A command-line lightweight backup server
Tardis pitches itself as a free alternative to apple’s Time Machine backup app. However these similarities refer to features only rather than the interface. Interactions with Tardis, unlike the swishly graphical Time Machine, take place via the command line. This isn’t a criticism, rather just a heads-up to those who might be misled by the description on the website.
Beyond appearances, however, Tardis does exactly what it promises. It takes incremental backups and has simple CLI utilities to check, compare and recover from the backed-up files. The tool runs in a client-server mode, and the server is light enough to be able to run on the older Raspberry Pi 2. You can also choose to run both server and client on the same computer, which is the most likely installation for use on a single machine.
Tardis is written in Python and the installation as described in its GitHub page is straightforward. The server is controlled via a single config file and the installation comes with a template to get you started. The only real setting you have to edit is the location of the backups before you start the server. You’ll also have to create a user named tardis.
When you call on the server from the client on a remote machine, you can add a password to encrypt the backups. Everytime you run the tool it’ll create a new time-stamped backup set. Recovering the data from the backup set is also fairly simple. Alternatively, you can mount the dataset as a complete file system.