There are different ways to install Borg:

  • Distribution Package - easy and fast if a package is available from your distribution.
  • Standalone Binary - easy and fast, we provide a ready-to-use binary file that comes bundled with all dependencies.
  • From Source, either:
    • Using pip - installing a source package with pip needs more installation steps and requires all dependencies with development headers and a compiler.
    • Using git - for developers and power users who want to have the latest code or use revision control (each release is tagged).

Pre-Installation Considerations

(G)LIBC requirements

Borg uses some filesytem functions from Python’s os standard library module with follow_symlinks=False. These are implemented since quite a while with the non-symlink-following (g)libc functions like e.g. lstat or lutimes (not: stat or utimes).

Some stoneage systems (like RHEL/CentOS 5) and also Python interpreter binaries compiled to be able to run on such systems (like Python installed via Anaconda) might miss these functions and Borg won’t be able to work correctly. This issue will be detected early and Borg will abort with a fatal error.

For the Borg binaries, there are additional (g)libc requirements, see below.

Distribution Package

Some distributions might offer a ready-to-use borgbackup package which can be installed with the package manager. As Borg is still a young project, such a package might be not available for your system yet.

Distribution Source Command
Arch Linux [community] pacman -S borg
Debian Debian packages apt install borgbackup
Gentoo ebuild emerge borgbackup
GNU Guix GNU Guix guix package --install borg
Fedora/RHEL Fedora official repository dnf install borgbackup
FreeBSD FreeBSD ports cd /usr/ports/archivers/py-borgbackup && make install clean
macOS Brew cask brew cask install borgbackup
Mageia cauldron urpmi borgbackup
NetBSD pkgsrc pkg_add py-borgbackup
NixOS .nix file N/A
OpenBSD `OpenBSD ports`_ pkg_add borgbackup
OpenIndiana `OpenIndiana hipster repository`_ pkg install borg
openSUSE `openSUSE official repository`_ zypper in borgbackup
Raspbian Raspbian testing apt install borgbackup
Ubuntu Ubuntu packages, Ubuntu PPA apt install borgbackup

Please ask package maintainers to build a package or, if you can package / submit it yourself, please help us with that! See #105 on github to followup on packaging efforts.

If a package is available, it might be interesting to check its version and compare that to our latest release and review the Important notes.

Standalone Binary


Releases are signed with an OpenPGP key, see Security for more instructions.

Borg binaries (generated with pyinstaller) are available on the releases page for the following platforms:

  • Linux: glibc >= 2.13 (ok for most supported Linux releases). Maybe older glibc versions also work, if they are compatible to 2.13.
  • Mac OS X: 10.10 (does not work with older OS X releases)
  • FreeBSD: 10.2 (unknown whether it works for older releases)

To install such a binary, just drop it into a directory in your PATH, make borg readable and executable for its users and then you can run borg:

sudo cp borg-linux64 /usr/local/bin/borg
sudo chown root:root /usr/local/bin/borg
sudo chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/borg

Note that the binary uses /tmp to unpack Borg with all dependencies. It will fail if /tmp has not enough free space or is mounted with the noexec option. You can change the temporary directory by setting the TEMP environment variable before running Borg.

If a new version is released, you will have to manually download it and replace the old version using the same steps as shown above.

Features & platforms

Besides regular file and directory structures, Borg can preserve

  • Hardlinks (considering all files in the same archive)

  • Symlinks (stored as symlink, the symlink is not followed)

  • Special files:

    • Character and block device files (restored via mknod)
    • FIFOs (“named pipes”)
    • Special file contents can be backed up in --read-special mode. By default the metadata to create them with mknod(2), mkfifo(2) etc. is stored.
  • Timestamps in nanosecond precision: mtime, atime, ctime

  • Permissions:

    • IDs of owning user and owning group
    • Names of owning user and owning group (if the IDs can be resolved)
    • Unix Mode/Permissions (u/g/o permissions, suid, sgid, sticky)

On some platforms additional features are supported:

Platform ACLs [1] xattr [5] Flags [6]
Linux x86 Yes Yes No
Linux PowerPC
Linux ARM
Mac OS X Yes Yes Yes (all)
FreeBSD Yes Yes
OpenBSD n/a n/a
NetBSD n/a No [2]
Solaris 11 No [3] n/a
Windows (cygwin) No [4] No No

Some Distributions (e.g. Debian) run additional tests after each release, these are not reflected here.

Other Unix-like operating systems may work as well, but have not been tested at all.

Note that most of the platform-dependent features also depend on the file system. For example, ntfs-3g on Linux isn’t able to convey NTFS ACLs.

[2]Feature request #1332
[3]Feature request #1337
[4]Cygwin tries to map NTFS ACLs to permissions with varying degress of success.
[1]The native access control list mechanism of the OS. This normally limits access to non-native ACLs. For example, NTFS ACLs aren’t completely accessible on Linux with ntfs-3g.
[5]extended attributes; key-value pairs attached to a file, mainly used by the OS. This includes resource forks on Mac OS X.
[6]aka BSD flags.

From Source


To install Borg from a source package (including pip), you have to install the following dependencies first:

  • Python 3 >= 3.4.0, plus development headers. Even though Python 3 is not the default Python version on most systems, it is usually available as an optional install.
  • OpenSSL >= 1.0.0, plus development headers.
  • libacl (that pulls in libattr also), both plus development headers.
  • liblz4, plus development headers.
  • some Python dependencies, pip will automatically install them for you
  • optionally, the llfuse Python package is required if you wish to mount an archive as a FUSE filesystem. See about the version requirements.

If you have troubles finding the right package names, have a look at the distribution specific sections below and also at the Vagrantfile in our repo.

In the following, the steps needed to install the dependencies are listed for a selection of platforms. If your distribution is not covered by these instructions, try to use your package manager to install the dependencies. On FreeBSD, you may need to get a recent enough OpenSSL version from FreeBSD ports.

After you have installed the dependencies, you can proceed with steps outlined under Using pip.

Debian / Ubuntu

Install the dependencies with development headers:

sudo apt-get install python3 python3-dev python3-pip python-virtualenv \
libssl-dev openssl \
libacl1-dev libacl1 \
liblz4-dev liblz4-1 \
sudo apt-get install libfuse-dev fuse pkg-config    # optional, for FUSE support

In case you get complaints about permission denied on /etc/fuse.conf: on Ubuntu this means your user is not in the fuse group. Add yourself to that group, log out and log in again.

Fedora / Korora

Install the dependencies with development headers:

sudo dnf install python3 python3-devel python3-pip python3-virtualenv
sudo dnf install openssl-devel openssl
sudo dnf install libacl-devel libacl
sudo dnf install lz4-devel
sudo dnf install gcc gcc-c++
sudo dnf install fuse-devel fuse pkgconfig         # optional, for FUSE support

openSUSE Tumbleweed / Leap

Install the dependencies automatically using zypper:

sudo zypper source-install --build-deps-only borgbackup

Alternatively, you can enumerate all build dependencies in the command line:

sudo zypper install python3 python3-devel \
libacl-devel liblz4-devel openssl-devel \
python3-Cython python3-Sphinx python3-msgpack-python \
python3-pytest python3-setuptools python3-setuptools_scm \
python3-sphinx_rtd_theme python3-llfuse gcc gcc-c++

Mac OS X

Assuming you have installed homebrew, the following steps will install all the dependencies:

brew install python3 lz4 openssl
brew install pkg-config                            # optional, for FUSE support
pip3 install virtualenv

For FUSE support to mount the backup archives, you need at least version 3.0 of FUSE for OS X, which is available via github_, or via homebrew:

brew cask install osxfuse


Listed below are packages you will need to install Borg, its dependencies, and commands to make fuse work for using the mount command.

pkg install -y python3 openssl liblz4 fusefs-libs pkgconf
pkg install -y git
python3.4 -m ensurepip # to install pip for Python3
To use the mount command:
echo 'fuse_load="YES"' >> /boot/loader.conf
echo 'vfs.usermount=1' >> /etc/sysctl.conf
kldload fuse
sysctl vfs.usermount=1

Windows 10’s Linux Subsystem


Running under Windows 10’s Linux Subsystem is experimental and has not been tested much yet.

Just follow the Ubuntu Linux installation steps. You can omit the FUSE stuff, it won’t work anyway.



Running under Cygwin is experimental and has only been tested with Cygwin (x86-64) v2.5.2. Remote repositories are known broken, local repositories should work.

Use the Cygwin installer to install the dependencies:

python3 python3-devel python3-setuptools
binutils gcc-g++
libopenssl openssl-devel
liblz4_1 liblz4-devel
git make openssh

You can then install pip and virtualenv:

easy_install-3.4 pip
pip install virtualenv

Using pip

Virtualenv can be used to build and install Borg without affecting the system Python or requiring root access. Using a virtual environment is optional, but recommended except for the most simple use cases.


If you install into a virtual environment, you need to activate it first (source borg-env/bin/activate), before running borg. Alternatively, symlink borg-env/bin/borg into some directory that is in your PATH so you can just run borg.

This will use pip to install the latest release from PyPi:

virtualenv --python=python3 borg-env
source borg-env/bin/activate

# install Borg + Python dependencies into virtualenv
pip install borgbackup
# or alternatively (if you want FUSE support):
pip install borgbackup[fuse]

To upgrade Borg to a new version later, run the following after activating your virtual environment:

pip install -U borgbackup  # or ... borgbackup[fuse]

Using git

This uses latest, unreleased development code from git. While we try not to break master, there are no guarantees on anything.

# get borg from github
git clone

virtualenv --python=python3 borg-env
source borg-env/bin/activate   # always before using!

# install borg + dependencies into virtualenv
pip install sphinx  # optional, to build the docs
cd borg
pip install -r requirements.d/development.txt
pip install -r requirements.d/fuse.txt  # optional, for FUSE support
pip install -e .  # in-place editable mode

# optional: run all the tests, on all supported Python versions
# requires fakeroot, available through your package manager
fakeroot -u tox


As a developer or power user, you always want to use a virtual environment.