Favorite backup software?

What is your favorite and reliable backup solution (preferably opensource) for Windows and Linux?

I’m a fan of syncthing https://syncthing.net/

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For personal use I use borg to backup to a USB drive. It runs hourly via a systemd timer.

For my server I’m planning to use it as well in client/server mode.

Also at least locally I use btrfs, and currently I’m doing some research to snapshot first and borg-backup the snapshot to avoid races in file changes. Sadly digital ocean (who hosts my server) does not support any filesystem other than ext4, so I can not properly snapshot database there. I’m still researching how to properly backup those parts of the system…

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No matter what you think you know about it’s capabillities, it’s more powerful than you imagine.

Learn it once, use it for the next 20 years with data of any scale.

That cute feature in time machine where you can delete intermediate incremental backup snapshots or use a particular backup from a particular point in time - its just rsync with hard symbolic linking. Details in this post.

Transfering a 1TB file but need to take a break while you reboot the router, set the appropriate flag when transmitting, kill the connection, and restart at your convenience (it hashes by chunk and verifies).

Over SSL, fine, over SSH, fine, use whatever protocol you want.

Local file system, fine.

Compression (over network) optional; compression at destination, either do it yourself (bzip/gzip/…) or use a compressing file system such as SquashFS.

Have fun.


Could you give an example to do so? Being able to upload large files over days without worrying about the daily network reconnect would be awesome.

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It’s a feature of rsync, only available if both sides have rsync installed and in PATH for non-interactive SSH.

Both rsync will compare hashes of chunks and then decide which chunks needs to be (re)transferred.

rsync --partial \
-rsh=ssh \
overweigh-ubuntu-whatever-amd64.iso \

Add a ‘-z’ flag to enable compression.

Also just found this - looks like a pretty complete example of backing up a directory.

I’d dig out some examples of my own, but I don’t bother with backups anymore :smiley:


I’ve been using Arq for both local and remote backups. It’s been rock solid and zero complaints from me.


I’m using Duplicati 2 on my Linux laptop. It’s very flexible with regards to the backup target, and has encryption build in. It works on both Windows and MacOS as well, but I haven’t tried that.


Thanks for sharing, I am going to give it a try with Backblaze :slight_smile:

Yep! I’ve been using rsync as my backup system for decades, at work it even encrypts on the fly as well (secondary script feeding it data)!

You will be surprised at how many other backup systems actually just use rsync behind the scenes, and often barely scratching the abilities that raw rsync itself has.


ha yeah - I did a telephone job interview in 1999 - was asked what experience of backups I had… Only knew what I’d been taught by mason (creator of spamassasin) - which was of course rsync… Got made to feel a fraud by interviewer who was of course looking for veritas or similar corporate crapware. I’d lay money if the NSA or Google want to run a backup, they’re using rsync, nothing else comes close.


rsync and ZFS snapshots for local backups and transfers between servers.

But to me it’s important to get the data securely to cheap offsite storage, for that https://www.tarsnap.com/ works fantastic.


Another fan of rsync here (though don’t use it for back-ups…) I use it to push changes to small/static sites. I’ll put something like this in my bash_profile:

alias upload_site_name="rsync -avz -e 'ssh -p 000000000' /Path/To/Code/sitename/_site/ root@$ser.ver.ip :/home/sitename/public/"

Then simply type upload_site_name in terminal :smiley:


I looked around for a while and like Duplicacy https://duplicacy.com when not using rsync. The open source CLI is free for personal use and you can backup to a local target or a wide array of remote options. Commercial, GUI, web interface, and VMware ESX versions are also available for relatively low cost.


Take a look at restic. It’s really backup done right. :wink: