My Signal backup system

This is a “living” blog post. I will update it as my practice changes. Its history can be found here.

I lost my phone a while back, which sucked. One especially sucky thing was that I didn’t have my Signal chats backed up. Some people like to treat their messages as ephemeral. I don’t. Not my style at all. So I (now) have a backup system that runs automatically every night.

Here’s how it currently works. Disclaimer: This setup won’t win any prizes for security/privacy. That’s not my priority. For some people, those are priorities. They probably won’t like this set up1.

And that’s it! If it works as anticipated, I should never again lose my messages.

One thing I would love though, is if I could just store the diff between days. Each backup file is 1GB and it just feels wasteful knowing that 99% of that file is a duplication. Presumably whatsapp does something like this? I guess a solution would be an a pipeline that does automated on-phone decryption (or just accessing an unencrypted storage directly, if that exists?) and then a git commit and push. Setting that up seems like an awful lot of effort though…

I’d also be interested in FolderSync alternative - it works fine, but I’d prefer an open-source tool ideally.

If you have ideas about how to improve this system, please do get in touch via email or mastodon! 🙏

  1. If there are easy ways for me to improve the security of this system, let me know please. 

  2. At least a chocolate teapot creates a tasty mess… 

  3. https://foldersync.io/ 

This post is published under a CC BY 4.0 licence.