Remote Access/Back up to Remote Location

Hi All,

I was wondering if anyone has developed, or are looking to devolp, an app that makes remote access to droboFS an easier process or one that allows you to easily back up your device over the internet to another location (ie parents house)?

I know that there are ways to do this using the apps that are already about but I am struggling, despite reading through all this forum, to get my head around using them.

I am looking to back up my device onto a NAS situated at my parents house, and then back their documents up to my Drobo but, apart from a headache, I am getting nowhere.

I have a Linkstation Live (reflashed with Debian) sitting at my desk at the Uni pulling (and pushing) data from my FS at home through rsync/ssh. It makes a remote backup of my family pics and videos.

Is this what you are looking for?

Yes, that is exactly the sort of thing that I am looking for, although the second device is a WD My Book World Edition.

The only problem is, despite following a few post that are put on here, I cant seem to get rsync going. I have no doubt at all that it is my lack of ability as opposed to the capibilties of rysnc. That is why i was wondering if there was a simple app that would allow you to select where the data is and where you want to copy it to and how regular.

Alright, let me see if I can break this down in easy steps.

First, you have to make sure that both devices have the same version of rsync, or at least compatible versions. The DroboFS has 3.0.7.

Then you have to prepare the FS for rsync. This means installing the DroboApp from the DRI page, and editing the rsyncd.conf file to look like this:

uid = root
gid = root
pid file = /mnt/DroboFS/Shares/DroboApps/rsync/

        path = /mnt/DroboFS/Shares
        comment = DroboFS Shares
        read only = no

WARNING: this configuration exposes all the precious data of your FS without any protection! If you want to enforce user account on you FS, then this config file will bypass all of that. The reason this configuration is ok is because the FS is protected by your firewall (a.k.a. router). The only connections to the outside will come from the SSH server, which we’ll address next.

Now you have to make sure that you can access your FS from outside your home network using SSH. First, install OpenSSH (Dropbear is not enough, and you have to remove it from the FS). Now, you have to permanently change the root password to something more complicated than ‘root’ (the default). If you have dropbear installed, use the root_passwd script that ships with it.

Next, configure your router to port forward SSH connections to your FS (see to figure this step out for your specific brand of router). You have to make sure that you can SSH to your FS from outside your network (for instance, using a smartphone), otherwise the rest won’t work. This step can’t be done automatically for you (well, it can for certain brands of routers, but it is just easier to do it by hand).

Next step is to give your router some easy to remember DNS name. What you are looking for is Dynamic DNS (aka DDNS). Again, this is router specific and can’t be automatically done for you. Check your router’s manual. For the rest of this post, let’s assume your DDNS name is “”.

Now, go to the other device, make sure it has rsync and ssh installed, and try this command:

rsync -aviP -e ssh --rsync-path=/mnt/DroboFS/Shares/DroboApps/rsync/rsync --dry-run

You’ll be asked for the root password on your Drobo.

This should output a lot of stuff, because if everything worked ok, then what you see is a simulation of what would actually happen (i.e., which files being copied where).

If not, then something is missing on the setup. Let’s summarize:
[]Install rsync DroboApp on your DroboFS, change the content of rsyncd.conf to the model above, restart FS.
]Change the root password on the FS, using the dropbear root_passwd script.
[]If necessary, remove Dropbear, and install OpenSSH.
]Change router config to enable port forward of port 22 to your FS - check for more help
[]Change router config to enable dynamic DNS - check your router manual
]Test that you can actually ssh to your FS from some device outside your home network
[*]Go to the other device and run the test command above.

Once you have all of that working, automating it so it runs on a schedule is piece of cake. In fact, the hardest part is to configure your router, since we can’t really help you there.

Many thanks for this run through. I am away from my machine till tonight.

It all seems to make sense to me on the face of it but I suppose I wont know until I start trying it. I do already have a DynDNS address and this is enabled on my router. I think the hardest bit may be getting rsync onto the WD NAS but I have found a site that talks me through that.

Fingers crossed, I may be back with further questions as and when

Ricardo, thanks for your (attempted) help but I have decided that, although willing to learn, this is a bit too indepth for my skills and I am going to give up, either forever or, until there is an app that makes this idiot (i am resigning myself into that category) proof.

Ricardo, me again, you will be fed up soon! I am thinking that Data Robotics should start paying you a retainer with all the help and advice you give out.

I have had a quiet day at work and been looking through the internet for ways to make this rsync easier and have stumbled across these ‘front ends’ for rsync

I was wondering if any of these could be used with the FS to make my, and any other novice users out there, lives a lot easier?

Many thanks

Yeah, I have seen that page before. This is what I got from it:
[]grsync: not web-enabled.
]Backup Monitor: web enabled, but seems just as confusing as the command-line (see the screenshots) and has not received any updates since 2006 (dead project?).
[]QSync: not web-enabled.
]Zynk: not web-enabled.
[]rsyncbackup: just a perl script.
]TKsync: does not exist anymore.
So, all of them do not seem to be viable alternatives unless you plan to depend on a PC to mediate the transfer. The closest I have seen to a real possibility is BackupPC ( The problem is that BackupPC seems to also be quite confusing, since it aims to be something quite more comprehensive than a DroboSync alternative.

In fact, it seems that BackupPC’s goal is to pull data to its host, not to push it out. In other words, this should be installed on the machine that will be the backup for the FS, not on the FS itself.

I have to say though, the screenshots of BackupPC seem a bit daunting at first.

i am still desperate for this ability and done non stop internet searching for possible options

i am assuming that this is also no good

Well, it is based on rsync, but seems to be Windows oriented. I had a look at the source code for the server and it also seems to be quite Windows oriented as well.

But back to the original problem: I think the main issue here is that you are having trouble establishing the connection between the two devices, right?

I think that making rsync work after you can successfully SSH between the two devices would be rather easy, as it is just a matter of copy/pasting a single line. Making sure that all the network config is working is the worst part.