Backup (one-way sync)

Is the backup feature going to allow incremental backups?

Backup will be incremental, by nature. It will detect changes occurring locally and only push those changed files up. If the file has been updated (instead of being a brand new file) it will be created as a version.

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Will the engine support backup of external drives that aren’t always plugged in? This would make odrive invaluable to us!

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Yes. odrive will be able to deal with the drive “disappearing” and “reappearing” at a later time.

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Great feedback on 10/10/2016, Tony. Thank you. Any updates? If it’s another thread or announcements (hint, hint) then just point us in the right direction.

Is a “work around” to backup while waiting till the update comes to use the “Sync to odrive”? E.g., I use OneDrive and Google Drive for my personal and work files, respectively, and Amazon Drive for backup:

  1. If I stored OneDrive and Google Drive in separate folders (i.e., not odrive) on my computers
  2. Use “Sync to odrive” to tie those separate folders to odrive
  3. Set Sync settings read “store nothing”
  4. Set Unsync (?) settings remove files immediately so I don’t duplicate space
  5. Also set “Sync to odrive” to tie those separate folders to my backup on Amazon

Then I suppose I’d have a second copy, but not a backup, since odrive would delete files from the backup. I might be able to get around this by setting Delete to never, but that’d suck for sorting out which files to delete vs. keep/undo since odrive doesn’t show which cloud the deleted files belong to (nor should it).

Anyway…just contemplating “out loud.” I think I’d rather wait for the backup capability of odrive. That’s what we’re paying for, anyway, right?

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Hi @Chris.D,
Your thinking is correct. Sync can be considered a form of backup. There are plusses and minuses to using full, bi-directional sync to “backup” your data. Since we don’t have traditional backup available, there are users that use “sync to odrive” for their own backup use case.

Sync is a much heavier process than traditional backup, so when you apply sync to more massive data repositories, like multi-terabyte external drives, or NAS, it can make odrive work really hard to continually ensure that both sides are always consistent. This can create some CPU heat, large memory footprints, and excessive network calls. Sync also needs to be much more aggressive than traditional backup, since a key component of a good sync engine is speed of reflection on both sides. In a traditional backup use case much of this sync work is wasted, because the user is never going to change anything on the remote side and local changes do not need to be reflected as quickly as possible.

Sync will sync any remote deletes to local, which is usually not something you would normally want in a traditional backup scenario. Additionally, sync has the potential to also push local deletes to the remote, which is also not something you generally want for a traditional backup. We do have the odrive trash as a safeguard against unwanted local->remote deletes, but, as you noted above, if would be a pain to have those pending deletes hanging around in the odrive trash, forevermore.

In my case, I use “sync to odrive” on the important folders on my local systems that are heavily used, as a “working backup”. Folders like: Documents, Desktop, Downloads, Pictures, Music, and Videos. The names may very slightly between OSs, but I have these default OS folders all mapped to corresponding locations in Amazon Drive.

Generally speaking, most of the files I work with on a day-to-day basis are in these locations. Mapping things in this way allows me to sync changes and additions, without me having to change any default behavior. It creates a cloud-merged view of these folders across all of my systems. Everything I touch, on any system, is automatically backed-up to the remote storage and then synced down to my other systems as placeholders or locally cached files, depending on the location and use case.

Since many applications like to default to these locations, it gives me the advantages of cloud storage and multi-system mirroring without having to configure these applications to use non-default paths. With this type of setup I also have the flexibility to move any placeholders to any other locations that are mapped. So I can move a placeholder from my Downloads folder to my Documents folder or to my Desktop. This move is reflected in the cloud and across all of my devices.

Long story short (too late), odrive is not the same as “traditional backup” and may not be the right solution for you in cases where you are working with multi-terabyte data sets, are not interested in any two-way reflection, or want to remove all possibility of deletes. For use cases that fall outside of that, the default odrive folder or “sync to odrive” folders can be very useful features and ones that I have found to be fundamentally transformative in my own use of the my local systems, and cloud.

More information on “sync to odrive”:


Just wanted to check in if you have any news about the backup functionality, any release date in sight?
Or are there significant problems that it will take (a lot) longer? If so, I will re-asses my backup situation (I have no cloud backup running at the moment, after prematurely ending my crashplan membership in exchange for odrive backup).

Hopefully in time for Christmas :wink:


It is still being worked on. It probably won’t be available before Christmas, but are hoping to be able to release something within the next 8 weeks.


6 weeks further down the line. Apologies for stressing this issue, it just feels uncomfortable not having a backup running.
Any end in sight, or could we expect it later this year?


Bump. Any news? It’s way after Christmas now :slight_smile:

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Hi there I am very happy with this tool. I want to advise all that I have tryed the BACKUP function.
IT WORKS !!! The Command should be passed like so :
python “$HOME/.odrive-agent/bin/” backup “temp/” “/OneDrive For Business/”

The explaination is : “temp” should be your local folder to save and
"/OneDrive For Business/" the Absolute Path for the Remote Folder on
your One Drive For Business Storage. So if you have Dropbox change it
into “/Dropbox”

To make it scriptable you can fix the Tony’s one :


export agentdir
agentmount="$HOME/odrive-agent-mount/OneDrive For Business/“

cd “$agentmount”;
echo “CHECKING odrive mount point …”; sleep 2;
[[ $(python “$HOME/.odrive-agent/bin/” status | grep “Mounts:
1”) ]]; then echo “MOUNT FOLDER CORRECTLY MOUNTED”; else echo “Please
Mount odrive Folder … Aborting Script”; exit 1; fi

cp -R “$sourcedir” “$targetdir”;


python “$HOME/.odrive-agent/bin/” backup “temp/” “/OneDrive For Business/”

exit 0

Any news on the release date?

Hi @ciro.pappada,
Thanks for sharing.

The backup feature you see in the CLI a very, early-stage preview of backup. It kind of snuck into the CLI way back when we first released the odrive Agent. We didn’t remove it because there isn’t really any chance of “misusing” it and the fact that it is in the CLI lends itself to only being seen/used by more advanced users. Backup is a much simpler data flow, compared to sync, since all of the data flows in a single direction and there are no deletes/moves/etc, so you can’t really get into trouble using it.

I do want to stress that it should be viewed as a “beta”, at best.

Hi @alaios,
We are still working on it as part of the next major version of odrive. I know it is frustrating that it isn’t out yet. We have ended up doing a lot of work on the internals of the sync engine which will allow us to build and refine much quicker than we were able to before.

Unfortunately this type of work is time consuming, but its an investment in the future.

are we talking about days or month?

Hi @alaios,
I would say weeks, but I also don’t want to ask people to wait to implement a proper backup solution. Backup is important, so if you have an urgent need to backup your data (you do not have any backups), you may want to look at another solution, at least for the time being.

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Eagerly awaiting backup functionality !!!

Hi Ciro.pappada, does this work with encrypted folder too?


Hi Chuck ! I did not test an odrive backup with encrypted folder. It should work but I cannot grant.
I’ve stopped testing it since Tony told me that the Backup function is still at a beta stage !!
So just to be clear Tony is suggesting to avoid the backup function call for backup necessities
leading users to “sync” and “unsync” their documents !! ; )
With the sync of your personal folder you’ll be sure doing a well made backup ; )

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Ciro, I tried, but with 72 TB of files and folders SYNC is not progressing. CPU is maxed out and I’ve been able to backup barely 1tb in over 2 months on a full GIG fiber connection… We really need the backup function!

Thanks for the reply and any other tips you might have for me!