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I'm searching for an easy way of storing incremental backups of a linux server on a remote windows home server. Both machines have their own static IP address. The linux machine is a Ubuntu virtual server machine, which should save its backups to a Windows home server machine.

First of all I want to store incremental backups, as the disk space of the windows machine is limited and the bandwidth to the home server is another bottleneck. (Also storing several full backups makes no sense to me anyway.)

Second I need to copy/transfer those backups over the internet via FTP, tunnel or any other available connection protocol.

It would be great if there's an easy solution using a combination of rsync and FTP or anything similar, which is easy to set up and maintain and not too costly.

Do there any approaches exist, which have succeeded continously fulfilling this requirement?

Thanks a lot for your experience and answers!

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4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

See rdiff-backup. rdiff-backup naturally does incremental backups. rdiff-backup is available in the main ubuntu repositories.

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Thanks for your answer. I had some closer looks at rdiff-backup and it sounds quite promising also if a little bit buggy with windows. I'll give it a try and give some feedback as soon as possible. –  Thasmo Dec 17 '09 at 19:33
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Finally I got it running. Installed rdiff-backup on the Linux and Windows Machine, created a batch file on Windows, which gets called as planned task. The batch file then calls plink.exe, which connects to the linux machine via SSH and rdiff-backup does the rest. A little complicated to set up, but it works for now. –  Thasmo Dec 17 '09 at 21:01

If you could go straight from linux to the FTP you could try ftpsync.pl It does do incremental on timestamp or filesize

http://sourceforge.net/projects/ftpsync/

hope it helps!

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You may want to take a look at Bacula. Run the server on the Windows machine, and run the client piece on the Linux server.

Not the most simple package to set up, but it's a full-featured backup system, and it will do incremental backups, compression, and even encryption. You can tune it to the amount of space you have and then have it expire older file sets.

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Thanks for your input. Seems to be a nice tool, but a bit overpowered for my needs. The feature which monitors/limits the space would be indeed, really useful. –  Thasmo Dec 17 '09 at 21:06

There are two options I can think of for moving files off of Linux and onto Windows. Both do rely on SSH access from the remote site though.

1) Write a script using WinSCP, and either schedule the script or run it manually on the Windows box. WinSCP is free, and it runs SFTP, or SCP, over SSH.

2) Install Cygwin, Microsoft Services for Unix, or some other Unix subsystem, and use the tools provided. Cygwin and SUA both provide an Rsync binary, and rsync is made for similar situations. Both Cygwin and SUA are free, but SUA is limited by MS to certain versions of Windows.

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Hello and thanks for your options. I'm aware of WinSCP; I'm also using it sometimes for transfering files via SFTP. Unfortunately this approach doesn't support incremental backups. Cygwin is not my friend either. But thanks anyway! –  Thasmo Dec 17 '09 at 21:11

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