DAR is a command-line backup and archiving tool that uses selective compression (not compressing already compressed files), strong encryption, may split an archive in different files of given size and provides on-fly hashing.

DAR knows how to perform full, differential, incremental and decremental backups. It provides testing, diffing, merging, listing and of course data extracting from existing archives.

Archive internal's catalog, allows very quick restoration of a even a single file from a very large, eventually sliced, compressed and encrypted archive.

Dar saves *all* UNIX inode types, takes care of hard links, sparse files as well as Extended Attributes (MacOS X file forks, Linux ACL, SELinux tags, user attributes), it has support for ssh and is suitable for tapes and disks (floppy, CD, DVD, hard disks, ...)

more details at: http://dar.linux.free.fr/doc/Features.html


  • Archiving/backup
  • Integrated compression (gzip, bzip2, lzo, xz/lzma) and encryption
  • Public key encryption (PGP) and strong encryption (AES, twofish, blowfish, serpent, camellia)
  • Sliced archive in files of requested size
  • Arbitrarily large file backup and archive creation
  • Full/incremental/differential/decremental backup
  • Handle any type of inode (directory, plain files, special devices, symlinks, named pipes, sockets, doors...)
  • Hardlink support for plain files, special devies, softlinks, named pipes,
  • Sparse file detection and restoration
  • Extended Attributes support (including Linux ACL and MacOS X File Forks)
  • Fast restoration of files even from compressed and/or encrypted archive
  • Support for tape (sequential reading mode)
  • Table contents isolation for use as differential backup or if archive corruption occurred
  • On-fly md5, sha1 or sha512 hash file generation for each archive slice
  • Hooks for user's scripts between slices
  • Hooks for action before and after saving user defined directory of file (suitable for live database backup)
  • Detection of file change during backup, possibility to retry a failed file up to a given number times
  • Archive merging with default or fine tunable overwriting policy
  • Dry-run execution mode
  • User comments in archive header
  • Archive reslicing without decompression or decryption
  • Backup/restoration over ssh or netcat
  • Integrated archive protection and repair using Parchive

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User Ratings

ease 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5 4 / 5
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support 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5 5 / 5

User Reviews

  • Very good backup utility. Nice features. For example, computing a md5 sum while creating the archive, so you can check the write integrity right after finishing it is brilliant.

    1 user found this review helpful.
  • Been using DAR for more than 10 years now - on a professional level - without one single problem. It's without doubt THE command line backup tool. Does everything a proper backup utility should do, you just have to learn and conjugate the options to your needs since it does lack a GUI, which is no problem for me, on the contrary!

    1 user found this review helpful.
  • Excellent and powerful tool, especially when combined with various user-submitted additional scripts. Many options can be confusing but simple backups and restores work well, and the options really prove themselves when you need them! Maintainer is active on support mailing lists.

    1 user found this review helpful.
  • I find dar very useful. I have created a config file in which I put some comments so I know the meaning of the individual options. This way i can adjust dar to all my needs. I'm pretty sure that no GUI-programm has this variety of options. The program works flawlessly. The regular backups on external USB-disks start by calling up a self written bash skript which is easy to do and allows me to choose easily between incremental and full backup. I gave an "Excellent" to the Design, because the flexibility of the command line cannot be matched by any GUI-program. The man pages are well written, other info is available in the net, and there is a user mailing list.

    1 user found this review helpful.
  • Take your time to learn it, make your scripts for backup, and let it live on its own - it pays back to learn.

    1 user found this review helpful.
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Additional Project Details

Intended Audience

Information Technology, Science/Research, Advanced End Users, System Administrators, Developers, End Users/Desktop

User Interface

Console/Terminal, Command-line

Programming Language


Database Environment

Other file-based DBMS