My backup process

My backup flow adheres to these principles:

  • Stick to rule 3-2-1
  • Snapshot important folders forever
  • Use untrusted remote repositories to store encrypted backups off-site

Here is how it is implemented.

There are three personal folders on my laptop:

  • ~/keep - all the documents that I should keep forever;
  • ~/hoard videos, whitepapers, podcast episodes and the other stuff I want to keep forever;
  • ~/Dropbox - similar to keep but is also shared within the family.

All personal folders are backed up daily via Borg Backup . Borg takes folder snapshots, encrypting and deduplicating chunks. Each daily backup goes to a local NAS (with RAID-1) and to a remote storage.

A couple of times per year I plug a portable HDD and back up everything to a borg repository there as well.

That should be good enough for the rule 3-2-1:

  • Keep 3 copies of data.
  • Use 2 different types of storage.
  • Have at least one off-site replica.

I keep 10 daily, 6 weekly, 14 monthly and 99 yearly snapshots. Since snapshot reuses file chunks, that doesn't take a lot of space. Compression saves a few GB on top of that.


NAS itself is used to store family photos. Some of the folders there are configured to be backed up to a remote storage via Borg (same setup). This is less strict and should be cleaned up later.

Last update 30 Jan, 2022.