There are two ways to use FSArchiver. You can either download a livecd with this program on it (eg: any recent SystemRescueCd), or you can install it on a linux system on your computer. If you want to install FSArchiver, you have three solutions:

  • you can use the official fsarchiver package that comes with your Linux distribution (recommended method)
  • you can just copy the official static binary (very easy: you just have one standalone binary file to copy)
  • you can compile fsarchiver from sources

Compilation from sources

If you want to compile it from sources, you will need to have the following libraries installed on your system, including their header files. On RPM based distributions, you often have to install packages such as libXXX-devel.rpm to have the header files, since the base package (libXXX.rpm) does not provide these files. Here are the required libraries:

  • zlib (and zlib-devel)
  • liblzo (and lzo-devel)
  • bzip2-libs (and bzip2-devel)
  • libgcrypt (and libgcrypt-devel)
  • libblkid (and libblkid-devel)
  • e2fsprogs-libs (e2fsprogs-devel)
  • xz-utils (and xz-devel)

If libraries or header files are missing: If you do not have the xz/liblzma or liblzo installed, you have the ability to compile fsarchiver with no support for lzma or lzo:

./configure --prefix=/usr --disable-lzma --disable-lzo && make && make install

You can also use the static that provides support for all the compression levels and which does not require the libraries to be installed on your system.

To compile the sources, you have to run follow these instructions:

download the latest sources

First, you have to download fsarchiver-0.8.1.tar.gz. Just save it to a temporary directory.

extract the sources in a temporary directory

mkdir -p /var/tmp/fsarchiver
cd /var/tmp/fsarchiver
tar xfz /path/to/fsarchiver-x.y.z.tar.gz

compile and install from sources

cd /var/tmp/fsarchiver/fsarchiver-x.y.z
./configure --prefix=/usr
make && make install

Installation of the precompiled binary

If the compilation does not work, you can just download the static binary, extract it, and copy the binary somewhere on your system (/usr/sbin for instance). You can use either the 32bit version (fsarchiver-static-x.y.z.i386.tar.gz) or the 64bit one (fsarchiver-static-x.y.z.x86_64.tar.gz).

Uninstalling fsarchiver is easy since it only installs one file on your system, which is the compiled binary. To uninstall fsarchiver, just remove /usr/sbin/fsarchiver.


FSArchiver has to kind of dependencies: libraries and file-system tools.

libraries dependencies

Several libraries with their header files are necessary to compile the sources (cf previous section about installation) and to execute the program if it has not been compiled in a static way. You can avoid the problem with libraries dependencies by using a static binary that you can download from the github release page.

file-system tools required

The file-system tools for the file-system you are using are required to restore a file-system. You should not have any problem with the file-system tools (such as a program which is missing because it is not installed) when you save the file-system (using fsarchiver savefs). You only need the file-system tools (such as e2fsprogs, reiserfsprogs, xfsprogs, …) when you want to restore a file-system. And it should not really be a problem since you often want to restore a file-system by booting from a livecd such as SystemRescueCd, since you cannot restore your root file-system when you are using it, so booting from a livecd / usb-stick is mandatory in that case.

FSArchiver only requires the tools that match the file-system of the restoration. For instance, if you are trying to restore an archive to a reiserfs partition, you will need the reiserfsprogs to be available, even if the original filesystem was ext3 when you saved the file-system to an archive.

Distribution specific information

installation on fedora (using yum)

Fedora provide an official package for fsarchiver where all the optional features are enabled (lzma compression, encryption, …). You can just use the following command to download and install fsarchiver and all its dependencies.

yum install fsarchiver

installation on ubuntu (using apt-get)

Ubuntu has an official fsarchiver package in the universe repository. It can be installed with the standard apt-get command:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install fsarchiver

installation on debian (using apt-get)

Thanks to Michael Biebl there is now a fsarchiver deb package for debian. You can just install it with the normal command:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install fsarchiver

installation on RHEL / CentOS / Scientific-Linux

You should use these RPM packages that have been built for RHEL6/RHEL7 based distributions, that is the recommended way for most users:

If you want to recompile fsarchiver yourself, you can use the following instructions:

Here are the instructions to install the required libraries and to compile the sources on RHEL / CentOS / Scientific-Linux:

yum install zlib-devel bzip2-devel lzo-devel xz-devel e2fsprogs-devel libgcrypt-devel libattr-devel libblkid-devel
tar xfz fsarchiver-0.8.1.tar.gz
cd fsarchiver-0.8.1
./configure --prefix=/usr && make && make install

installation on arch-linux (using pacman)

There is now an official package for fsarchiver in ArchLinux: for both i686 and x86_64. You can install it with the following command:

pacman -S fsarchiver

installation on SUSE (using zypper)

  • There is an official fsarchiver package for Suse.

  • There are three ways to install software in SUSE:

    • First, following the link above with one click install – simplest way.
    • Second, add additional repository and install with GUI-tool YaST.
    • Third, add additional repository and install with CLI-tool zypper.
  • To add a repository with the CLI: zypper ar repository-url

  • To install fsarchiver with the CLI: zypper in fsarchiver

installation on gentoo

Gentoo implements the support for packages using ebuild files. There is now an official ebuild for fsarchiver in gentoo, so you can directly install it using the emerge command as long as your portage tree is recent. You may also have to change the keywords to make the installation possible:

Add app-backup/fsarchiver to your /etc/portage/package.keywords if required:

echo "app-backup/fsarchiver ~*" >> /etc/portage/package.keywords

Change the USE if you want non-default compilation options:

echo "app-backup/fsarchiver lzma lzo" >> /etc/portage/package.use

Run the installation command:

emerge app-backup/fsarchiver