?cheap, reputable, plug-and-play backup provider

My YunoHost server

Hardware: Old computer
YunoHost version: 11.2.6
I have access to my server : direct access via keyboard
special context? : no
storage use in the immediate future: ~100gb


  • Sorry, despite reading numerous guides and forum posts, they seemed aimed at spinning up a second server rather than using a commercial product. I regret I’m a bit overloaded maintaining one server, let alone two!
  • noob, minimal free time for server maintenance, thus I want to aim for:
    • everything to be as ‘vanilla’ as possible (I hope to use applications just as their designers intended and avoid any custom scripts).
    • ideally I’d have this all set up through the Yunohost web-gui.
    • everything to be as automated as possible.
  • don’t have friends :stuck_out_tongue:
    • only kidding! But none that self-host with the reliability/availability of a commercial provider.
  • some modest degree of security is important to me, so a solution with decent cryptography is desirable.


  • ?what’s the optimal solution for ‘easy’, ‘cheap’, and ‘most-fully-automated’ reasonably reliable backing up of the server:

  • It seems like the two cheapest, reputable, plug-ang-play backup storage providers are BorgBase and Backblaze.

    • Restic → backblaze B2 doesn’t sound easy (by noob standards), requires configuration beyond clicking ‘install’ on the Yunohost web-gui.
      • backblaze B2 does look like the cheapest storage though (only pay for what I use; charged at ~$0.00586/GB/month or fraction of time and space thereof).
      • and it is automated (recurring annual payment)
    • Borg Backup → BorgBase
      • the guy who runs BorgBase seems like a decent sort of person on lowendtalk.
      • it still takes some configuration.
      • BorgBase users (if I understand correctly) get an email reminding them their year’s subscription is almost up, at which point they buy another year’s subscription. This is suboptimal for me; the most reliable solution would be automated annual payment.
      • BorgBase charges $2/month for up-to-250gb (additional storage $0.01/GB/month in GB increments, presumably til one reaches the next pricing tier).
  • In conclusion:

    • I think backblaze B2 isn’t a simple click-to-install/baked-into-yunohost, so sadly despite it ticking other boxes, it’s out. I need maximum likelihood of working backups and restores (I.E.: minimal reliance on me having done something correctly!).
    • I think BorgBase, while not truly plug-and-play, is the simplest cheap reliable off-the-shelf backup provider.

I’m open to suggestion, and I’d love to be corrected and/or steered.

I can’t find much in the comparisons/guides I’ve come across about ease of restoring a backup, and doing that as quickly and easily (?via gui) as possible is important to me, so if anyone has strong feelings about that, please do share!

  • thank you to all the devs, mods, documenters, maintainers, and myriad others that keep all this spinning.

  • moved ‘Support’–>‘Discuss’

I just tried BorgBase, and indeed, it is not plug and play, but a small documentation should be enough, and maybe some improprement on the app code to initialize the repo.

What I did :

  1. Create an account on borgbase
  2. Create a repository on borgbase
  3. Install borg app, and give it the borgbase url
  4. Once installed, go in the borg app settings to take the ssh key and give it write access on the repo
  5. tricky part : I did not managed to initialize the repo in command line and did it via Vorta, installed on my computer (and I created a backup of an empty folder)

Now it should work easily, more informations soon, when tonight’s backup will run.

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Wow, thank you :heart_eyes:

I’m really looking forward to your report :smiley:

I will follow in your footsteps.

Maybe one day BorgBase will have a step-by-step guide for Yunohosters!

OK, following your encouragement, my approach was:

  1. read the yunohost forum guide to using the BorgBase paid (or free up to 10gb!) service, and the BorgBase guide to making an SSH key.
  2. SSH into the yunohost server, type $ ls -a to confirm there’s a .ssh folder, and then type cd .ssh
  3. type $ ssh-keygen -t ed25519 and follow the prompts to create an arbitrarily named file borgbase which is the private key.
  4. type $ cat borgbase.pub to give the public key, which can be copied so it’s ready to paste when asked for by BorgBase when setting up a repository there.
  5. make BorgBase account, click on the “Repositories” tab/link at the top, then on the big orange “New repo” button.
  6. follow the prompts to create a repo per my needs (ok, I’m a noob, I guessed my needs!), pasting in the public key when indicated.

edited to add: 7. realise the public key I’ve pasted into the BorgBase web-portal is not the one that appears in my Yunohost server’s applications>borgbackup>main settings page, look a bit flustered, then copy the newly-encountered public key, go into the “SSH Keys” tab/link on the BorgBase web-portal, click “Add Key”, and paste it in when prompted.

8, still in the BorgBase web-portal: click the “Repositories” link/tab, click “edit” on the repository I created for my Yunohost server, and under “Access”, select from the drop-down menu the SSH key I added in step (7).

9. Just because I like to keep a backup of all the SSH keys I use, and I presume I might need them to restore backups? (a). SSH into the Yunohost server, type $ sudo cat /root/.ssh/id_borg_ed25519 to get the private key, copy it from the terminal, make a file on my backup USB drive called id_borg_ed_2559 and using mousepad, paste the text into the file. (b) . type $ sudo cat /root/.ssh/id_borg_ed25519.pub to get the public key, copy it from the terminal, make a file on my backup USB drive called id_borg_ed_2559.pub and using mousepad, paste the text into the file.

The Yunohost Borg Backup application went into action automatically at midnight (it was set for daily updates), and appears to have initialised the repository on, and delivered a backup to, the BorgBase server.

I think all I need to do now is read and understand (± try out) how to restore a complete system using borg backup.

I’m beginning to accept that, in due course, I might need to make a borgmatic config file, and figure out how to make a prepare-for-backup.sh script that makes sure I have good quality backups (as I noob I understand these things in the meanest terms; I presume like taking a photograph, one just needs all the objects to hold still for a moment).

The key part is not that logic, but I remembered this and did not create one, knowing the app will do it after initialisation.

This night backup failed, which is in fact normal, because I have many backups, and it seems that they do NOT like to run at the same time.
So I manually started the big backup (NextCloud is big), and then I’ll start the small ones, and all should be better tonight.

Just to explain things, I have a daily backup with critical apps, and then a weekly backup with everything else (nothing in common). And now I have 4 backups, because they are all on borgbase too now.

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Thank you!

I again need to follow in your footsteps, and grok how to divide my backups into different jobs; it sounds like applications are often backed-up separately to application-data (especially with applications like NextCloud). I’ll have to get my head around the best way to do that.

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