Backing up remote source to local destination

I just installed duplicati for the first time. I am trying to backup the data located on a remote Linux server, using SSH/SFTP. So I add a new backup, configure the destination, which is a local path, and now I’m trying to configure the source of the backup. I tried this:


But I get a message saying

The path must be an absolute path, i.e. it must start with a forward slash '/'

So I can only assume that duplicati backup data located at locally mounted paths? Would that be a correct assumption?


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Duplicati only backs up local data. The only way to back up remote data is through tricking Duplicati.

E.g. using fuseFS to mount in the remote files. But performance will likely not be very good.

Another alternative:

If you’re willing to get a local copy of the files from the remote server, rclone sftp could maintain that.
Duplicati could then back that up, and add the value of maintaining a compact multi-version backup.
–run-script-before plus other scripting options could be used to build preparation into job’s definition.

Whether or not performance is tolerable might depend on how much data needs to be downloaded.
File modification pattern may matter too. Rclone deals with entire files. Duplicati backs up in blocks, however it needs to read through the updated file to find the changes. Local file scans are far faster.

Duplicati Overview

I understand what you’re saying, but if I had a local copy, then that’s my backup.

Currently I am using a combination of bash scripts with rsync and mysqldump to backup multiple websites locally, and I wanted to see if I could somehow do this without scripts, but with a nice web interface.

Anyway, thanks for the replies.

If you want just one local copy, then all the extra work Duplicati does goes to waste. It’s not a sync tool, however sync tools do exist. If you like rsync (which solves the file-read and transfer-size issues well):

Rsync-based backup tools worth considering reviews several tools. One that doesn’t get mentioned is:


Grsync seems to get a lot of mentions, such as Rsync, It’s GRRRRaphical!, but may lack a scheduler.

Alternatives to rsync for all platforms with any license may offer some other ideas on how to run a sync.

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You cannot install Duplicati on the remote side?

I could, but that server is dedicated just for websites. I don’t want to increase its footprint or attack surface by installing any other software.