BlobBackup Data Format

The BlobBackup data format receives inspiration from a number of wonderful open source projects. Most notably: Duplicacy, Restic, Borg, and Duplicati.

Directory Structure

├── chunks
│   ├── ffec855a0d5062fc1056d13e62c1c77dc5462801e5d40b7485661d47067a351b (1 - 16 MB in size)
│   ├── fff3e0f77130ff74c9d75dd9278ded30ac07c40d9c7a720e575f988f514e58e3 (1 - 16 MB in size)
│   └── fffe2a9e8dfa232e40ada1487264630e6ac19a653be7bc1bcc1e84bb84443231 (1 - 16 MB in size)
│   ├── ...
├── keys
│   ├── key-salt (Salt used for key derivation from user password)
│   ├── master-key (Random bytes encrypted with the derived key)
│   └── sha-key (Key used for HMAC hashing encrypted with master)
└── snapshots
    ├── 2021-02-13-09-26-41 (Format %Y-%m-%d-%H-%M-%S)
    ├── 2021-02-13-09-28-25
    ├── 2021-02-13-10-36-41

When the user first creates a backup repository, two keys are randomly generated, the master-key and the sha-key. The sha-key is encrypted using the master-key before getting stored. And the master-key is encrypted using a key derived from the user's password before getting stored. The key derivation algorithm used is scrypt.

Snapshot Format

    "data_format_version": 1,
    "snapshot": {
        "/home/bimbashrestha/Downloads": {
            "type": "dir",
            "mtime": 1234567.12
        "/home/bimbashrestha/notes.txt": {
            "type": "file",
            "mtime": 1234566.12,
            "range": [0, 4321, 1, 123456]
        "/home/bimbashrestha/Downloads/": {
            "type": "file",
            "mtime": 1234562.12,
            "range": [1, 123456, 3, 1234]
    "chunks": [

Snapshot files are encrypted and compressed json files in the format above.


BlobBackup uses variable length chunking using the buzhash hash algorithm. The chunker code is adopted from the Borg open source project.

BlobBackup treats all files as one long stream of bytes. That is, if the end of a file has been reached but the chunker has not reached a terminating point, then BlobBackup will continue onto the next file as though it were concatenated. This technique is adopted from the Duplicacy open source project.

All chunks are between 1 MB and 16 MB in size to allow for decent upload speeds.


All BlobBackup files (other than keys/key-salt) are encrypted using 256 bit AES in GCM mode. The format of encrypted blobs is the following:


The IV and MAC are both 16 bytes in length.


BlobBackup uses Zstandard to compress chunks before they are encrypted.