Backup Linux to Dropbox with Veeam

"Not supported"? Ha! We shall see about that...

Backup Linux to Dropbox with Veeam

Veeam Agent for Linux allows administrators to easily backup their Linux workloads to network mounts (CIFS, NFS etc.), local storage (external HDD, NAS etc.) and Veeam Backup&Replication repositories. In this post, we're going to look into an **unofficial** way to use the free version of Veeam Agent for Linux for backing up directly to Dropbox cloud.

For this setup to work we'll need two things: a fuse mount of Dropbox and a Veeam Agent installation on our target Linux system.

Mounting Dropbox with fuse

First - an explanation - as we want Veeam to backup the whole of our Linux system to Dropbox, we need to mount it in a way which won't cause Veeam to think Dropbox folder is a locally mounted drive. In other words, we cannot use the official Dropbox client for Linux as instead of mounting, it only syncs data from your local storage to cloud. To get this particular setup to work, we're going to use an utility called dbxfs and mount Dropbox within our filesystem via fuse.

This operation is actually pretty simple and can be explained in 4 easy steps:

1.Install FUSE library

#Debian/Ubuntu
apt install libfuse2
#RHEL/CentOS
yum install fuse
#Fedora
dnf install fuse
#SUSE
zypper in fuse

2. Install Python PIP (make sure you already have python installed and - if you're working on RHEL/CentOS - EPEL repository enabled)

#Debian/Ubuntu
apt install python3-pip
#RHEL/CentOS
yum install python3-pip
#Fedora
dnf install python3-pip
#SUSE
zypper in python3-pip

3. Use newly installed PIP to install dbxfs

#all distros
pip3 install dbxfs 

4. Lastly, create a directory which is going to be used as your Dropbox mount points and use dbxfs to connect to Dropbox

#adjust according to your design
mkdir /Dropbox
dbxfs /Dropbox

5. After running the last command, dbxfs will generate a Dropbox authorisation link which you need to open in a browser (on any device) - there, you will need to log on with your Dropbox creds and confirm if the server can connect to your account.

Now comes the second (easy) part - installing the Veeam Agent for Linux.

  1. Download the Agent installation package (veeam-release) from the Veeam Download page.
  2. Install the package by running one of the following - this will add a Veeam repo to the system.
#RHEL/CentOS/Fedora
rpm -ivh ./veeam-release* && yum check-update
#SUSE
zypper in ./veeam-release* && zypper refresh
#Ubuntu/Debian
dpkg -i ./veeam-release* && apt-get update

3. Lastly, install the Agent itself by issuing:

#Debian/Ubuntu
apt install veeam
#RHEL/CentOS
yum install veeam
#Fedora
dnf install veeam
#SUSE
zypper in veeam

Now with everything installed, you can configure your backup job. Describing this process here is a bit outside the post's scope so I'll just post a link to the Veeam official guide on this topic: Veeam Agent for Linux.

While specifying the backup location, choose the Dropbox folder created with dbxfs - Veeam will consider this a local directory and allow the backup to be saved there. Success!

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