How far is duplicati away from doing a "full" system drive image backup?

I like duplicati -> don’t want to use almost anythingelse (in future).
(Ok, for trojan safe backup two ways/applications might be better)

duplicati already supports VSS.
Access to the full disk shouldn’t be a problem, right?
(Or am I on the wrong way?)

duplicati already just backs up the changes.

Maybe I’m a little too naive, but I just see two main issues:

  • Backup restoring
  • Handling of unused diskspace

What do you think?

Good to hear like Duplicati!

Unfortunately, I’d have to say it’s VERY far away (as in maybe never) from being able to do a full drive image backup. This is due to the underlying way that Duplicati has been written to handle file changes.

File level access is fairly straight forward in that it’s all built built into .NET and Mono. Duplicati doesn’t have to know anything about how a disk is formatted - it just says “give me file X” and .NET / Mono does provides it.

To get access to disk (rather than file) level data would need an entirely different set of functions that would probably work very differently on different operating systems. While they could possible by added to the existing code, Duplicati would have to change what is stored in to backup to keep track of not just what blocks of data belong to what file, but also physically where on the disk those blocks are stored.

So, sadly, it’s not a minor jump to go from file backups to drive imaging. :frowning:


You can have a look at Clonezilla


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Clonezilla has too many limitations in this use case:

  • The destination partition must be equal or larger than the source one.
    -> no compression, duplicati does this already
  • Differential/incremental backup is not implemented yet.
    -> duplicati has the ability already
  • Online imaging/cloning is not implemented yet. The partition to be imaged or cloned has to be unmounted.
    -> duplicati uses VSS already, but for the whole volume
  • Due to the image format limitation, the image can not be explored or mounted. You can NOT recovery single file from the image.
    -> :frowning: disk images from other applications can be mounted

Nevertheless it is an interesting tool, but not for daily backup

Absolutely, Clonezilla isn’t a great daily backup due to the unmounted disk requirement.

However, there are other disk imaging tools that can work with VSS and mounted disks. Since you specifically mentioned VSS I’m assuming you’re working with a Windows machine, in which case some tools to consider include these (I’ve used them both multiple times):

Macrium Reflect is another good tool for creating drive images. However, if you want to use it for daily backups, then you probably need one of the paid versions.

Clonezilla supports various compression options and more recent versions also support encryption.
Also i have see some AmazonS3 option in it never tried it.

Clonezilla is a very good tool in case of OS roll back like a full restore point. So using it once in around a month or less is good.
On the other hand Duplicati can be used as file backup for user documents, etc

Frankly speaking not wanting to put my favorite down. Duplicati is still very slow in Backup and restore operations because it does things like De-duplication, etc which i feel take more time to work on then clonezilla just compressing/encrypting a dd image.

Duplicati and Clonezilla work completely differently for each other
Duplicati 2 is in beta and Clonezilla is know for years.

Take a full backup of your secondary partitions D: E: with both Duplicati and Clonezilla.
In terms of … the winner is.
Storage : Duplicati
Perforamace : CloneZilla

I use Veeam Agent free for my home backup OS drive on local network, scheduled, email notifications, even free technical support, it takes a full image and incrementals, compressed, can restore specific files from any point in time, can restore full system in case of disaster. Can use commercially if have just a few servers, Windows or Linux. (Windows free link Free Windows Backup for Endpoints, Servers, Desktops - Veeam Agent for Windows)

I use Duplicati, for file only backup of my data drive to cloud. Been doing a good job, glad I found this and the Veeam, so I feel safe now.


I agree with @acidtrance Veeam agent is very good for that specific purpose. And likewise Duplicati is very good for its specific purpose.

I am, as I imagine a number of other people are, a refugee of Crashplan home. Which itself could not do system-image type backups. But I was OK with this because even back then I also used Veeam

My two cents are to take image and file backups as ‘fundamentally different and complementary things.’ I see Veeam as a way to quickly recover from a major disaster like the HDD malfunctioning or to roll back Windows Update Pratfalls and Duplicati (and previously Crashplan) as a way of making sure my personal data is long-term safe from this as well as from from more subtle problems like me doing a bad edit to an important document and then not noticing this for months.

It’s almost like it’s a philosophy thing rather than a science thing, if that helps.

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If you want to try to backup a full disk, maybe AOMEI Backupper could satisfy your needs. It comes with the disk/partition backup, or even the System backup function, which can make a copy of all contents in system drive, including Windows operating system, applications and custom settings without interrupting your work. Most importantly, it supports the compression.
Worked quite nicely for me as well as my friends. Totally worth a shot.

Thanks, but I use a linux system.