[Box Backup] Unencrypted storage?

Ben Summers boxbackup@fluffy.co.uk
Mon, 6 Dec 2004 17:43:22 +0000

On 6 Dec 2004, at 16:57, Michael Pruitt wrote:

> On Sun, Dec 05, 2004 at 01:38:25PM +0000, Ben Summers wrote:
>> If you don't want encryption, then there are other good
>> open source projects to consider. Encryption will never be
>> an option in Box Backup:
> Please name them.

I was going to suggest rsync, but it does have the overhead of a bit of 
network traffic for every file. Box Backup doesn't have this. And you 
mention you don't like it below.

>  My dream backup system (well, aside from
> magically knowing what files *need* to be restored and only
> archiving those) is a clustered write-once file system ala
> GFS/Plan 9 (currently too unstable to be practical).

What about AFS? There's an open implementation here: 

> A more realistic solution would be something that "knows"
> what files have to backed up and only back up those
> files. Something that avoids the overhead of rsync or find
> -newer. Something like... Box Backup.
> The only downside to Box Backup is that the files must be
> encrypted. I appreciate the the communications path is
> encrypted, but want to be able to search

What searching is required?

It wouldn't be that difficult to write a little utility which would be 
able to list, decrypt and grep the store on disc, as long as you 
uploaded the key file to the server.

> /restore on the
> server. Also, I sometimes need to restore to a client B when
> client A did the initial backup.

This is easy. Copy the keys, certificates and configuration files from 
client A to client B. (or the server, should you wish to restore on the 

> I initially became interested in Box Backup because it's far
> better than many open source project and definitely puts to
> shame most commercial apps.

Comments like that make my day. Thanks!

> If there's a better application out there (commercial or
> OSource), or a way that I can configure Box Backup to allow
> plain-text files saves, please let me know.

If you wanted to essentially duplicate the filesystem using Box Backup, 
this would be a huge reengineering of the system. There are many things 
which would need to be changed, large things like the storage system on 
the server to small things like moving the file attributes out of the 
stored files. I don't really want to write all that code!

If I can understand what you want to do on the server, I might be able 
to write something which makes it possible.