Trying to set up de-duplicated copy of repositories

Trying to get smarter about my backup strategy, I want to set up a copy of my local repositories (made to external hard drive) - to be kept on-site, and another copy to be kept off-site.

First, is this the best way for a mere non-professional home user to do backups? Any thoughts about this would be appreciated.

Now the problem I’m currently puzzled about:

Studying the restic docs [ Working with repositories — restic 0.12.0 documentation ] , it appears to me that I need to HAVE that second repository set up (initialized) before I can do a copy.

But then I read about the deduplication problem [ Working with repositories — restic 0.12.0 documentation ]. The docs appear to clearly state and show that the target repository must be initialized so that the chunker parameters of the source repo are used.

I try to do that:

tomc@tomc-Spin-SP513-54N:~/bkup$ restic -r /media/tomc/seagate-21/spin5/_restic-bkup/dropbox init --repo2 /media/tomc/seagate-4/__spin5-current-restic-copy/dropbox --copy-chunker-params
enter password for secondary repository: 
Fatal: unable to open config file: Stat: stat /media/tomc/seagate-4/__spin5-current-restic-copy/dropbox/config: no such file or directory
Is there a repository at the following location?

restic appears to be seeking and not finding a config file at the target location - but that cannot exist unless there is a repo already set up there. That seems to contradict the docs.

But I try to play along and so set up a repo so it can find a config file…

tomc@tomc-Spin-SP513-54N:~/bkup$ restic init --repo /media/tomc/seagate-4/__spin5-current-restic-copy/dropbox
enter password for new repository: 
enter password again: 
created restic repository 229949af84 at /media/tomc/seagate-4/__spin5-current-restic-copy/dropbox

Please note that knowledge of your password is required to access
the repository. Losing your password means that your data is
irrecoverably lost.

Rerunning the command that was looking for that config file, I get this -

tomc@tomc-Spin-SP513-54N:~/bkup$ restic -r /media/tomc/seagate-21/spin5/_restic-bkup/dropbox init --repo2 /media/tomc/seagate-4/__spin5-current-restic-copy/dropbox --copy-chunker-params
enter password for secondary repository: 
repository 229949af opened successfully, password is correct
created new cache in /home/tomc/.cache/restic
Fatal: create repository at /media/tomc/seagate-21/spin5/_restic-bkup/dropbox failed: config file already exists


Clearly, I am misunderstanding something here, but I can’t see it.

What OUGHT I to be doing?

Just a quick thought regarding backup strategy: a local backup protects you against accidental data loss ("oops I didn’t mean to type rm -rf ~" and “wasn’t that line there two months ago?”) and hardware failure. An offsite backup adds disaster recovery (houses do unfortunately burn down; fireman speaking). Now if you add an offline backup (like an hdd in your drawer), you even add protection against hackers and malware.

I find the best way to achieve all this is running restic against a local hdd (or nas - I have a USB hdd connected to a Raspberry Pi) and then simply regularily rsync the whole repo to the other locations. Add some repo checks and regular forgetting and pruning and you’re good.


Thanks for your confirming thoughts on my strategy question. That use of rsync was my first try at duplication, but there were problems I couldn’t troubleshoot. I may try to use it again. I’m also looking at using clonezilla.

The second problem remains. I am going to extract that and post it separately. Should have done that in the first place.

Thanks for your response. Helpful!

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