Daily Archives: May 16, 2008

Backup software for Linux… distressing

Edit: I should preface this by first saying that I think there are plenty of backup solutions for Linux. It is just that the set of features I want does not seem to be widely available yet. If a piece of software is great at encryption, then it does not have continuous backups or if it has continuous backups, then it is not good at encryption, etc.

I’m currently researching and testing backup solutions for Linux. I stumbled upon this post, in which the author comments:

In the last years several projects were started to provide user friendly solutions for the backup of Linux desktop machines. A year ago I already reported about SBackup. Also, the Ubuntu team developed the solution TimeVault and last but not least there is flyback which I used for several months to keep a backup of my thesis. But despite their advantages they all suffer from stalled development: all mentioned projects are effectively dead at the moment.

This is distressing. I was looking forward to TimeVault and Flyback becoming mature solutions but it seems that this won’t happen any time soon. What I’m looking for is:

  1. end to end encryption: with ID theft, I’m not comfortable with leaving unencrypted copies of my files around.
  2. client-initiated backups: I need to backup laptops which are not always on so the client must initiate the backup.
  3. continuous backup (similar to what TimeVault and Flyback provide).
  4. support for a backup store located on a network.
  5. user friendly: desirable but not essential.

I realize that neither Flyback nor TimeVault offered all of this but it looked like they were going to really tackle the continuous backup problem head-on. Right now, I’m testing boxbackup and I’m also keeping an eye on duplicity. I’m not sure yet which one I want. I know that duplicity does not (yet?) support continuous backups but it has other advantages that may make up for it.