Currently I am using Dirvish to backup a handful remote machines, both Linux and Windows to local disks. But Dirvish hasn't seen any updates for many years and it has a couple of small annoyances (e.g. deleting the last successful backup when it expires by age).

Dirvish features I currently use include (and thus require):

  • pre-client - to dump databases to flat files on remote system
  • post-server - for basic analysis of changed files in backup set
  • connect to remote clients using rsync over ssh

Are there any alternatives for Dirvish available that are actively being maintained? Now I did a Google search myself and I did find one alternative, but I am looking for your experience; does the package work for you and why?

  • I'm guessing you'll have to do scripting to get the extra features with most software available. I've been liking pdumpfs and rdiff-backup for disk-based backups over time.
    – XTL
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 7:05
  • Have a look at rsnapshot; it has worked well for me but I haven't checked the maintainance situation recently. I believe it meets your three requirements. Here's some more: unix.stackexchange.com/a/52868/4801
    – dubiousjim
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 15:05
  • This post describes a patch for dirvish where the most recent successful image is no longer being expired: mail-archive.com/[email protected]/msg01457.html
    – jippie
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 21:52

2 Answers 2


I reviewed a number of backup solutions and just scraped them. Currently I use only ZFS for backups and that's why:

  1. There are good configurable scripts for managing snapshots the way I like.
  2. Transparent compression whenever I go with ability to look into each snapshot like just any other file system.
  3. Ability to create difference steams in case rsync is too cumbersome (yeah, I have some folders >10G and more than 100'000 files -- rsync makes hard drives burn syncing them).
  4. Latest versions can ditch writing data to files if blocks wasn't changed. Just imagine rewriting a 1G file adding only 100M to target fs.

The only thing I was missing was replicating remote filesystem differentially and I just wrote a script for that.


Consider using r1soft we have been using it for the past 2 years and it suits our requirement, especially the bare metal restore.

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