Grsync for Windows

Grsync is a visual tool to help you configure rsync. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, takes minutes to configure, and automation is a snap.

Grsync can be used configure different backup sessions so that different backup jobs can be run on different schedules. Grsync can also utilize SSH keys for password-free authentication. Everything you need to get going is included in one download. With Grsync, your backups will be worry-free in no time at all!

Installation on Microsoft Windows

Installation of Grsync is a snap:

  1. Download Grsync for Windows.
  2. Double-click the self-extracting zip file to install. Accept the default installation options.

Generating an SSH Keypair with ssh-keygen

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Opening a command prompt in Windows

Opening a command prompt in Windows

  1. Open the Run prompt by holding down the Window key on your keyboard and pressing R.
  2. In the run box, enter CMD and click OK.
  3. In the Command prompt window, create a directory to store your key. We recommend C:\Backup.

    MD C:\BACKUP

  4. Now, change directory to the Grsync installation by entering the following into the Command Prompt:

    CD "C:\PROGRAM FILES\GRSYNC\BIN"

    Note: Be sure to enclose the path in double quotes.

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    Creating an SSH keypair in Windows

    Creating an SSH keypair in Windows

    In the grsync\bin directory, enter the following to create an key pair:

    ssh-keygen -f c:\backup\ssh_key -t rsa -N ''

    Note: The command ends with two single quote characters.

Uploading Your Public Key to Your EVBackup Account

Next, you'll need to upload the public key to your EVBackup account. Enter the following into the Command Prompt (all on one line):

rsync -e ssh /backup/ssh_key.pub user@user.evbackup.com:ssh_keys/key1.pub

Notes:

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Uploading your public key to your account

Uploading your public key to your account

  • Substitute user with your EVBackup account name.
  • When you enter this command, you are going to see a message because your computer is being introduced to the server. Just enter yes when prompted and you'll never be bothered again.
  • You'll be asked to enter the password for your EVBackup account. Once the key is uploaded and activated, this won't be necessary again.
  • If Terminal simply returns (looking as though nothing has happened), then you have successfully uploaded your key!

Activating Your Public Key

Next, you need to do is to activate your key on the EVBackup server. To do this, enter the following into the Command Prompt:

ssh user@user.evbackup.com addkeys

The final thing that you need to do is test that you can login without a password. Enter the following into the terminal:

ssh -i c:\backup\ssh_key user@user.evbackup.com

If you are successful, then something very similar to the following will appear in the window:

Last login: Thu Jul 15 16:16:44 2010 from c-28-26-13-101.
Copyright (c) 1983, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

FreeBSD 6.4-STABLE (EXAVAULT) #1:
[your-account@quark ~]$

Enter exit at the prompt and close the Command Prompt. You're all set!

Configuring a Backup Session

  • Windows 64-bit notes »
  • « (Hide) Windows 64-bit notes

If you are using 64-bit Windows, you will need to run Grsync in Compatability Mode:

  1. Right-click the Grsync icon on the desktop.
  2. Select the Compatability tab
  3. Check (✔) run this program in compatibility mode for checkbox and select Windows XP (Service Pack 3) from the drop-down list.

Now it's time to open up Grsync and get it configured. First, set your prefereneces by clicking the File menu, selecting Preferences. Here are a few suggestions for Grsync preferences:

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Setting Grsync preferences

Setting Grsync preferences

  • ✔ Show rsync output by default
  • ✔ Show error list when finished
  • ✔ Enable logging

Saving a Grsync Backup Session

The next thing to do is to create a backup session and set the directories. To add a backup session Just click the add button on the toolbar.

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Adding a Grsync session

Adding a Grsync session

  • Give your backup session a name that will be descriptive like, "My-Documents" or "Web-files".
  • You'll want to avoid using s p a c e s in your session names as they make automation a bit more difficult.
  • The source directory is the files that you will be backing up. Click the Open button to browse and select the root backup folder for the session.
  • The destination directory is your EVBackup account.
    For example, if your EVBackup account is bobsmith.evbackup.com, and you want to backup into the work-files folder on the server, then your destination will look like this:

    bobsmith@bobsmith.evbackup.com:work-files

  • Remember: you can create more than one session. Make your backup sessions discreet so that they run quickly and are fault-tolerant.

Setting Session Options

Next, set the options that you'll need for your backup. Here's a few suggestions:

Basic Options tab:

  • ✔ Preserve time
  • ✔ Preserve permissions
  • ✔ Delete on destination (Use with caution!)
  • ✔ Verbose
  • ✔ Show transfer progress
  • ✔ Skip newer

Advanced Options tab:

  • ✔ Compress file data

Selecting your SSH Key

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Adding your SSH keypair to Grsync

Adding your SSH keypair to Grsync

Next, select the SSH key that you created and uploaded previously so that you can login to your EVBackup account without a password. To select your SSH private key:

  1. Select the Advanced options tab in Grsync.
  2. Add -e "ssh -i c:\backup\private_key" into the Additional options box.

    For example, if your name is Bob Smith and you stored your private key in c:\backup\ Then the Additional options might look like this:

    -e "ssh -i c:\backup\private_key"

Testing the Backup Session With a Simulated Backup

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Making a simulated backup in Grsync

Making a simulated backup in Grsync

Once you are configured, you'll want to do a simulated backup to make sure that everything is setup correctly. To simulate a backup session, select the Simulation option from the File menu.

  • If you see the files you expect to be backed up -- and you don't see any errors, then you are good to go!
  • If you need some assistance, please let us know:

Once your simulated backup runs without errors:

  1. Go ahead and run your first backup: Click the Execute option from the File menu
  2. Save the session so you can automate it later.

Automating Grsync Backups

The automation for Grsync is pretty straight forward:

  1. Save a Grsync session.
  2. Schedule a task:

Automating Grsync for Windows 7, Vista, and Server 2008

Open Task Scheduler from Control Panel > Administrative Options.
To get started, click the the Action menu and select Create Task.

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    Creating a scheduled task in Windows Vista and 7

    Creating a scheduled task in Windows Vista and 7

    Set the General tab options:  
    • Enter a short but descriptive name for your Grsync job in the Name box.
    • Select the following Security options:
      •   Run whether user is logged on or not.
      •   Run with highest privileges.
    • Windows 7 64-bit:
      Make sure to select the "Windows XP" option from the Configure for: drop-down box
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    Creating a task trigger in Windows Vista and 7

    Creating a task trigger in Windows Vista and 7

    Set the Triggers tab options:  
    • Click the New button to create a new trigger and select On a Schedule from the drop-down box.
    • For settings, select a schedule when you want to run the Grsync backup job.
    • Make sure that the Enabled box is checked.
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    Setting task options in Windows Vista and 7

    Setting task options in Windows Vista and 7

    Set the Actions tab options:
    • Click the New button to create a new Action and select Start a program from the drop-down box.
    • Click the Browse button to navigate to the location where you installed Grsync (C:\Program Files\Grsync\bin).
    • In the add arguments box, enter the following:
      -e name-of-your-Grsync-session
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    Setting task conditions in Windows Vista and 7

    Setting task conditions in Windows Vista and 7

    Set the Conditions tab options:  
    • Enable the Start only if the following network connection is available option.
    • Select the Any connection option from the drop-down box.
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    Setting task settings in Windows Vista and 7

    Setting task settings in Windows Vista and 7

    On the Settings tab, select the following options:
    •   Allow task to be run on demand.
    •   Stop the task if it runs longer than 1 day.
  6. Click OK to close the Create Task window and set the username and pass to automatically run the task. Enter your username and password.

You're all set. You will see your backup task in the Task Scheduler window when you click on the Task Scheduler Library node in the Explorer tree on the left-hand side.

Automating Grsync for Microsoft Windows XP & 2000, Server 2003 & 2000

Automating Grsync in Microsoft Windows is done with the Scheduled Tasks. You can open Scheduled Tasks from Control Panel.

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    Adding a scheduled task in Windows XP

    Adding a scheduled task in Windows XP

    In the Scheduled Tasks window, double-click Add Scheduled Task. The Scheduled Task Wizard will appear. Click the Next button to get started.
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    Adding a scheduled task in Windows XP

    Adding a scheduled task in Windows XP

    Click the Browse button and navigate to the location where Grsync is installed
    (the default is: C:\Program Files\Grsync\bin).
  3. Enter a descriptive name for your Grsync job in the Name box.

    For example:

    Grsync to EVBackup --My Documents

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    Setting the name and schedule of a scheduled task in Windows XP

    Setting the name and schedule of a scheduled task in Windows XP

    Set the schedule frequency (Daily, weekly, etc.) for the backup job. After you set the schedule frequency, click the Next button.
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    Setting the execution time of a scheduled task in Windows XP

    Setting the execution time of a scheduled task in Windows XP

    Set the time for your backup job to start. Typically this is sometime in the evening after business hours. When you have set the time, click the Next button.
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    Setting the username and password of a user to run a scheduled task in Windows XP

    Setting the username and password of a user to run a scheduled task in Windows XP

    Enter a username and password for a a user that can run the task. After you have set the user credentials, click the Next button.
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    Setting the Advanced Properties of a scheduled task in Windows XP

    Setting the Advanced Properties of a scheduled task in Windows XP

    In the final window, Check the box to open the Advanced Properties window for your task and click the Finish button.
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    Adding the Grsync session name to the scheduled task in Windows XP

    Adding the Grsync session name to the scheduled task in Windows XP

    In the Advanced Properties window, edit the run box and add the following after "C:\Program Files\Grsync\bin\grsync.exe"

    -e session-name-here

You're all set! You will see your backup task in the Scheduled Tasks window.

Opening a Command Prompt in Microsoft Windows

Successful SSH key pair generation in Microsoft Windows

Uploading your public key in Microsoft Windows

Setting Grsync preferences

Selecting backup source and destination

Selecting your SSH key for Grsync

A simulated backup in Grsync

Windows Task Scheduler: General tab

Windows Task Scheduler: Triggers tab

Windows Task Scheduler: Actions tab

Windows Task Scheduler: Conditions tab

Windows Task Scheduler: Settings tab

Windows Scheduled Task Wizard: Page 1

Windows Scheduled Task Wizard: Browse for grsync.exe

Windows Scheduled Task Wizard: Naming and setting the schedule

Windows Scheduled Task Wizard: Set the schedule time

Windows Scheduled Task Wizard: Select a user to run the job

Windows Scheduled Task Wizard: Open Advanced Properties

Windows Scheduled Task Advanced Options

A Grsync simulation is a "dry-run" in rsync parlance.

Show rsync options will allow you to see the contents of your logs as you backup.

Showing the error list is useful for troubleshooting. If you have a problem, enabling this option will bring it to your attention.

Enable logging is crucial if you want Grsync to create detailed logs of each of your backup sessions.

Preserve time will copy the time stamps from your files up to the server.

Preserve permissions will copy the file permissions set on your local files up to the server.

Use with caution!

Delete on destination will remove a file from the server once it has been deleted locally. You might want to setup a separate session to run weekly to clean up deleted files on the the server.

The verbose option will give you detailed logs about your backup session. These can be written to your backup files for later reference.

Show transfer progress will show a transfer progress bar indicating how your backup session is progressing.

Skip newer is useful if you backup the same file from multiple locations. This option will not backup a file if a newer copy can be found on the server.

Compress file data will zip your files during transit. This makes backup times much faster.

Show itemized changes will print a detailed list of each file that has changed in your source directory.

MS Windows Users: You will need to enter -i into Additional options to use this feature.

Protect remote args will prevent accidental (and probably unintended) program execution from file and folder names that are also shell commands.

MS Windows Users: You will need to enter -s into Additional options to use this feature.

A Grsync simulation is a "dry-run" in rsync parlance.