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I am looking an app for my Mac that can backup in the background (such as Backblaze or CrashPlan) that will backup over FTP, SFTP, rsync, or scp (I'm using DreamHost's 50GB of personal backups). Preferably this application would be free, but I would be willing to pay a bit of money.

It would be nice if it could encrypt the backups before sending them as well.

EDIT: Command line solutions are fine as well.

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If you are willing to use a CLI solution, Duplicity is a network backup system written in python supporting, among other protocols, FTP, SCP and rsync:

Duplicity backs directories by producing encrypted tar-format volumes and uploading them to a remote or local file server. Because duplicity uses librsync, the incremental archives are space efficient and only record the parts of files that have changed since the last backup. Because duplicity uses GnuPG to encrypt and/or sign these archives, they will be safe from spying and/or modification by the server.

You will need to install GnuPG to use it (version 1 – it seems Duplicity has some issues with GnuPG 2 in Lion). If you are using a package manager, both Duplicity and GnuPG should be available through it (confirmed for homebrew). See the installation instructions here.

To run it in the background, I suggest creating a launchd task (aka LaunchAgent).

  • Are you familiar with the recovery process? Is it as easy as just entering another argument to the command? – Nathan Walker Oct 24 '11 at 1:16
  • Even easier: as soon as its first argument is a server address and the second a local file system path, Duplicity assumes you want to restore – see the Duplicity docs. – kopischke Oct 24 '11 at 7:12
  • Do you think it would be better to do a cron job rather than a launchd task? – Nathan Walker Oct 25 '11 at 21:25
  • I’d go with launchdcron is still in OS X for backwards compatibility only (it is, in fact, launched by launchd). launchd gives you more options, like KeepAlive and specifying the session type your job attaches to. – kopischke Oct 25 '11 at 21:48

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