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My New Backup Setup with Kopia

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Kaan Barmore-Genç 1 month ago
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title: "My New Backup Setup with Kopia"
date: 2022-05-29T16:37:03-04:00
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- untagged
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I've recently switched to [Kopia](https://kopia.io/) after having some trouble with Duplicati. There
was some sort of issue with mono (the runtime used by Duplicati) not reading the
certificate files on my system, and failing to authenticate the Backblaze B2
connections. After most workarounds I read online not solving the issue, and the
problem not being solved after months of waiting, I decided it might be time to
check out some other backup solutions.
## What I want from backup software
There are some features that I think are crucial for backup software.
- Incremental backups. These save massive amounts of space, and it's
non-negotiable in my opinion. I'm not going to waste space storing a hundred
duplicates of each file, any sane backup solution must be able to deduplicate
the data in the backups.
- Client-side encryption. While I have some level of trust for the services I'm
backing up my data on, I don't trust them to not read through my data. Between Google implementing a [copyrighted material scanner](https://torrentfreak.com/google-drive-uses-hash-matching-detect-pirated-content/) and the [said scanner going haywire](https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/google-drive-flags-nearly-empty-files-for-copyright-infringement/), while I have nothing illegal in my backups I'd rather keep my data out of these services hands.
- Compression is also important to me. A lot of the data on my computer that I
want to back up is stuff like code files, configuration files, game saves and
such. A lot of these files are not compressed well or at all, so compressing
the backed up data can be a major win in terms of space savings. Modern
processors can decompress data faster than disks can read or write them with
the right algorithms, so this usually comes at effectively no cost too. Of
course this may be less important for you if what you are trying to back up is
already compressed data like images, videos, and music files.
- Being able to restore only some files or folders without doing a full restore.
Some services like Backblaze B2 charge you for data downloaded, so it's
important that if I'm only restoring a few files, I can do so without
downloading the entire archive.
## Kopia
Kopia checks all these boxes. Backups are incremental, everything is encrypted
client side. Compression is supported and is configurable, and you can mount
your backups to restore only a subset of files or read them without restoring.
Something small that is amazing though is that Kopia can read `.gitignore` files
to filter those files out of your backups! This is amazing as a developer
because I already have gitignore files set up to ignore things like
`node_modules` or project build directories, which I wouldn't care about backing
up. Thanks to Kopia, these are immediately filtered out of my backups without
any extra effort.
## Are incremental backups and compression really worth it?
Yes, absolutely!
Right now I have Kopia set up to back up my home directory, which contains about
9.8GB of data after all excluding all the cache files, video games, and applying
gitignores. I have 13 snapshots of this, which in total take up 4.9GB on disk.
13 snapshots take less space than the entirety of my home directory!
I have Kopia set up to use pgzip compression which seems to be the best option
in terms of compression speed versus storage size.
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