Restic on Windows Clients

I am very happy with restic on Linux but I have no experience with restic on Windows.

Is there someone out ther with real world experiences using restic on windows backing up against S3 and restoring files via restic mount?

restic mount is not supported on Windows due to a lack of FUSE support on that platform.

I’ve done some smaller test backups from a Windows 10 desktop to S3, but never tried to mount it. The command is fairly simple

restic.exe -q --repo backup C:\data\to\backup

Slightly more complex exclude format, to a local repo rather than S3

restic.exe --exclude C:\Photos\Folder1 --exclude "C:\Photos\Folder Number Two" --exclude C:\Photos\200* --repo C:\ResticRepo backup C:\Photos

I have restic running scheduled backups on a number of Windows machines to a mix of B2 and minio (S3) repos. Have not had any issues with restic - work perfectly.

The only issues have been with permissions / execution policies and the Windows task scheduler (probably my lack of knowledge because I don’t use Windows much). I know there have been some quirks related to the Windows path system being different from Unix, many of them already fixed.

I use restic on several Windows Server machines 2003 to 2016 + Windows 10 (all versions) with a combinaison of VSS snapshot and either cygwin ssh or the newer ssh on Windows 10 for secure upload to sftp this is controlled by me.

Note that :

  • NT ACL are not stored in your backup
  • no support for mount
  • AV might cause long backup

I mainly use this backup as a fail safe and long term archival + external backup. I also use Veeam Backup for cloning of the machines

The only issues I’ve run into on windows:

  • The --one-file-system flag causes an obscure error (something about device IDs not being supported on this platform) and the message doesn’t really point to this flag as the problem.
  • Windows has the concept of an exclusive file lock, which other platforms do not. Therefore, restic may not be able to backup files that are currently open. Such files will simply be absent from the backup.
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I never got good backups on Windows without using a VSS snapshot. Many “open file” errors…

Given the open file errors @NovacomExperts mentions, it seems that VSS snaps are required for a guaranteed successful backup.

I started the thread Windows VSS Support to try to work out how to do VSS snapshots.

@NovacomExperts would you be willing to share your experiences there?

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Please see HELP WANTED: Testing Windows VSS support .

The restic-windows-backup scripts might be of interest as well: “Powershell scripts to run Restic backups on Windows. Simplifies the process of installation and running daily backups.”

In case anyone missed it, VSS support is now in the latest restic stable release since version 0.11.0.