Duplicity: Differential, Encrypted Remote Backups

The last few days I was experimenting with a tool that I came across. It is called “Duplicity” and it seemed to exactly that what I needed. In fact it has the following features:

Supported Backup Types

Duplicit supports full and incremental backups. Especially it has some nice features for cleaning up your backup storage. Lets say you plan to create a full backup once a month and all the other days you’re going to do incremental backups. In this case, you could configure duplicity to cleanup all backups older than a certain amount of time. This saves you some time writing shell scripts and make sure, your disk doesn’t run out of disk space. So, pretty neat!

Archiving your Backup Data

The tool also allows you to create local backup sets. But a backup wouldn’t be a good backup, if you didn’t store it on a remote machine. Always keep in mind what happens if your machine crashes… So, it is a good habit to store your backups on remote locations. At the time of writing, Duplicity supports a variety of protocols for data transfers such as ftp, sftp/scp, rsync, WebDAV, WebDAVs, Google Docs, HSi and Amazon S3FTP, SCP, SSH. When I do backups, I always transfer them using SCP. This ensures, nobody tampers your data while they’re in transit.

Signed Backups

Yes, your backup sets are signed. This is cool since this allows to check integrity of the packed and also authenticity.

Encrypted Backups

the feature I love most is the automatic data encryption using GPG. Duplicity encrypts your data before it is sent over the wire. This ensures that nobody is able to read or analyze your data while it is stored on your remote machine. It is always better to not trust your hoster 😉

Distro Coverage

The duplicity package is part of many linux distros, so consult your package manager. the ones I use most often all have it included:

  • Arch Linux
  • Debian Linux
  • Gentoo Linux
  • Ubuntu Linux

So here are a some links which were quite useful to me. Enjoy this nice piece of software 🙂

[1] http://www.nixtutor.com/linux/off-site-encrypted-backups-using-rsync-and-aes/
[2] https://help.ubuntu.com/community/DuplicityBackupHowto

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