Borg Backup divides your Backup in little encrypted Chunks - like little Borg cubes ;). Borgs Backup key features are encryption and differential Backups

Generally they also have an really really nice documentation. So if you want to dive deep into the cube just use their documentation.

How to Install on Mac OS X

When you're using Mac OS X, I think you already use Brew. So if not here is how to install Brew:

Get Brew Package Manager

Its self explanatory: The cool thing with this install script is they tell you what they do.

But be careful when executing unknown scripts in your terminal.

Install Borg with Brew


brew cask install borgbackup

Then you'll get something like this:

==> Verifying SHA-256 checksum for Cask 'borgbackup'.
==> Installing Cask borgbackup
==> Linking Binary 'borg-macosx64' to '/usr/local/bin/borg'.
🍺  borgbackup was successfully installed!
➜  wdbook_1 

Now you can follow the quickstep guide here:

If you don't want to follow the guide here is what I did:

➜  ~ borg init --encryption=repokey /Volumes/wdbook_1 

After that borgbackup asks you for a password, use a secure password and be sure to write this password down somewhere or its a password you really can remember.

Then we need to extract the key for safety, put this key in different safe places, because without the key you won't be able to access your backup.

➜  borgbackup borg key export . ~/borg_key

I saved the borg key in my home directory. You can inspect the key with cat.

you'll get something like this:

BORG_KEY 4xwvZdd2GTKnFEcpPQL3cSTaB4ewUJuCpLj9JxdGeF4ERtBcMKjcQYpfPKYZFdpy4xwv

Why the hassle with the encryption?

This way you can be sure nobody can access your backup with proper authentication. For example imagine your external backup hard drives gets stolen with all your personal files.  Or maybe you wanna use Cloud Storage for saving your files somewhere. This way you can be sure that nobody can access your files. It's really easy to make a copy for example from your external backup drive to some cloud storage.

Another reason is modern SSDs. You probably have already your system parition encrypted and thats really good, because if you choose to sell your hard drive or your ssd on ebay for example, it's really hard to get rid of items on your ssd completely. You never can be sure with SSDs and modern HDDs that the sector  on your hard drive is really overwritten (if you use dd for example to zero out your hdd).

Especially this is really good if you use those little orange LaCie-Hdds.

External Backup on a LaCie - Hdd. You see those really often used by Hipsters and Photographers.

Backup things

To backup all your things its easy:

➜  wdbook_1 borg create borgbackup::First /Volumes/wdbook_2 .

Where borgbackup is the path to your Borg-Backup repository. Imagine it like the index for your files.

After that /Volumes/wdbook_2 is the path to your folder you want to backup. And the last argument in my case is: . . .-references to the current folder I'm in. In my case it's the other external Harddrive.


If you want to see the progress:


After that it will take a while depening on the size of the backup.

If you interrupt the Backup-Process. Then just restart the borg create. It will resume the backup proecss.

If you want make a new Backup just do it again with the same Repository and it will do an incremental Backup.

You can list your archives with:


To Restore:




If you're happy with Borgbackup please consider supporting them, the donation site is hard to find. So consider donating them a sum, before you give your money to some twitch streamer.

Donations, Bounties and Fundraisers

Official Documentation

How-To automated Backups to local Hard-Drive

BorgBackup GitHub

Stuff you can buy

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LaCie External HardDrive

External HDD