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.


#14

I was pointed here by a forum post on geekzone.co.nz. I looked at many backup options, but Restic seems fairly mature, cross platform, with enough features and a nice focus on simplicity.

I was looking for backup for my Linux server. I’ve been using a variety of things, most often Borg backup, which I was relatively happy with. The issue for me is Borg renames (or recreates) its backup file every day, which means I have to upload most of my data to S3 fresh each day. That increases my bandwidth bill, and AWS bandwidth is fairly expensive.

I also had a failure with my Windows PC backups, which use CloudBerry Backup. I’ve never had great confidence in CloudBerry, for no reason I could really put my finger on. The deduplication isn’t very effective, seems to be within a file rather than global. However during the most recent upgrade the database became corrupt and I had to do a full backup to rebuild it. That’s still underway, but it looks like it’s going to take the better part of a day to process 2TB of data to a USB3 disk. That’s really not very efficient - it seems to be uploading everything fresh. I don’t know if I’m going to keep my incremental version history or not - I guess I’ll find out at some point.

I also tried Duplicati, but there are too many restore bugs. I found one that took a year to restore, they called it “a user interface bug”. Once that was fixed I found another two days later. I think I’ll give it a few years - it has a nice web interface and seems to have a good core, but it’s not mature enough I think.


#15

In my first round of search for deduplicated backup software, restic simply didn’t popup. I believe one of my main sources was the Wikipedia page comparison of backup software. restic isn’t on there. I settled on bup (supports cygwin). It worked for a while, but as time went on, its poor performance of purge (or gc in bup) and its lack of encryption bothered me.

In my second round of search, I saw a post somewhere (forgot where) with nice words about restic, and linked the archlinux wiki page synchronization and backup programs. I filtered the table based on my criteria (chunk-based dedupe, well maintained, encryption, supports Windows, FOSS), and quickly restic became one of the top contenders. A closer look at homepages, docs, and forums, quickly made clear that restic was the right choice for me. In particular,

really drew me in.

I strongly suggest someone add restic to the Wikipedia page comparison of backup software. This can possibly increase restic’s exposure to a much greater extent.


#16

I’ve always used duplicity for my personal backups in a external drive and rclone for some important files for GDrive. So, I started looking for a better solution for online backups and somehow I read about borg in Reddit. I realise borg can’t upload to a cloud storage unless is via ‘ssh’ and in the same subreddit I read a person talking about restic because he was looking for an online solution too. I searched about it and read some tutorials, comparisons and reviews. I tried it using the REST server for rclone first and couldn’t be happier about it, so I kept using it. I also changed my local backup from duplicity to borg because they use compression and it really saves a lot of space of my external hard drive (1TB of data is now about 75GB; mostly because of de-duplication but compression saves some extra space) and duplicity was taking a lot of space because of the full backups that all we know is so annoying. So, that’s it.


#17

We already tried that, it did not go well. @rawtaz wrote a page for restic on Wikipedia, but unfortunately it got rejected. Having a dedicated page is required by Wikipedia’s standards, this is in the source code of the page:

IMPORTANT NOTE – READ BEFORE ADDING AN ENTRY
This is a list of NOTABLE backup software, as judged by Wikipedia’s notability policies, obtained by searching Wikipedia for WP:N. Please don’t add external links or wikilinks to nonexistent articles – instead, read our notability policies and write the article first, ensuring to demonstrate notability. Backup software without articles, redlinks, external links, and links to articles that aren’t about the backup software in question will be pruned periodically. Fill in the background info too, please, to make this article useful.
Important note ends.


#19

Would it be possible to write a full page for restic then? Some programs (e.g. duplicati, bup…) listed there seem to have about the same popularity as restic, although older.


#20

Sure it’s possible, when someone spends time and energy to convince the Wikipedia people restic is “relevant” enough to be included in Wikipedia. Be aware that this process will likely be long and tedious :frowning:


#21

I found it through a list of B2 integrations - I was using B2, and going through their list of integrations, and saw restic in there. Checking out new backup software is a bit of a “hobby” of mine, so gave it a look, and fell in love :slight_smile:


#22

I was searching for alternatives to Arq, and I think I found Restic through search results or the Backblaze website.