BackupPC Client Configuration

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Although we strongly recommend using the BackupPC Web Interface to configure clients, it is possible to manually edit the perl-based configuration files with a text editor as long as you strictly adhere to the syntax.

As BackupPC operates on services running on a remote host, I will call the machines to be backed up 'clients' and the server the 'BackupPC server'. Often, and especially on the BackupPC listhost, users will refer to hosts as meaning the backup clients.

Choosing a Transfer Protocol

BackupPC supports five protocols to move data from clients to the BackupPC server: Samba, rsync, rsyncd, tar, and FTP. You should choose transfer protocol based on the data you wish to back up. Please read BackupPC documentation: step 5 of client setup for a full discussion.

Starting with this release, FTP is offered as an option. This protocol should be used when the files in question are most conveniently accessed via FTP, and cannot be accessed via ssh, windows networking, or samba. This is a good option for websites on shared hosting plans which disable ssh access, or the configuration files of devices such as routers.

Network Configuration

hosts File

(please see BackupPC Documentation: Setting up the hosts file)

Network Lookup

(please see BackupPC Documentation: How BackupPC Finds Hosts)

Protocol Configuration

(Please see BackupPC Documentation: Client Setup)

FTP Configuration

Configuration Variables

FTP transfers rely on the following configuration variables, which control the access and behavior:


Name of the host share that is backed up when using FTP. This can be a string or an array of strings if there are multiple shares per host.


$Conf{FtpShareName} = 'c'; # backup 'c' share

$Conf{FtpShareName} = ['c', 'd']; # backup 'c' and 'd'shares


The user name for logging into the FTP server.


The password for the user logging into the FTP server.


Transfer block size. Default is 10240 bytes.


The port of the FTP server. Default is 21.


This variable controls how BackupPC deals with symlinks. Default is false.

The default behavior is to archive symlinks and the location it points to. When this variable evaluates to true in Perl, BackupPC will attempt to 'follow' the symlink. BackupPC will try to back up the target of the symlink with the filename of the symlink that points to it.

This is particularly useful for shared hosting where one's individual configuration directories are symlinks to other areas on disk.