Browse to Network computer, History Dates

Thanks for your efforts in developing this software!

I am wondering if there is a reason why there is no option to browse to another network computer when selecting a backup site. I found Duplicati easily finds another LAN computer and folder if I paste in its network address, but it seems awkward that I can browse to a file on my own machine but there is no selection for browsing to a file on another on the network.

Also, it would be helpful in looking at the history of a backup selection if it stated the date as well as the time. Sometimes a computer might be off line for several days, missing the backup sequence, and if there is no date given, the information is not clear.


Heh - I’m always in such a hurry that I usually paste so never noticed the lack of a “Network locations” browse option. I do however have a few theories as to why it might not there, in case anybody cares about my speculation:

  1. It was forgotten since most people use it for cloud backup?
  2. It was forgotten as a cross OS tool where 2 of 3 OSes don’t need it?
  3. It’s hard to implement for Windows?
  4. It’s slow and ended up giving users a bad experience?

No matter the “real” reason, I can see it being something that might make things easier for some users. For example, a few people have gotten around it by mapping a drive letter to the UNC connection then telling Duplicati to use the drive letter. Unfortunately, drive mappings are user specific so that solution tends to fail when one tries to apply it to a service install or multiple users.

I’m not sure what you mean here - what “history of a backup” do you mean (where in the GUI are you not seeing it)?

It occurs to me that it might be because of using a browser interface? Maybe setting up a “Browse to” feature for the LAN is difficult to do in this interface?

Also, I wrote::
"…in looking at the history of a backup selection if it stated the date as well as the time…"

And you replied:
“I’m not sure what you mean here - what “history of a backup” do you mean (where in the GUI are you not seeing it)?”

Sorry, I should have tried to paste in a screen shot of what I mean, but I am not actually on the computer where it is installed. I’ll do that soon.

Okay, sorry about delay. Here is a screen shot of the current history info from a scheduled backup task. This is obviously a Test backup task. The last backup was about a week ago, because in this situation, both computers are not always turned on simultaneously, and there also have not been any changes in the folder to be backed up in this case. The report here is that the backup location could not be found (since the other computer was turned off before this one was turned on.) I just set this up to see how Duplicati works, but in this case, a DATE, not just a day and time, would be very helpful.

I am also still interested in finding out why, exactly, there is no ability to browse to a folder on the LAN in another computer, other than pasting in the address or creating a mapped drive letter on the current machine. Thanks, would appreciate any replies.

I believe the information shown next to “Last successful run” is “scaling” in that it will show:

  • time only, if the last run was today
  • day and time, if the last run was this week
  • date only, if the last run was more than a week ago

Here’s how it looks on one of my older test backups:

I guess you’ll have to wait for a developer who worked on that part of the code to answer as to WHY it’s not there. Other than the annoyance of it, is there something about pasting the address in that doesn’t work for you?

Re Q#1: Okay that explains it! I had not gone past a week without an update yet, so I did not see the scaling you mentioned take effect. But actually, I still think it would be less confusing if the date were always included. Is the user going to keep track mentally of when s/he last updated all folders, and know that Duplicati is doing its job?

Re Q#2: What doesn’t work is that it is not in keeping with the way Windows works for most users who are not necessarily savvy enough to know to paste in the address, and that this is what is expected of them. How wide a user base is hoped for with this software? It has a user-friendly look, could potentially attract a pretty wide base; perhaps it could also be a little more user friendly with regard to what a “normal” user would expect. I don’t mean geeks only nor total newbies, maybe you just don’t want to leave the majority of Windows users mystified. It would help if at least there were a note there indicating what to do in order to find another computer on your LAN. I didn’t realize how to do it without digging for quite a while through posts here. Most users won’t bother, they’ll give up. If they hope to be able to save on their own LAN, they may write off Duplicati as not worth another look. Or maybe just based on the feeling that the program is too difficult to figure out.

Thanks for the clarification. Personally I think the “scaled timeframes” makes sense but I do agree that a “Browse Network” type feature would be a good addition to the GUI.

There are a few functional features (adding backends, improving performance) that are currently being worked on so my guess is adding GUI features might take a while to get on a developer’s plate.

However, if you (or someone you know) has some development skills feel free to visit Duplicati on Github where anybody can check out code the codebase and submit poposed code updates. :slight_smile:

Just to clarify, it was left out from pretty much all the 4 points that were mentioned by @JonMikelV, good guessing :slight_smile:

And there are two other reasons:
5. I figured that those who really need it know what a path looks like and can paste it.
6. It is better to run the backup from the machine where the data resides. It is much faster.

That said, we can add it easily. The UI is a browser UI, but the webserver that runs it is a normal program that can scan the network.

Maybe it should always include some kind of date, like “tomorrow” or “in 4 days” ?

A browsing network locations button is something I like too.However, i guess funny things can happen if the server is installed as a Windows service using the SYSTEM account. Duplicati should somehow detect if network browsing is possible and hide or grey out the button if not.

Re: #5 – It really depends on how far you want your user base ultimately to reach. Actually, I do know what a path looks like and how to paste it, but I still kept looking for the option to browse to the path, because I am a Windows user and most Windows users (I think) would expect to be able to browse there. However, I personally would have had no trouble (and wouldn’t have minded much) if a simple instruction were included under the local machine browse option, something like: “For Network computers, copy and paste the Path/Address to the folder here.” That would have been sufficient for me. I appreciate JonMikeIV’s suggestion that this would get me there faster.

Re: #6 --This one confuses me. I WAS setting up the backup from the machine where the data resides. I just wanted to be able to locate a folder on another machine on my LAN, as destination to backup the data, and I didn’t expect to fumble around trying to figure out which option to choose and how to find and select it. (Note that using the “Local” selection in itself can be problematical, because another computer on my LAN is not “local” to my computer!)

Re: Backup days/dates: I didn’t have any issue with “Next scheduled run,” it was simply understanding exactly how long ago the last backup occurred with this task. It occurs to me now that maybe I didn’t trust “Last Sunday” because 1) I usually hibernate the machine and was not sure whether the browser tab had been refreshed; and 2) I wasn’t sure what day today was! (Don’t laugh,…–oh, heck, go ahead–laugh.) :smiley:

  1. This is actually under discussion / planned at Progress bar "Next scheduled' timing
  2. Ha! Ha! (That’s what you get for posting on a Monday…er, Tuesday. Aww, nuts)

I see. I thought you were talking about the file browser for the source data. I guess it makes good sense for the destination folder.

I know this is a bit stale but in the interest of completeness for future readers, I just realized I don’t think it was ever mentioned that the full date and time do show as a popup tool tip if you hover over the non-date text (such as “yesterday”, or “Last Friday”).

14 posts were split to a new topic: What about a manual?

@Bilateral: I edited the subject line, because this topic has been split.
Discussion about a Duplicati manual can take placeat it’s own thread: