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Bupstash is a tool for encrypted backups - if you need secure backups, Bupstash is the tool for you.

Bupstash was designed to have:

  • Efficient deduplication - Bupstash can store thousands of encrypted directory snapshots using a fraction of the space encrypted tarballs would require.

  • Strong privacy - Data is encrypted client side and the repository never needs has access to the decryption keys.

  • Offline decryption keys - Backups do not require the decryption key be anywhere near an at-risk server or computer.

  • Key/value tagging with search - all while keeping the tags fully encrypted.

  • Great performance on slow networks - Bupstash really strives to work well on high latency networks like cellular and connections to far-off lands.

  • Secure remote access controls - Ransomware, angry spouses, and disgruntled business partners will be powerless to delete your remote backups.

  • Efficient incremental backups - Bupstash knows what it backed up last time and skips that work.

  • Fantastic performance with low ram usage - Bupstash won't bog down your production servers.

  • Safety against malicious attacks - Bupstash is written in a memory safe language to dramatically reduce the attack surface over the network.

Stability and Backwards Compatibility

Bupstash is beta software, while all efforts are made to keep bupstash bug free, we currently recommend using bupstash for making REDUNDANT backups where failure can be tolerated.

The repository format is approaching stability, and will not be changed in a backwards incompatible way unless there is very strong justification. Future changes will most likely be backwards compatible, or come with a migration path if it is needed at all.

Guides, documentation and support

Typical usage

Initialize a new Bupstash repository via ssh.

$ export BUPSTASH_REPOSITORY=ssh://$SERVER/home/me/backups
$ # Ensure bupstash is on the $PATH of both machines.
$ bupstash init

Create a new encryption key, and tell bupstash to use it.

$ bupstash new-key -o backups.key
$ export BUPSTASH_KEY="$(pwd)/backups.key"

Save a directory as a tarball snapshot.

$ bupstash put hostname="$(hostname)" ./some-data

Save the output of a command, checking for errors.

$ bupstash put --exec name=database.sql pgdump mydatabase

List items matching a query.

$ bupstash list name="backup.tar" and hostname="server-1"
id="bcb8684e6bf5cb453e77486decf61685" name="some-file.txt" hostname="server-1" timestamp="2020/07/27 11:26:16"

List files in a backup.

$ bupstash list-contents id=bcb86*
drwxr-xr-x 0B 2020/10/30 13:32:04 .
-rw-r--r-- 7B 2020/10/30 13:32:04 hello.txt

Get an item matching a query.

$ bupstash get id=bcb8684e6bf5cb453e77486decf61685
some data...

$ bupstash get id="ebb66*" | tar -C ./restore -xf -

Fetch a single file from a backup.

$ bupstash get --pick hello.txt id="bcb86*"

Diff backups, with local directories or other backups.

$ bupstash diff /home/ac :: id="a4b8f*"
- -rw------- 14.50KiB    2021/08/01 02:36:19 .bash_history
+ -rw------- 13.66KiB    2021/08/01 11:51:23 .bash_history

Restore backups to a local directory.

$ mkdir restore-dir
$ bupstash restore --into ./restore-dir id="a4b8f*"

Remove items matching a query.

$ bupstash rm name=some-data.txt and older-than 30d

Run the garbage collector to reclaim disk space.

$ bupstash gc


From source

First ensure you have a recent rust+cargo, pkg-config and libsodium-dev (>= 1.0.14) package installed.

Next clone the repository and run cargo build.

$ git clone
$ cd bupstash
$ cargo build --release
$ cp ./target/release/bupstash $INSTALL_DIR


You can use pkgconf instead of pkg-config (this is required on freebsd) by setting the PKG_CONFIG environment variable.

$ export PKG_CONFIG=pkgconf

Building man pages

The man pages are currently build using a markdown to man page renderer called ronn.

$ cd doc/man
$ ronn -r *.md

Generating release tarballs

$ sh support/ $tag
$ echo bupstash-*.tar.gz

Test suites

Install bash automated test framework and run the following to run both the unit tests, and cli integration test suite.

$ cargo test
$ cargo build --release
$ export PATH=${CARGO_TARGET_DIR:-$PWD/target}/release:$PATH
$ bats ./cli-tests

Precompiled releases

Head to the releases page and download for a build for your platform. Simply extract the archive and add the single bupstash binary to your PATH.

Currently we only precompile for linux (help wanted for more platforms).