Backup with restic


Because restic can also handle variables, you can use the tool to regularly back up data using scripts. The scripts can then be executed as cron jobs on a time-controlled basis. Ideally, you should set an environment variable for the password entry and for the storage path.

The fact that the software can basically access all your data media and filesystems opens up the possibility of transferring data to a NAS system or to a server via SFTP, for example. If you have slow storage or narrow bandwidths, however, the backup speed is naturally significantly lower than backing up the local filesystem.


Restatic [2], a GUI for restic, has been under development for some time now. You will find the application programmed in Python on GitHub. As its underpinnings, the front end needs Python v3.6 or higher. Many distributions with long-term support come with even older Python versions, which you have to update beforehand in order to be able to install Restatic.

After setup, call the software at the prompt by entering restatic. In the program window that then opens, you can access the individual functions using a clear-cut tab structure (Figure 3). You always need to follow the same order as for the command-line program. In addition, you can define profiles at the beginning using the Current Profile: field; this is particularly useful for larger infrastructures with heterogeneous databases.

Figure 3: Restatic covers all the restic functions in a few tabs.

Then define a repository for the backup. To do this, click the Repository field in the Repository tab and select one of the options. To let you integrate existing repositories, a separate dialog box appears; you can use this to connect to the archive in question. Restatic supports connections to remote servers.

In the same way, you can use the SSH Key: field to specify in a context-dependent manner whether to use an existing key or generate a new key. Then switch to the Sources tab where you specify the directories to be backed up. To do this, use the Add Folder button to add individual folders to a list view. In the two lower window segments, you can then define exclusion criteria for folders and files that you are not going to back up.

After pressing Start Backup (bottom left), Restatic runs the backup and displays a progress bar. You then need to click on the Refresh button in the Archives tab to see the backups in the repository. The Extract, Check, Mount, and Prune buttons let you work with the backups. In this dialog, you can specify how many old archives you want to keep for multiple backup files.

To run the backup automatically in the future, use the Schedule tab. When you get there, you can define, at the push of a button, how often Restatic should save data from the previously specified source folders to the active repository. This avoids the need to write a shell script or create a cron job for automatic backups. After pressing Apply, Restatic applies the data and activates your automatic backup actions (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Restatic can automatically back up data in a time-controlled manner without any problems.


Restic takes away users' reservations about the command line by consistently adhering to a simple syntax for each function. The backup tool is very appealing due to its fast action, and above all the default encryption, which means that there is nothing standing in the way of backups to the cloud. With automatic, time-controlled backups and the option of using local SFTP servers as storage media, the software is also suitable for larger infrastructures. The Restatic GUI also lets users create backups easily, in this case, at the push of a button.

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