Hi, is versioning without storing multiple full copies possible? If not, are there any open (preferably) source alternatives that can?

Hi there! I wish to backup some local hard drives onto an internal HDD dedicated for backups, I want the backup drive to store all data necessary to restore files if any of my other drives fail (so I want to be able to unplug my drive, put it in a new system & be able to extract my data, its fine if I need some external software to actually retrieve the data however as longs as its there).

Now, Im wondering if its possible to do this with versioning as well in any efficient way so that I can go back to one of my drives at a specific point in time? I have about 5TB worth of data that I wish to backup onto a 6TB drive. Its okay if available time points are fairly limited, say that I can restore a backup from 1 day ago + 1 week ago + 1 month ago - but nowhere inbetween (however if possible it would be even more awesome if it kept track of all file changes and could generate a version at any point in time based on that).

Thanks for reading :sparkling_heart: And Happy new year!

Welcome here and happy new year!

What I understand you want is exactly what Restic can do. I propose you read User Manual - Documentation for restic and come back here if you have more specific questions.


A happy new year to you too (and everyone who reads this, of course). What you’re describing sounds to me like exactly what restic does. When you create a snapshot, you will be able to restore exactly what all your files were like at that moment.

Also, restic does deduplication. So if a file has not changed, it is not being stored multiple times. Even better: restic deduplication works on parts of files too. So if a very large file has changed, only the changed part will be saved in the new snapshot.

The question how long you can backup 5 TB of data to a 6 TB drive depends on how much that data changes. You can increase that time by periodically deleting snapshots - forgetting and pruning them in restic speak.


Hi and thanks for the quick response @nicnab & @martinleben ! - It just took a while for me to get back at this.

So what concerns me about the documentation is:

Mounting repositories via FUSE is not possible on Windows and OpenBSD.

Im on Windows 11 so </3

I want it to be relatively convenient for me to access particular files on my backup without having to restore my entire backup & preferably in a way where I can intuitively browse the files (as if it was mounted to the file system).

Are there any ways that I can do this with restic? I have been looking everywhere for an open source backup solution that handles file versioning well with deduplication but that also supports mounting backups in some form - Im yet to find one that runs on Windows.

I suppose I could setup a local SFTP and use something like rclone to mount it, but that does sound somewhat unnecessary considering Im just doing local backups rn.

Sorry, I don’t have to use Windows, so no real ideas here. I just read about Windows Subsystem for Linux a few times. Maybe that can be of use for you?