Rsync for Windows clients

It looks like I will need a windows backup solution for a small project soon. As you probably know I don’t typically do Windows so I am reaching out. I typically use rsync for most of my backup needs. To be more specific I like to use rsnapshot which is a wrapper around rsync. Have you ever wanted rsync on windows? What did you use.

I am aware of several options.

There is of course cygwin. Beyond cygwin it seems nasbackup ( and deltacopy ( were the best options I could find.

Do you have any suggestions? What other solutions for windows backup have you used. I don’t have a specific reason but I just cringe at the thought of using windows internal backup mechanism.


  • Twirrim Linux Firefox 3.5.1 wrote:

    I’ve been using DeltaCopy, which is effectively rsync binaries, a gui and just the bare minimum bits of cygwin to make it work:

  • Hello,

    At work I share a few of my users files like My Documents, favorites, etc and under permissions, I have it set to Everyone with read only access. On my freebsd box I run this to backup My Documents on Mikes machine:

    /usr/sbin/mount_smbfs -N //wolson@Mike/MyDocuments /mike

    the -N switch means you store the password in an .nsmbrc file located at ~/.nsmbrc

  • ZenaB Windows other version Firefox 3.5.2 wrote:

    If it’s anything over a couple of machines, you’ll want something proper like BackupExec. If it’s just something small, stick to Amanda or similar!

  • Dusty Wilson Ubuntu Unknow wrote:

    For Windows, I use Mozy. It’s quick, easy, and very reliable. For the home version, it costs about $5/month/computer for unlimited backup.

    If I were required to do internally-stored backups instead, I’d make a share (authenticated) for the areas to be backed up and mount it from a Linux box. I’d then use the usual rsync tricks from there. Or if given the option, I’d use samba on a Linux box (and back that up) and have the Windows machines store their data there.

    I don’t use Windows often, but when I do, it’s usually for a client. Their backups can be done with Mozy quite nicely. They usually don’t have any special needs.

    On Linux, I use rsync with a simple shell script to perform dated snapshots every hour. rsync will handle the hardlink tricks for you, you just need to use a shell script to tell it which directory to start with (most recent backup) and where to store the new snapshot. I use a directory format like this: “/mnt/snapshots/whatever_shapshot_name_to_describe_where_it_came_from/2009/06/18/15/45” ($storedir/$year/$month/$day/$hour/$minute). And then I just keep every snapshot until I need space. I’ve been doing this for at least five years now (but before rsync had the fancy hardlink support, I had to do that part myself). I don’t know what rsnapshot does; I’ve been using my script for ages and it’s never failed me.

  • I backup Windows 2003 hosts using rsnapshot.

    I’ve just exposed the shares on the Windows box I want to back up using the Server for NFS component (guide to setting it up at, then treat it like any other host.

  • I use Deltacopy to backup a load of client machines to our central servers. So far, I’ve had no problems with it – the scheduling works perfectly, it has automatic retries and email reporting in case something does go wrong. The server is easy to set up and use, and I’ve never had it crash. The one annoying thing is that the installer does both the client and the server, so you might want to just download the zip for clients, and unpack it somewhere (perhaps excluding the server files).

    If you’re doing local network backups, I’ve had some quite good experiences with Cobian, it’s got a nice feature to keep backups in seperated timestamped folders, so you can keep 7 days worth of backups, or whatever you want. The one big issue with it is that the timestamped folders have fairly long names, and so with a big directory tree, it creates backup folders it then can’t delete, and fills up the disk :/

  • jjjim Windows XP Firefox 3.0.13 wrote:

    you could use a combo of robocopy and 7zip to batch script a solution. Depending on how much drive space you have you could use RC to copy changed files to a separate directory then call 7z to zip it up and then copy it to a network share. a poor mans backup.

  • For my Windows backup needs I always found Cobian Backup to meet my needs nicely.

  • I’ve always used RoboCopy on Windows and occasionally the cwRsync package from Though now, after reading through this thread, I’m going to try DeltaCopy on a project as soon as I hit the Send button!

  • Yes, Deltacopy is a good one. But you need to be warned that long file name over 260 can not be copied to your destination. (i.e. from wins 2000 server to freenas).
    I am still finding solution to it. It is quite annoying to ask client cut the file name path.

  • Twirrim Windows other version Firefox 3.6.3 wrote:

    Gene: Can you tackle it from a different direction, e.g. install cygwin + rsync on the server? Or cygwin+sshd and fetch from the server to the freenas box?

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