option for more details.
-z, --compress
       With  this  option, rsync compresses the file data as it is sent to the destination machine, which
       reduces the amount of data being transmitted -- something that is useful over a slow connection.

       Note that this option typically achieves better compression ratios than can be achieved by using a
       compressing  remote  shell  or  a compressing transport because it takes advantage of the implicit
       information in the matching data blocks that are not explicitly sent over the connection.

       See the --skip-compress option for the default list of file suffixes that will not be compressed.
-P     The  -P  option  is  equivalent to --partial --progress.  Its purpose is to make it much easier to
       specify these two options for a long transfer that may be interrupted.
-e, --rsh=COMMAND
       This option allows you to choose an alternative remote shell  program  to  use  for  communication
       between  the  local  and  remote  copies  of  rsync.  Typically, rsync is configured to use ssh by
       default, but you may prefer to use rsh on a local network.

       If this option is used with [user@]host::module/path, then the remote shell COMMAND will  be  used
       to  run  an  rsync daemon on the remote host, and all data will be transmitted through that remote
       shell connection, rather than through a direct socket connection to a running rsync daemon on  the
       remote host.  See the section "USING RSYNC-DAEMON FEATURES VIA A REMOTE-SHELL CONNECTION" above.

       Command-line  arguments  are permitted in COMMAND provided that COMMAND is presented to rsync as a
       single argument.  You must use spaces (not tabs or other whitespace) to separate the  command  and
       args  from  each  other,  and  you  can  use single- and/or double-quotes to preserve spaces in an
       argument (but not backslashes).  Note that doubling a single-quote inside a  single-quoted  string
       gives  you  a  single-quote; likewise for double-quotes (though you need to pay attention to which
       quotes your shell is parsing and which quotes rsync is parsing).  Some examples:

    -e 'ssh -p 2234'
    -e 'ssh -o "ProxyCommand nohup ssh firewall nc -w1 %h %p"'

(Note that ssh users can alternately customize site-specific connect options in their  .ssh/config

You  can  also  choose  the  remote  shell program using the RSYNC_RSH environment variable, which
accepts the same range of values as -e.

See also the --blocking-io option which is affected by this option.
Local:  rsync [OPTION...] SRC... [DEST]

Access via remote shell:
  Pull: rsync [OPTION...] [USER@]HOST:SRC... [DEST]
  Push: rsync [OPTION...] SRC... [USER@]HOST:DEST

Access via rsync daemon:
  Pull: rsync [OPTION...] [USER@]HOST::SRC... [DEST]
        rsync [OPTION...] rsync://[USER@]HOST[:PORT]/SRC... [DEST]
  Push: rsync [OPTION...] SRC... [USER@]HOST::DEST
        rsync [OPTION...] SRC... rsync://[USER@]HOST[:PORT]/DEST

See man rsync for an explanation of my usual switches, or better, check command at


Use scripts to automate backups

There are many open source command line and GUI tools for automating and organizing your backup tasks.

CMD backup tools




Video tutorial: (backup remote CentOS to localhost)



Backup Windows video tutorial:

Backup Linux video tutorial:

GUI server / client tool for backing up Windows and Linux PC)

UrBackup Backup solution


Duplicati Backup solution


Local Manual backup

Rescuezilla for Clonzilla

Rescuezilla is basically a GUI for Clonezilla. Both programs are compatible and can be run from USB stick without an installation.

Backup Linux distribution before upgrading the system

Check system version


Check file system. This must be the same as backup server.

df -Th | grep "^/dev"

Create a list of excluded folders such:

sudo rsync -vPa -e 'ssh -o StrictHostKeyChecking=no' --exclude-from=/root/excluded.txt / [REMOTE-IP-OF-THE-BACKUP-SERVER]:/

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