Restic is good backup software. It’s a command line tool for backing up filesystems to various local and remote options. It is well documented, easy to set up, secure, and quite fast. It’s a very professional product. I am now backing up all my Linux systems with it. Note it’s a sysadmin tool; I don’t think there’s a friendly consumer GUI.

The underlying data model is its genius. Backups are stored in a repository, some complex hash-index blob store that I don’t understand at all. But it seems able to quickly store blocks of data and de-duplicate them so incremental backups are efficient. It’s encrypted and the blobs in the repository are stored in a simple filesystem. That makes it easy and safe to backup to all sorts of places including untrusted remote stores. I’m doing remote backups to BackBlaze’s S3-like filesystem for about $1/month.

The repo format means you need a working copy of restic to restore your files. I’m OK with that, it’s open source. And the tool is great. It has options for bulk restore, individual file restore, interactive restore via a FUSE filesystem. Also a check command you can use to verify subsets of the backup on your own schedule.

The basic command line tool is good but limited. I’m using resticprofile as a frontend. You set up a single config file and it takes care of running restic for you, even scheduling itself in cron. It’s a bit idiosyncratic but seems to work fine once set up. backrest is another frontend, I haven’t tried it.

Shout out to rsnapshot, I’ve been backing up with it for 18 years now. Time for something new. rsnapshot is pretty slow on lots of little files and remote backups were awkward. Years ago I said 5 minutes to do an incremental backup of 165GB was good; that takes more like 5 seconds in Restic now.

  2024-02-05 21:44 Z