Is Duplicati the right solution?

Hi, I’ve been trying to find a good solution for backing up my important files at home. I’m having a hard time evaluating various software because I don’t know what features are needed.

I have a simple home network with a few Windows PCs, Android phones, and a RasPi running a Samba NAS. The hardest part is the phones, I do a photo dump to the NAS every so often but that means I have lots of duplicate copies of photos that I’m keeping on the phone. I’ve guessed that Duplicati’s “deduplication” is something that will help with this.

I’m confused by articles saying I need a “syncing” solution and not a “backup” solution, though. Can I use Duplicati as a straight copy-to-NAS (with deduplication), or am I forced to look for non-backup software?

Welcome to the forums richard.

Deduplication and compression are great things, most of the backups I’ve setup for clients see around a 1/3 in total space savings vs unduped.

Getting Duplicati to backup the data from your PCs to the NAS should be simple enough using SMB. The phones are another thing but you could probably continue to dump the photos into a folder on the NAS, then setup a job on one of the PCs to backup the photos folder/share on the NAS to the backup share on the NAS. You could also keep the photos in a PC and include them in the backup job for that PC.

Best bet give it a shot, if you have questions as you go, ask away.

Where are you seeing this? If you want backup, why not do backup?

Forced by articles? If you seek non-backup software, Duplicati isn’t it, but why want that?

It will need almost no extra space to store redundant photo copies (deduplication at work).

Duplicati isn’t a file copier, nor is it a file syncer. It’s for backing up files like you first stated.

Good advice. @richard can also feel free to point to whatever articles are saying sync is needed.

Sync, as I understand it, generally aims to keep two or more storage locations aligned, sometimes propagating any change (including deletion) from the changed location onto all the other locations. Drawback of this is that accidental deletion or corruption potentially wipes out all of your file copies.

Backup usually aims at preserving one set of files, and generally keeps versions so one can revert. Duplicati stores multiple versions in compact form, only uploading file contents that have changed, however there is still a full list of paths, so if what you’re doing is keeping a history of phone photos organized on the NAS using, say, dated folders, you’ll have a lot of paths and a lot of storage used.

Depending on your phone usage, you could take a snapshot of the phone onto the NAS, then have Duplicati back that up. It’s basically a sync to somewhere and then you backup sync to hold history.

Thanks for the simple answer. I was trying to confirm this feature before going too far into installation/starting jobs, but you’re right, probably better to try first and ask questions later.


I would do the following.

Run Syncthing of devices to sync data to the NAS. Keep in mind it tends to a be a resource hog on devices

Run Duplicati on the NAS and backup to cloud to avoid loss of data

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