I am looking for advice, and hopefully there are people here with experience that have suggestions. I have a Linux SAMBA File Server that has financial data on it that I want to backup to a remote server. Also I have a Windows server with Quickbooks documents on it. I need a solution that will create an encrypted share and then do automated back-ups. Any thoughts on the best way to accomplish this?

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Some of the open source ones out there do this for you. Bacula and Amanda. Amanda does have a company behind for a paid version and support. These are complete backup systems.

If you wanted something using more basic tools, check out this article over at Debian Administration. The benefit of using basic tools, if you experience a large failure, it is easy to get the data out of the backup and get going again.

You can even use this to roll your own with a little bit of scripting.

  • 2
    Bacula also now has an enterprise version with paid support. – Brent Dec 16 '09 at 22:46
  • Didn't realize that, been a while since I looked into it. Bacula Systems baculasystems.com – Ryan Gibbons Dec 17 '09 at 0:35

Tarsnap and cron.


There are two kinds of encryption to consider:

  1. Encrypting the backup during transmission to the remote site
  2. Encrypting the actual contents of the backup.

If you are control the remote site, then perhaps 1) is all you need. This can be accomplished by sending your data through an SSL tunnel - using stunnel or the equivalent. The advantage of this method is that you won't need a key to decrypt the backup in a Disaster Recovery situation.

However, if the remote site is not secure, or not under your control, perhaps you want option 2. This can be accomplished in several ways - from storing the original data on an encrypted partition, to actual encrypted backups - where the original is not encrypted, but the backup is. (We use bacula, and I know it's capable of this). In these cases it is imperative that you not lose the encryption key, or your backups will be as useless to you as they are to anyone else.

If you are interested in encrypting your actual filesystem, have a look at eCryptfs. The latest Ubuntu release (9.10) uses this by default to encrypt user's home directories.


And if you don't want to host the backup server yourself, you can also use SaaS such as SpiderOak (https://spideroak.com/).

It's very easy to setup on Windows/Mac/Linux, encrypts everything and has zero maintainance on your side.

There's a spideroak-addons package for Ubuntu to add a headless init.d script.

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