Last updated on September 28, 2020
Lately I’ve become enamored with BorgBackup (Borg) for backups of remote *NIX servers, so after acquiring a Synology DS1019+ for home I wanted to make it the destination repository for Borg-based backups of nuxx.net. While setting up Borg is usually quite straightforward (a package or stand-alone binary), it’s not so cut and dry on the Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM); the OS which runs on the DS1019+ and most other Synology NAS’.
What follows here are the steps I used to make and the reason for each step. In the end it was fairly simple, but a few of the steps are obtuse and only relevant to DSM.
These steps were written for DSM 6.2.2; I have not checked to see if it applies to other versions. Also, I leave out all details of setting up public key authentication for SSH as this is thoroughly documented elsewhere.
- Enable “User Home Service” via Control Panel → User → Advanced → User Home → Enable user home service: This creates a home directory for each user on the machine and thus a place to store
.ssh/authorized_keysfor the backup user account.
- Create a backup user account and make it part of the administrators group: Accounts must be part of administrators in order to log in via SSH. Starting with DSM 6.2.2 non-admin users do not have SSH access.
- Change the permissions on the backup user’s home directory to 755: By default users’ home directories have an ACL applied which has too broad of permissions and SSH will refuse to use the key, instead prompting for a password. Home directories are located under
/var/services/homesand this can be set via
chmod 755 /var/services/homes/backupuser. (See this thread for details.)
~/.ssh/authorized_keys, containing the remote user’s public key, in place under the backup user’s home directory and ensure that the file is set to 700: If permissions are too open, sshd will refuse to use the key.
- Test that you can log in remotely with ssh and public key authentication.
- Place the borg-linux64 binary (named
borg) in the user’s home directory and confirm that it’s executable: Binaries available here.
- Create a directory on the NAS to be used the backup destination and give the backup user read and write permissions.
- Modify the backup user’s
~/.ssh/authorized_keysto prevent remote interactive logins and restrict how borg is run: This is optional, but a good idea.
In this example only the
borg servecommand (the borg repository server) can be run remotely, is restricted to 120GB of disk, in a repository on DSM under the backup directory of
/volume2/Backups/borg, and from remote IP of 192.168.0.23:
command="/var/services/homes/backupuser/borg serve --storage-quota 120G --restrict-to-repository /volume2/Backups/borg",restrict,from="192.168.0.23" ssh-rsa AAAA[...restofkeygoeshere...] firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note, there are a number of articles about enabling public key authentication for SSH on DSM which mention uncommenting and setting
PubkeyAuthentication yes and
AuthorizedKeysFile .ssh/authorized_keys in
/etc/ssh/sshd_config and restarting sshd. I did not need to do this. The settings, as commented out, are the defaults and thus already set that way (see
sshd_config(5) for details).
At this point DSM should allow a remote user, authenticating with a public key and restricted to a particular source IP address, to use the Synology NAS as a BorgBackup repository. For more information about automating backups check out this article about how I use borg for backing up nuxx.net, including a wrapper script that can be run automatically via cron.