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How to back up your videos on Linux

If you have a ton of video files on your Linux PC that you don’t want to lose, backing them up is a good idea. There are many different ways to create backups for video files on Linux. In this guide, we’ll cover the two best ways to do it.

Method 1 – Tar backup

If you want to make a quick backup of your video files on Linux, a great way to go is with the Tar tool. It’s a program included by default on all Linux operating systems and allows users to quickly and easily create compressed archives of files and folders.

To start your video files’ backup process using the Tar command on Linux, open up a terminal window and follow the step-by-step instructions outlined below.

Step 1: Launch the Linux file manager on your desktop. Once the file manager is open, use it to place all video files you plan to back up into the “Videos” folder in your home directory (~).

By placing all of the video files in the “Videos” directory, you’ll be able to save time by skipping the need to create a video backup folder to place your files in.

Step 2: After moving all of the video files into the “Video” folder, verify that you can see these files in the terminal by executing the ls command below.

ls ~/Videos

Step 3: Once you’ve verified with the terminal that the video files are in place, the backup can begin. Using the tar czvf command, create a new backup of your “Videos” folder. Keep in mind that this backup will take quite a long time, especially if you have movie files, TV episodes, or large HD video files from a DSLR or HD camcorder camera.

tar czvf my-video-file-backup.tar.gz Videos/

Step 4: When the compression process is complete, your backup will be done, and you will see a file with the name of my-video-file-backup.tar.gz appear in the home directory. 

From here, you can take my-video-file-backup.tar.gz and upload it to Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Home Server, or an external USB storage device.

Encrypt your files

If you’ve created a backup of your video files using Tar, you might also want to encrypt it. Encryption can protect your backup from prying eyes, and while it’s not required, it’s a great idea if you’re backing up highly personal video files.

To encrypt your backup, start by running the gpg –help command. Then, when the command is finished, and you’ve confirmed it is installed, execute the gpg command below to encrypt your backup.

gpg -c my-video-file-backup.tar.gz

If you need to decrypt the file, run:

gpg my-video-file-backup.tar.gz

Once the encryption process is complete, you can delete the unencrypted backup using the rm command below.

rm my-video-file-backup.tar.gz

From here, take my-video-file-backup.tar.gz.gpg and upload it to Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Home Server, or an external USB storage device for safekeeping.

Restore the backup

To restore your Tar backup, decrypt it with the Gpg tool. Then, once it is decrypted, place the “my-video-file-backup.tar.gz” file in the home directory (~) using the Linux file manager and run the command below.

tar xvf my-video-file-backup.tar.gz

Method 2 – Kbackup backup

Another way to create a backup of video files on Linux is with the Kbackup tool. It’s a great way to back up files, as it doesn’t require a lot of configuration and is easy to understand for most users.

However, before we can get into how to make a backup of your video files using Kbackup, we must demonstrate how to install it. To start the installation, open up a terminal window on the Linux desktop. Then, follow the command-line instructions down below.


sudo apt install kbackup


sudo apt-get install kbackup

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S kbackup


sudo dnf install kbackup


sudo zypper install kbackup

With the Kbackup tool installed on your Linux PC, launch it by searching for it in the app menu. Once the program is open, find the left-hand sidebar, and click on the arrow next to the “home” folder. 

After clicking on the arrow next to the “home” folder, you will see a folder with your username. Click the arrow next to it to reveal its contents. Inside of your username folder, locate the “Videos” directory, and check the box next to it to select it for backing up with Kbackup.

Next, head over to the “Target” section of Kbackup and click on the folder icon next to the “Folder” text box to bring up the pop-up window. Then, use the pop-up window to tell Kbackup where to save your backup.

Once you’ve configured the target for your backup, find the “Start Backup” button, and click on it to start the backup process. When it is complete, you’ll be able to upload your backup to Dropbox, OpenDrive, or another storage medium for safekeeping.

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