Create incremental backups without .zip or any compression

i am an absolute newbie to Duplicati and want to create a backup of a few directorys e.g. Pictures, Music to my NAS via FTP this is no problem for me so far.
But i don want the directorys on the target to be compressed in .zip or any archived format, i just want my data to be cloned and kept it synchronised.

Is this possible or not, where and in the pro options for the backup do i have to tweak ?

best regards


I think you are looking for a sync tool. Have a look at syncthing.

1 Like

Hello @Technovolki, welcome to the forum and thanks for checking out Duplicati!

Unfortunately, Duplicati doesn’t do backups using the method your are describing. I think @Wim_Jansen is correct that something like Syncthing will be closer to what you want.

thank you for your answers, i will now take a try with syncthing.
I will continue checking out Duplicati, it seems to do very well for Backups.


I am following duplicati every now and then as I am looking for an easy-to-use and easy-to-deploy backup tool for PC users.
Up to now I used to deploy RsyncBackup and love the simplicity of it. One of the main “killer features” of RsyncBackup being the agent-less setup. Running backups simply from Windows task scheduler without requiring any type of agent or server to be run. In addition I love that the backups are hard-linked direct copies and in case of failure the user does not need any tool or utility to be installed. Simply browse the backup files with file explorer and restore the files by copying them back to their original location. Also the user can see by simply browsing the backup directory when the last backup was actually run (one folder with the run-date/time in its name for each backup set).

While I understand the first part can theoretically be done with Duplicati as well it’s usually managed by the tray icon, including the scheduling. If the tray icon is off, no scheduling will take place (unless run as service).

The second topic however is an issue. The restore procedure via GUI on one hand requires me to re-install duplicati to be able to restore the files. Simply restoring by plugging the Disk to any other device and simply copying some files is impossible. While you might claim Duplicati is free and available on many platforms I have seen many similar issues in the past where after a disaster the program was not available or newer versions having an incompatible archive structure.
Even more of an issue is that the average home user will be unable to log in on the web gui to check the status of the backup. Resulting in the situation that when I am called for an incident I discover the last backup ever done was the one I prepared 2 years ago when I visited to install the backup and nobody ever checked/verfied ever since and a simple change like a Windows update, drive letter change etc. broke the backup.

So yes, I support the initial request and storing the backup as simple copy (rather than archive structure) clearly provides some benefits.
A sync tool like syncthing is not an alternative solution here as such tools usually just synchronize locations and do not do backups including keeping several versions and history (daily, weekly, monthly and yearly backups).

Hello @SkyBeam and welcome to the forum!

This is basically replacing the entire backup design, so I wouldn’t think it’s likely to happen anytime soon. Also this is a Support request. If you like, you can submit a Feature request in the forum or GitHub to track the ask.

I do understand the sentiment though. I still do in-house backups occasionally using Windows 10 “File History” which is almost as close as one can get to a set of direct full-file copies with time info inserted in the filenames.

In case all other Duplicati things disappear, there’s also an Independent restore program you could archive…

Monitoring seems a somewhat separate issue unless your home users go to see what simple copies show up. For you to monitor the backups, perhaps or dupReport could help you with that.

Many thanks for taking the time to respond and for pointing me to the restore program. However if I have to teach the average PC user how to restore a file on another machine I am quite sure I will not be able to.
Try to explain a basic Windows user who barely knows how to use Word how to launch the restore program, point it to the duplicati archive, select the files to restore and where to restore. Just to get the files placed in a folder in order to copy them back to their “Documents” folder.

With backup tools like RsyncBackup I just tell them: Just connect your USB drive to any PC, open the drive and navigate to X:\backup<date> and simply copy the file back to any place you want to. Simple as you would handle a copy of your files on any USB pen drive. No software or tools needed. Even works on any system able to read the USB drive.

For the record Syncthing can do version history, I is it for sooner if my backups where I control all hardware so trust isn’t (as much of) an issue. :slight_smile:

You could study Duplicati vs. Syncthing (with versioning) by @JonMikelV, but when I followed its link to “File versioning (*Syncthing versioning makes copies of entire files)” it wasn’t quite what was asked for here. Then again, I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a Windows program that’s the whole set. That totals to something unique.

The link-based approach seems more common in UNIX-derived systems than on Windows, possibly because links are better known, rsync is easier to get, etc. Windows tools are rarer, but I just found an interesting one proposed in Using NTFS hard links to combine full/differential backups as "ln.exe 's Delorean Copy". I have never used it, but if you like links, this looks like a tool you could put in your toolbox, or script some for users.

To give an idea of how contrary to Duplicati’s current direction this is, let me point to its “Fact Sheet” where in my opinion the full described use case goes against the first 8 of 11 items. I think it’d be a big course change,

The design change in Duplicati 2 is described in Block-based storage engine but it held the Duplicati 1 goals.

There are other articles and developer documentation describing its technical details. Duplicati is still working on stabilizing its current design, and exiting from beta. It’s likely a poor time to go off into other directions now.

I believe some forum posts discuss use of Windows task scheduler to start a a backup when drive is plugged in, however (though I’m not a task scheduler expert) it seems like this could be combined with scheduled use.

I haven’t gone looking at what sync tools exists, but I did find a few Windows backups going in your direction.

RoboShot - my little backup tool (which is not looking very actively developing, but might still help somehow).

HardlinkBackup whose web site translation to English is here but I haven’t looked into its program languages.

You might be able to find what you want (if you do, please post), but I’m not sure Duplicati will head your way.

It’s not the call of the people you’re chatting with now. We might be surprised, but please review notes above.