Mysterious Midnight Backups?

I just installed and configured a restic repo and it’s doing daily backups at midnight. I don’t recall using any options or config to enable this auto backup. I would rather control backups using cron. Why is the default behavior a daily backup and how can I disable it?

Thanks for the awesome tool btw!

There is no such behavior in restic. Restic itself does not run unless you or something else tells it to run. There is no such thing as restic doing recurring/scheduled backups by itself, and it does not have a config file where this would be configured in the first place. Also, the repository itself is just the storage restic uses, it doesn’t take any active action (only the restic binary does).

So, whatever you are seeing, it’s definitely caused by something outside of restic. I suggest you start investigating the way you installed restic - perhaps it also installed some schedule for it.

I used apt install restic could there be a service file that was created? I don’t know much about services

As @rawtaz said, restic itself is a single binary and doesn’t do such stuff.
Could you send the result of these commands:

dpkg -L restic
apt-cache policy restic
apt-cache depends restic
apt-cache rdepends restic

Maybe there is a wrapper / custom cron etc. packaged.


  • Which distro are you using?
  • How did you “configure” restic?

On a related note (not at all having anything to do with your problem): If you installed restic this way, you probably have a very old version of restic. I suggest you download the latest restic version from GitHub - restic/restic: Fast, secure, efficient backup program since the latest 0.12.0 has some huge improvements over older versions (a lot of performance related ones, for starters).

Hi all,

I uninstalled using apt remove --purge restic and reinstalled using the GitHub binary v0.12.0. Using PopOS/Ubuntu. I didn’t do anything to “configure” restic besides set up the repo and password_fie.

However the mysterious backup at midnight is still happening in addition to my cron job.

Sorry, I didn’t run the dpkg or apt-cache commands since I’m no longer using the apt package.

Is there any way I can see what is calling restic? A log or something I can crawl?

I’d guess sudo grep -r restic * in / shouldn’t return too many results. Maybe you find something interesting?

Just to avoid any misunderstandings; There is absolutely nothing restic is doing to automatically create these midnight backups you’re talking about.

Whatever is going on here is completely outside of restic’s domain. It’s not restic triggering it, and it has nothing more to do with restic than restic just happening to be what something else is apparently running in mysterious ways. It could be any other software that is mysteriously run every now and then.

Maybe you simply have some other system that backs up to your repository, than the one you’re looking at?

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I think you just figured it out! It didn’t cross my mind because I was using a 4am cron across all my machines and the unwanted backup was at midnight. But I just noticed my test VPS (scheduled for deletion but not actually deleted yet) had an active cron at 4am AND it’s server clock was behind 4 hours.

Wow. I feel dumb. Sorry for wasting your time, but thanks for the help!


That’s really amusing, nice find :slight_smile: Don’t worry about it, it’s all great to hear we don’t have some rogue packages in PopOS/Ubuntu or something :stuck_out_tongue:

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