Symbolic links for backup files

Hello, I am doing backups of my documents folder in a destination folder which it is in the same SSD disk, in order to have the quicker speed doing backups and be independent of internet connection. However, I need now to free space because the disk is almost full.

My question is: Is it possible to move the backup files to an external drive, and leave instead a symbolic link in the backup folder? There is a lot of old backup files that apparently are not accessed for rutine backup.

Apparently the idea it works (I am using windows 7), but I am not sure if I will have problems, for example if the disk with the symbolic link target is not attached.

Also, duplicati reports a warning for each linked file, because the size is 0 bytes, and the expected size is greater. Nevertheless, this not a problem for using the file. Can I turn off these warnings?

Thanks you very much.

Welcome to the forum @Jaime_CBM

This sounds like one symbolic link (speaking in singular), sounding like a folder link, but then:

sounded like a link per backup file, which is harder to set up and will require constant upkeep.
Duplicati will create new files, and (depending on retention setting) might also delete old ones.

How exactly are you making the links? Far simpler would be to just tell Duplicati the new path.
Screen 2 Destination will let you type in the new external drive path, or Browse for it in tree.

This won’t save you from issues if the path isn’t there though, e.g. if you unplug external drive.
You can use a script before backups to test for it, but for backup to work, it needs its files area.


My objective is to keep the backup files in the internal SSD disk of my laptop, to avoid using removable media or internet dependency. For that reason, I do not want to change the destination folder to other external folders.

However, I saw that a considerable number of files are not modified from more than one year, and I suppose that they are only neccesaries for restoring, but not for daily backup.

My idea is to remove only those old files, apparently not used in daliy backup.
Thus, I do a symbolic link, but not all of the .dblock files, just the older ones.
Apparently, Duplicati see the files and can access the data as if they were still in the folder, although there is a warning because the size of the symlink is 0 bytes.

Then, I can remove the external disk, and only when i need to restore something, I plug the removable media with the files again.

For me it is very easy to create symbolic links, because i have installed an Explorer extension which permit drag and drop of files for creating hardlinks, junctions or symbolic links. This is the url of that extension:

Sound a littlebit complicated but maybe I’ll give it a try.



Interesting idea. I’ll be surprised if it works, especially if you plan on removing the target disk.

Also note that at some point Duplicati will want to delete some older files (unless you are keeping all versions). Not sure how that will work with symbolic links. Will Duplicati delete the link, or the target file?

Duplicati also will repackage volumes sometimes (unless you’ve turned off auto-compaction).

Deleting a version deleted the link not the target.

–no-backend-verification=true seems to do it (even though it only talks about the check BEFORE the backup), however this is for special purposes, and should not be used if you value backup integrity…

The idea of trying to split backup files between different storage media seems like it’s inviting trouble.