How are we supposed to handle/do backups?


Use case: I want to have a backup of my “whole” system, i.e. nearly (ideally) all config and user’s data files, so I can easily restore it in case of a failure.

What I see: I don’t need to backup the distro’s file/rpm-ostree obviously. As that can easy be restored and then likely also all packages installed.

What I don’t know:
However, how to backup the data/config files of all apps and your own personal data?

The underlying issue may be that I can hardly install any command-line (backup) tools and set them up in a cron job or so. (Or can I?)

I’d e.g. like to setup borgbackup and with the “usual” Fedora/Linux packaging model that is easily possible, as it is in the Fedora packages.
However, how are we supposed to do this, if we have a read-only distro and can otherwise only install sandboxed software (as flatpaks)?

Note I’ve only tried out Silverblue for testing and read a bit about it and have not used it extensively.


I saw something go by on Antergos called “Lembrame” that claims to synchronize desktop settings, but I haven’t tried it yet.


Well Silverblue lets you layer RPMs on top of your OSTree image, so you could probably just do rpm-ostree install borgbackup.


Synchronizing desktop settings is not really my use case, rather a backup. But it may still be useful for solving this, yes…


If I then can also setup cron (or a systemd service timer) in an easy way, that would likely solve my use case! :smiley: Thanks.


Does Google Drive integration work in Silverblue? I don’t use it - I use SpiderOak One, which I know doesn’t work on Silverblue - it installs to /opt. Also, I think there’s a DropBox flatpak.


One would hope that these proprietary programs are non-functional here.


Is not this a different topic?


One would hope I could install proprietary software on my Silverblue workstation / laptop as easily as I can install it on Fedora Workstation, Antergos Linux, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or openSUSE Tumbleweed. Fedora doesn’t have to distribute encumbered software, but if they prevent me from using it I’ll switch to a distro that doesn’t.


Like, the GNOME Drive integration? It looks perfectly fine.


I’m biased since I maintain it but I use BackupPC, it uses standard tools (typically rsync on *nix systems) and you can specify excludes to skip stuff that doesn’t matter like browser cache files. It also does compression and deduplication. I’ve got 1.75TB backed up but the whole system drive is only 1TB but it’s compressed/deduped to 150GB…




I knew about rclone - I used it as a replacement for the AWS CLI on a project last year. My personal requirement includes syncing with any Linux distro and Windows, and SpiderOak does that well for everything except Silverblue.

It turns out that my Office 365 Personal subscription includes a full terabyte of OneDrive space! I’ve only got about 50 GB on SpiderOak, but since I’m getting the OneDrive space free anyway I’m going to migrate to OneDrive via rclone, which will work on Silverblue. By the way, rclone does not support SpiderOak.


i’m completely new here. since 99 on windows systems and since only 5 weeks the first time linux “experienced”. jumped from one distro to another, because most of the time from day 2 on, only problems occurred. since 5 days working on f29 silverblue and not a single serious problem appeared since then. everything runs more smoothly than under windows or bloated/classic linux - distros.

i’m the living proof that silverblue is beginner-friendly/user-friendly too. it’s not just for nerds, even though it’s fun to become a nerd here. think of me as “the ordinary user out there.” he just wants to do his work on his laptop without having to mutate into a programmer or system administrator.

and thanks to your playful approach @alex285 - i was able to activate auto-updates and more. in the meantime, i’ve also figured out “ostree”, already rolled back and forth, pinned and unpinned, et cetera. it’s child’s play. it’s beauty. it’s full of potential. and i’m ready to build my first own container. thx for this outstanding work.

the only layered package is fedora’s chromium (i can’t stand firefox because i’m tired of the ever - growing user.config, which grows because mozilla makes very questionable decisions & sends data to google & and use too much telemetry ( + one has to deal with 2 policies (google & mozilla) when some “security options” are activated (per default)). and the eye-pain-causing-firefox-gui/font-ugliness under every linux-distro i tried is a complete desaster compared to windows - versions.

since this is the case, one can also use chromium instead and try to “ungoogle” as much as possible. but this is not enough. i would very much appreciate it, if you could integrate a browser that doesn’t phone home (@google & @mozilla itself). fedoras own chromium - fork with vaapi support would be predestined for it. or use the ungoogled-brave browser as standard. that would be much more up-to-date and secure. i’m going into this for so long because i read that firefox should be included by default as flatpak in the next version.

the only linux phenomenon i haven’t understood yet (firefox is standard in every distro - unquestioned). the windows community is a little rougher to mozilla in these days. deserved. based on facts.

but now I’ve gone too far again.

please stay minimalistic and don’t include too much in the upcoming version. what i always had to criticize about linux - distros were the countless applications/packages (i do not need) and uninstalling most of them (on non-ostree-systems) always led to a complete disaster for the whole os.

that wasn’t freedom, that was imprisonment and forcing. something i luckily didn’t have with f29 silverblue. what i need, i get over time. as an appimage, as a flatpak, in a container or if not otherwise possible - as a layer.

what i actually wanted to aks: i have 2 hard disks. one ssd and one mechanical. on the ssd runs (still) windows. because f29 silverblue runs stable and gives better results than windows (also in terms of graphics & performance), this f29 silverblue version should be running on the ssd - drive instead of windows.

is it possible “to save a deployment” and copy it to an usb-stick and “bring it back” to the os after the new installation? or is it possible to “move” silverblues root/swap/home ect. (after windows is deleted) from the second hard disk to the first ssd-hard disk (with any gnome tool or per terminal?).

yes, i wanted to ask that ;). linux-newbie questions. no hardcore developer - questions. sorry for the long text, but there are a lot of additional new impressions.



There are instructions here ( for installing SpiderOak One without root privileges. They aren’t correct but I did get them to work by fixing the errors.


this was fast, thx. i take a look at it and try it.

to directly save the current resp. required deployment itself on usb and “put it back” over a new installed f29sb - version isn’t possible (yet … or never)?


You could always layer GNOME Epiphany or install the Eolie Flatpak.

Fedora Silverblue 29 actually slimmed things down quite a bit from 28, and AFAIK that’s a trend that’s largely going to continue.

Assuming you want to save your data on the Silverblue installation, your best bet would likely be to use a classic disk cloning tool such as Clonezilla. Also, you’ll want to make sure the SSD is at least as big as your HDD. Deployments are awesome, but there’s a bit more to it (e.g. the partition layout, boot files) that make it a poor fit to try to use to accomplish this.



point 1: epiphany or eolie are imho ugly, slower and outdated. i can’t use them. why not brave - browser (it’s open source) as a standard or an “ungoogled” fedora - chromium fork. why stay faithful to mozilla, even though everything speaks against this “company” now. also google is a threat. not even for windows users. when it comes to the web, i see a lot of gaps (even if the os itself is based on security). privacy is a human right. think of stallman & co. .

point 2: yes, i hope one stays with it. everything else would be the opposite of freedom, even if now the whole os doesn’t collapse anymore when you uninstall only pre-installed flatpaks. freedom implies personal choice, without detours.

point3: yes, a backup is imho the better solution. after a look at spideroak, i remembered that i have a tresorit account anyway and can backup certain data here via the browser in a secure encrypted way and without installing anything. but that’s imho not a solution because it’s not a backup in the classical sense. i take a look at clonezilla, thx for the tip.

pojnt4: a pity, i have the impression that deployments would be suitable for such a purpose and i am sure there would be a technical solution to accomplish this for the user. on the other hand, security aspects surely play a role. let’s see for the future. these backup solutions discussed here are not satisfactory. why 3rd party software, if you could also work with in-house tools - based on the architecture of the os itself.



first it is totally off-topic.

Secondly, Chrome/ium is very unlikely to be your solution to get away from Google. Sure, Mozilla may have made some mistakes in the past, but at least they have been/are transparent about what they do. Unlike Chrome/ium, which now forces you to login with your Google account and whatever they may also do as this projects shows, which you may like. And note it is also about browser (engine) diversity and so Firefox is a god choice, or e.g. Epiphany, which is based on the WebKit (Safari, …) engine. And I’ve never had performance problems or so with Epiphany…
Also note that Brave is also not uncontroversial… In general, I doubt any Chromium-forked browser is any solution. It’s just not independent.


yes, sorry for o.t. - it was meant as a general remark. but if this topic is forced in a corresponding way like here, i have to answer like this (the facts):

of course it is a solution. brave is chromium - based & here is a link to what has been achieved so far ( . and here is a link that refers to the inevitable future: adblocker & googles manifest v3 . firefox/mozilla isn’t a good choice, because ff is a telemetry monster (without a proper user.config) and sends more data to google (and of course mozilla itself) than brave. this is obvious in the windows community but ignored in the linux community. and if brave is in a position to do so (see link), then fedora is also in a position to do so with chromium, if fedora is also interested in user-privacy-aspects. if fedora isn’t interested in this, i’m not any more interestet in fedora, despite this wonderful silverblue - os.

sören hentzschel wrote in a comment: “advertising is an integral part of the web and necessary for economic reasons.”

that’s firefox in these days. i think it’s enough.