Rdiffweb Documentation

Rdiffweb is an open source web application that allows you to view the archives generated by rdiff-backup. The purpose of this application is to facilitate the management of backups and to quickly restore your data.

Since November 2014, we officially take over to maintain rdiffweb.


You may install rdiffweb in various way. We recommend you to install it from source as we have more experience doing it this way. Since v0.9.1, you may also install rdiffweb from pypi.

To install rdiffweb, you need to install the prerequisites. On Debian distribution you may proceed as follow:

sudo apt-get install python-cherrypy3 python python-pysqlite2 libsqlite3-dev python-jinja2 python-setuptools python-babel rdiff-backup

Then you may download a snapshot of the repository and proceed with the installation on your system.

wget --no-check-certificate -O rdiffweb.tar.gz https://github.com/ikus060/rdiffweb/archive/master.tar.gz
tar zxf rdiffweb.tar.gz
cd rdiffweb-*
sudo python setup.py install

If it’s the first time you are installing rdiffweb on the system, you will need to manually copy rdw.conf to /etc/rdiffweb:

sudo mkdir -p /etc/rdiffweb
sudo cp rdw.conf /etc/rdiffweb/

You may also need to create an init script to startup rdiffweb on reboot. One is provided for Debian 7 (Wheezy):

sudo cp extras/init/rdiffweb /etc/init.d/
sudo chmod +x  /etc/init.d/rdiffweb
sudo update-rc.d rdiffweb defaults
sudo /etc/init.d/rdiffweb start

On Debian 8 (Jessie) you need to create systemd file. The following was provided by contributors:

sudo cp extras/systemd/rdiffweb.service /etc/systemd/system/
sudo service rdiffweb start

By default, the web server is listening on port 8080 and is accessible via the following URL.


On first start, you should access rdiffweb using default credentials:

  • username : admin
  • password : admin123

Install from pypi

You may install rdiffweb from pypi. First you need to install pip and other dependencies:

sudo apt-get install python-pip python-pysqlite2 rdiff-backup
sudo pip install -U pip

Then you may install rdiffweb using pip:

sudo pip install rdiffweb

Install default configuration file.

wget https://github.com/ikus060/rdiffweb/raw/master/rdw.conf
sudo mkdir -p /etc/rdiffweb
sudo cp rdw.conf /etc/rdiffweb/

Configure Apache - Reverse Proxy (optional)

You may need an Apache server in case:

  • you need to serve multiple web services from the same IP;
  • you need more security (like HTTP + SSL).

This section doesn’t explain how to install and configure your Apache server. This is out-of-scope. The following is only provided as a suggestion and is in no way a complete reference.

** Install Apache and required modules**

sudo apt-get install apache2
sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo a2enmod proxy
sudo a2enmod ssl
sudo a2enmod proxy_http

Basic configuration

Add the following to your Apache configuration. It’s recommended to create a file in /etc/apache2/sites-available/rdiffweb.

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName rdiffweb.mydomain.com
    ProxyPass / http://localhost:8080/ retry=5
    ProxyPassReverse / http://localhost:8080/

SSL configuration

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName rdiffweb.mydomain.com
    ServerAdmin me@mydomain.com
    # TODO Redirect HTTP to HTTPS
    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://rdiffweb.mydomain.com$1 [L,R=301]
    <Location />
        Order Allow,deny
        Allow from all

<VirtualHost *:443>
    ServerName rdiffweb.mydomain.com
    ServerAdmin me@mydomain.com

    # Hostaname resolution in /etc/hosts
    ProxyPass / http://localhost:8080/ retry=5
    ProxyPassReverse / http://localhost:8080/

    # SSL Configuration
    SSLEngine on
    SSLCertificateFile    /etc/apache2/ssl/my_certificate.crt
    SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/apache2/ssl/my_certificate.key
    <Location />
        Order Allow,deny
        Allow from all

Configure nginx (optional)

You may need an nginx server in case:

  • you need to serve multiple web services from the same IP;
  • you need more security (like HTTP + SSL).

This section doesn’t explain how to install and configure your Apache server. This is out-of-scope. The following is only provided as a suggestion and is in no way a complete reference.

See /extras/nginx folder for more examples.



Rdiffweb is currently provided with a limited set of plugins for authentication and authorization:

  • SQLite : Embedded database used for authentication, authorization and data storage;
  • LDAP (optional) : Allow users to authenticate with their LDAP password.


To use the embeded database for authentication, make sure you have a section similare to the following in your configuration file /etc/rdiffweb/rdw.conf:

#----- Enable Sqlite DB Authentication.


The LDAP plugin can only be used for authentication. To make everything work, you will need to enabled SQLite plugin and LDAP plugin at the same time. LDAP will be used for authentication and SQLite will be used for autorization and data storage.

You may need to install python-ldap as follow:

sudo apt-get install python-ldap

To make LDAP authentication work, you need to enable the plugin and provide information about your environment.

#----- Enable LDAP Authentication

Plugin parameters:

LdapUriURIs containing only the schema, the host, and the port fields.Yesldap://localhost:389
LdapTlstrue to enable TLS. Default to falseNofalse
LdapProtocolVersionVersion of LDAP in use either 2 or 3. Default to 3.No3
LdapBaseDnThe DN of the branch of the directory where all searches should start from.Yesdc=my,dc=domain
LdapBindDnAn optional DN used to bind to the server when searching for entries. If not provided, will use an anonymous bind.Nocn=manager,dc=my,dc=domain
LdapBindPasswordA bind password to use in conjunction with LdapBindDn. Note that the bind password is probably sensitive data, and should be properly protected. You should only use the LdapBindDn and LdapBindPassword if you absolutely need them to search the directory.Nomypassword
LdapAttributeThe attribute to search username. If no attributes are provided, the default is to use uid. It’s a good idea to choose an attribute that will be unique across all entries in the subtree you will be using.Nocn
LdapScopeThe scope of the search. Can be either base, onelevel or subtree. Default to subtree.Noonelevel
LdapFilterA valid LDAP search filter. If not provided, defaults to (objectClass=*), which will search for all objects in the tree.No(objectClass=*)
LdapNetworkTimeoutOptional timeout value. Default to 10 sec.No10
LdapTimeoutOptional timeout value. Default to 300 sec.No300
LdapAllowPasswordChangetrue to allow LDAP users to update their password using rdiffweb. This option should only be enabled if the LDAP if confiugred to allow the user to change their own password. Default to false.Notrue

Configure email notifications

Since rdiffweb v0.9, you may setup rdiffweb to notify you when you backup did not complete for some period of time. This is useful to know when you backup setup is broken. This section describes how to configure rdiffweb to notify you.

Edit config file

Edit rdiffweb config file /etc/rdiffweb/rdw.conf and edit the Email* configuration parameters to suit your environment. The following is an example using a gmail account to sent notification.

#----- Enable Email Notification
# The server can be configured to email user when their repositories have not
# been backed up for a user-specified period of time. To enable this feature,
# set below settings to correct values.

Restart rdiffweb

To take the modification in consideration, restart rdiffweb as follow:

sudo service rdiffweb restart

Edit your preferences

Login to rdiffweb using your username & password. Browse to your user settings. A new tab named “Notification” you be displayed. Click on it to change the notification settings for each repository.


This section provide some details for those who want to contributes to the development.


Reference http://babel.edgewall.org/wiki/Documentation/setup.html

rdiffweb may be translated. This section describe briefly how to translate rdiffweb. It’s not a complete instruction set, it’s merely a reminder.

Extract the strings to be translated.

./setup.py extract_messages --output-file rdiffweb/locales/messages.pot

./setup.py compile_catalog --directory rdiffweb/locales --locale fr


Rdiffweb is provided with unit tests and integration test. To run the tests, you may run it as follow for your current python version:

python setup.py. nosetests


Since v0.9, you may profile rdiffweb by calling it with --profile.

rdiffweb --debug --profile

Profiling file will be generated into /tmp unless you call rdiffweb with --profile-path. You may visualize the data with:

snakeviz rdiffweb_0001.prof

Less & CSS(s)

For deployment reason, we need to pre-compile less file into css file.

python setup.py build_less


Any changes to javascript file need to be manually compiled into .min.js.

python setup.py minify_js