Single-user simple backup solution


I’ve been using Rsnapshot for the last decade to perform all my backups, either in local networks or for my public servers. It works great, but normally it requires a dedicated backup server.

From time to time I’m setting up Linux desktops for friends or neighbors. Here for example I’m currently migrating an old Apple iMac from 2009 from an obsolete Mac OS High Sierra to Rocky Linux. Now I’m looking for an alternative backup solution that wouldn’t require buying a backup server.

Here’s roughly the behavior/characteristics I’m looking for.

  • Dedicated external hard disk for backups.
  • Once a day, disk gets mounted.
  • Backup gets performed automatically.
  • Once backup is finished, disk gets unmounted.
  • Incremental backups with snapshots would be fine.
  • Ideally, use rsync and hard links under the hood for efficiency.
  • User should be able to access backups.

Before I go ahead and reinvent the wheel by scripting such a thing, I wonder if there’s maybe already an existing solution out there. Can you recommend one ?



Restic is definitely worth a look at. Backups in the form of snapshots to a mounted disk/directory path.

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You can run rsnapshot directly on a machine you are backing up and use an external hard drive to do the backup. I’m doing this on my workstation today and also used rsnapshot with the dedicated server scenario that you describe in my former $day job. My use case is slightly different in that I mount the backup drive using an @reboot cron, but you can use a cron or timer to run your backup script that does the mount at the time of the backup too. If you know rsnapshot already, you already know its efficiency. I’d stick to using that personally.

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I am a very happy user of borgbackup, it offers deduplication, compression and encryption.
I use local repository, that is synchronized to remote locations, or to USB drive on demand (automated via udev rule + scripting) - so the only thing I need to do is to plug it in.

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Déjà Dup is a very simple single user backup program and might be an option.

and is available thru dnf:

dnf info deja-dup
Last metadata expiration check: 12:46:36 ago on Mon 20 Mar 2023 10:32:54 PM EDT.
Installed Packages
Name : deja-dup
Version : 40.7
Release : 1.el8
Architecture : x86_64
Size : 3.9 M
Source : deja-dup-40.7-1.el8.src.rpm
Repository : @System
From repo : epel
Summary : Simple backup tool and frontend for duplicity
URL : World / Déjà Dup Backups · GitLab
License : GPLv3+
Description : Déjà Dup is a simple backup tool. It hides the complexity of doing backups the
: ‘right way’ (encrypted, off-site, and regular) and uses duplicity as the
: backend.
: Features:
: • Support for local, remote, or cloud backup locations (Amazon S3 or Rackspace)
: • Securely encrypts and compresses your data
: • Incrementally backs up, letting you restore from any particular backup
: • Schedules regular backups
: • Integrates well into your GNOME desktop

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just posted about the return of Timeshift to epel8/9. It might meet your needs.

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Duplicity won’t write to a non-empty location which makes partial restoration of files and system recovery a pain.