How can I safely restore a Borg backup to a new ssd?


I am switching my current SSD to a larger one, and I plan to do a bottom to top migration (***:// of my system. I currently have backups of my /etc and /home directory using borgmatic. The disk with the backups is encrypted and I’ll use the default full disk encryption on the new SSD.

Here is my current plan :

  • Boot from a Manjaro live USB
  • Install Manjaro on the new disk
  • Install Borgmatic and decrypt the HDD with the backups
  • Mount and chroot the new system from the live usb
  • Do a borgmatic extract or restore (not sure about that yet) of my /etc and /home directory
  • Navigate to my pkglist.txt and reinstall my packages
  • exit the chroot environment and unmount the new ssd.

Here are my questions and concerns :

Are my current steps ok ? Do I need to do anything with fstab and should I do anything with my grub ? I don’t plan to unplug my current SSD yet and I’m worried about running into some issues when I reboot since I’d copy my /etc and have the same fstab / grub as with my old system. Is the bottom to top migration a good strategy here or should I do a clonezilla restoration ?

Thank you very much for your help !

I have never used borgbackup to restore a system disk, but why are you not using a tool designed to replicate a disk like clonezilla?

A quick search resulted in this: https:// blog.jamesthebard. net/restoring-with-the-borg/ <-- no idea if it will work, Borg backup documentation recommends system image backup for system disks, not file based.

Just use this system: (uses Borg and CloneZilla)

In your particular case however, you should use a CloneZilla USB stick instead of adding CloneZilla to your grub menu…


Thank you both for your answers !
I’ve tried to restore the system with the method I mentioned (and I’ve read the blog link) but it didn’t work, the repo was not recognized.

I’ve also read your Guide Fabby, which is amazing, but I was afraid of some things. Currently, I can’t make the backup because the my external HDD Is encrypted, and I don’t know the way to back it up through Clonezilla command line…I guess i’ll open another thread for this specific issue.

Thank you

EDIT : Oh and timeshift also didn’t work. I’ve ran into the “Boot device not selected” error.

  • Unencrypt first, unless you’re a guru that knows what he’s doing and remember the adagio: With great security comes great responsibility! :innocent:
  • Re-partition the encrypted HD and shrink the encrypted partition and create an unencrypted one next to it.
  • Buy an additional HD and use that. (easiest, most expensive solution)

There is no command line: it uses a TUI and you can just follow easy step-by-step instructions here.

Please read the article again as I just verified the link to the correct chapter in the CloneZilla manual is in there already!


Thank you once again for your answer.

I’ll try to learn how to resize the encrypted HDD but I’m a bit afraid of losing the data I have there ATM. I’ll maybe try on an USB key. Unfortunately, I can’t buy another HDD atm.

Yes it does, but since I’m using an encrypted HDD the TUI doesn’t recognize the Luks format. From what I’ve read, I need to chose the “Enter_shell” option when given the choice to either “Start Clonezilla” or “Enter_shell”.

For now, if I were to do this, I only know that I should decrypt the HDD with luksOpen, mount it, create a /home/partimg as a mount point and then run clonezilla as root. I don’t know what happens next, and how to restore the backup once it’s done yet.

But you’re right I guess, I should for now re-partition the encrypted disk and try it this way. I’ll browse the arch wiki.

Thanks !

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