Skip to content
Script to backup a Raspberry Pi disk image
Branch: master
Clone or download
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.
LICENSE Initial commit Feb 1, 2017 Proper quoting of ${IMAGE} Apr 25, 2019


Script to backup a Raspberry Pi disk image

Author / Origin:

Script developed on the forums: The Raspberry Pi Backup Thread. The script, as copied over to, was primarily written by user: jinx. I found this via a answer by user: ppumpkin.

The script was taken from here, a post from Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:05 am. I copied the attached file on Wed Feb 01, 2017 to this git repository.

Usage from Jinx and corrected the mistake of using rsync instead of start in the examples v1.0 by jinx


  • start [-cslzdf] [-L logfile] sdimage
  • mount [-c] sdimage [mountdir]
  • umount sdimage [mountdir]
  • gzip [-df] sdimage


  • start - starts complete backup of RPi's SD Card to 'sdimage'
  • mount - mounts the 'sdimage' to 'mountdir' (default: /mnt/'sdimage'/)
  • umount - unmounts the 'sdimage' from 'mountdir'
  • gzip - compresses the 'sdimage' to 'sdimage'.gz


  • -c creates the SD Image if it does not exist
  • -l writes rsync log to 'sdimage'-YYYYmmddHHMMSS.log
  • -z compresses the SD Image (after backup) to 'sdimage'.gz
  • -d deletes the SD Image after successful compression
  • -f forces overwrite of 'sdimage'.gz if it exists
  • -L logfile writes rsync log to 'logfile'
  • -s define the size of the image file


Start backup to rpi_backup.img, creating it if it does not exist: start -c /path/to/rpi_backup.img

Start backup to rpi_backup.img, creating it if it does not exist limiting the size to 8000Mb start -s 8000 -c /path/to/rpi_backup.img

Use the RPi's hostname as the SD Image filename: start /path/to/$(uname -n).img

Use the RPi's hostname and today's date as the SD Image filename, creating it if it does not exist, and compressing it after backup: start -cz /path/to/$(uname -n)-$(date +%Y-%m-%d).img

Mount the RPi's SD Image in /mnt/rpi_image: mount /path/to/$(uname -n).img /mnt/rpi_image

Unmount the SD Image from default mountdir (/mnt/raspi-2014-11-10.img/): umount /path/to/raspi-2014-11-10.img
You can’t perform that action at this time.