How to install the networkable UrBackup

If you need a network back-up solution that's easy to install, Jack Wallen recommends UrBackup.


Your back ups are crucial to your business. But for many small-sized businesses, the cost of a good back-up solution could be a bit beyond the budget. That's one of the many situations where the Linux platform shines. Of course, once you start digging around you'll find there are almost too many solutions to try. What do you do? You could always turn to UrBackup. With this particular server-client solution, you install the server on Linux, which then allows you to back up any Windows, macOS, or Linux machine (using the UrBackup client software) to the server.

Let's do just that. I'll demonstrate with an Ubuntu Server 18.04 server instance, backing up a MacBook Pro, running Mojave.

Installing the server

The first thing we must do is install the server software. To do this, open a terminal window on Ubuntu Server and do the following:

  1. Add the necessary repository with the command sudo add-apt-repository ppa:uroni/urbackup
  2. Update apt with the command sudo apt update
  3. Install the server with the command sudo apt install urbackup-server

That's all there is to the installation of the server. Open a web browser and point it to http://localhost:55414. You should see the UrBackup web-based interface, where you can add clients.

SEE: Power checklist: Managing and troubleshooting Linux user accounts (Tech Pro Research)

Connecting the client to the server

How you install the client depends upon the hosting platform. Both macOS and Windows clients have point and click installers, so download the installer for your platform and run the file to install.

Once the client has installed, you'll find an icon in your desktop system tray. Click on the icon and then click Settings. In the settings window, you'll need to set the IP of the Server. This option is set in the Internet tab (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

Setting the IP address of the UrBackup server.

Once you've configured the IP address of your server, click OK.

Next, click on the UrBackup system tray icon and click Add/Remove backup paths. In this window (Figure B), click the Add Path Button and locate the directory to be backed up.

Figure B

Figure B

Setting your backup path for the client

With that taken care of, click Ok and you're all set up. Go back to the web-based server interface and click the Add New Client button. In the resulting window (Figure C), click the checkbox for Discover New Internet Client via IP/Hostname hint and type the IP address of your client.

Figure C

Figure C

Adding a client to the server.

Click the Add Client, and you should then see the client listed (Figure D). At this point, it will be listed as No Recent Backup in the File Backup Status (that's okay because UrBackup is busy indexing the back up).

Figure D

Figure D

Our client is now listed.

The back up should happen automatically after indexing completes. The indexing can take some time (depending upon how much data you have to back up). Eventually, you can open a terminal, issue the sudo -s command, and then issue the command cd /media/BACKUPS/urbackup. Within that directory, change into the subdirectory for your client and issue the ls command to see your back up. By default, the incremental back up will occur every 12 hours and a full back up every 30 days. You can change those options in the UrBackup Client app in Settings | File backups.

Congratulations. You now have a very simple, reliable internet back up system up and running. Make sure to poke around the web-based interface, as there is a bit more you can do from there. UrBackup should serve you well. Make sure to install the client on every machine on your network that needs to be backed up to the server, and you'll enjoy the peace of mind that comes along with having copies of your data.

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