What do you use for backups to ftp server?

I've tried the setup with Amanda and virtual tapes on the ftp server mounted with Curlftpfs and I'm not satisfied with it. I just don't feel confident about Amanda.

Also I cannot use anything that uses rsync on the ftp mounted filesystem because it only creates the directories and doesn't create files as it cannot execute "mkstemp".

I've been thinking about Bacula but I can't find any good HOWTO for it.

  • This should probably be a community wiki May 30, 2009 at 16:49

5 Answers 5


You could try duplicity, it can make incremental backups and send them to a FTP server, gmail, Amazon S3...

Duplicity backs directories by producing encrypted tar-format volumes and uploading them to a remote or local file server. Because duplicity uses librsync, the incremental archives are space efficient and only record the parts of files that have changed since the last backup. Because duplicity uses GnuPG to encrypt and/or sign these archives, they will be safe from spying and/or modification by the server.

  • 1
    This sounds like the thing I need. I will check it out.
    – Alakdae
    May 31, 2009 at 9:17

Try streaming tar or dump into ncftpput. Sometimes the simplest stuff works most reliably...

  • I didn't know about that one. I will look into it. Thanks
    – Alakdae
    May 30, 2009 at 16:53
  • But this won't eneable me to use incremental backups which I used to do with rsync. Anyone know a better solution.
    – Alakdae
    May 30, 2009 at 19:31
  • Sure - just user higher dump levels or tar with one of the -newer options.
    – Bernd Haug
    May 31, 2009 at 11:13

This might help... http://www.miek.nl/projects/rdup/ - used bacula sometimes myself (is ok... may not solve your issues tho).


I'm not sure FTP has the facility to allow you to properly do incremental backups. Without wanting to do the whole 'right answer, wrong question' thing, is FTP really the only protocol you can use? If it is, you can probably kludge it by doing the backup to somewhere local, looking for the changes there, then uploading them to the ftp server.

  • Unfortunately I can only use FTP. The server is in colocation and they only provide FTP. I'm fighting with them to allow rsync.
    – Alakdae
    May 31, 2009 at 9:15

You should use the Ubuntu version of CloneZilla. It allows you to backup a image of your drive to a FTP server or a NetBios share, all from a EZ bootable disc.

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