Here’s how to create automated, secure backups on blackblaze using rclone and systemd.

First, register a new blackblaze b2 account if you don’t have one already. Make sure you select the right region during sign-up - it cannot be changed later. Create a new bucket, name it after your hostname. Create a b2 rclone remote (see doc). Create a crypt overlay over the b2 remote (see doc). Generate long passwords.

The resulting config is something like this:

$ cat ~/.config/rclone/rclone.conf
type = b2
account = *redacted*
key = *redacted*

type = crypt
remote = b2:HOSTNAME
filename_encryption = standard
directory_name_encryption = true
password = *redacted*
password2 = *redacted*

Try rclone listremotes, rclone copy, rclone mount to see if it works. Use the b2 online browser to verify that the uploaded data is encrypted.

If you want to backup your home directory, chances are, you don’t want to backup it all (e.g: ignore .cache). Create an rclone filter file that selects the files to sync:

$ cat ~/.config/rclone/filter.txt
- .cache/**
+ **

Use rclone ncdu --filter-from .config/rclone/filter.txt . to verify that the right files are selected.

Automate with systemd

To sync the directory, use rclone sync. To avoid overwriting previous backups, use --backup-directory. The following systemd service can be used:

$ cat ~/.config/systemd/user/rclone.service
Description="Sync selected parts of home directory to b2 encrypted remote storage"

ExecStart=%s -c 'rclone sync --filter-from %E/rclone/filter.txt %h b2_%H_crypt:home --b2-hard-delete --fast-list --transfers 32 --backup-dir b2_%H_crypt:home-$$(date +%%u)'

This will keep 1 week worth of data without overwriting. A simple systemd timer can make it run daily:

$ cat ~/.config/systemd/user/rclone.timer
Description="Sync daily"

OnCalendar=*-*-* 12:15:00


Enable and start the timer:

$ systemctl --user enable rclone.timer
$ systemctl --user start rclone.timer

Backup the config

If the rclone encryption passwords are stored in the directory that is being backed up, in case of a local failure, the remote content cannot be restored. Therefore, the rclone config must be stored separately. The Paperkey page offers a couple of ideas. For example, to get a printable version of an encrypted config, do:

$ qrencode --8bit -t svg -lH -o config.svg < encypted_config

To recover:

$ zbarcam -1 --raw -q -Sbinary

The encryption can happen with e.g: gpg, that requires a similar treatment of the private key.

Note about browsers

Browsers tend to write their persistent storage frequently, making it more difficult to create a consistent snapshot of them. To reduce the chance that a browser write conflicts with the sync action, use Profile Sync Daemon It will move the browser storage to memory, and sync it back periodically.