Encrypted backup with Duplicity

Packed and Sent

Ensuring Data Integrity

The verify action compares the data on the hard drive with the last backup. This tells you which data had changed and whether an unauthorized third party has changed the backup:

duplicity verify --compare-data --ssh-askpass scp://dd@example.com//var/backup /home/tim

The --compare-data parameter ensures that Duplicity also compares the contents of the files (Figure 5). This takes longer, but without specifying the option, Duplicity 0.7 did not always deliver reliable information in my tests. You can write the report generated by verify to the duplog.txt text file using the --log-file duplog.txt parameter. In this way, you can include the check in a cron job and then selectively analyze the logfile with a monitoring tool or have it sent via email.

Figure 5: The "verify" action lets you quickly discover changes.


On closer inspection, Duplicity turns out to be a full-featured backup tool. Although you can quickly and easily back up a single directory, more complex situations require more parameters, which can lead to a very complex command line. The documentation is also restricted to the man page, although it is extremely detailed. On a positive note, Duplicity can be integrated into your own shell scripts. Thanks to automatic encryption, you can also store backups in the cloud, even if this is sensitive data for which privacy policies need to be observed.

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