I'm the sysadmin for a small company (60 users over two sites). We have a mix of Windows, Mac and Linux desktop machines.

I have set-up a backup server at both sites with a large amount of storage for the servers and I'm looking at utilising the same server for desktop backups but I'm looking for a solution to do that.

Anyone know of any open source or if needs be paid software for this job?



www.bacula.org, with additional notes about implementing that on Mac.


BackupPC is a really nice backup software supporting Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. It has a web interface, is easy to configure and just works™.

  • Note however that the BackupPC server only runs on Linux/Unix, not on Windows. Only a client is available for Windows, so it's not completely cross-platform. – sleske Oct 20 '09 at 8:07

rsync. It's already on your Linux and Mac. One of the Windows versions you can find there:


  • 2
    a simple zip package with 3 files needed to run rsync on Windows can be found on this page, brentnorris.net/rsyncntdoc.html , the full link to the archive is brentnorris.net/rsync.zip – dmityugov Sep 11 '09 at 9:43
  • rsync backs up files -- will it create an archive that can recover a lost machine or would I have to reinstall all my software on my windows boxes? – chris Jan 18 '10 at 0:49

Or if you are willing to go down the paid route, CrashPlanPro (http://www.crashplan.com/). Your users can then manage restores on their own with a more familiar GUI.


Please try to setup something based on rsync and you'll be very happy to have live backups that are very fast.

On Linux I used rsnapshot tool that is based on rsync to backup the servers. You'll be able to create multiple full snapshots on the backup server without using much space on disk because rsnapshot is using hardlinks for unchanged files.


Check out unison... it actually works both directions.

  • 1
    Unison is not really a backup solution, it synchronizes. Primary difference being that it does not have functionality for retaining old versions or having multiple copies of the data, which is essential for a backup. Unison is cool for synchronizing desktop<->laptop etc., or for redundant servers, but not for backups. – sleske Oct 20 '09 at 8:06

Another option is http://www.areca-backup.org/

if you want to use rsync but prefer a gui, you can use http://www.aboutmyip.com/AboutMyXApp/DeltaCopy.jsp for windows or http://arrsync.sourceforge.net/ on osx


Or perhaps AMANDA (The Advanced Maryland Automatic Network Disk Archiver)? I've used this on a network of around 100 PCs with no problems at all.

This might be more than you want - this will back up the entire disk image, rather than just a few files. However, in my experience disk space is cheap (hell, LTO4 data tapes are coming down in price as well these days), so it's sometimes easier to back up the entire disk rather than just backup a few folders from each PC.