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raspiBackup can be used to restore a backup to it's original device configuration. There exist 3 configurations:

1) /boot and / on SD card

2) /boot on SD card and / external on a SSD, USB disk or USB flash drive (Raspi2 which doesn't support USB boot mode)

3) /boot and / on SSD, USB disk or USB flash drive (USB boot mode on Raspi3 or Raspi4)

raspiBackup can be used to migrate easily from (1) to (2) or (3).


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I noticed there are a lot of raspiBackup users who use dd as backup method. In particular users which work primarily on Windows  use dd because they can restore a dd backup on Windows with win32diskimager or equivilent tools. There is a certain risk with dd which doesn't exist with tar of rasync. That's why I suggest better to use tar or rsync .


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Depending on the backup method used in raspiBackup you should choose the right filesystem on your backup partition. Following table lists the different filesystems per backup method.

impossible: not possible, restricted: limited, possible: possible, plus: suggested


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A lot of time people ask how the rsync backup type works and how hardlinks are used. Following article describes what happens when files are created and deleted on the file system in the backup process and how hardlinks are used.

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Whenever an upgrade to a new version of raspiBackup is executed it's tested whether the new version has new configuration options. If there are new configuration options used the local configuration file will be merged into a new file with the new configuration file while upgrading raspiBackup. Following page describes in detail what's going on during a configuration update.


If a version less than 0.6.5 is upgraded the configuration file merge has to be started manually after upgrading. Following command will start the configuration update:

sudo --updateConfig


When the two configuration files are merged raspiBackup writes various information messages. Following messages are written when upgrading raspiBackup from v0.6.4.3 to v0.6.5:

--- RBK0241I: Merging current configuration v0.1.3 with new configuration v0.1.4 into /usr/local/etc/raspiBackup.conf.merged.
--- RBK0248I: Added option DEFAULT_SMART_RECYCLE=0.
--- RBK0248I: Added option DEFAULT_SMART_RECYCLE_OPTIONS="7 4 12 1".
--- RBK0248I: Added option DEFAULT_TELEGRAM_TOKEN="".
--- RBK0248I: Added option DEFAULT_TELEGRAM_CHATID="".
--- RBK0248I: Added option DEFAULT_NOTIFY_START=0.
--- RBK0248I: Added option DEFAULT_COLORING="CM".
--- RBK0243I: Configuration merge finished successfullly but not activated.
!!! RBK0245W: Backup current configuration in /usr/local/etc/raspiBackup.conf.bak and activate updated configuration? y/N


Configuration file


will be created and receive the merged configuration files /usr/local/etc/raspiBackup.conf with the new configuration . RBK248 lists which changes are applied. Finally you have to answer the question whether you want to activate the merged configuration file. The existing configuration file will be saved in /usr/local/etc/raspiBackup.conf.bak. Do you answer with yes the configuration update is finished and you get following messages

--- RBK0240I: Saving current configuration /usr/local/etc/raspiBackup.conf to /usr/local/etc/raspiBackup.conf.bak.
--- RBK0244I: Merged configuration /usr/local/etc/raspiBackup.conf.merged copied to /usr/local/etc/raspiBackup.conf and activated.

That's the easiest way to activate the merged configuration file and you're done quickly.

But you also can answer no and the merged configuration file will not be activated. You get following message:

--- RBK0247I: Now review /usr/local/etc/raspiBackup.conf.merged and copy the configuration file to /usr/local/etc/raspiBackup.conf to finish the configuration update.

The new options in the merged configuration file can easily be identified:

# Smart recycle
# >>>>> NEW OPTION added in config version "0.1.4" <<<<<
# Smart recycle dryrun
# >>>>> NEW OPTION added in config version "0.1.4" <<<<<
# Smart recycle parameters (daily, weekly, monthly and yearly)
# >>>>> NEW OPTION added in config version "0.1.4" <<<<<

Now use your editor and check /usr/local/etc/raspiBackup.conf.merged and change the contents if needed. Finally copy the merged configuration file to /usr/local/etc/raspiBackup.conf to activate the new configuration file.

Finally execute as usual whenever you upgraded raspiBackup a backup/restore cycle and test whether everything still works as before.

raspiBackup supports usage of different configuration files. The automatic configuration update is only done for /usr/local/etc/raspiBackup.conf. All other configuration files have to be updated manually. Just copy the lines marked as new configuration lines into the other configuration files.

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Starting with release 0.6.5 of raspiBackup an itelligent rotation strategy of your backups is supported. It's also called GFS (grandfather-father-son backup). The implementation was inspired by Manuel Dewalds article Automating backups on a Raspberry Pi NAS

raspiBackup retains following backups per default if a daily backup is created:

1) Backup of the current day and the last 6 days

2) Backup of the current week and the last 3 weeks

3) Backup of the current month  and the last 11 months

4) Backup of the current year and the last two years

If weekly backups are created there will be no daily backups kept. Different retention values for daily, weekly, monthly and yearly can be defined with an option, e.g. if you want to retain weekly, monthly and yearly backups. Keep in mind the weekly backup day then will become the day of the weekly and monthly backup: If you configure Monday as the weekly backup day your monthly backup will be the first Monday of every month. Yout yearly backup will be the first Monday of the year. Iy you create a weekly backup every Sunday the monthly backup will be the first Sunday of the month and the yearly backup will be the first Sunday of the year.

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I finally picked myself up and created a video about raspiBackup and published it on Youtube. Topics in the video are

  1. Introduction of raspiBackup
  2. Visit of the most important websites for raspiBackup
  3. Visit of github which is used as a question- and issue handling tool for raspiBackup
  4. Live installation of raspiBackup with the menu driven installer

Slides used in the video can be downloaded here.

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Users of raspiBackup in the world (Status 01/2024)

Countries: 70


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In general using the installer is the fastest method to install raspiBackup. The installer also can be used to install raspiBackup with it's default configuration via the commandline. If you want to install raspiBackup manually execute the following steps:


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Following pages describe different usage scenarios and configurations. They should help to find the right usage configuration out of the various configuration options of raspiBackup. Later on these usage scenarios can be customized further. An overview of all option is available here. The different ways to restore a backup are described here.

All configurations which don't use a dd backup save an external rootfilesystem together with the SD boot partition. If the USB bootmode is used and no SD card is used any more the whole rootpartition is also saved.


Usage scenarios described:

1a. A Windows user wants to backup his Raspberry and restore it with windisk32imager on Windows.

1b. A Windows user has a 32GB SD card but uses only 12GB and 12GB should be saved only.

1c. A Windows user wants to use pishrink to create a minimal backup image.

2. Raspberry should be saved very fast. Backuppartition is a nfs mounted EXT4 partition which is provided by a Synology.

3. Raspberry should be saved on a Samba mounted filesystem, which is provided by a Windows box.

4. A snapshot should be saved because there are some major changes planned and it should be possible to revert quickly.

5. A USB boot system backup should include an additional partition.

6. Raspberry should be saved on a local USB stick or a local USB disk.


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Any regognition of raspiBackup development- and maintenance effort and support of raspiBackup is greatly appreciated. There exist following donation alternatives:

1) Become a github sponsor for raspiBackup

2) Paypal: The eMail framp at linux-tips-and-tricks dot de  is known by PayPal and everybody who owns a Paypal account can donate.

3) Bitcoins: Address is 32MErztPzuKhN3YFEpmFtVLZTyxZ7zKPPt

4) Neither one: Just contact me with the per eMail above and we will find a solution. For example I already received multiple times donations in a good old postal letter.


Last donation received 04/25/2023

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raspiBackup is developed primarily on a Linux desktop. But finally raspiBackup is tested on a real Raspberry. There exist various raspibian images on disk which are restrored with raspiBackup on a SD card and/or USB stick and then the new or changed functionality of raspiBackup ist tested manually.

At some point in time a new version of raspiBackup has to be published. Initially I tested a lot of different variants by hand which takes a long time and reduces the number of my SD cards.  Therefore I set up a Raspberry simulation environment on Linux. Now every new raspiBackup version is regression tested in the simulation environment. That's much faster and I don't have to buy new SD cards all the time any more.

On the following picture you can see a 3B Raspberry I use for tests together with various SD cards of different size and USB sticks.


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There exist three types of messages:

1) Informational  - Messagenumber ends with I

2) Warning - Messagenumber ends with W

3) Error - Messagenumber ends with E

Most errormessages of raspiBackup give detailed information about the root cause. Sometimes it's required to get additional information in order to get rid of them. raspiBackup has about 200 errormessages and it's so boring to explain all of them here. If you miss a message first use your search engine and serach for the message number. if you still don't find an answer add the message text in a comment at the end of the page and the message with more detailed explanations will be addded on this page. That way the most common raspiBackup messages will show up on this page.

Messages in the number range from 0-999 are written by raspiBackup. Messages from 1000-1999 are written by sample plugins. All other number ranges are custom plugin messages.

In addition raspiBackup terminates with an error code which oints to the root cause.  A list of error codes is available at the end of this page.

If the information for a message does'nt help just use your seach engine to search for the message number (RBK....).