BackupPC is a free, open source package for doing backup to disk for
WinXX/Linux using Samba. BackupPC version 1.03 has been released
on SourceForge; see
Given the ever decreasing cost of disks and raid systems, it is now
practical and cost effective to backup a large number of machines onto
a server's local disk or network storage. This is what BackupPC does.
We use BackupPC to backup 100+ laptops to a linux server. We use
commercial software on the backend to backup all our servers to tape.
This hybrid setup works well for us.
Key features are pooling of identical files (big savings in server disk
space), compression, and handling DHCP clients (eg, laptops that are
intermittently connected to the network and whose IP addresses change).
Features are summarized below.
BackupPC is free software distributed under a GNU GPL license.
BackupPC v1.03 features:
- A clever pooling scheme minimizes disk storage and disk I/O. Identical
files across multiple backups of the same or different PC are stored
only once, resulting in substantial savings in disk storage and disk I/O.
- Optional compression support further reduces disk storage. Since only
new files (not already pooled) need to be compressed, there is only a
modest impact on CPU load.
- One example of disk use: backing up 95 laptops with average 3.6GB each.
Keeping three weekly full backups, and six daily incrementals (average
0.3GB) is around 1200GB of raw data. Because of pooling and compression,
only 150GB is needed.
- No client-side software is needed on WinXX machines. The standard smb
protocol is used to extract backup data. On linux clients, the
industry-standard Samba package is used to provide smb shares
that are used for backup.
- A powerful http/cgi user interface allows administrators to view log
files, configuration, current status and allows users to initiate and
cancel backups and browse and restore files from backups.
- Supports mobile environments where laptops are only intermittently
connected to the network and have dynamic IP addresses (DHCP).
- Flexible configuration parameters allow multiple backups to be performed
in parallel, specification of which shares to backup, which directories
to backup or not backup, various schedules for full and incremental
backups, schedules for email reminders to users and so on. Configuration
parameters can be set system-wide or also on a per-PC basis.
- Users are sent periodic email reminders if their PC has not recently
been backed up. Email content, timing and policies are configurable.
- Tested on Linux and Solaris hosts, and Linux, Win95, Win98 and
- Detailed documentation.
- Open Source hosted by SourceForge and freely available under GPL.