Can Duplicati Backup Windows's User Files and APPDATA?


#1

Just wondering, can Duplicati backup Windows User files like whatever is on the Desktop and also some of the folders in %APPDATA%? I am asking as I understand some backup software highly discourages this

If possible, should I have Duplicati save them in my NAS first (My NAS already has Duplicati running to save its data to a cloud storage provider), or should it go straight to the cloud storage provider? As in, will there be an issue if Duplicati does its compression and encryption process on the same files twice other than needing to input two sets of passphrases?

Thanks!


#2

Take my opinion with a grain of salt as I am not really sure any other problems that might come with trying to backup this kind of data.

The only thing I can think of that would be a problem is if they are locked (?). If so, you can use --snapshot-policy.

Edit: Clearly there are more things to consider, JonMikeIV covers what I said and a few more.


#3

Yes it can - depending on how you are running Duplicati.

If running as a service (with admin rights) it should be able to back up all users files, but as the tray icon only it will only be about to back up there running users files.

If you want to back up in-use files then you’ll need to use a snapshot policy.

While backing up the hidden user settings folders works, it’s likely discouraged because there’s a lot of “turnover” in those folders. Temp & cache files and the like.

I’d suggest considering how you’d use any of that content during a restore as you may find there’s more space use by temp content than your actual data!

I usually just focus on specific folders like bookmarks and profiles.


#4

Hi, thanks for the responses!

Speaking about the snapshot policy, does this work on the NAS too since I do work on the files on the NAS directly? I was wondering too on how to schedule backups while still being able to work the files if I ever have to

As for the hidden files, not to worry, I will be selective; only some programs’ files in %APPDATA% are needed to be backed up

Should I disable encryption and compression for these files if I am saving them to the NAS via Duplicati?


#5

That’s a very subjective question - disabling encrypting and compression will speed up the backup, but will likely use more space on the destination and be less secure. Since it’s your own hardware the security isn’t such a big deal but the space usage might be.

Keep in mind that even with those items Disabled Duplicati will still create a zip file to store the blocks of data your files are chopped up into - you won’t get a direct “browsable” copy of your source files. (I’m not sure that’s what you’re wanting, but some users do so I thought I’d clarify.)

As for snapshots on the NAS, I think it depends on the NAS and drive formats involved. If the drive format is something like ZFS or BTRFS then they should natively support snapshots through CoW (Copy-on-Write).

Older formast such as ext3/4 don’t natively support snapshots but it can be simulated if you’re using an LVM (Logical Volume Manager).

Of course things are already getting a little complicated - are you running Duplicati on the Windows box backup up some local and some NAS files to a destination that is elsewhere on that same NAS?

If so, then you won’t get snapshotting on the mapped drive / UNC paths being backed up through windows. However, if you’re running Duplicati on the NAS to back up files also on the NAS then snapshots should work with the limitations described above.


#6

Currently I am using Duplicati on the NAS to backup its files. I am planning to get the Windows computer to run its own instance of Duplicati to backup its files too, but just am unsure of where and what kind of limitations to worry about.

Of course, I can keep it simple by simply getting the Windows computer to upload straight to the cloud (maybe another cloud storage provider?), which eliminates a concern. Only thing aside from the snapshot policy part will be the restoring but I think it will be fine since the dataset here will be at most 50GB?


#7

I’m not sure what concern you have about restoring, but I strongly suggest a practice restore or two just so you understand the process(es).

For example, restoring a file or two from a specific version using the GUI should be fairly quick but restoring “direct from backup” takes longer because a partial database has to be generated so Duplicati can know which destination files are needed for the restore.

And of course the size of your dblock (Upload volume size) affects how much data is needed to be downloaded for restores. :slight_smile:


#8

I did such practice runs before to confirm that Duplicati is a solution I can go forward with, just that I did them with local storage as at that point of time I was still choosing my cloud service provider

Actually the main concern was just the speed :smile: If I need just an hour or so to restore 50 GB worth of data back, I am ok; I rather have slower restoration but automated backups than having to memorise the different paths I need to backup for each time and having to remember to do this manually etc.