Best local backup program for upload to cloud?

John Hupp ubuntu at
Fri Dec 5 16:00:09 UTC 2014

I'm still working on a solution for the problems I raised in the thread 
"A survey of GUI-based free online backup."

I have swung this way and that looking for the best approach. Time and 
again, I have found something that is promising in one regard but 
undesirable in another.

Here is where I am right now. offers 15GB of free storage with a Linux client, but the client 
is really just a sync program, and you have to place all your files in a 
designated sync folder.  If you don't want to do that, you could backup 
all your user files to the designated sync folder. offers 10GB of free storage.  They don't have a Linux client, 
but they do support WebDAV.  So you need either a backup program that 
supports WebDAV, or you can use davfs2 to map a local drive to the 
WebDAV resource, and then back up to the mapped drive.  In either case 
you need a backup program.

So with either or, the backup program is a critical 


Notes on a couple of promising backup programs:

Duplicity (say, with front end Deja Dup) has lots of strengths, but a 
full backup should be run periodically, and you really don't want to do 
that because of the difficulty of a multi-GB upload.

Duplicity -- why a periodic full backup?  See, 
where it says:

    /Thus, in principle, you could just create one full backup and then
    use incremental backups for the changes. The developers of Duplicity
    warn customers, however: Not only can a mistake in one incremental
    part ruin the entire backup, but restoring files takes quite a long
    time if the software needs to run through all the incremental backups/.

Duplicati 2 (based on Duplicity) overcomes that problem with an approach 
that reliably merges 100KB diffs into an existing full backup (a 
shameful imprecise description, but at least brief). The 100KB chunk 
size keeps uploads reasonable.  It supports Google Drive, MS Onedrive, 
and other destinations.  But the Linux version requires installing Mono, 
which can run the Duplicati C# code that also runs on .NET Framework 
under Windows.  This is convenient for a small project to extend its 
platform reach, but it seems to me that it introduces security risks, 
since .NET Framework malware does exist.  [Note: Whether it poses a real 
risk is still under debate.  If the risk is imaginary, then Duplicati 2, 
though still a Preview version, is the best solution I have seen.]

This may be an impossible spec, but I'd like to find a backup program that:
- will run in Lubuntu without installing a load of dependencies for 
another environment
- has a GUI (perhaps largely for the sake of Restores by average users)
- doesn't require a periodic full backup
- supports good encryption
- supports compression
- supports breaking the backup into nicely uploadable small chunks
- is not buggy
- preferably does auto-deletion of older backups, or supports 
versioning, or will send an email when a backup fails

If that is an impossible spec in the current state of affairs, I'd like 
opinions on the best compromises.

(I've been using SpiderOak, which has a nice Linux client and 2GB of 
free storage, but that's not much storage these days, and I'd like to 
hit on a better free solution that I can set up on systems that I put 
together for people.)
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