Best Linux Cloud Backup in 2021: Protection for Penguins

A lot of the top backup providers are incompatible with Linux, which severely limits your options. Join us as we go through the list of the five best backup services for Linux devices.

Aleksander Hougen
By Aleksander Hougen (Editor)
— Last Updated: 2021-02-25T15:34:10+00:00

Backing up your devices is critical if you want to protect yourself from things like data loss, ransomware attacks or hardware failure. The best way to do this is through a dedicated backup service, but unfortunately, many of the best backup solutions do not support any Linux operating systems. That’s why we’ve created this list of the best Linux cloud backup software to help you keep your data safe.

Key Takeaways:

  • If you don’t mind mediocre speeds, then IDrive is easily the best option for cloud backup on Linux due to its affordable plans, rich feature set and well-designed web interface as well as premade perl scripts.
  • CloudBerry Backup and Duplicati are great choices for power users who are already paying for a separate cloud storage service, as they allow lots of control over your backup, but they don’t come with any dedicated storage space of their own.
  • SpiderOak One and Jottacloud are a great fit for those who value data privacy above all else. The former is a bit expensive, but the latter offers great value as you get unlimited storage space that allows you to create a backup of your entire Linux device.

If you just want to know what our top pick is right off the bat, then the answer is IDrive. The service tops our list of the best online backup in general, and through some premade perl scripts it can be used on Linux devices as well, even though there’s no dedicated desktop client.

Unfortunately, many of our other top cloud backup picks feature no Linux compatibility whatsoever. This includes popular services such as Backblaze and Carbonite (read our Backblaze review and Carbonite review for more information).

  • If you want to backup your entire device in one fell swoop, you’ll want a backup solution that supports disk-image backup, such as IDrive or Jottacloud. If your device is smaller than 10TB, the former is the best option, but those with larger hard drives will want to take advantage of Jottacloud’s unlimited storage.

  • For our money it’s IDrive, though those looking to optimize upload and download speed or wanting a huge degree of control over the backup process might be better served by CloudBerry Backup.

  • That depends entirely on how much cloud storage space you need, how highly you value security, and whether you want in-depth control over every detail of your backup. IDrive and Jottacloud are some of the most reasonable options at $69.50 per year for 5TB of storage and roughly $9 per month for unlimited storage, respectively.

  1. 1
    • Continuous Backup
    • Incremental Backup
    • External Drive Backup
    • NAS Backup
    • Unlimited Backup: No
    • Versioning
    • Private Encryption
    5 GB - 12.5 TB
    $ 579
  2. 2
    • Continuous Backup
    • Incremental Backup
    • External Drive Backup
    • NAS Backup
    • Unlimited Backup: Only on Ultimate Plan
    • Versioning
    • Private Encryption
    5 TB - Unlimited GB
    $ 4999
  3. 3
    • Continuous Backup
    • Incremental Backup
    • External Drive Backup
    • NAS Backup: No
    • Unlimited Backup: No
    • Versioning
    • Private Encryption
    150 GB - 5 TB
    $ 575
  4. 4
    • Continuous Backup
    • Incremental Backup
    • External Drive Backup
    • NAS Backup
    • Unlimited Backup
    • Versioning
    • Private Encryption
    5-Unlimited GB
    $ 658
    Save 17 %
  5. 5
    • Continuous Backup
    • Incremental Backup
    • External Drive Backup
    • NAS Backup
    • Unlimited Backup: No
    • Versioning
    • Private Encryption

What Makes the Best Online Backup for Linux?

Obviously the most important characteristic a backup service needs to have to qualify is Linux support. Beyond this basic requirement, we’ll be judging the various services on the same criteria that we usually do: namely features, ease of use, pricing, speed, file backup and restoration, security, privacy and finally customer support.

It’s also important to note the difference between online backup and cloud storage. The latter (for example Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive) focuses on syncing files between devices and sharing them with other people, whereas the former generally provides more storage and is primarily used to keep a copy of your devices on the cloud.

  1. IDrive — Feature-rich and affordable Linux online backup
  2. CloudBerry Backup — Online backup with in-depth customization intended for power users
  3. SpiderOak One — Backup solution with top-notch privacy and security
  4. Jottacloud — Unlimited backup storage for a low price with privacy-friendly servers
  5. Duplicati — Open-source software that relies entirely on a web client

As mentioned, IDrive tops our list. CloudBerry Backup isn’t far behind, and although it’s a fairly complicated piece of software compared to other services, Linux users will probably find this to be less of a problem than the average Windows or Mac user. Next up is SpiderOak One, which has been recommended by Edward Snowden himself for its fantastic security and privacy.

In fourth place is Jottacloud, which makes the list for its great handling of data privacy (owing to its servers located in privacy-friendly Norway) and in-depth photo management. Finally, Duplicati brings up the rear of our top five due to the fact that it’s a free (though no storage is included) piece of open-source software that’s completely web based.

1. IDrive

linux cloud backup idrive
IDrive is easy to use despite its multitude of features.

More details about IDrive:

  • Pricing: 5GB free; 5TB for $69.50 per year
  • Provider website: www.idrive.com

Pros:

  • Feature-rich
  • Great prices
  • Unlimited devices

Cons:

  • Slow
  • No desktop client for Linux
  • No monthly plan

IDrive is our favorite online backup solution in general, and unlike many of our other favorites, it actually works on Linux devices. However, Linux users will have to install scripts to automate the backup process, which is a bit unfortunate but shouldn’t be the biggest hurdle. IDrive’s web interface, which is great, is still available on the platform as well.

Luckily, you won’t have to create these scripts yourself. IDrive provides a set of prebuilt script files (written in perl) as well as a tutorial on how to set them up. This means that it shouldn’t be much harder to set up IDrive on Linux than it is on Windows or Mac, even without the dedicated desktop client to hold your hand. The scripts themselves are compatible with Ubuntu, CentOS, Fedora, OpenSUSE, FreeBSD and Linux Mint devices. 

IDrive’s Hybrid Approach to Online Backup & Cloud Storage

While most online backup solutions focus on letting you set up an automated backup process and nothing else, IDrive also serves as a regular cloud storage service due to its file sync and share capabilities. This means that besides the automated backup, you can drop individual files or folders into a sync folder, which can then be shared with other people.

linux cloud backup idrive cta
Not only is IDrive full of features, it’s pretty cheap, too.

One of the best things about IDrive is its incredibly affordable pricing as well as its free plan. Although free plans are standard for regular cloud storage solutions, it’s much less common for dedicated backup services. If the 5GB of storage provided for free isn’t enough (it probably isn’t), you can get 5TB of storage for just $69.50 per year.

Free
  • Storage: 5 GB
Personal 10TB
  • Large discount for first-time signup.
  • Storage: 10000 GB

Due to its incredible wealth of features, there is a lot we could say about IDrive that’s outside the scope of this article. Suffice it to say that apart from its slow speed and lack of monthly plans, there’s very little to complain about, but if you want to learn all the details about our favorite backup service, you can check out our full IDrive review for more information.

2. CloudBerry Backup

linux cloud backup cloudberry
CloudBerry backup has a button or menu for everything.

More details about CloudBerry Backup:

Pros:

  • In-depth customization
  • Dedicated Linux client
  • Fast

Cons:

  • No storage included
  • Dated interface
  • Not for casual users

CloudBerry Backup is a service entirely aimed at power users. While the computer-illiterate might find the sheer number of options and setup requirements intimidating, Linux users are generally more comfortable with this sort of stuff, which is why the service ranks much higher on this list than our other top five backup comparisons.

Unlike our top pick, CloudBerry offers a fully fledged desktop client for Linux, complete with all the options and settings you get on any other operating system. In terms of compatibility, CloudBerry will run on a number of Linux distributions, namely Ubuntu, Debian, SUSE Enterprise, openSUSE, Fedora, Red Hat, CentOS, Oracle Linux and Amazon Linux.

However, it’s important to note that you don’t actually get any cloud storage space with your purchase of CloudBerry, as this needs to be acquired separately from a third party (such as Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure or Amazon S3) and connected to the service manually.

In-Depth Customization With CloudBerry Backup

Hands down the most impressive thing about CloudBerry is the incredible amount of control you get over your backup process. Unlike other more basic services, CloudBerry lets you really dive into the nitty-gritty and customize everything from schedules, bandwidth and CPU caps, notifications, backup reports and pretty much anything else you can think of.

linux cloud backup cloudberry cta
Paying for a service with no storage isn’t ideal, but at least it won’t break the bank.

As we mentioned, CloudBerry doesn’t actually run any of its own servers, meaning you don’t get any storage space with your purchase. This means your expenses will depend more on the storage provider you choose than CloudBerry itself. That said, you don’t need to pay a recurring subscription for CloudBerry, as you get a lifelong personal Linux software license for as low as a one-time fee of $29.99.

Desktop Pro
  • Annual Maintenance Fee: $10
  • Storage: 5000 GB
Windows Server
  • Annual Maintenance Fee: $24
  • Storage: Unlimited GB
MS SQL Server
  • Annual Maintenance Fee: $30
  • Storage: Unlimited GB
MS Exchange
  • Annual Maintenance Fee: $46
  • Storage: Unlimited GB
Ultimate
  • Annual Maintenance Fee: $60
  • Storage: Unlimited GB

There is simply no way to cover everything CloudBerry can do in the space allotted to us in this quick summary – more so than any other service on this list. That said, if you’re a power user interested in exerting the maximum amount of control over your software, make sure to head over to our full CloudBerry review for all the juicy details on what you can do with the software.

3. SpiderOak One Backup

linux cloud backup spideroak
SpiderOak One Backup is both easy to use and highly secure.

More details about SpiderOak One:

Pros:

  • Top-notch security & privacy
  • Sync & share functionality
  • Unlimited versioning & devices

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No Android or iOS backup
  • No disk imaging

SpiderOak One is another excellent choice for backing up Linux devices. The software looks pretty much identical on Linux as it does on other operating systems — that is to say that it’s pleasantly designed and easy to use. If you’re the kind of user who prefers to use a command-line tool and scripts to perform your backups, then SpiderOak has you covered there, too.

If your Linux device is running Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS or OpenSUSE, it can install and run SpiderOak. Besides its Linux compatibility and excellent privacy (more on that in the next section) SpiderOak One features good speeds, sync and share functionality and unlimited access to previous versions of files.

Keep Your Data Private With SpiderOak One Backup

SpiderOak One made headlines back in 2014 when it received an endorsement from none other than Edward Snowden for its excellent stance on user and data privacy. It landed this high-profile recommendation by offering zero-knowledge encryption (meaning only you have the encryption key) and a clear and concise privacy policy.

linux cloud backup spideroak cta
Unfortunately SpiderOak is on the expensive side of things, but you get the security and privacy you pay for.

Price is without a doubt SpiderOak’s greatest weakness, and it’s the main reason why it languishes in third place on this list rather than rising to the top. There’s no free plan (though there is a 21-day trial) and the subscription with the best value proposition is the 2TB plan which will run you $14 per month or $149 per year — nearly triple IDrive’s cost for less than half the space.

SpiderOak is without a doubt one of the best choices for Linux users who value data security and privacy and are willing to pay for it. That’s not all the backup solution has to offer though, so be sure to check out our full SpiderOak One review to learn everything you can about the service.

4. Jottacloud

linux cloud backup jottacloud
Jottacloud is a great option for those looking to backup disk images or photos.

More details about Jottacloud:

  • Pricing: 5GB free; unlimited storage for roughly $9 per month
  • Provider website: www.jottacloud.com

Pros:

  • Great photo backup
  • Servers located in privacy-friendly Norway
  • Unlimited storage

Cons:

  • No zero-knowledge encryption
  • No block-level file copying
  • Can’t backup individual files

Like IDrive, Jottacloud doesn’t provide a dedicated desktop client for Linux like it does for Windows or MacOS. Instead, there’s a web interface and a command-line tool. The former will work anywhere, while the latter is compatible with Debian, Ubuntu, Red Hat, CentOS and FreeBSD.

Luckily, you don’t have to be a script wizard to use the command-line tool, as Jottacloud provides full tutorials on how to install and use the software on any of the Linux distributions mentioned above.

Backup Your Photos With Jottacloud

Jottacloud features a fully fledged suite of photo management tools, with everything from custom albums to social media integration and photo sharing. It also supports a huge range of image and video formats and doesn’t compress video files when you upload them to your online storage. This makes it an excellent Google Photos alternative for Linux users.

linux cloud backup jottacloud cta
Unlimited storage for just $9 per month makes Jottacloud very good value.

If you just need a small amount of backup storage, Jottacloud offers a free plan with 5GB of space. Beyond that, all paid plans come with unlimited storage — the difference between them being how many users you can add to the plan. 

The basic Personal plan covers one user and costs roughly $9 per month, but note that this is an approximation as Jottacloud doesn’t offer prices in U.S. dollars, but in euros.

Jottacloud is an excellent backup solution for those looking to just create a copy of their entire device. If you’d like to be more selective with what you upload to the cloud, then you’re better off with one of the other services listed here. As always, you can check out our full Jottacloud review if the service sounds like it’s for you.

5. Duplicati

linux cloud backup duplicati
Duplicati is a great, if somewhat basic, backup service for power users.

More details about Duplicati:

Pros:

  • Free
  • Open source
  • Supports a wide range of third-party storage providers

Cons:

  • Lacking in features

If CloudBerry sounds like the sort of software you’d like, but you’re not sure about paying extra for a service that doesn’t come with any storage, then Duplicati is an excellent alternative. It also supports a much wider range of storage providers, and to top it all off, it’s free to use.

In terms of Linux distributions, Duplicati supports Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and Red Hat. Although this is a much shorter list than most of our other picks, it still covers the most popular distributions, so the majority of Linux users should be able to use the service without any problems.

Duplicati’s Open-Source Transparency

There’s quite a few things to like about Duplicati, but the fact that it’s completely open source stands out. Although this might not sound like the biggest deal, it does mean that you don’t have to take the company on its word regarding any privacy or security claims, as any third party can simply scroll through the source code and check for themselves.

linux cloud backup duplicati cta
Duplicati is a great free alternative to CloudBerry.

Unlike CloudBerry, which operates similarly to Duplicati, the latter is completely free. There’s no paid version at all, so all you need to pay for is your storage space from a third-party provider, which can be anything from consumer-facing services like Google Drive and Dropbox (read our Dropbox review) to more professional solutions such as Amazon S3 and Google Cloud Storage.

At the end of the day, Duplicati serves as a great free backup alternative to CloudBerry, albeit one with a lot fewer features and options for customization. If you already have a cloud storage subscription and want to set up a backup process for free, make sure to read our full Duplicati review for all the details.

Honorable Mentions

The above five backup solutions represent the best options for personal Linux users looking to backup their data. However, there are a few other services that are also decent options, but didn’t make the main list as they’re primarily focused on providing business backup.

Acronis Cyber Backup

linux cloud backup acronis
If you don’t mind paying for a business solution, Acronis is an excellent choice for backup security and ransomware protection.

Acronis Cyber Backup is the business-facing part of Acronis True Image (read our Acronis review). Because of this scope it doesn’t make our top five, but it’s still an excellent solution for small businesses looking to backup their Linux servers or even private individuals who don’t mind paying a bit extra if it means getting access to a full suite of ransomware protection and antivirus tools.

CrashPlan for Small Business

linux cloud backup crashplan
CrashPlan is great if you don’t mind paying a little extra, especially if you want cloud backup for multiple users.

Our next honorable mention is another business-focused backup solution. At $10 per month per device CrashPlan is a bit expensive, but it’s easily the best online backup for small business, as it comes with unlimited storage and a range of administration tools that give you a lot of control over your company’s backups. Check out our full CrashPlan review if this is what you’re looking for.

Final Thoughts

With that we’ve reached the end of our list of the best backup solutions for Linux devices. Unfortunately, it’s a sad reality that for cloud backup, Linux users are significantly more limited than their Windows or MacOS counterparts. That said, there are still a few good options out there, especially for power users who don’t mind getting into the nitty-gritty of their software.

What did you think of our list? Do you agree that IDrive is the best choice for Linux backup or do you think the lackluster speeds are too much of a disadvantage? Have you used any of the services we listed here? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.