Registering Your Computer for the D-PHYS BackupPC Service

First make sure that your computer complies with the conditions for the backup service and that you have already prepared the computer for access by the backup server. See the generael BackupPC page for details.

For backing up the data on your computer or parts of it, we need to know the following:

  • Host Name of the computer, e.g.
    • In case of a computer with a dynamic IP address, it needs to send its own name (given to it by you) to the DHCP server when requesting the IP address.
    • This hostname must be unique among all computers at D-PHYS having dynamic IPs. Moreover it should only contain letters, numbers, or dashes (-); no whitespaces or other special characters.
    • Including e.g. the building name, the room number and your (login) name makes a pretty unique hostname.
    • On macOS the hostname sent to the DHCP server is the machine name set in the Preferences under "Sharing".
  • Operating System running on the computer including its version.
  • Local User Name of the user the backup service should login. Please make sure that you tell us the short name of the user.
  • On Windows computers we need the Password for this user too.
  • Shares and Directories to be backed up. If you are not sure about correct path, locations like "home directory of user XY" or "directory Z on desktop of user XY" are also fine.
    • For Macs belonging to the Institute for Astronomy, this should be the directory "/Users/".
    • For Windows, we need the share info like this \\%COMPUTERNAME%\%SHARENAME%
    • Directories named scratch or nobackup will be excluded from backup.
    • The default locations for music, videos, and photos are excluded automatically. We do not back up your iTunes library, holiday pictures or home videos. If you want them backed up, please do so yourself, e.g. on an external harddrive.
  • Approximate Amount of Data to be backed up, e.g. "currently 10 GB of experiment results, growing by about 5 GB each year".
  • D-PHYS User Name of the user who should have (full) access to the backup, e.g. the user whose data is being backed up. Additional D-PHYS users may be given, e.g. the administrator(s) of the computer being backed up.

Please mail all this information to our helpdesk at and mention "BackupPC" somewhere in the subject.