Code Quality Rank: L3
Programming language: Perl
License: GNU General Public License v3.0 only
Tags: Backups    
Latest version: v4.4.0

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BackupPC is a high-performance, enterprise-grade system for backing up to a server's disk.

Quick Start

The latest version of BackupPC can be fetched from:

You'll need to install the perl module BackupPC::XS, available from:

and the server-side rsync from:

If you will use SMB for WinXX clients, you will need smbclient and nmblookup from the Samba distribution.

To install BackupPC run these commands as root:

tar zxf BackupPC-__VERSION__.tar.gz
cd BackupPC-__VERSION__
perl configure.pl

This will automatically determine some system information and prompt you for install paths. Do perldoc configure.pl to see the various options that configure.pl provides.


BackupPC is a high-performance, enterprise-grade system for backing up Linux, WinXX, and MacOS PCs and laptops to a server's disk. BackupPC is highly configurable and easy to install and maintain.

Given the ever decreasing cost of disks and raid systems, it is now practical and cost effective to backup a large number of machines onto a server's local disk or network storage. This is what BackupPC does. For some sites, this might be the complete backup solution. For other sites, additional permanent archives could be created by periodically backing up the server to tape. A variety of Open Source systems are available for doing backup to tape.

BackupPC is written in Perl and extracts backup data via SMB (using Samba), rsync, or tar over ssh/rsh/nfs. It is robust, reliable, well documented and freely available as Open Source on GitHub.


  • A clever pooling scheme minimizes disk storage and disk IO. Identical files across multiple backups of the same or different PCs are stored only once resulting in substantial savings in disk storage.

  • One example of disk use: 95 laptops with each full backup averaging 3.6GB each, and each incremental averaging about 0.3GB. Storing three weekly full backups and six incremental backups per laptop is around 1200GB of raw data, but because of pooling and compression only 150GB is needed.

  • No client-side software is needed. The standard smb protocol is used to extract backup data on WinXX clients. On *nix clients, either rsync or tar over ssh/rsh/nfs is used to backup the data. Various alternatives are possible: rsync can also be used with WinXX by running rsyncd/cygwin. Similarly, smb could be used to backup *nix file systems if they are exported as smb shares.

  • A powerful http/cgi user interface allows administrators to view log files, configuration, current status and allows users to initiate and cancel backups and browse and restore files from backups.

  • Flexible restore options. Single files can be downloaded from any backup directly from the CGI interface. Zip or Tar archives for selected files or directories from any backup can also be downloaded from the CGI interface. Finally, direct restore to the client machine (using SMB, rsync or tar) for selected files or directories is also supported from the CGI interface.

  • Supports mobile environments where laptops are only intermittently connected to the network and have dynamic IP addresses (DHCP).

  • Flexible configuration parameters allow multiple backups to be performed in parallel, specification of which shares to backup, which directories to backup or not backup, various schedules for full and incremental backups, schedules for email reminders to users and so on. Configuration parameters can be set system-wide or also on a per-PC basis.

  • Users are sent periodic email reminders if their PC has not recently been backed up. Email content, timing and policies are configurable.

  • Tested on Linux and Solaris hosts, and Linux, Win95, Win98, Win2000 and WinXP clients.

  • Detailed documentation.

  • Open Source hosted by GitHub and freely available under GPL.

Packaging Help Needed

BackupPC 4.x doesn't have packages available for all the main linux distros. If you are willing to create and support packaging BackupPC 4.x for your favorite linux distro, please step up and help! Feel free to create a git issue indicating your interest.


Complete documentation is available in this release in doc/BackupPC.pod or doc/BackupPC.html. You can read doc/BackupPC.pod with perldoc and doc/BackupPC.html with any browser. You can also see the documentation and general information at:

The source code is available on Github at:

and releases are available on github:

or SourceForge:

You are encouraged to subscribe to any of the mail lists available on sourceforge.net:

The backuppc-announce list is moderated and is used only for important announcements (eg: new versions). It is low traffic. You only need to subscribe to one of users and announce: backuppc-users also receives any messages on backuppc-announce.

The backuppc-devel list is only for developers who are working on BackupPC. Do not post questions or support requests there. But detailed technical discussions should happen on this list.

To post a message to the backuppc-users list, send an email to

Do not send subscription requests to this address!


Copyright (C) 2001-2020 Craig Barratt. All rights reserved.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

See the LICENSE file.

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the Backuppc README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.