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The Linode Backups service is used to create automatic and manual snapshots of your Compute Instances. A completed backup can be directly restored to the origin Compute Instance or to a new instance in the same data center. These workflows make it easy to revert to a working configuration if you run into any unexpected issues with your software.

Backups generated by the Backup service are not able to be directly downloaded and are intended only for restoring that backup to a Compute Instance. A common question for the service is how you can download the content from your Linode Backups to another storage location, like your home computer. This can be accomplished through the following steps covered in this guide:

  1. Restore a backup to a new or existing Compute Instance.
  2. Download any files you need from instance or download the entire disk image.

Restore a Backup

To access the data stored in a backup generated by our Backup service, you must first restore that backup to a Compute Instance. For instructions, see one of the guides below:

Restoring a backup to a new Compute Instance will result in service charges for the time that instance is active.

Download Files

If you wish to retain specific files or directories from your restored backup, you can download them using SFTP or SCP.

  • SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol): An FTP desktop client provides a graphical interface so that you can access, download, and upload the files on your remote system. Download your preferred FTP client (like FileZilla), connect using your SSH credentials, and download the files you need. Review the Transfer Files with FileZilla guide for additional instructions.

  • SCP (Secure Copy Protocol): A command-line utility available on most modern operating systems. With scp, you can download and upload files or entire directories between two systems. On your local system, run the following command. Replace [user] with your Linux username, [ip-address] with the IP address or FQDN of your Compute Instance, [remote-file] with the name and path of the file (or directory) on your remote system, and [local-path] with location to which you wish to save the file locally. When prompted, enter your user’s password.

    scp [user]@[ip-address]:[remote-file] [local-path]

    For more information, see the Transfer Files With the scp Command on Linux guide.

See Download Files from Your Compute Instance for more detailed overview..

Download a Disk

You can also download and retain a copy of your entire disk if needed. This saves a disk image file (.img) on your local system that contains all of the data on your Compute Instance’s disk. This disk image can later be re-uploaded to a Compute Instance. This is useful if you wish to temporarily remove your Compute Instance and stop further billing. Follow our Copy a Disk over SSH guide for further instructions.

Alternatively, you may wish to capture an image using our paid Image service. This is generally much easier, though it results in a nominal service charge.

Delete Services That Are No Longer Needed

After you’ve finished downloading your files or disks, you should consider deleting the Compute Instance (if you restored to a new instance) or delete the restored disks (if you restored to an existing instance).

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