I've spent a few hours trying to configure Duplicity to perform automated remote backups to a Google Drive. At this point, it's safe to say that I'm in my own private dependency hell.

Using the version of Duplicity that came with my distribution (0.6.x), I was getting an error:

BackendException: Google Docs backend requires Google Data APIs Python Client Library (see http://code.google.com/p/gdata-python-client/).

despite the fact that I had the Google API Python Client installed. So, I decided to try and upgrade duplicity, which failed with:

x86_64-linux-gnu-gcc -pthread -fno-strict-aliasing -DNDEBUG -g -fwrapv -O2 -Wall -Wstrict-prototypes -fPIC -I/usr/include/python2.7 -c duplicity/_librsyncmodule.c -o build/temp.linux-x86_64-2.7/duplicity/_librsyncmodule.o
duplicity/_librsyncmodule.c:26:22: fatal error: librsync.h: No such file or directory
 #include <librsync.h>
compilation terminated.
error: command 'x86_64-linux-gnu-gcc' failed with exit status 1

So, I decided to try and upgrade librsync as well, to the latest stable version (2.0). After struggling with dependencies for that, I finally got both librsync and duplicity updated to their latest stable versions.

So, when I went to give my upgraded version of Duplicity a spin using duplicity --version, I now get this error immediately:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/local/bin/duplicity", line 71, in <module>
    from duplicity import collections
  File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/duplicity/collections.py", line 32, in <module>
    from duplicity import path
  File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/duplicity/path.py", line 43, in <module>
    from duplicity import librsync
  File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/duplicity/librsync.py", line 30, in <module>
    from . import _librsync
ImportError: librsync.so.2: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

3 Answers 3


To get librsync.h then

sudo apt-get install python-dev  
sudo apt-get install librsync-dev  

work for me.


I was able to solve this by adding the path for the shared object librsync.so.2 to LD_LIBRARY_PATH. In Ubuntu, this has to be done using ldconfig:

sudo nano /etc/ld.so.conf.d/librsync.so.2.conf



You must now reload Ubuntu's ldconfig cache:

sudo ldconfig


Both pl.smith's and alexw's answers are correct here, but in combination. I received an identical error attempting to upgrade from duplicity 0.7.6 to 0.7.14 using pip on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Here's what I did to fix them:

  1. Install the necessary librsync header files (these are not installed by default):

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install librsync-dev
  2. Create a config file for librsync libraries in your ld cache directory (skip this step if the file already exists):

    sudo touch /etc/ld.so.conf.d/librsync.so.2.conf
  3. Add the directory containing the librsync header files to the LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable:

    sudo <your favorite text editor> /etc/ld.so.conf.d/librsync.so.2.conf

    Add /usr/local/lib to a line in this file.

  4. Refresh the ldconfig cache:

    sudo ldconfig

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