I have bought some space from evbackup which provides me FTP, rsync and SSH. But I have also read that Amazon S3 can also be used to backups.

So I am really confused that do Amazon give FTP access to upload files to backup.

How can I download those files.

I read their site many time but could not understood how their system works. I just want to backup my users home directory


5 Answers 5


No, you cannot use rsync to transfer files to Amazon. It uses its own protocol for the service. But you can access their storage via third-party services, like www.s3rsync.com, then you'll be able to use rsync, and your data will be finally transfered to S3 storage.

Or you can use special utilities designed for S3 storage. There are: s3sync, s3command, s3cp, tarsnap (tarsnap is a third party service, like s3rsync).

Another rsync-like tool, duplicity, supports S3 storage as a backend as well as many other backup backends, including RackSpace Cloud Files (another cloud storage service, priced similarly to Amazon S3).

Backup to S3:

duplicity /home/me s3+http://bucketname/prefix

or to Rackspace's Cloud Files:

duplicity /home/me cf+http://container_name
  • thanks for that , also i could not understand their data model . i was checking their prices and they always state for bandwidth . like 0.18cents per GB data transfer. Suppose i upload 50GB data there for backup thats it and then do nothiing . Then how much they charge if i don't do nay tranfer. i could not find any where they staate how much space they give like 50$ for 50GB hard disk
    – Mirage
    May 25, 2011 at 7:00
  • @Moorage: Amazon charges both for storage (from $0.14/GB per month), and transfer ($0.1/GB for transfer in). So for 50 GB you pay $7/month if you don't access this data. There are also RackSpace Cloud Files which is a similar service.
    – sastanin
    May 25, 2011 at 15:09
  • duplicity looks very nice. I wish I would have seen that before writing my own rsync clone. If duplicity is a little too elaborate for you, check out my simple "rsync-like" wrapper for boto: github.com/seedifferently/boto_rsync
    – Seth
    Jan 22, 2012 at 1:44
  • 1
    P.S. I've never used duplicity myself, but one of my friends reported broken backups. Use with care.
    – sastanin
    Jul 27, 2012 at 16:44
  • You can also try minio client [github.com/minio/mc ] aka mc. You can use [mc mirror] command to mirror your local folder with S3 bucket.
    – user52692
    Nov 26, 2015 at 7:19

Amazon's official command line interface worked well for me. It can sync from local to an S3 bucket, and also sync from an S3 bucket back to local files.

1) install Amazon's command line interface, from https://aws.amazon.com/cli/

2) from a shell,

export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=(access key here)
export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=(secret key here)
export AWS_DEFAULT_REGION=(region here)
cd dirtoupload
aws s3 sync . s3://nameOfBucket

More useful options like --dryrun and --delete (to mirror) listed at http://docs.aws.amazon.com/cli/latest/reference/s3/sync.html.


You can simply mount your bucket locally using s3fs and then use rsync to copy to that mount point.

  • 3
    That sounds fun, but it would surely be reading locally to compare the hashes, which defeats the purpose of rsync... No? Sep 18, 2012 at 14:07
  • This works but it it god awful slow.
    – StevieD
    May 21, 2021 at 5:44

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned rclone. It is like rsync but it connects to just about any cloud storage provider out there, and also supports full encryption. I use it regularly, it is well maintained and works flawlessly.

Rclone is a command line program to manage files on cloud storage. It is a feature rich alternative to cloud vendors' web storage interfaces. Over 40 cloud storage products support rclone including S3 object stores, business & consumer file storage services, as well as standard transfer protocols.

Rclone has powerful cloud equivalents to the unix commands rsync, cp, mv, mount, ls, ncdu, tree, rm, and cat. Rclone's familiar syntax includes shell pipeline support, and --dry-run protection. It is used at the command line, in scripts or via its API.


Jungle Disk is an easy way to back up files on Amazon S3 (subscription including S3 account, but you can use any other AWS account). You may also be might want to have a look at Super Flexible (software only).

  • Someone just upvoted this old answer I gave, but if I was to answer it now I would suggest rclone, as someone else already has.
    – paradroid
    Dec 26, 2021 at 3:00

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