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I have recently asked a question about backups but now I have different, similar one.

I need to backup on my server, but leave files, new versions, and old ones. The backup should go in one direction only! Server files will never be touched. If there is some newer file on the client computer it will then be backed up on server.

If a file is deleted on the server it shouldn't be deleted on the client.

For example: text.txt (modified 7.3.2013.) is on the server and if it is deleted on the client, it's kept on the server for 7 days (for example). Then if I create text.txt again, it's created on text(2).txt (modified 9.3 2013.) for example.

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What you need is any sync program that doesn't purge deleted source files on the destination. A backup program cannot do that. –  TFM Mar 11 '13 at 13:16
What, specifically, have you tried already? –  slhck Mar 11 '13 at 16:14
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Create Synchronicity is open source and can get you part of the way there with "One-way incremental" synchronization:

From their manual:

Left to right (Incremental): New and modified files are copied from left to right, but deletions are not. In this case, the right folder somehow keeps an incremental history of changes that occurred on the left.

As for keeping revisions and scheduled purging, I can't help you. I might suggest version control software as an alternative (git, subversion, or similar), though that won't delete old data.

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Thank you! I will try it out! :) –  Davidenko Mar 7 '13 at 11:25
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EDIT 2013-09-02 - Important - see comments after this answer for some important caveats.

You may want to check out Crashplan. It's a very configurable and free backup solution. You can backup to another device on the same computer, another computer on your LAN, or another computer over the internet. If you wish to pay, you can use their cloud servers, but if not, you can use it for free with your own devices and/or server(s).

I have been using CP for about two years and I DO pay to backup to their cloud servers (although as I noted above, that is optional - I mention it in the interest of full disclosure). It is the most configurable backup solution I have found and can easily handle all the scenarios you mention, and others. OTOH, its UI has some issues. Bottom line, though, is that it gets the job done and the essential stuff is straightforward to understand & operate. I've also found their tech support responsive when needed.

Among the features you can tailor is how long the backups are retained (e.g., your 7-day example), how often backups happen, how many versions are retained, etc. Here's a screenshot to give you an idea of the flexibility.

CP Backup Settings

And here's the Frequency and Versioning dialog:

aggressive settings

Note the sliders let you decide how aggressive to be in your backing up (I've chosen the most aggressive settings). For example, I never delete files from the server, even when deleted from the client.

OTOH, I could slide it left and have client-deleted files deleted from the server every week:

weekly cleanup

As I mentioned, I've been using them for a couple of years and despite some marginal issues am reasonably happy. I have no other connection to the company.

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It's not part of the answer, per se, but here are the two main issues I have with CP: (1) restoring by filename search doesn't reveal the path it came from (you can select to restore by browsing through the directory tree and then you know); and (2) it lets you know how many files are left to back up, but doesn't tell you which files they are. –  yosh m Mar 11 '13 at 13:05
Another usage point: CP's default choices of what to back up is very "inclusive" - by default it backs up files that you probably don't need backed up. You can narrow it down to just the files you care about. –  yosh m Mar 11 '13 at 13:07
I recently decided to stop paying for the cloud backup - bought a 2TB disk instead and decided to just backup to my own disk using the free version. To my dismay I learned that almost all the flexibility I was praising in my answer above is absent from the free version. In other words, payment is not only for access to the cloud storage for backup - it also is required to unlock a LOT of Crashplan's features. Thought you should be aware... –  yosh m Sep 2 '13 at 10:09
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