Automating Proxmox VE ZFS offsite backup (

Proxmox VE pve-zsync VM to diagram
Proxmox VE pve-zsync VM to diagram

Today we have a quick guide on how to automate Proxmox VE ZFS offsite backups to The folks at set us up with one of their ZFS enabled trial accounts. As the name might imply, started as a backup service for those using rsync. Since then they have expanded to allowing ZFS access for ZFS send/ receive which makes ZFS backups very easy. In our previous article we showed server-to-server backup using pve-zsync to automate the process. Today we are going to show what the offsite replication looks like. With Proxmox VE being a great platform for small Debian Linux based hyper-converged clusters, having the ability to backup VMs easily to a remote service is very useful.

Getting ready for backup to

In this guide we are going to be backing-up ZFS backed VMs from fmt-pve-07 to a ZFS enabled account. We are going to specifically setup a daily job using Proxmox VE’s pve-zsync to snapshot and send copies of the ZFS volumes.

Proxmox VE pve-zsync VM to diagram
Proxmox VE pve-zsync VM to diagram

One of the first things we need to do is ensure we have a target for this. It is extremely easy to do since allows you to SSH into the jail your backup server is running on. You will certainly want the information that the team provides when you start. They can also help with making commands for zfs send/ receive. Here we create the backup location.

pve-zsync create volume
pve-zsync create volume

We can see our target using zfs list on the remote server.

pve-zsync create target
pve-zsync create target

Next we need to get the target server setup.

Automating Proxmox VE ZFS VM offsite backups to

The next thing we need to do is login to our source server and create a pve-zsync job. We use the following command to install pve-zsync on the server:

apt-get install pve-zsync

We use the command:

pve-zsync create –source 101 –dest -name sthfdailyrsync –verbose –maxsnap 7

The first sync is going to take some significant time. Be prepared. Here is the breakdown of the command:

Bereaking down that command:

  • pve-zsync – the command we are using.
  • create – we are making a new recurring job.
  • –source 101 – we are going to use the volume associated with Proxmox VM number 101 and use that to snapshot and send to the other server
  • – – tells pve-zsync to use our target. Details for this come from their welcome e-mail plus setting up the target (see above)
  • –verbose – we want to see what is going on
  • –maxsnap 7 – this tells pve-zsync the number of snapshots we want to keep. We have 7 in this example. We are going to edit the cron entry shortly to make this a daily snapshot and 7 makes a week.
  • –name sthfdailyrsync just a name given to the job so you can see it easily later on

Now we do want to edit the cron entry slightly. By default the command we just issued is going to try snapshotting and backing up every 15 minutes. We are trying to get daily so we will edit the cron job:

nano /etc/cron.d/pve-zsync

We will change this:

*/15 *  * * * root pve-zsync sync --source 101 --dest --name sthfdailyrsync --maxsnap 7 --method ssh

To this:

01 01 * * * root pve-zsync sync --source 101 --dest --name sthfdailyrsync --maxsnap 7 --method ssh

If that seems a bit scary, the overall process should take at most a few minutes. We did a quick video on the steps we used if you would rather see it that way:

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Patrick has been running STH since 2009 and covers a wide variety of SME, SMB, and SOHO IT topics. Patrick is a consultant in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about server, storage and networking, building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.


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