replacement for Windows Home Server that copies WHS client backup

Hi everyone,

total newbie here who would like to know if anyone has any suggestions for replacing a Windows Home Server 2011 system.

This server is solely used for doing client backups and that’s all i really need.

The backups are initiated by the server so I would appreciate any suggestions that would match these requirements particularly a SERVER INITIATED backup of the PC’s (Running Windows 10)



hi, and welcome…

What type of backup are you looking for?

  • Files only - A simple shared drive?
  • central hosting of Emails, Calendar & Contacts, etc?
  • Programs/Settings - like roaming profiles?
  • a backup suitable to reinstall OS from?
  • or something else?

…and are you happy to change your windows 10 installations or must it work without installing extra components, etc?

Sorry for the late reply for some reason I couldn’t do a post or reply until I was validated and even though I went through validation it still wouldn’t let me login.

So I’m looking for a backup like the WHS 2011 server-initiated backup. The backup of the client PC’s is done to the server automatically each night Fri full Mon-Thur incremental.

The backup type is set on the client PC, files to backup, wildcard filters etc. then anything overnight the back runs, the only thing I need to regularly prune the backups to keep disk space under control.

Hi Mark,

Sounds like your asking for a Windows client backup application that will work in conjunction with a Linux server backup application?
(i.e. you want something client-side to select the files to back-up?)

Without going into the many (many) potential options that might approximate to something like what you want, and without jumping into why Windows software often doesn’t want to inter-operate with Linux software (!) , could I instead suggest something called “Seafile”, which is what I use here. I only use it on Linux/Mac, however there appears also to be a supported Windows client.

Now, this is a “hot” backup rather than an overnight, so it integrates with your desktop and makes a versioned backup of every (selected) file each time it’s changed. If you wish to backup a database or something that changes “all” the time, you might need to back it up locally every night then “hot” backup the copy, but that aside I’ve found the solution to be reasonably flawless here.

It comes with a web based GUI for management, then a native GUI client for your desktop. Typically what I do is make a home folder called Seafile and configure this to be a hot backup location. Then I “link” ~/Documents etc, to Seafile/Documents, so when I create a file in Documents or amend a file in Documents, it immediately backs it up.

If you then want an off-site backup of the server, you can do this with “Borg”, one hosted solution I’ve used is Called “Borgbase”, which again works very well and comes with a free tier. Borg encrypts at source so storing in the cloud is a reasonably safe option.

After many years of rsync, when I finally got this up and running it was very much a “why didn’t I know about this earlier” moment.

thanks for that, a very comprehensive reply, thank for taking the time for that - I will give it a go :wink:

Another way to do it (!) is to run Seafile (or similar) in a virtual machine. Then backup the virtual machine image using Borg. Then every (interval), snapshot the virtual machine and backup the snapshot. Because Borg does de-duplication at source, if you backup a snapshot against a pre-existing machine image, it will only actually backup the changes, leaving you a new / consistent backup on the remote server … if that makes sense?

I used to use Seafile but moved to NextCloud for the extra functionality, but I ran them both on virtual machines (qemu/kvm). And like seafile, nextcloud has a windows client. see also OwnCloud.

My files are hosted from a separate file server, so i can backup and recover the files which protects me from a loss of the VM or a virtual disk. That way if I do need to rebuild, I just remount and resync the files.

I can’t righty remember, but i think part of the reason I moved from Seafile was because NextCloud retains my directory structure - certainly others, move files into it’s own structure which makes it hard to find without an app.

I’ve not considered snapshots as a solution for backup and recovery as I currently backup my whole VM (~15g) - but I can see some testing coming my way, to look at Borg if MP is right (which is frequently the case!) :wink:

In which case Brian, you might like this for hot / consistent backups of KVM virtual machines using snapshots and Borg … ;D


export BACKUP_NAME=`date "+%A_%d_%B_%Y_%H_%M"`
IMAGE=`virsh domblklist ${DOMAIN}|grep vda|xargs|cut -d" " -f2`

if [[ "$IMAGE" == *".backup."* ]]
        echo "ERROR: snapshot already live - please fix!"
        exit -1
if [ -f $BACKUP ]
        echo "ERROR: snapshot file already exists - please delete!"
        exit -1

virsh dumpxml --migratable ${DOMAIN} > ${DOMAIN}.xml
virsh snapshot-create-as --domain ${DOMAIN}   \
                             --name backup.qcow2 \
                             --no-metadata       \
                             --atomic            \
                             --quiesce           \
                             --disk-only         \
                             --diskspec vda,snapshot=external

borg create --stats $REPO::${BACKUP_NAME} ${IMAGE} ${DOMAIN}.xml
virsh blockcommit ${DOMAIN} vda --active --pivot

IMAGE=`virsh domblklist ${DOMAIN}|grep vda|xargs|cut -d" " -f2`
if [[ "$IMAGE" == *".backup."* ]]
        echo "ERROR: pivot did not succeed!"
        exit -1
echo "Deleting... ${BACKUP}"
sudo rm "${BACKUP}"

Thanks MP, that’ll save me a bucket of time!

From memory key bits were --quiesce and the --active --pivot re; getting a consistent backup without having to stop the VM …