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I need a backup software that is capable of:

  1. doing a full HDD image (from live server, if that's possible at all?)or just copy everything except /dev, /tmp, etc
  2. updates the backup incremental just like rsync does
  3. able to upload to Amazon S3. I had bad experience with s3fs mounting, is there a software that can connect itself to S3 and upload?
  4. Easy to setup and use.

Not sure if all points are possible in one program, but I'd appreciate any advice.

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I have been using http://www.backup-manager.org/ on my Linux machines for a while now. Once you have it setup correctly you can just forget about it (err, the process itself at least, you should test restore backups on a schedule).

It has the ability to do pretty much everything you want, including uploading the backups to Amazon S3. "Easy to use" may be subjective though. I found it pretty straightforward to navigate through the configuration file. But there is no GUI if that is your classification of "easy".

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  • I have no knowledge of Backup Manager, but you get a +1 for mentioning the necessity of doing test restores. :)
    – EEAA
    May 8 '12 at 16:35
  • Thanks, I set it up and yes, I was able to upload to S3 with backup-manager. Will investigate how it works going forward
    – Alexey
    May 8 '12 at 22:14
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    I am always amazed at how many consulting jobs I have had where I tested restoring of their backup scenario and the restores failed in some way... Backup without testing the restore process is NOT backup.
    – Andy Shinn
    May 9 '12 at 16:27
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Duplicity is a popular choice for this use case, i.e. Encrypted bandwidth-efficient backup using the rsync algorithm:

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. [emphasis mine]

See Features for more details, especially regarding the Amazon S3 support:

  • Choice of remote protocol: Duplicity does not make many demands on its archive server. As long as files can be saved to, read from, listed, and deleted from a location, that location can be used as a duplicity backend. Besides increasing choice for the user, it can make a server more secure, as clients only require minimal access.

Currently local file storage, scp/ssh, ftp, rsync, HSI, WebDAV, Tahoe-LAFS, and Amazon S3 are supported, and others shouldn't be difficult to add. [emphasis mine]

Please note that the software is qualified as beta still, but given the comparatively wide usage and open source development approach, I'd consider it sufficiently mature for production use for quite some time already and use it myself accordingly (and apparently many others do as well).

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I think rsync is your best bet, you just need to write a little shell script to wrap it around to your needs, check this one out you'll like it rdiff-backup: Main and here is another one that works on top of rdiff-backup SafeKeep Home

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    Rsync is a tool to facilitate transfers. It isn't really a backup solution in itself. The author appears to be looking for more of a whole backup script / package.
    – Andy Shinn
    May 8 '12 at 15:22
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Bacula is good, although it doesn't support storage to S3. The app accessing S3 will likely have the same issues S3FS has

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