Is there a good alternative (free software) for Crashplan for UNIX desktops?

There is a plethora of backup systems out there, but there doesn't seem to be one that rivals with Crashplan.

The specifications are:

  • continuous, seemless backup
  • intuitive desktop user interface
  • backups to remote servers (aka "the cloud"), local hard drives, friends
  • incremental backups
  • encryption for remotes
  • optionally: "go back in time"

Similar questions:

  • I was hoping to get votes from users on the different solutions proposed. But okay, done.
    – anarcat
    Nov 22, 2013 at 16:50
  • Yeah I kind of figured that's what you were up to but in general, SE sites discourage users from posting multiple answers. If you want to provide a summary of the best option, you can edit your Q with a section at the bottom explaining that you as the OP picked choice X b/c of reasons A,B,C.
    – slm
    Nov 22, 2013 at 18:51

2 Answers 2


I do not know of any free software continuous backup solution. An interesting design was written up by liw which seems to correspond to what you are looking for, but that design has yet to be implemented.

Nevertheless, here are what are the interesting free software backup alternatives right now.

Dejà dup is a frontend for duplicity so it supports incremental and encrypted backups. It can also keep previous backups. It has some remote servers options and integrates well with the desktop.

Obnam is quite interesting and seems to fulfill all requirements but the desktop support.

Bup and Attic are also interesting alternatives, both of which are really high performance (so that you can run backups frequently, although not continuously) but only Bup have some (third-party) GUI. Note that Attic is an abandoned project, with a more active fork called Borg and Bup is self described as 'very early version'.

Timevault is one alternative, but it has been unmaintained for a while, and backups only on local filesystems.

Back in time is an alternative that seems to be more maintained but has similar limitations.

Flyback is yet another alternative.

git-annex, while not a complete backup solution, is a nice solution for large file collections, and seemlessly integrates with git, rsync and other tools. It can easily track multiple copies and make sure that you have more than N (configurable) copies of your data. The downside is that the UI is limited and it will fail backing up certain files, like .git directories, ironically enough.

camlistore is similar to git-annex, but is mostly aimed at developers at the time of writing.


I would like to draw attention to https://www.duplicati.com/ It's support continuous backup (forever without neds of full backup) and block deduplication. It's pretty stable in last months I recommend to try

  • Why was this downvoted, it seems interesting and very similar to what the OP asked for...
    – Martin C.
    May 22, 2017 at 19:46
  • Thank you Martin. I dont think something is closest to CrashPlan as Duplicati ( from encryption and deduplication point of view) May 24, 2017 at 12:15

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