For a server I am hosting a website on I want to backup the data and settings to an S3 bucket. I found out that you can't directly use rsync to backup to an S3 bucket. Is there another way to achieve the following rsync command to backup the data to an S3 bucket?

rsync -­av ­/Data /s3bucket

I also want to backup the mysql database on that server to the S3 bucket. What is the best way to achieve this?

Last question, if I managed to backup everything to the S3. What is the best way restore the server if it's crashed or in worst case completely wiped? Do I have to note the server settings myself and reconfigure the server or is there a way to also backup this?


To communicate to s3 you need to have 2 things

  1. IAM user credentials who has read-write access to s3 bucket.
  2. A client like aws-cli for bash, boto library for python etc.

once you have both, you can transfer any file from your machine to s3 and from s3 to your machine. Below is the example for aws-cli.

  1. to sync all files in a folder

    aws s3 sync source_folder s3://your_bucket_name/destination_folder/

  2. to copy one file to s3

    aws s3 cp source_file s3://your_bucket_name/destination_folder/

just replace source & destination in the command to download any file from s3.

for more info follow aws docs

  • 1
    Note: you will probably want to run "aws configure" first, in order to store your credentials, so that you don't have to enter them with each sync. – Tim Burch Apr 28 '18 at 1:29
  • It's worth pointing out that rsync computes checksums, client side and server side, and then compares them to accurately decide if a file has changed. Whereas aws s3 sync does not - it uses file sizes and timestamps. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong ? – Lqueryvg Mar 8 at 14:38

You can try rclone.

Setup (docs):

rclone config

Sync (docs):

rclone sync /my/local/folder s3service:bucket-name
  • 2
    rclone is a fantastic little utility! – Andrew Odendaal Aug 15 '17 at 12:51
  • 1
    1+ rclone, I found it v. easy to use and the developer seems incredibly active and engaging – adampski Feb 6 '18 at 15:48
  • Sounds nice, but can you elaborate what the advantage is over using aws s3 sync ? – Kutzi Aug 2 at 9:30
  • It fulfills OP's requirement of using rsync. I haven't used s3 sync, or rclone with s3, so I don't know any more. – Keith Aug 4 at 2:01

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