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I use rsync to backup several computers on my home network to a computer with a honkin' hard drive.
I'm curious to how I might be able to have the backup data encrypted?
Mostly, I want to protect data in the event the hard drive (or everything) goes missing.
I'd like the data to only be accessible by the backup user.
I have music and video backups also residing on the same hard drive which I would prefer to remain non-encrypted, thus I prefer not whole-partition/drive encryption.
I don't know if I like the idea of the encrypted folder being mounted at boot, without a password, but I do not know if it is possible to have the folder mounted on the fly when the SSH/rsync is authenticated (.bashrc?)...
It's worth taking a look at Duplicity, a command-line backup tool that incorporates a version of rsync and uses GPG-encrypted files for the backup repositories. The Web site says it's a beta, but it's said that for several years...the software is feature complete.
FWIW, the cost of a couple of gigabytes of online backup space is now only a few dollars, so if you have a broadband connection you can easily do offsite backup of the critical stuff. Most of the consumer backup services use their own particular clients, but rsync.net support Duplicity and standard UNIX tools. (I've no association, other than being a happy rsync.net customer).
If you separate out the absolutely vital data you can end up with a fairly small file set. Apart from from my email, all of my really irreplaceable personal stuff totals less than 1Gb, so the minimum rate is enough for those plus server log and config files. I rsync multimedia files to an external hard drive, but am not particularly worried about losing them.