Possibility to transfer data with usb-drive?


I have just set up my urbackup server. For the local clients everything is fine, but is there a possibility to transfer the data for the first backup of a machine which is connected over the internet with a usb-drive? The upload speed of my connection is to slow to transfer 200 GB.
Thanks for the support

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Assuming this is for the file backups:
You can transfer the files to the USB disk and then backup the USB disk via a local client. This client can also be installed on the server.
If the client side hashes are enabled (and they are by default), the server will not load unchanged files from the Internet client.

Thanks. I will try this.

Is it somehow possible to place the files straight in the Backupdir?

Furthermore how is incremental file backup clean up handled after retention time?

Kind regards,


Hi, is it now possible to just copy the files form a USB drive into the directory and start the file backup process and it automatically recognizes the offline copied files.

If not could you please go into more detail how the process works otherwise?
Need to transfer 1TB of data, incremental backups are fine over my Site-to-Site VPN but the initial one is a pain.

Thanks for helping

hmm, anything?
How this should be done in detail ? I would also spend some time writing this down, I really like urbackup and some entries in the wiki seems to be a great place for contributing.


That s as uroni said and is has been covered a lot of times in the forums and faq… I ll try to explain again, if you dont understand please search the forums.

On your client, copy all the files to an usb key.
Take the usb key to the urbackup server
On the server install a client
Use this client to backup the files on the usb key, it should be fast , it s local.
Thus Urbackup will know the files <-> hash association
Then backup the client normally, urbackup will only transfer hashes, that should be fast
Finally you can delete the client that you installed on the server.
From now on, files will only be transfered for incremental backup.

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It has been covered in the forum many times. Right now there is no utility to directly import an initial backup. A workaround is to attach portable storage to a local machine and tell the UrBackup Client on that machine to back up the files from the portable storage.

The basic procedure is to copy the files from one or more remote clients to the portable storage. Transfer and connect the portable storage to a machine on the same LAN as the UrBackup Server. It may even be the server itself if an UrBackup Client is also installed on the server. Tell the UrBackup Client to backup the portable storage by adding the path (drive letter and folder) to the “Default directories to backup” (client settings on Server) or “Add/Remove backup paths” (menu on the Client) list. Run a full backup for that Client. UrBackup will add each file to its common pool of files (unless that file is already included) and not transfer an identical file again regardless of which Client it comes from.

Once the backup has finished you should remove the portable storage path from the backup list to prevent problems with future backups. The portable storage can then be disconnected from the client.

Note this is not for Image backups. To seed an image you must temporarily move the actual client computer to the same LAN as the server so all of the client-specific information is added to the UrBackup database. After that the client can be taken offsite and connected by Internet. The CBT option is strongly suggested.

Hope this helps.

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@orogor @Don_Wright thank you so much.
What I did not understood, also after doing some searches was that there is a “common” pool of files.

This means the usb transfered files end up as files in the urbackup directory, within the directory of the machine I have attached the USB disk.
they do not get deleted after I remove the path form urbackuo but … and that is now the important part I missed … as soon as the PC, were the files came from, starts a backup it recognizes that the files are already there, in another directory of another client but this does not matter, and does not bakcup the files again.

if this is correct, I thank you so much for the help, really struggled grasping this last little piece.


I also added this to the FAQ a while back (last item): https://www.urbackup.org/import-seed-remote-client.html

(If it needs adjustment because it is unclear please tell me)

Thanks a lot, but reading your article I found something which I am interested in

Calculate file-hashes on the client

I am using UrBackup over S2S VPNs to avoid exposing UrBackup directly via the Internet. The clients do find the server via normal routing using the Site-to-Site VPN connections. Does that now mean that the client is not creating hashes before sending the data? If no, this would mean the approach moving data with an offline storage like described ist not working.

Or is client site hashing enabled for non-Internet-mode backups anyhow without the option to disable?


It’s only available for Internet clients for now. You could e.g. block the local ports with a firewall and use the Internet mode locally.

thanks for the info, is there any timeframe when the feature is available for non-internet-mode file backup?


Found this in the documentation

Block differences - hashed. Only available for file backups (as it is automatically done for images). Blocks of the transferred files are compared using CRC32 and MD5 hash functions. Only blocks which have changed are sent over the network. In cases where only some blocks of a file change, this reduces the amount of transferred data. It also causes more messages to be sent between server and client and uses CPU cycles, which is why it is only enabled for Internet clients per default.

What is the difference to Internet mode?