I have an Ubuntu 14.04 server that I need to incrementally backup nightly, preferably with rsync. Amazon's Glacier looks like a good option but none of the online tutorials I'm finding do incremental backups. Is this possible? If so, I'd appreciate some steps or being directed to an online guide. (I have the AWS account set up and glacier installed. I just need direction specific to rsync.)

2 Answers 2


Not possible with rsync. Glacier uses its own protocol for uploads, and requires that catalogs/indexes of the backups be retained by the client software that uploads the files. Once you store an "archive" in a Glacier "vault," the archive is as opaque to you as if you were examining a physical backup tape with your eyeballs to see what content it contained.

Glacier is an excellent service, but not a match for this application by itself -- it requires client software that plays an active role in backup management, since it isn't possible to directly "compare" local files with what was stored in Glacier.

The Glacier interface from S3 comes closer to to this, since when you get to Glacier via S3 you can still see object metadata, but again, purpose-specific software would be needed for such backups.


Someone has written a python script that allows you to run rsync-like processes to AWS / Amazon Web Services with Glacier. See the GitHub page.

AWS Glacier Rsync Like Utility

Rsync like utility to back up files and folders to AWS Glacier. Utility can compress files and store on Glacier. Archive ids will be stored in an sqlite database.

You have to log in to aws with aws cli and create a glacier vault beforehand.

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