I'm looking for a software like Duplicity but for Windows - here is a basic list of features :

  • After the initial backup, transfer only changed files (or even better, only transfer the changes, but with encryption I'm not sure if that's possible)
  • Remote backup is encrypted, so if the backup server is compromised the data should be safe
  • Works over SSH on my own personal server, so no NSA-friendly cloud based solutions
  • Command-line support (an optional GUI is fine, though I won't use it)
  • Free, preferably open source

I know I can most likely run Duplicity with Cygwin but before attempting what looks like a complicated and lengthy installation process I'm looking for better alternatives.


My recommendation is to install Duplicity under Cygwin. This way you'll have the same software under all platforms, which means less to learn and manage (plus you can recover backups made under a different operating system, e.g. you can unpack your Windows backups under a Linux machine if your Windows machine crashes).

Cygwin itself doesn't carry duplicity, but Cygwin Ports does. Cygwin Ports is easy to add: once you've installed Cygwin, point the Cygwin installer to the Cygwin Ports package list:

cygstart -- /setup-x86.exe -K http://cygwinports.org/ports.gpg

Enter ftp://ftp.cygwinports.org/pub/cygwinports as the mirror site. I've personally used Cygwin Ports (though not Duplicity).

Alternatively you could try cwDup which is a package of Duplicity and its dependencies for Cygwin. I'd never heard of it before today.

The manual installation isn't that bad either. You'd have to manage updates manually since there's no packaging, but such is life on Windows.

  1. Install Cygwin. Make sure to include python, gnupg and openssh, as well as librsync-devel and gcc to build Duplicity. Install python-paramiko if you want to use the SSH backend.

  2. Install Python GNUPGInterface. Download the source archive and

    tar xf GnuPGInterface-*.tar.gz
    cd GnuPGInterface-*
    python setup.py install
    cd ..
  3. Install Duplicity. Download the source archive and

    tar xf duplicity-*.tar.gz
    cd duplicity-*
    python setup.py install
    cd ..

Note that I haven't done this personally but there are success reports on the web: 2003 2008 2009.

  • Thanks, that helped! I had to install the python module "lockfile" manually, but afterwards it ran flawlessly. – benh Sep 6 '15 at 23:48

Duplicity runs on MSYS2 which has a better Windows integration than Cygwin.

But you have to install it with PIP, it is currently not in MSYS2's pacman repository manager.

I have described the install steps in this gist.


It's not a free software but I'm using Syncovery for a while now and it should provide all of the features listed above... Have a look at the featurelist on their website or download the free trial version so you can check it out yourself.

  • 1
    Welcome to Software Recommendations! This post does not contain enough information to be considered a high quality answer. Please read our discussion on what makes an answer high quality to see if you can incorporate some of these improvements into your answer, otherwise it will be removed. Going over the requirement list in the question and confirm whether Syncovery matches each one or not would be a good start. – Nick Dickinson-Wilde Jul 23 '14 at 16:31
  • 2
    Rather than assert that “it should provide all of the features listed above”, you should go through the features and check each of them (e.g. by providing a link to the corresponding documentation). This would make your answer look more helpful and less spammy. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jul 23 '14 at 16:39

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