Borg 2.0 (preliminary infos)

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(testing releases out, no final release yet)

Changelog summary

This is only a summary of the changes between 1.2 and 2.0. Check the full changelog to see all changes as well as important compatibility and upgrade notes.

Breaking compatibility

The "bad" news first:

This is a breaking release, it is not directly compatible with borg 1.x repos and thus not a quick upgrade.

Also, there were cli changes, thus you will need to review/edit your scripts. Wrappers and GUIs for borg also need to get adapted.

The good news are:

  • if you like, you can efficiently copy your existing archives from old borg 1.x repos to new borg 2 repos using "borg transfer" (you will need space and time for this, though).

  • by doing a breaking release, we could:

    • fix a lot of long-term issues that could not (easily) be fixed in a non-breaking release

    • make the code cleaner and simpler, get rid of cruft and legacy

    • improve security and speed

    • open doors for new features and applications that were not possible yet

    • make the docs shorter and using borg easier

  • this is the first breaking release since many years and we do not plan another one anytime soon.

Major new features

  • better, more modern, faster crypto

    • new keys/repos only use new crypto: AEAD, AES-OCB, chacha20-poly1305, argon2.

    • using session keys: more secure and easier to manage, especially in multi-client or multi-repo contexts. doing this, we could get rid of problematic long term nonce/counter management.

    • faster by AEAD: adding the chunk ID into the AD part automatically makes sure we get the right data: if we can authenticate/decrypt it, it is the data for the ID we asked for. older borg needed an additional MAC(plaintext of chunk) step to make sure.

    • the old crypto code will get removed in borg 2.1 (currently we still need it to read from your old borg 1.x repos). removing AES-CTR, pbkdf2, encrypt-and-mac, counter/nonce management will make borg more secure, easier to use and develop.

  • repos are faster, safer and easier to deal with

    • the new PUT2 data format uses much less crc32 and more xxh64 and offers a header-only checksum (PUT1 only offered one checksum for header+data). that way, we can safely read header infos without having to also read all the data.

    • vastly different speeds in misc. crc32 implementations do not matter any more. because of this, we can just use python's zlib.crc32 and do not need libdeflate's crc32.

    • the repo index now also stores "csize" (less random I/O for some ops)

    • the repo index now has an API to store and query misc. "flags" (can be used e.g. for bookkeeping of long-running whole-repo operations)

  • multi-repo improvements

    • borg 1.x only could deal with 1 repository per borg invocation. borg 2.0 now also knows about another repo (see --other-repo option) for some commands, like borg transfer, borg rcreate, ...

    • borg rcreate can create "related repositories" of an existing repo, e.g. to use them for efficient archive transfers using borg transfer.

    • borg transfer can copy and convert archives from a borg 1.x repo to a related borg 2 repo. to save time, it will not decompress / recompress the file content chunks. but, to make your repo more secure, it will decrypt / re-encrypt all the chunks.

    • borg transfer can copy archives from one borg 2 repo to a related other borg 2 repo, without doing any conversion.

  • command line interface cleanups

    • no scp style repo parameters any more (parsing issues, no :port possible), just use the better ssh://user@host:port/path .

    • separated repo and archive, no "::" any more

    • split some commands that worked on archives and repos into 2 separate commands (makes the code/docs/help easier)

    • renamed borg init to borg rcreate for better consistency

  • added commands / options:

    • you will usually need to give either -r (aka --repo) or BORG_REPO env var.

    • borg key change-location: usable for repokey <-> keyfile location change

    • borg benchmark cpu (so you can actually see what's fastest for your CPU)

    • borg import/export-tar --tar-format=GNU/PAX/BORG, support ctime/atime PAX headers. GNU and PAX are standard formats, while BORG is a very low-level custom format only for borg usage.

  • removed commands / options:

    • removed -P (aka --prefix) option, use -a (aka --glob-archives) instead, e.g.: -a 'PREFIX*'

    • borg upgrade (was only relevant for attic / old borg)

    • removed deprecated cli options

Other changes

  • support archive timestamps with utc offsets

  • internal data format / processing changes

    • using msgpack spec 2.0 now, cleanly differentiating between text and binary bytes. the older msgpack spec attic and borg < 2.0 used did not have the binary type, so it was not pretty... also using the msgpack Timestamp data type instead of self-made bigint stuff.

    • archives: simpler, more symmetric handling of hardlinks ("hlid", all hardlinks have same chunks list, if any). the old way was just a big pain (e.g. for partial extracting), ugly and spread all over the code. the new way simplified the code a lot.

    • item metadata: clean up, remove, rename, fix, precompute stuff

    • chunks have separate encrypted metadata (size, csize, ctype, clevel). this saves time for borg recreate when recompressing to same compressor, but other level. this also makes it possible to query size or csize without reading/transmitting/decompressing the chunk.

    • remove legacy zlib compression header hack, so zlib works like all the other compressors. that hack was something we had to do back in the days because attic backup did not have a compression header at all (because it only supported zlib).

    • got rid of "csize" (compressed size of a chunk) in chunks index and archives. this often was just "in the way" and blocked the implementation of other (re)compression related features.

    • massively increase the archive metadata stream size limitation (so it is practically not relevant any more)

  • source code changes

    • borg 1.x borg.archiver (and also the related tests in borg.testsuite.archiver) monster modules got split into packages of modules, now usually 1 module per borg cli command.

    • using "black" (automated pep8 source code formatting), this reformatted ALL the code

    • added infrastructure so we can use "mypy" for type checking

  • python, packaging and library changes

    • minimum requirement: Python 3.9

    • we unbundled all 3rd party code and require the respective libraries to be available and installed. this makes packaging easier for dist package maintainers.

    • discovery is done via pkg-config or (if that does not work) BORG_*_PREFIX env vars.

    • our setup*.py is now much simpler, a lot moved to setup.cfg and we also use pyproject.toml now.

    • we had to stop supporting LibreSSL (e.g. on OpenBSD) due to their different API. borg on OpenBSD now also uses OpenSSL.

  • getting rid of legacy stuff

    • removed some code only needed to deal with very old attic or borg repos. users are expected to first upgrade to borg 1.2 before jumping to borg 2.0, thus we do not have to deal with any ancient stuff any more.