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Duplicati Plugin for System Backup to Google Drive


Nov 11, 2016
Preparing to upgrade from FN 11.3-U5 to TN-12.0-STABLE, I want to backup my system off-site. Looking for ways to do this, I came across "How to Backup FreeNAS to Google Drive Using Duplicati" by Jamey at Belle, Book & Code. It's extremely helpful, not the least because it turned me on to Duplicati, which has the potential to simplify things considerably. But being new to this software (and a few other things), I inevitably have questions.

Here they are, along with a few things I've done and learned so far.
  1. Jamey's post has lots of good background on his backup practices, eventually discussing his current practice of using Duplicati to back up FreeNAS off-site to Google Drive. But much of the details he provides involve CLI commands and a shell script to install and configure Duplicati.
  2. There's a Duplicati plugin in the Community collection of FreeNAS plugins (FreeNAS > Plugins > Community Plugins > Duplicati ... INSTALL). Much of the plugin's code on GitHub seemed to do what Jamey did by hand. So, rather than spend time with all the details, I just used FreeNAS's Duplicati plugin.
  3. But a few things either weren't clear or seemed wrong.
  4. The default network setting is DHCP. Section 15.1 of the UG says, "Some plugins default to DHCP as their management utility conflicts with NAT. Keep these plugins set to DHCP unless manually configuring an IP address is preferred." But DHCP as the default for Duplicati seems odd because DHCP will periodically change the IP address of Duplicati's web interface, and this will make it inaccessible from previously used logins. Shouldn't the default be a static IP address?
  5. BTW, after installing the plugin I fumbled around for about an hour trying to figure out how to log into the interface. Finally, I used FreeNAS > Jails > duplicati > SHELL to access the duplicati jail. Then I used "ls" to look around and "cat PLUGIN_INFO" to see any additional information. It was only there that I learned the password for accessing Duplicati's web interface, as well as information about the default web port.
  6. Duplicati's web interface offers two Google Storage Types: Google Drive and Google Cloud Storage. In general, I understand the difference. But Jamey's post links to a video, "I Hope Google Doesn't Ban Us... - Abusing Unlimited Google Drive." It describes taking advantage of the high storage limits for GSuites for Business accounts for off-site backup. But I don't have no stinkin GSuites for Business account. However, thanks to dear alma mater, I do have a Google for Education account, which supposedly has unlimited storage for each user. (Hooray!) But the folks in the video found some limitations. Do any of you readers know if G4E has similar constraints as GS4B?
  7. Most important, Duplicati has a graphical file browser, which supposedly allows you to define paths for the source(s) of your backup. I have two problems with it:
    1. To backup my FreeNAS server, should I backup everything, system files and all? Or, should I only backup my data files, under the assumption that I'd probably want to reinstall and reconfigure the OS if something happened to the NAS server.
    2. Exactly where in the graphical interface does one find things like FreeNAS pools? If I shell into the server as root, I can see /mnt/Volume1, which is where my pools reside. But the "mnt" entry in Duplicati's graphical interface is, at best, an empty directory. Where's the meat?
      • Alternatively, if one has to manually enter absolute paths, what's the best way to obtain them?
      • I crossed this item out because after posting I realized I had not created mount points. Doh!
      • But I noticed that Duplicati only saw two of five mount points. Coincidentally, the two visible mount points have permissions equal to 775. Two of the other three have 770, and one has 070. Will these last three backup properly?
Thanks for your help.
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