I saw this:

Big rsync -- push or pull?

and this:

Rsync backup script for multiple servers

and finally this:


I initially started my search based on Duplicity, but was somewhat discouraged by the need to setup cron jobs on each server to be backed up. So I switched to looking at rsync options, which pointed me down the path of deciding whether I would pull or push from multiple servers. My most recent view however, is that I could pull from a backup server using Duplicity to get incremental backups, rather than just current state like I would get with rsync.

What is the current (2019) way of backing up (i.e. Duplicity or Duplicity-like) multiple servers? There is no LDAP or other central management at the moment. For now, the backups will be done completely managed by me and would require my intervention. Users could run their own backups by creating copies or downloading their data periodically.

My current plan is to mount all the remote server roots on my backup server and use Duplicity, like in the last link shown above, using sshfs. Duplicity would then push it directly to Backblaze B2.

  • 1
    For security reasons, I generally use a "pull" approach. Otherwise, every client is a potential threat to the security of the backup server. It's also easier to control the scheduling of the backup jobs.
    – Jim L.
    Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 22:12
  • Yes, I had that thought myself. To backup a remote / though, you would need to ssh in as root, which is best done with a key, which can be a key pair dedicated to backup purposes (helpful for logging? I don't know...)
    – Brian
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 11:28

1 Answer 1


Have you considered using BackupPC ?

  • It doesn't need client-side software or cron task
  • It can do the backup using SMB, SSH, rsync, ...
  • It does incremental, diff
  • It does deduplication

I used it for a few years to backup tens of servers, was simple to set up, and it worked fine.

  • No, I hadn't considered that, and I'm open to suggestions, I'll look into it!
    – Brian
    Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 15:44

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