Thursday, 2 January 2014

CrashPlan on Raspberry pi - not such a good idea?

I continued to try to make Raspberry Pi with CrashPlan a viable backup server, but after running it for a few days and looking for various ways to  make it more robust, I've decided to give up on this and run CrashPlan along with a few other services on a baby server. Explanation follows.....
CrashPlan running on Pi (using Raspbian) had a number of problems:
  1. The service was not robust and would periodically hang, and require manual intervention to recover; it might have been possible to script this, but not in a clean way as far as I could see.
  2. It tended to get very slow
  3. Having to use USB connected discs is worrying - USB connected discs still tend to throw wobblies when used extensively (although most of my misadventures have been when running windows).
  4. smart disc monitoring doesn't work though usb on Pi as far as I can see

Problems 1 & 2 seem to be primarily dues to running a big java application in a limited memory machine (and on a CPU that isn't too good at running java fast to start with). I've written Java apps on Android and also use another big java app on Raspberry Pi (openhab), and it is not really a good place to be. Also with no commitment from the CrashPlan authors to work at reducing their footprint, things could easily suddenly get even worse with a new release.

So I'm looking to run a baby headless linux box at about 30 watts (before discs are spinning) to host CrashPlan and a few other things I like to have running.


  1. Good points.
    Ive just started looking at getting Crashplan going on a Pi 2 - but aside from possibly being a bit less slow Im guessing most of your concerns will still apply?

  2. Could be worth a trial cos pi 2 with more memory and CPU is significantly more powerful. But... Crashplan is single threaded and all I/o is still through a single USB port into the CPU. I run it on a fairly beefy PC and have around 100,000 files and 1.4tb. The server takes a couple of days at the start of each month to do its housekeeping.