Skip to main content

Wrapper for borgbackup to easily use in code

Project description


A helpful wrapper for borgbackup to be able to easily use it in python scripts.

This is not supported use case by the borg developers. They only intend for it's use via a CLI. Keeping parity with borg is the main goal of this api.


pip install borgapi


  • borgbackup: 1.2.4
  • python-dotenv: 1.0.0

Supports Python 3.8 to 3.11


import borgapi

api = borgapi.BorgAPI(defaults={}, options={})

# Initalize new repository
api.init("/foo/bar", make_parent_dirs=True)

# Create backup 
result = api.create("/foo/bar::backup", "/home", "/mnt/baz", json=True)
print(result['archive']["name"]) # backup
print(result["repository"]["location"]) # /foo/bar

BorgAPI Init arguments

class BorgAPI(
    defaults: dict = None,
    options: dict = None,
    log_level: str = "warning",
    log_json: bool = False
  • defaults: dictionary that has command names as keys and value that is a dict of command specific optional arguments
    "init": {
        "encryption": "repokey-blake2",
        "make_parent_dirs": True,
    "create": {
        "json": True,
  • options: dictionary that contain the optional arguments (common, exclusion, filesystem, and archive) used for every command (when valid). Options that aren't valid for a command will get filterd out. For example, strip_components will be passed into the extract command but not the diff command.
    "debug": True,
    "log_json": True,
    "exclue_from": "baz/spam.txt",
    "strip_components": 2,
    "sort": True,
    "json_lines": True,
  • log_level: default log level, can be overriden for a specific comand by passing in another level as and keyword argument
  • log_json: log lines written by logger are formatted as json lines, passed into the logging setup

Setting Environment Variables

You are able to manage the environment variables used by borg to be able to use different settings for different repositories.

There are 3 ways you can set the variables:

  1. filename: Path to a file that contains the variables and their values. See the python-dotenv README for more information.
  2. dictionary: Dictionary that contains the variable names as keys with their corresponding values set.
  3. **kwargs: Argument names are the variable names and the values are what will be set.
api.set_environ(dictionary={"FOO":"BAR", "SPAM":False})
api.set_environ(FOO="BAR", SPAM=False)

Only one value will be used if multiple set, filename has highest precedence, followed by dictionary, and fallback to **kwargs.

If no values are given for any of the three things (ie. calling with no arguments), then the default behavior for load_dotenv from python-dotenv will be used, which is searching for a ".env" file somewhere above in the current file path.

Environment Variables used by borgbackup.


For commands that borg requires a confirmation on if no environment variable is given, the api will become stuck as it waits for a yes or no answer.


Removing Environment Variables

If you want to unset a variable so it doesn't get used for another command you can use the unset_environ method. It'll remove any variables passed in from the current environment. If no variables are passed in, it'll remove the variables set from the last call to set_environ.

# Enironment = {}
api.set_environ(dictionary={"FOO":"BAR", "SPAM":False})
# Enironment = {"FOO": "BAR", "SPAM": "False"}
# Enironment = {"SPAM": "False"}
# Enironment = {"SPAM": "False", "BAZ": "HAM"}
# Enironment = {"SPAM": "False", "BAZ": "HAM"}
# Enironment = {"SPAM": "False"}

Borg Commands

When using a borg command any of the arguments can be set as keyword arguments. The argument names are the long option names with dashes turned into underscores. So the --storage-quota argument in init gets turned into the keyword argument storage_quota.


diff_args = {
    sort: True,
    json_lines: True,
    debug: True,
    exclude_from: "./exclude_patterns.txt",


Available Borg Commands

  • init
  • create
  • extract
  • check
  • rename
  • list
  • diff
  • delete
  • prune
  • compact
  • info
  • mount
  • umount
  • key_change_passphrase (key change-passphrase)
  • key_export (key export)
  • key_import (key import)
  • upgrade
  • export_tar
  • serve
  • config
  • with-lock
  • break-lock
  • benchmark crud

Unavailable Borg Commands

  • recreate
    • Since this is an experimental feature there are no current plans to implament this.

Command Quirks

Things that were changed from the way the default borg commands work to make things a bit more manageable.

  • init
    • encryption is an optional argument that defaults to repokey
  • config
    • borg config can only change one key at a time
    • *changes can either be:
      • NAME to get the current value of the key
      • (NAME, VALUE) which will change they key
    • Any single string NAME values passed to *change will be returned as a list with their values in the order they were passed, tuple changes will not appear in that list

Capturing Output

borg commands display information different depending on what is asked for. For example, create with the --list option writes the file list to the logger. When the --log-json common flag is included it writes it to stderr. The --stats option writes to the logger, like the --list option does, but when --json is used, which outputs the stats info as a json object, it gets written to stdout.

If either json or log_json is set, it'll try to convert the tuple output to json. If it is unable and there is output that is captured it'll return the plaintext value. If no output is captured, it returns None.

If multiple outputs are requested at the same time (like --stats and --list) the command will return a dictionary with aptly named keys (--list key is "list"). If only one output is requested than the bare value will be returned, not in a dictionary.

Command Returns

Commands not listed return no output (None)

  • create
    • list: --list, --log-json
    • stats: --stats, --json
  • extract
    • list: --list, --log-json
    • extract: --stdout
  • list:
    • list: always returns bare value
    • --log-json, --json, --json-lines
  • diff:
    • diff: always returns bare value
    • --log-json, --json-lines
  • delete:
    • stats: always returns bare value
    • --stats
  • prune:
    • list: --list, --log-json
    • stats: --stats, --log-json
  • compact:
    • returns bare value, when verbose or info is set
    • verbose: --verbose, -v
    • info: --info
  • info
    • always returns bare value
  • export tar
    • list: --list, --log-json
    • tar: filename == "-"
  • config
    • list: --list, --log-json
    • changes: single values passed into *changes
  • benchmark crud
    • always returns bare value


  • Start work on Borg's beta branch chagnes and keeping up with those



Help is greatly appreciated. First check if there are any issues open that relate to what you want to help with. Also feel free to make a pull request with changes / fixes you make.


MIT License

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Source Distribution

borgapi-0.6.1.tar.gz (29.3 kB view hashes)

Uploaded source

Built Distribution

borgapi-0.6.1-py3-none-any.whl (32.5 kB view hashes)

Uploaded py3

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing and Security Sponsor Datadog Datadog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Download Analytics Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page