How did you hear about restic?


#1

I’m curious how my fellow restic users came to hear or learn about restic, so here’s a question to all of you:

How/where did you first get to know about restic, and if at first you didn’t pursue it further, what made you finally do so later on?


#2

Wanting to get back into Go development, I recently started listening to the Go Time podcast. One of the first few episodes I listened to was this one: https://changelog.com/gotime/48.

The timing was great because I was also looking for a Time Machine alternative. It helped that Matt Holt was also saying kind things about Restic on Twitter.


#3

With the demise of Crashplan Home I started looking into a replacement setup. I was reading a lot about Borg, Rclone, and Duplicity along with B2 storage, and a discussion landed me here. I like what I have seen from Restic a lot, but I don’t know if I will be able to replace what I had with Crashplan any time soon.


#4

I also come from looking for a Crashplan replacement for family. Restic looks great, though I don’t have any real backups yet. I’m still evaluating how well it will work to run restic automatically on Windows machines (which my family has several of), particularly with only remote access to the machines.


#7

#8

bup

I originally found bup when it was first announced by Avery. I was following git development very closely at the time and here was a backup scheme that used git’s repository format. Like most of Avery’s projects, bup was completely brilliant and used a novel deduplication scheme that I hadn’t seen before. This was nicely explained in bup’s DESIGN document. However, like Avery’s other projects, bup was only partially completed before he moved on to other things. Most notably it was missing the ability to delete anything from the backup repository. The data just keeps growing and growing without bounds and you would end up with a copy of every single backup from the last year. Surprisingly this still used less diskspace than most competing solutions.

Attic

Later attic came along and it felt like a cleaned up completed version of bup. It had the ability to prune backups, had compression and generally just worked. For the server workloads, I was looking at it did everything I needed.

CrashPlan

Meanwhile, I started using the free version of CrashPlan for my personal computers. I have a 5-bay Synology and I helped setup most my immediate family to backup their important files to my machine. They are clueless with computers and don’t understand why they need backups. This worked pretty well and did a good job notifying me when problems develop. I don’t think they would be able to install restic or deal with problems when they occur.

Borg

I looked into borg for a while when it first came out. Borg is a fork of the attic project. The attic developer, Jonas, was very careful and very conservative and really wasn’t interested in outside contributions. Lots of people had ideas for attic and even implemented them, but Jonas wouldn’t take the changes. So Borg was born. Initially, it took a flurry of new csets from outside sources and really wasn’t that stable for a while. Borg also had a lot more knobs you can tweak for tuning. You can change the compression and tweak the memory/size tradeoffs of the block splitter.

For my workload I found attic’s defaults to be better suited for the machines I was using and it just worked. Borg was too unstable. I am sure this characterization is pretty much the reverse now. Attic is stagnating and Borg appears to have stabilized and is being maintained, but I never ended up using it.

Restic

So I had a tendency of watching the deduplicating backup space and trying every new thing. I also was just learning to write Go code so when Restic came out I tried it immediately.

It started with Attic’s original limitations where you couldn’t delete snapshots, but unlike Attic, @fd0 has always been very good at building community. I started playing with it immediately. Being a compiled language and highly concurrent I had hopes that it would be a lot faster than attic for my server backups. Turns out that concurrency caused a number of problems with locality. Especially when operating on spinning disks. But Restic performs well and has been steadily improving.

Now I am starting to ponder how I can have family and friends use Restic for backups.

To answer the original question: I found Restic by doing a google search for backup programs.

Surprisingly none of the early posts to Hacker News about Restic seemed to get any traction.


#9

Great writeup(s), thank you everyone!

We pinned this topic, for now in this category only (it can be pinned globally as well), in the hopes that future newcomers to the forum will see it and keep adding to it :slight_smile:


#10

I have heard about restic by reading old https://www.cronweekly.com/issue-76 but really started testing after reading the DNS expert post http://jpmens.net/2017/08/22/my-backup-software-of-choice-restic/

I am actually running http://www.hashbackup.com/ for some time but started using now restic in addition to see how it performs etc…
Hashbackup performs well, but is not open source (and may stop to be free anytime) which is the main raison I’m looking for an alternative like restic.

B2
I was previously using my own disks at offsite on 24/24… but for my “low” volume of backup, B2 storage is costing cheaper than to have to buy a new 1 TB disk every 24 or 36 months when it die. So as long as the data is encrypted before to be sent to B2, I want to use a backup client to support B2 (in addition to SCP, SFTP etc… )
Until yesterday, Restic was not listed on the https://www.backblaze.com/b2/integrations.html but this is now fixed so people like me looking for a B2 support client will now see restic exists.


#11

Cool, I hadn’t heard of cron.weekly before, looks pretty interesting. Weekly digests can be pretty useful to keep up with all (or some of) the things going on in our industry!


#12

I heard about it due to a Tweet from Filippo Valsorda :slight_smile:
The Go community is amazing so I instantly checked out the project to figure out if I can use it in production-ish environments.


#13

I got lucky. I was looking at backup software since CrashPlan decided to screw over all their home servers. I had found a bunch and was using Minio to test S3 integration and decide to look for backup solutions written in Go which is when I came across restic. I’m glad I did because it’s what I settled on after looking at a bunch of both free and paid solutions.