Configuring Rsync daemon backups.

For detailed information on setting set up an Rsync daemon backup host, see our Rsync host setup page.

The difference between Rsync over SSH and Rsync Daemon

BackupAssist provides two options for running backups over an Rsync connection:

  • Rsync over SSH
  • Rsync Daemon.

Rsync over SSH runs Rsync via a secure shell (SSH, port 22), which means that all traffic over the internet is encrypted. User access control is modified by editing user accounts on the server.

Daemon mode runs Rsync as a normal TCP/IP service and internet traffic is not encrypted. User access control is modified by editing the Rsync.conf file.

Both Windows and Linux data hosts support Rsync over SSH. However, some NAS devices do not, and where this is the case, Daemon mode must be used instead. Even though your data is not encrypted, Daemon mode is still an acceptable solution provided a secure LAN/WAN (such as site-to-site VPN) is used.

When using Daemon mode, a common issue is that the process is not fully automatic – unlike Rsync over SSH, you can’t just specify a directory to write to and away it goes. Rsync Daemon’s require a module to be set up first to make it possible to specify the backup directory.


Before attempting to create a Daemon module you must make sure that cwRsync is installed on the Rsync destination. You can download a copy of cwRsync from the BackupAssist website: In addition, the steps to install cwRsync successfully can be found in our Rsync setup guide.

Altering the rsyncd.conf file

First, you need to create the Daemon module to be able to connect to it. This is done by altering the rsyncd.conf file, which is located in C:\Program Files (x86)\ICW by default.

Open this file in a text editor, such as Notepad, and enter something similar to the following:

path = /cygdrive/c/backup_directory
read only = false
transfer logging = yes

The meaning of each line is as follows:

[test] – This is the name of the module you’re creating. (It can be set to anything you choose).

path – This is the directory that you want to back up to on the Rsync server.

read only – This sets the ‘path’ (see above) to either be read/write or read only. Since we want to write the backup to this directory, it should always be set to ‘False’.

transfer logging – Allows any transfer information to be logged for future reference. This can be set to either Yes or No.

Once you have finished editing the rsyncd.conf file, save it to the following location: C:\Program Files (x86)\ICW\etc.

Starting the Rsync Daemon on the Rsync Destination

Next, you need to make sure that the Rsync Daemon service is started correctly. This is the service used to control the Daemon connection and if not started correctly can cause connection errors.

To start the Rsync Daemon, follow these steps:

  1. Open a command prompt window by browsing to Start > Run > and typing cmd in the text field provided.
  2. In the command prompt Window, change directory by typing CD “C:\Program Files\ICW\bin” or CD “C:\Program Files (x86)\ICW\bin” on 64-bit machines.
  3. Start the Rsync Daemon by entering Rsync –daemon:

    The Rsync Daemon should now be started and BackupAssist should be able to connect to it successfully.

Configuring BackupAssist to use the Rsync Add-on

The next step is to configure the BackupAssist client to perform a backup using Rsync.

To use Rsync as a destination, you will need to purchase the Cloud Backup add-on which includes Rsync.

To create a new BackupAssist backup job:

  1. Launch the BackupAssist console and Create a New Backup job
  2. Select File Protection and follow the steps to create the backup job.
  3. In the Destination step, select Rsync
  4. In the Set up destination step, enter your Rsync server name (or IP address), and choose “Rsync Daemon”.
  5. Under “Path on server”, type in the name of the Rsync module you created earlier (in this example ‘Test’).
  6. Enter the username and password that you want to connect to the Rsync server with.
  7. Click the “Test connection…‟ button to test communication with the Rsync server.

    File Protection Rsync destination

If you’ve performed each step correctly, you should the test connection should pass and you will be on your way to performing backups using Rsync with BackupAssist!

If you have any questions about BackupAssist or setting up an Rsync backup, please contact us via email at  We’ll be happy to help!


BackupAssist for Rsync is also available as a Standalone license for those wishing to perform Rsync/Internet backup only. A BackupAssist base license is not required if you are using a BackupAssist for Rsync Standalone license. You can read more about the difference between the two BackupAssist for Rsync license types here.

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