How to Install UrBackup on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

UrBackup is a versatile and powerful open-source backup solution, designed to protect data across various platforms. This guide will demonstrate how to install UrBackup on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04, showcasing a straightforward process for securing your digital assets. Renowned for its efficiency and flexibility, UrBackup stands out due to its unique features:

  • Client-Server Architecture: Offers centralized management, enhancing ease of use.
  • Incremental File and Image Backups: Saves time and storage space by backing up only changed elements.
  • Easy Recovery: Users can swiftly restore files or entire systems.
  • Versatile File and Image Backup: Supports both file and complete system image backups.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Works seamlessly with various operating systems.
  • Web Interface: Simplifies backup management through an accessible web portal.
  • Strong Encryption: Ensures data safety with robust encryption protocols.

The following sections will guide you through the installation process of UrBackup on your Ubuntu system, ensuring a seamless and secure backup solution for your valuable data.

Install UrBackup on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

Step 1: Update Ubuntu Before Installing UrBackup

To ensure a smooth installation, start by updating your Ubuntu system. This step is crucial to prevent any compatibility issues or software conflicts.

Execute the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

This command updates the list of available packages and their versions and then upgrades the installed packages to the latest version, ensuring your system is current.

Step 2: Import UrBackup LaunchPAD PPA

UrBackup is not included in the default Ubuntu software repositories. To install it, add the UrBackup LaunchPAD PPA (Personal Package Archive) to your system. PPAs provide access to software not available in the official Ubuntu repositories.

Run this command to add the UrBackup PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:uroni/urbackup

Adding this PPA to your system ensures you get the official and latest version of UrBackup, directly from the developers.

Step 3: Refresh APT Package Index

After adding the PPA, it’s important to refresh your APT package index. This action updates your system’s package list with the new entries from the UrBackup PPA.

Run the following command to refresh:

sudo apt update

Refreshing the package index is crucial whenever you add new software sources, guaranteeing that your package manager accurately recognizes and handles new or updated packages.

Step 4: Install UrBackup via APT Command

With the UrBackup PPA in place and your package list updated, proceed to install UrBackup.

Run the following command to start the installation:

sudo apt install urbackup-server

This command retrieves and installs the UrBackup server package from the recently added PPA.

During the installation, you will encounter a prompt regarding the configuration of the UrBackup server. You can either retain the default settings or specify a different location for UrBackup data at this stage.

Terminal prompt for UrBackup server backup location
Terminal screen showing UrBackup server backup location setup

Enable UrBackup on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

Step 1: Verify UrBackup Service

After successfully installing UrBackup, it’s essential to check whether the UrBackup service is active and running. This verification step is crucial to ensure that the UrBackup server starts functioning properly.

Use the following command to check the service status:

systemctl status urbackupsrv

This command provides the current status of the UrBackup server service. It shows whether the service is active, and running, or if there are any issues that need attention.

Terminal output for UrBackup service check on Ubuntu
Systemd service status output for UrBackup on Ubuntu

Step 2: Enable UrBackup (If Required)

If you find that the UrBackup service is not running, it’s necessary to enable it. Enabling the service ensures that UrBackup starts automatically, particularly after system reboots, providing consistent backup functionality.

Use this command to enable the UrBackup service:

sudo systemctl enable urbackupsrv --now

This command not only enables the UrBackup service but also starts it immediately (--now). This is an important step in ensuring that your UrBackup server is always operational, providing reliable backup services without manual intervention after each reboot.

Access WebUI and Configure UrBackup on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

Accessing the UrBackup Web Interface

UrBackup’s web interface is a pivotal component for managing your backup strategy.

  1. Open Your Web Browser: Any modern browser will work.
  2. Enter the Interface Address: Navigate to http://[YourServerIP]:55414, replacing [YourServerIP] with the IP address of the server where UrBackup is installed.

This web interface is your control panel for all UrBackup operations, offering a comprehensive view of your backup environment.

Default UI of UrBackup on Ubuntu
First look at UrBackup’s default user interface on Ubuntu

Configuring Backup Paths and Settings

Customizing your backup configurations is critical for tailored data protection:

  1. Access Settings: In the UrBackup interface, go to the ‘Settings’ menu.
  2. Define Backup Paths: Input the directories you need to back up, like /home for user data and /etc for system configurations.
  3. Customize Backup Parameters: Set parameters such as ‘Full file backups’ to weekly and ‘Incremental file backups’ to daily, balancing between thoroughness and resource usage.

These configurations ensure your backups are both comprehensive and efficient, covering all necessary data without overuse of resources.

UrBackup UI settings section on Ubuntu
UrBackup’s settings section interface on Ubuntu

Setting Up Client-Side Settings

Configuring each client in your network correctly is vital:

  1. Install Client Software: Ensure the UrBackup client is installed on all machines requiring backups.
  2. Configure Client Connectivity: In the client settings, input the server’s IP to establish a connection.
  3. Set Client Preferences: Define specific settings like permissible backup times and data transfer limits to optimize network and server loads.

This step is crucial for ensuring each client is correctly communicating with the server and adhering to your network’s backup policy.

Implementing Backup Storage Management

Effective management of your backup storage prevents data overload and ensures longevity:

  1. Select Storage Location: In your server settings, specify where backups should be stored.
  2. Limit Storage Usage: Set a cap, like 500GB, to prevent overuse of storage resources.
  3. Activate Automatic Cleanup: This feature helps in maintaining a healthy storage lifecycle, removing older backups to free up space.

By managing your storage space effectively, you maintain a sustainable backup system that avoids data loss due to storage overflows.

Setting Up Email Notifications

Email notifications keep you informed and responsive to your backup system’s status:

  1. Configure Email Settings: In the ‘Email Notification Settings’, enter your email server details, like SMTP server, port, and login credentials.
  2. Select Notification Types: Choose which events you want to be notified about, such as successful backups or errors.

This proactive approach ensures you’re always aware of the status of your backups, allowing for timely intervention if issues arise.

Establishing Security Measures

Robust security measures are non-negotiable in protecting sensitive backup data:

  1. Enable Backup Encryption: This ensures your data is secure both in transit and at rest.
  2. Update Security Protocols Regularly: Regularly changing passwords and updating access controls is crucial.
  3. Implement Network Security: Firewalls or similar tools can restrict access to the UrBackup interface, preventing unauthorized access.

These steps fortify your backups against external threats and unauthorized access, safeguarding your critical data.

Creating Backup Schedules

Automating backups through schedules ensures consistency and reliability:

  1. Define Backup Timelines: In the ‘Backup Schedules’ section, set up times and frequencies for various types of backups.
  2. Tailor Schedules to Your Needs: For instance, schedule full backups monthly and incremental backups nightly.

By strategically scheduling backups, you ensure continuous data protection while optimizing resource usage and minimizing disruptions to normal operations.

Reverse Proxy Setup with Apache or Nginx for UrBackup on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

Apache Reverse Proxy Configuration

Installing Apache

To set up a reverse proxy with Apache, first ensure Apache is installed on your system. The installation can be done using the command:

sudo apt install apache2

This command ensures the Apache web server is installed and ready for configuration on your Ubuntu server.

Enabling Required Modules

For a reverse proxy setup, certain Apache modules need to be enabled. These include proxy, proxy_http, and ssl for handling various types of traffic. Enable these modules with the following commands:

sudo a2enmod proxy
sudo a2enmod proxy_http
sudo a2enmod ssl

Enabling these modules is critical for the proxy to function correctly, especially if you plan to handle secure HTTPS traffic.

Configuring Apache for UrBackup

After installing Apache and enabling necessary modules, the next step is to create and configure a virtual host for UrBackup. Create a configuration file using:

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/urbackup.conf

In this file, input the configuration that directs Apache to act as a reverse proxy for UrBackup. An example configuration is as follows:

<VirtualHost *:80>
  ProxyPass / http://localhost:55414/
  ProxyPassReverse / http://localhost:55414/

Replace with your domain name. The ProxyPass and ProxyPassReverse directives should point to the local UrBackup port, ensuring that requests to your domain are correctly routed to the UrBackup server.

Activating the Configuration

Once the configuration file is in place, activate the new virtual host and restart Apache to apply the changes:

sudo a2ensite urbackup.conf
sudo systemctl restart apache2

These commands enable the UrBackup site configuration and reload Apache to start serving requests through the new reverse proxy setup.

Nginx Reverse Proxy Configuration

Installing Nginx

If you prefer to use Nginx as your reverse proxy, begin by ensuring that Nginx is installed:

sudo apt install nginx

This command installs Nginx on your Ubuntu server, preparing it for configuration as a reverse proxy.

Configuring Nginx for UrBackup

Create a configuration file for UrBackup in Nginx’s sites-available directory:

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/urbackup

In this file, define the server block to route traffic to the UrBackup server. An example configuration is:

server {
  listen 80;

  location / {
    proxy_pass http://localhost:55414/;
    proxy_set_header Host $host;
    proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
    proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;

This configuration listens on port 80 and routes incoming requests to the UrBackup server running locally on port 55414. Adjust to your domain name.

Enabling the Nginx Configuration

To enable the new configuration, create a symbolic link in the sites-enabled directory and restart Nginx:

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/urbackup /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
sudo systemctl restart nginx

These commands activate the UrBackup site configuration within Nginx and restart the Nginx service to apply the new settings.

Finalizing the Setup

With the reverse proxy set up using either Apache or Nginx, it’s important to:

  • Test the configuration by accessing UrBackup through your domain name.
  • Consider implementing SSL encryption for enhanced security, especially if the UrBackup interface will be accessed over the internet. The section below will demonstrate a quick way with Certbox.

SSL Certificate Installation for UrBackup using Certbot with Apache and Nginx on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

Securing UrBackup with an SSL certificate is essential for protecting data transmissions. This section explains how to use Certbot to install SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt for both Apache and Nginx servers.

SSL Setup with Apache Using Certbot

Installing Certbot for Apache

Begin by installing Certbot and its Apache plugin. Certbot is an automated tool that simplifies the process of obtaining and installing SSL certificates. Install it using the command:

sudo apt install certbot python3-certbot-apache

This installation ensures that Certbot and its Apache-specific plugin are available on your system.

Obtaining and Installing SSL Certificate

To obtain an SSL certificate and configure Apache to use it, run:

sudo certbot --apache

When you run this command, Certbot will prompt you through a series of steps:

  1. Domain Selection: You will be asked to select the domain for which you want the SSL certificate. Ensure you choose the domain that points to your UrBackup server.
  2. Email Address: Provide an email address for important notifications about your SSL certificate.
  3. Agree to Terms of Service: You will need to agree to the Let’s Encrypt terms of service.
  4. Setting Up Redirects: Certbot will ask if you want to redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS, effectively enforcing SSL.

Upon completion, Certbot will automatically update the Apache configuration to use the new SSL certificate.

SSL Setup with Nginx Using Certbot

Installing Certbot for Nginx

For Nginx, install Certbot and its Nginx plugin using:

sudo apt install certbot python3-certbot-nginx

This command prepares Certbot with the Nginx plugin for SSL certificate management on your Nginx server.

Obtaining and Installing SSL Certificate

Initiate the SSL setup for Nginx with:

sudo certbot --nginx

Running this command launches an interactive script that guides you through the SSL setup:

  1. Choose a Domain: Select the domain hosted by your Nginx server that will be secured with SSL.
  2. Enter Email Address: Provide an email for critical communications regarding your SSL certificate.
  3. Accept Terms of Service: Consent to the terms provided by Let’s Encrypt.
  4. HTTP to HTTPS Redirect: Decide whether to redirect all HTTP traffic to HTTPS.

Certbot will handle the rest, fetching the SSL certificate and updating the Nginx configuration to secure your UrBackup server with HTTPS.

Finalizing SSL Configuration

After installing the SSL certificate for either Apache or Nginx:

  • Verify Secure Access: Access the UrBackup web interface via https:// to confirm that SSL encryption is operational.
  • Automate Certificate Renewal: Let’s Encrypt certificates are valid for 90 days. To automate their renewal, test the renewal process with:
sudo certbot renew --dry-run

For ongoing automatic renewals, consider setting up a cron job or systemd timer.

Setting Up Automatic Renewal

Once the dry run is successful, automate the renewal process. Certbot typically adds a renewal script to the cron jobs or systemd timers during installation.

However, you can manually ensure this automation by editing the crontab:

sudo crontab -e

Add a line to run the renewal command twice daily, which is a common practice to catch any expiring certificates:

0 12,0 * * * certbot renew

This cron job will attempt to renew any certificates close to expiration at noon and midnight every day.


In this guide, we navigated through the straightforward yet crucial steps of installing UrBackup on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04, ensuring your system’s data is securely backed up. From setting up the software to fine-tuning its configuration, we’ve covered the essentials to get you started. Remember, regular updates and checks on your UrBackup setup can significantly enhance its efficiency and reliability. Embrace these best practices for a robust backup solution, and you’ll have a dependable safety net for your valuable data.

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