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Backintime doesn't support plain SFTP backends so it does not seem to be easy to setup a remote backup to a Synology Diskstation (in my case a DS214 with DSM 4.3).

Backintime supports SSH/rsync based remote backup but the Synology doesn't seem to allow automated SSH logins with trusted entries.

What is the best way to backup to a Synology NAS backend with Backintime?

So far, I could only manage a backup with mounting the Windows share to the workstation (with CIFS) and configuring Backintime as a local sync to the mounted folder. This works but I would like a solution which doesn't include Samba & Windows shares.

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3 options as I see it.

Option #1 - modify sshd on Diskstation

You should be able to find the file sshd_config on the Diskstation and modify it so that password less logins are allowed using just SSH keys.

Option #2 - automounts/autofs

You could setup your clients so that the CIFS mounts are automounted as needed, rather than having to keep them setup all the time. The technology that enables this on the Linux side is called autofs, the daemon is automount.

Details are highlighted here in this article, titled: How To Mount A SMB/CIFS Share As An Automount On CentOS/Fedora/RHEL. These steps are pretty generic from distro to distro, files are often in slightly different places but this article gives you the gist of how to accomplish this.

Option #3 - fuse

You could use FUSE. There are several methods within FUSE to try. Take a look at the ArchLinux wiki on the topic,titled: Samba, under the [Automatic Mounting section]]3.

2 such methods are smbnetfs & fusesmb.

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I'm running Backintime with a NAS DS414 with DSM 5.

It requires one little modification on the NAS and a good configuration. To my surprise updates remove my modification. So, keep it in mind when you perform an update.

If you want to backup your data on a share named backups located on volume1. You should create a new share named volume1 located on volume1. Make a directory named backups in this share.

   mkdir /volume1/volume1/backups

Mount /volume1/backups on /volume1/volume1/backups

   mount -o bind /volume1/backups /volume1/volume1/backups

So, when you access backups by SSH you go through /volume1/backups When you access backups by SFTP you go through /volume1/volume1/backups

The 2 solutions give access to the same datas.

Complete explanation (as copied from @Qedinux's blog): see backintime docu on github

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As I can't comment nor upvote, I do an answer: Jeff's reply above is THE solution!

The real issue was that RSYNC and SFTP does not use the same mount points on DSM as mad as it seems.

RSYNC will use user@nas:/volumeX/directory whereas SFTP will use user@nas:/directory. But backintime has only one directory: you provide it /volumeX/directory: Jeff's trick allows the NAS to bind /volumeX/directory and /volumeX/volumeX/directory so that user@nas:/volumeX/directory will also work...

Below that, you'll need to tweak all the permissions on all files (specifically on the NAS on the .ssh dir and files and on the home directory of you user)

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