I guess I've got a more general question regarding the creating of a home backup server, a project which I wanted to do anyways and seems to get more and more important with locky etc.

I've got an old pc running ubuntu server 14.04 currently, might upgrade it soon. I've got a music player running and would like to create a "storage" part e.g. for music and stuff and a "backup" part. I want a (once implemented) good solution to trigger the backup process from windows and linux PCs and not having to put in external HDDs etc.

Is it at all possible to only use the HDD for the backup process? If I created a backup server I would want the HDD only spinning while I do my backups or restore my files (to extend its life). I would want that PC to be running most of the time and providing other functions so power off isn't an option.

What are your favourite programs for doing this? I don't want anything cloud based. Currently I access that computer only via SSH and it should stay that way.

I'd love some input from which I can keep informing myself about the whole thing (doesn't need to be a whole guide, I can do some research myself, however if there is a great guide, I'd love to read it). I'm relativly new to linux so please keep it somewhat understandable (or add a wiki article which I should be reading for some fundamental knowledge).

closed as too broad by mikewhatever, Pilot6, David Foerster, psusi, 2707974 Apr 25 '16 at 11:03

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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For backing up stuff remotely without cloud, you can try BitTorrent Sync.

Here is an answer on how to set it up on Ubuntu: How to run BitTorrent Sync?

I personally have a few different boxes running BTSync, making sure I have multiple physical backups available at all times. It is quite simple to use and is cross-platform.


Unison is a great tool for syncing between multiple systems over SSH. It provides two way syncing and works on all platforms (Linux, OSX, Windows). You can run it either through shells, or, for MacOSX and Windows, there is also a GUI option.

I just set one up between all 3 platforms (Win, OSX, Linux) using a Desktop as the "server" and syncing from a few laptops for Music, Photos, etc. I simply made a bash script invoking something like

unison -auto -silent -times "${PWD}" "ssh://${SERVER}//super/cool/path/" -path /sub/path/ -path /another/sub/path

And then attached it to a cron job.

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