Duplicati as a Backup Server


i don´t know if this is possible want i want to do, and i don´t find something similiar in this Forum so far. So here is my question. Is it possible to use Duplicati as a Backup Server? With backup Server i mean that i install Duplicati, for example on a Linux Distribution in my Network, and from this Server i want to Backup all my Clients, also Windows Clients. I try this and fail at the point where i want to choose my Backup Data from the clients. Is there a way to set Source directories to my clients? Or do need i to install duplicati on every Client? Hiope you guys get my use case, else i will answer questions.
So thx for any help :slight_smile:

Best regards

What’s your backup administration and file restore plan? How many different users are there?
Duplicati fits best when run directly on a computer where the user of the computer operates it.
Complicated usage is complicated. Are your computers independent or already tied together?

I just experimantate to see what is possible and what fits best for me. I want to build a infrastructure with like 20 Users, but want to be able to grow if needed. So for example running a Cloud Instance which backup on a NAS and from the NAS Backup to an external Cloud Provider/Storage Provider. Guess this would be probably the easiest way. But in case of some emergencys i want to be able to set up some quick temporary solutions, so i try some things out.Also, not all use cases will probably be covered by a cloud instance.

To hava a duplicati server would be nice cause, i just had only one instance to configure, but i see the problems there.

At the moment it is only a small network. Today I tried to set up a network share (drive) under Windows and then access it from a Linux PC. So far, however, with moderate success. My Linux server doesn’t have a GUI yet, and I can’t get it set up via the terminal at the moment.

So in general im just looking for Solutions which are easy to use and look for what is possible at all.

At first this sounded like local systems on a LAN. If you mix cloud in, backing up cloud from local backup server system will run slower than backing up local system on LAN, which is slower than backing up cloud or local system by having file-oriented backup software directly on the system.

This is all from source side need to scan the filesystem to figure out which files require a backup.

Destination side speed can also affect things, but at least it’s usually a smaller amount of file use.

Some systems offer centralized administration of remote agents. Duplicati has only its own parts, however remote administration is possible from web browser with secure connection to remotes.

Command line backup might suit some cases. You’re not saying much about the restore plan, so
maybe it’s not intended for 20 users to do their own restores. Maybe they will ask you to do that?

With multiple users, security issues such as separation may factor in (if users can read backups).

Are you trying to let users fix files they mess up accident, or is this mainly just disaster coverage?

Costlier cloud providers might offer something like a daily or weekly backup of the whole system,
which is probably just a VM, so they might be able to get a snapshot of the system from VM host.

More important question than ease is what sort of systems your users need – is it local or cloud?

Designing your architecture is out of scope, but Duplicati questions can be answered sometimes.


thx for answer. I just wanted to know if duplicati can be set up as a backup server for all clients, and if yes, what would be a good way to do it. So if you could help me there it would be nice. Other parts of my system i will see where things are going.

Best regards

You haven’t said exactly what your clients are, but Duplicati does Windows and most Linux types. Headless servers (typically Linux) can be tough to install due to the lack of graphics components, however a typical Cloud PC such as the ones Microsoft offers sound likely to provide all graphics.

Going beyond “can” gets into performance issues, but I’ve covered that. You “can” remote source, however it will be slower and will lack other features such as Windows NTFS USN journal to enjoy
usn-policy source scan potential speedups, and likely VSS snapshot-policy to backup locked files.

If you reach out over a LAN (or similar) to scan source files, you also need to steer around “down” clients which will cause errors or stop everything. This worry doesn’t exist with Duplicati on clients.

As you might have noticed, Duplicati does not provide any SMB client or any other remote source magic. You bring your own, treat it like a local drive (but it isn’t), and hope it functions well enough.

I think I’m repeating much of what I said previously, so the answer is the same. Anything specific?


Lack of requested information on intended usages keeps me from making use-specific comments.

Thx for your Answer and Tipps. I guess it will be Linux and Windows Clients, but you never know where a system will get to. That is why I keep my information as general as possible, but i understand your point of advising then. I guess i need to experimantate a little, maybe install a GUI on LInux and see where things are going or test some other Backup Software. But thx for the moment in general you helped me a little to get further :slight_smile:. What i´m talking with me if i want to use Duplicati it´s more simple to install it for every client.

The cloud-instance Linux clients we usually hear about are headless servers, which again gets into use case. Desktop-as-a-Service may still less popular than display attached right to a local computer, which you need in some form anyway even if you use Cloud PC or Linux equivalent.

Advantages have been listed, and there’s no comment yet on use case, e.g. self-service restore without bothering you becomes far easier if the user of the cloud desktop can do their own ones.


Point-in-time restore for Windows 365 Business explains what you get if you go that way, and is reminscent of my comment about Linux VPS providers. I don’t know if a full restore fits your use.

Where the data is also matters. For example if you rent a small Cloud PC with a small drive, the data might be elsewhere such as OneDrive, and certain OneDrive versions have some recovery capabilities even against ransomware mass destruction (where rollback to point in time is good).

Of course, although any file-oriented ones that do source scanning of distant cloud device will be slowed by that. There are some very expensive commercial solutions such as Veeam with agent architecture, but your scale sounds like you want something aimed at not-enormous deployment.

Solutions aimed at small business sizes exist, e.g. for managed service providers (are you one?).

One open source backup that (I think) does remote agent is urbackup, but then it needs backup, sort of like your local NAS needs remote backup. Direct-to-cloud-destination avoids an extra hop.