Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to save a backup of my data on a remote server, but never want the backup server to see the data unencrypted. Editing a single file and backing up should not result in everything being encrypted and sent again. The remote server should preferably not even know the directory structure (and especially not the directory names).

Is there such a solution?

share|improve this question
Check out this EncFS solution over at serverfault: – Mark K Cowan Feb 3 '15 at 8:53
up vote 14 down vote accepted

The best thing around is Duplicity. The only drawback is that it does not handle hardlinks.

Another solution is Tartarus, which can be piped through GPG and FTP/SSH directly to a backup server. It does incrementals.

Here are Tartarus instructions, in German.

share|improve this answer
+1 Duplicity worked for me. Thanks. – Geoff Aug 10 '11 at 16:20
(2013 edit) Found it on github : ; it's GPLv3 ; I'll check if it's still as cool today as it was in 2011 ;) – Cerber May 29 '13 at 17:16

I think you'll like rsyncrypto.

Use rsyncrypto to encrypt files from your plaintext directory to your encrypted directory, and decrypt files from your encrypted directory and your plaintext directory, using keys that you keep locally.

Use rsync to synchronize between your encrypted directory and the remote host.

The rsyncrypto implementation you can download now from Sourceforge not only handles changes in bytes, but also insertions and deletions.

With rsyncrypto, all encryption keys never leave the local computer.

"The remote server should preferably not even know the directory structure"

In that case, you'll want to use the --name-encrypt=map option. That makes each encrypted file name is a random string of characters, and by default all mangled file names are stored in a single directory. The true file names and folder names are stored in the (encrypted) file named "filemap".

Related: "Is there an encrypted version control system?"

share|improve this answer

tarsnap does that, but you don't control the remote server, this end being only available as a (paid) service. It does however answer your requirements.

share|improve this answer

You can try if you are searching for an encrypted rsync-like backup alternative to Google Drive.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.