qvm-backup – Create a backup of Qubes


qvm-backup [-h] [–verbose] [–quiet] [–profile PROFILE] [–exclude EXCLUDE_LIST] [–dest-vm APPVM] [–encrypt] [–passphrase-file PASSPHRASE_FILE] [–compress] [–compress-filter COMPRESSION] [–save-profile SAVE_PROFILE] backup_location [vms [vms …]]



Specify backup profile to use, which must be in /etc/qubes/backup/, without the file path or file extension. This option is mutually exclusive with all other options. This is also the only working mode when running from non-dom0.


Save backup profile based on given options. This is possible only when running in dom0. Otherwise, prepared profile is printed on standard output and user needs to manually place it into /etc/qubes/backup in dom0.

--help, -h

show help message and exit

--verbose, -v

increase verbosity

--quiet, -q

decrease verbosity

--exclude, -x

Exclude the specified VM from the backup (may be repeated)

--dest-vm, -d

Specify the destination VM to which the backup will be sent (implies -e)

--encrypt, -e

Ignored, backup is always encrypted

--passphrase-file, -p

Read passphrase from a file, or use ‘-’ to read from stdin

--compress, -z

Compress the backup. This is default.


Do not compress the backup.

--compress-filter, -Z

Specify a non-default compression filter program (default: gzip)

--yes, -y

Do not ask for confirmation


The first positional parameter is the backup location (absolute directory path, or command to pipe backup to). After that you may specify the qubes you’d like to backup. If not specified, the default list based on the VM’s “include in backups” property will be used.


The backup always contains the names and metadata of VMs on the system, in an effort to preserve the dependencies between them as best as possible. As such, using qvm-backup to export a subset of VMs on your system and share them might inadvertently leak sensitive information.


Joanna Rutkowska <joanna at invisiblethingslab dot com>
Rafal Wojtczuk <rafal at invisiblethingslab dot com>
Marek Marczykowski <marmarek at invisiblethingslab dot com>
Wojtek Porczyk <woju at invisiblethingslab dot com>