7 Online Backup Services That Work on Linux

PenguinBacking up Linux computers has always been a bit of a pain. Sure, there’s Déjà Dup, a graphical wrapper for backup tool duplicity. And then there’s rsync, which is great for transferring files over SSH connections. But these tools require you to set up an FTP server (or other location) for offsite backups. Not everyone wants to do that.

When it comes to easy offsite backup methods, Linux users have traditionally gotten the short end of the stick. Luckily, this is changing as more backup services are porting their software to Linux.

Now, Linux users will be pleased to know there are a variety of online backup services that can protect their data.

1. CrashPlan

Because CrashPlan is a Java-based application, it is cross-platform. It works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. CrashPlan can be installed on Linux with minimal effort. All you have to do is run the install script, and you’ll be guided through the setup process.

CrashPlan comes with a handy desktop app that runs separately from the background service, so you can view the status of backups and change settings. You can quit the desktop app, and the CrashPlan service will continue to run.

CrashPlan on Ubuntu

CrashPlan on Linux has all the same features that make the Windows application so great. You can back up to the cloud, external hard drives, and friends computers – even if they too are running Linux.

Cost: $5.99/month
Space: Unlimited

Sign up for CrashPlan
Read the CrashPlan review

2. IDrive

IDrive is another online backup service that works on Linux. Backups and restores can be done via the command line, with scripts that are provided by IDrive, or with a browser-based interface. The browser interface is the easiest, and it also lets you manage backups remotely.

When logging in to the browser interface, you’ll be prompted for your local credentials, then your IDrive credentials. Then it’s just a matter of specifying a backup set, and scheduling it to run automatically. IDrive will put backups under an “/ubuntu” directory (or whatever your Linux distro is) to separate them from your other devices. Files can also be restored using the browser interface.

IDrive on Ubuntu

IDrive is well-suited for backing up servers, but it’s just as easy to back up desktop versions of Linux. Security is the same 256-bit AES encryption that protects files with other operating systems. A private encryption key can also be used for Linux backups.

Cost: $44.62/year (about $4/month)
Space: 1 TB

Sign up for IDrive
Read the IDrive review

3. SpiderOak

SpiderOak provides binaries for Debian, Fedora, and Slackware-based Linux operating systems.

SpiderOak on Ubuntu

After installing the binary, you’ll log in with your SpiderOak account, or create a new account. SpiderOak supports command line operation on all operating systems, and can use the –headless option to run without the graphical user interface.

Cost: $12/month
Space: 1 TB

Sign up for SpiderOak
Read the SpiderOak review

4. AltDrive

Unlimited online backup service AltDrive has an installer for Linux distributions. There is no graphical user interface; the service runs as a daemon in the background.

AltDrive includes a GUI to help with the initial setup, however. You can add folders to your backup set, schedule the backup to run on certain days of the week, or set a near-continuous backup of every 1-2 hours.

AltDrive on Ubuntu

Cost: $4.45/month
Space: Unlimited

Sign up for AltDrive
Read the AltDrive review

5. Symform

Peer-to-peer backup service Symform works on Linux. It includes binaries for Ubuntu, Fedora, and CentOS.

With Symform, you get free cloud storage space by contributing excess space on your hard drive. Users get 1 GB free for every 2 GB contributed. The maximum amount you can get is 5 TB, by contributing 10 TB.

After installation, Symform launches a “Remote Device Manager” in your browser, which lets you add folders to your account.

Symform on Ubuntu

Symform does not support file versioning, so you would need to use a separate application to retain multiple file versions, then back them up to the Symform cloud.

For those who don’t want to contribute hard drive space, or if your contribution amount doesn’t cover your storage requirements, Symform offers paid plans starting at $10/month for 100 GB.

Cost: $10/month
Space: 100 GB

Sign up for Symform
Read the Symform review

6. Memopal

Memopal is available for Linux through a Web UI. This web interface controls the Memopal daemon running in the background. You can access it at http://localhost:5876/ after installing the software.

Memopal on Ubuntu

You can add and remove folders in your backup set, as well as choose to not back up files over a certain size (under Advanced options). Memopal also lets you specify a sync folder location, so you can keep files in sync across multiple devices. Memopal uploads changed files immediately. It was very fast in my tests on Ubuntu.

After the first backup runs, a Dashboard tab will appear. This gives you an overview of the backup and sync status. You can suspend the backup, restart it, and view a detailed backup report (log).

To restore files, you’ll have to download them through the Memopal website. They’ll be compressed into a ZIP file, so this is fairly easy.

Cost: $90/year
Space: 500 GB

Sign up for Memopal (get 15% off with discount code: SWITCH)
Read the Memopal review

7. Tresorit

Tresorit has instructions for installing their software on Linux.

Tresorit on Ubuntu

As far as features, you can restore the previous 10 versions of files with the premium plan, and unlimited file versions with the business plan. Tresorit doesn’t let you restore deleted files – this feature is coming, apparently. So it’s not an ideal backup solution.

Cost: $11.36/month
Space: 100 GB

Sign up for Tresorit
Read the Tresorit review

What is your favorite online backup service for Linux? Share it in the comments section below!

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund is the founder and editor-in-chief of BackupReview.com. He is a cloud fanatic and regularly reviews online backup services. He believes backups should be easy, affordable, and automatic.

Geoff Akerlund


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  • Jeff Massie

    The Idrive pricing isn’t correct for Linux. To use Linux with Idrive you have to have a buisness plan which is currently $149.67 USD for 500GB.

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    • I asked IDrive to confirm this and they said “We recommend you to use Business plans for linux platforms. However, personal plans will work on linux machines.”

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      • Jeff Massie

        That is good to know. Their website and their documentation all says Linux isn’t supported on the personal plan. Thank you for the heads up.

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  • sethsmith

    Regarding Linux backup with IDrive From IDrive web site:

    When I restore data, the permissions and owner / group information is different from source. Why?

    IDrive stores your data with a fixed owner / group and set of permissions that may be different from original set of owner / group and permissions. After you restore the data, ensure that the permissions and ownership information is modified appropriately.

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    • That sounds like a big oversight on their part. Is it just for Linux, or all operating systems?

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  • pjcamp

    Skip Crashplan. They will NOT protect your data. They just totally destroyed, without prior warning, three years worth of data from a five year long research project. Lost. All of it. Sent me a notice AFTER it happened. Their data retention policy believes that a backup is not an archive. Your data is NOT safe here. They deliberately deleted my data and THEN sent me an email. They seemed to be quite proud of this. Crashplan is fond of saying “Unlimited means unlimited.” Apparently, that is a lie. Unlimited means you don’t know the limit until after yourdata is gone.

    I just lost half a decade of my professional life to these assclowns. If you can tolerate that, by all means, shoot them your money.

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    • Thanks for sharing your experience pjcamp. I responded to your comment in the original thread.

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  • Dean Schulze

    I just added my Ubuntu 15 desktop to my family plan with CrashPlan. When the initial backup runs I cannot connect to the internet from the computer being backed up or from my Ubuntu 14 laptop. I don’t know what CrashPlan does, but it is a show stopper for me. Strange thing is I have been backing up my Ubuntu 14 laptop with CrashPlan for a while now and never noticed it since I have it set to run at 1:00 AM.

    Whatever CrashPlan is doing it is acting like a virus on my home network.

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