Rewrite source path on backup?

Is it possible to rewrite the source path into the repository when backing up.

I’m backing up a sshfs mounted directory but I want to use the actual path on that machine.

so my command is

RESTIC_PASSWORD=xxx /opt/bin/restic -r rest: backup /mnt/238/gate/opt --iexclude-file /mnt/238/gate/opt/exclude.bac

ID        Time                 Host        Tags        Paths
e96b1e6f  2021-08-29 09:26:27  giskard                 /mnt/238/gate/opt
c8acf043  2021-08-29 09:46:03  router                  /opt
d68ad362  2021-08-29 10:30:57  giskard                 /mnt/238/gate/opt

the first and third snaps were made from the sshfs mounted directory whereas the second was done from a ssh session on that machine like this

RESTIC_PASSWORD=xxx /opt/bin/restic -r rest: backup /opt --iexclude-file /opt/exclude.bac

So in the first and third case I wanted the path to be just /opt and NOT include the sshfs mount point /mnt/238/gate/opt

I don’t see any flag for this in the help.

No, there’s no such option currently. What actual problem are you trying to solve by wanting the paths to be the same even though you back up from different systems? The decuplication in restic works the same regardless of what paths are recorded for a snapshot, as restic looks at blocks when backing up.

I’d want to have a single dedicated machine for backup with all backups done by pulling. In other words no restic binary on the source machine, no cron jobs on source machine.

I guess I’m not the first to desire the kind of setup.

To avoid this path artifact I just need a way to access a remote source but afaik there is no equivalent sftp for source like there is for target.

So that’s not a problem if I use sshfs or (other method at involves a local mount) but then I end up with this path artifact (of the mount) in the repo snapshot which is not great as that is setup dependent would be confusing and could make restoring from another path problematic.

Note: There is already a way to rewrite/replace the hostname

-H, --host hostname set the hostname for the snapshot manually. To prevent an expensive rescan use the "parent" flag

That I would need to use in the remote mount case since the host will be the backup server not the host of the source (see my snapshot output).

So looks like -P isn’t taken and that could be used for this path rewrite
maybe like so?

-P /new/base/path#/path/to/match

so in my case -P /#/mnt/238/gate/

would rewrite all /mnt/238/gate/opt to /opt

Having this option doesn’t involve restic knowing where/how the source lives but does allow one (for whatever reasons) to keep a consistent base path in the repo no matter how it is backed up. So maybe that is within the scope of this project?

This is what I don’t see the problem in. How is it confusing, considering that you already have your snapshots separated by the hostname?

And how is restoring the files a problem - you can just restore it to a temporary folder and then move the folders wherever you want, e.g. instead of getting /my-restore-point/opt/ you get /my-restore-point/mnt/238/gate/opt/ and can simply move that opt/ folder to / or where you want it, after restoring. It’s just one extra mv command (this is the main reason I asked what the actual or concrete problem is/was).

On a related note, if you’re using a separate system to restore as well, then presumably you already want the path to be /mnt/238/gate/opt instead of /opt, no? Or are you not restoring using this separate system, only backing up?

There are already discussions about this feature, but it’s not implemented merged yet. I think it’s rare to see actual concrete use cases/needs for it, if I may say so. But feel free to try that PR, it sounds like it would do what you want it to :slight_smile:

thanks @rawtaz for pointing out this PR. Looks like it’s indeed waiting to be merged so the answer to my question is yes, soon. In the meantime I’ll build with the pr and try it out.

Please do not assume that things will be merged just because they’re requested. The answer to your question is that restic does not have a way to rewrite paths. That PR will undergo review and conserations like every other piece of code that made or didn’t make it into restic. For good reasons.

Can you please answer my questions earlier? In what practical way is it a problem that you have to write one additional mv command after restoring your files (if this is even the case, considering that on that “external” backup server the paths you restore could easily match the ones you backed up)? And how is it confusing when you clearly see which host the /opt and similar paths belong to? In other words, how is this an actual practical concrete problem rather than just a cosmetic annoyance?

I cloned the pr repo, merged in all your commits since april and built restic. Then I tried it out with a bash script i’ve been building (which will eventually work into a nodejs/javascript app), and it works find for me.

I don’t really have anything to add in terms of my use case over the several comments in the issue. I agree with them.

I think the operative word used was “you” i.e. me. Yes it’s all clear if I did the backup and if I do the the restoring what happened. If I maintain a database or a yaml file (like I am using in the script) then a program can know where it really came from/goes but the snap IMO needs to reflect the actual path on the actual machine which is not an issue usless one is trying to setup up a pull backup server.

Also say I write some code to grab the json from an existing repo of snaps a program can then recreate exactly where that snap came. Otherwise without an external database associated with that repo there would be no way.

I have plans for restic. I’ve tried out several potential backup backends for a backup pull server (web) application and restic is clearly the best and I like that it is written in GO. I already have a start on a nodejs wrapper api for restic and I can now move the logic of my bash script into this wrapper

At this point if you/devs don’t/can’t merge this pr I can continue to pull recent restic commits and rebuild with this pr (the beauty of open source). I’ll just include my build as part of my app and make a donation to this project when my app is ready for prime time. I appreciate all the work and the fact that the project is active (which isn’t the case for serveral others I considered)

for reference of those interested.

my bashly based bash cli for restic which can use a yaml file for a “job”

BACKUP_PASSWORD=xxx backup -s /opt/backup/jobs/gate/opt.yml

generates restic commands
RESTIC_PASSWORD=xxx /opt/bin/restic -r rest: -H --set-path /opt backup /mnt/238/gate/opt --iexclude-file /mnt/238/gate/opt/exclude.bac


# actual network hostname
# alternate to host for use in snaphsot
hostname: gateway
# target:
# source path by default
# path:
# <hostname>/  by default
# mount:
  mount: /mnt/238/gate
  path: /opt
  # user: sysadmin
  #port: 9500
  secure: true

bashly yaml

name: dbackup
help: differential backup using restic
version: 0.1.0

    help: path to file of excludes
    help: path to directory of includes
    help: path to default settings file
    help: path to default settings file
    help: URL of Restic rest server
  - name: BACKUP_DIR
    help: Backup Directory
    help: mount point of source if mounted external to host

  - name: source
    help: source directory to be backed up, default is $PWD
  - name: target
    help: "target directory for backup"

  - long: --password
    short: -p
    arg: password
    help: repo password (or file path) for backup repository
  - long: --remote
    short: -r
    help: backup to a remote machine
  - long: --server
    arg: url
    help: url of restic rest server
  - long: --init
    help: initialize repo (default is backup)
  - long: --snap
    help: list repo snapshots
  - long: --view
    short: -v
    help: mount snapshot for viewing (default is BACKUP_MOUNT or /opt/backup/view)
  - long: --view-path
    help: set custom mount point path for viewing of snapshot, --view not required if set
    arg: path
  - long: --prune
    arg: prune
    help: prune repo (default is backup). true for default prune or path to prune settings
  - long: --password
    short: -p
    arg: password
    help: repo password (or file path) for backup repository
  - long: --settings
    short: -s
    arg: syaml
    help: path to settings file (yaml).  Keys are same as long
  - long: --host
    short: -h
    arg: thost
    help: host on remote to target to receive backup
  - long: --shost
    arg: shost
    help: remote to host of source
  - long: --user
    short: -u
    arg: tuser
    help: user on remote host
  - long: --suser
    arg: suser
    help: remote user on source host
  - long: --sshcfg
    arg: sshcfg
    help: path to sshcfg file
  - long: --options
    short: -o
    arg: options
    help: additional options  (restic or rsync)
  - long: --include_file
    short: -i
    arg: include
    help: include file
  - long: --exclude_file
    short: -e
    arg: exclude
    help: exclude file
  - long: --dir
    short: -d
    help: append source directory path to target directory

  - backup -p password . /target/dir
  - backup -s  /path/to/settings/yaml/file

bash for backup bashly generate


echo "running root command"


# module_load ssh
module_load confirm
module_load path

local settings=${args[--settings]}

if [[ -f $settings ]]; then
    echo loading settings file $settings
    module_load yaml
    eval $(parse_yaml $settings "s_")
    echo $s_source
    echo $s_target
    echo $s_host

if [[ $s_server_host ]]; then
    s_server="http$([[ $s_server_secure ]] && echo "s")://${s_server_host}$([[ $s_server_port ]] &&  echo :${s_server_port} || echo "")"

local password=${args[--password]:-$BACKUP_PASSWORD}
[[ ! $password ]] && echo restic requires a backup repository password, exiting && return 2

local server=${args[--server]:-$BACKUP_SERVER}

local hostname=${args[--hostname]:-$s_hostname}

local backup_dir=${args[--backup_dir]:-$BACKUP_DIR}

local smount=${args[--source_mount]:-$BACKUP_SOURCE_MOUNT}

echo smount: $smount $s_source_mount

local tmount=${args[--target_mount]:-$BACKUP_TARGET_MOUNT}

echo tmount: $tmount $s_target_mount

local source="${args[source]:-$s_source}"
source=$(echo "${source:-$PWD}" | tr -s /)

echo yaml source $s_source_path  $s_source_mount
echo source $source

echo target $s_target

echo target path $s_target_path

local target=${args[target]:-$s_target}
target=${target:-$(echo "${source}" | tr -s / | sed -e "s#^[.]##")}
target="$(echo "${target}" | tr -s /)"
echo "target> $target"
if [[ ${tmount} ]]; then

if [[ $server ]]; then

if [[ $smount ]]; then
    setpath="--set-path ${source}"

local exclude=${args[--exclude_file]:-$BACKUP_EXCLUDE}

local shost=$([[ ${args[--shost]} ]] && echo ${args[--shost]}::)
local suser=$([[ ${args[--suser]} ]] && echo ${args[--suser]}@)
local thost=$([[ ${args[--host]} ]] && echo ${args[--host]}::)
local tuser=$([[ ${args[--user]} ]] && echo ${args[--user]}@)

local options=$(echo ${args[--options]} | awk '{gsub(/\\/," ")}1')

local bin=$(command -v restic)

local cmd=${args[cmd]:-"backup"}

echo before exists exclude: $exclude

exclude=$([[ -f $exclude ]] && echo "--iexclude-file $exclude" || echo "")

echo source: $source
echo target $target
echo exclude: $exclude

# local ssh="--remote-schema \"ssh -C %s /home/sysadmin/.local/bin/rdiff-backup --server\""

#cmd="$sudo rdiff-backup  $options $exclude $ssh ${suser}${shost}$source ${tuser}${thost}$target"

local sudo=""
local pcmd="${sudo} ${password} ${bin} -r ${target}"

local cmd="${pcmd} -H ${hostname} ${setpath} backup ${source} ${exclude}"

if [[ ${args[--init]} ]]; then cmd="${pcmd} init"; fi
if [[ ${args[--snap]} ]]; then cmd="${pcmd} snapshots"; fi
if [[ ${args[--prune]} ]]; then cmd="${pcmd} prune"; fi
if [[ ${args[--view]} || ${args[--view-path]} ]]; then
    echo view mount point $mount
    if [[ -e ${mount} ]]; then
        cmd="${pcmd} mount $mount";
        echo browse files at $mount/snapshots/latest${source}
        echo $mount:  directory for mounting snapshot for viewing does not exist.  Create and try again
        return 3

echo $cmd
confirm run this command? || return 1
eval $cmd

# sudo chown -R $USER:$USER $target
# sudo chown -R $USER:$USER /home/$USER/.cache/restic
# sudo chmod -R g+rwX /home/$USER/.cache/restic

Well, it looks like it didn’t work as expected. “set-path” set the path property to /opt per the snapshot report (and json) but the actual snapshot of /opt was written within /mnt/238/gate.

so looks like either set-path is not working as intended or it was never intended/able to rewrite the path only to set the path property key of the snapshot.

looks like either way