How to Use the Rsync Utility to Make a Remote Backup of a Linux System | #linux | #linuxsecurity

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We cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a backup. Natural disasters, cyberattacks, or other devastating events can happen when you least expect them. To be on the safe side, it is always recommended to have round-the-clock system backups to ensure business continuity in case of service interruption.

One of the more useful backup utilities for Linux systems is the rsync utility. Rsync, short for remote sync, is a data transfer and synchronization tool that intelligently transfers and synchronizes files between directories or across networked computer systems. It achieves this by comparing file sizes and modification times. If the file size and modification times are different, then it transfers the files from the directory or system that hosts the files to another directory or remote system. 

Rsync is configured to securely transfer and synchronize data over the SSH protocol. The file synchronization happens immediately, and with the proper backup testing process in place, you can rest assured that you have a safe, accurate backup. 

In an earlier tutorial, we covered how to make local backups using rsync. In this guide, we will go a step further and demonstrate how to make a remote backup — i.e., your data is stored in a separate machine — using the rsync utility.


As you get started, ensure you have the following:

  1. SSH is installed and running on both the local and destination servers. Chances are SSH daemon is already installed and no further action is required.

To check the version of SSH you are running, run the following command:

$ ssh -V

  1. In addition, you need two Linux servers — the source or local server and the remote server. Here is the lab setup we will use to demonstrate how rsync works:

Local Server IP: (Ubuntu 20.04)

Remote Server IP: (CentOS 8)

  1. Lastly, ensure you have a local user configured with sudo privileges.

Step 1: Install Rsync on the Local Server

To start off, ensure that rsync is installed. In this example, we will install rsync (Read more…)

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