Difference between --portable-mode vs --server-mode

I have a headless Ubuntu server 18.04 that serves data to several clients via SAMBA. I installed Duplicati in this system to backup the server’s data to an external usb HDD.

I have a question about the fields for DAEMON_OPTS in my /etc/default/duplicati file.
In there I have --portable-mode as indicated in the Duplicati installation instructions (Installation - Duplicati 2 User's Manual)

However, I have seen some posts where people are using --server-mode instead.

What is the difference between these two modes.

I tried --server-mode once because I was curious but the Duplicati url it took me to an instance without any of my settings. So I changed it back.

Anyway, since I have a server the most obvious choice is to use “server mode” for whatever software I install on that box. But not knowing what it does makes me nervous.

Can anyone provide any help on what --server-mode do and if I should use it instead of --portable-mode?

Can you link posts with that option (as above)? I’m not sure this option exists, however:


Activates portable mode where the database is placed below the program executable.

refers to the various Duplicati databases, which would normally be in ~/.config/Duplicati.
Portable mode (better suited to portable devices) uses a data folder inside the Duplicati
installation folder, so an example might be /usr/lib/duplicati/data for the database storage.

You might have tried unknown-option mode (are there any docs that this is valid?), and so
looked in a different folder for settings in Duplicati-server.sqlite, but found a new database.

Duplicati needs to store a small database with all settings. Use this option to choose where the settings are stored. This option can also be set with the environment variable DUPLICATI_HOME.

is a similar idea to --portable-mode, except more flexible. You can set any or none of these.
--portable-mode is one way to make a Windows service safe from Windows wiping out DB.
On your system (a systemd root service?), I can’t think of a reason it helps, but it won’t hurt…

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You can use one or the other or the both at the same time. The modes are not exclusive.

# duplicati --portable-mode --server-datafolder=/tmp/duplicati used /tmp/duplicati and not /usr/lib/duplicati/data. Maybe --server-datafolder wins if both are given. Does your test differ?

I can see only one mode option there. I have not tried any of those so far, but your observation seems to make sense.

I was just trying to explain to OP that the option names (portable-mode, server-mode) do not allude to exclusive modes.

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@ts678 and @AimoE, thanks for the responses and based on your comments i think i used an unkown configuration because i cannot, for the life of me, find any posts describing the use of “server-mode”.

I guess I imagined that option somehow.

Anyway, my duplicati instance is running great and I would hate to break it by trying a function just because.

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