Simple Bash Backup Script


(c) 2001 Chris Arrowood (GNU LGPL V2.1) You may view the full copyright text at:

A simple BASH script to do nightly backups to tarballs on a hard drive (not to tape). Ideal for home linux users to easily backup shier system, provided they have an extra hard drive.

This script is designed to run every night via a cron event. When you install and configure the script, you chose one night a week for the script to perform a full backup. On other nights it will only back up files that have changed since the last full backup. All backups result in a tarball of files (compressed if you enable it) written to a directory that you choose (best if on a different hard drive than the one you are backing up from). Options include emailing of results, logging, compression of backups, compression of logs, verbose mode, quiet mode, etc.

I wrote this script in August of 2001 to backup my home linux box. Although there were many excellent backup solutions already available, I couldn't find one to meet my needs. I wanted something to simply create a full, compressed backup of my home RH7 Linux box every week and save that as a compressed tarball (*.tar.gz) on a separate hard drive. I did not see any sense in buying a tape drive for my home system when disk drives are dirt cheap, much faster, and in my opinion, more reliable and durable.

As fully detailed in the copyright, there is no warranty of any kind on this product. See link provided in the COPYRIGHT section above for full details. Always thoroughly test any backup solution you choose. For what its worth, I do use it to back up my home system.



No further development is planned on this project. Being a bash script, most savvy users can edit it to suit their own needs. However, if substantial bugs are found, or if enough people ask for a new feature, I will take it into consideration.


A big thank you to for hosting this website and project. I can't count how many times I have found a software solution that I needed from their repository!