Back Up Files With Déjà Dup (Linux Mint 11)

Version 1.0
Author: Christian Schmalfeld  <c [dot] schmalfeld [at] projektfarm [dot] de>
Last edited 10/11/2011

This article is about how to back up your files with the file based back-up program duplicity's Graphical User Interface déjà dup.

This tutorial comes without warranty of any kind.


1 Preliminary Note

I have tried the tutorial on the Linux Mint 11 distribution, but it should work fine with all other Ubuntu based distributions.


2 Install Déjà Dup

Déjà Dup is available in the default Ubuntu repositories, that is why you can easily download it via Synaptic Package Manager by entering deja-dup into the search bar. Another way to download it is by doing so in a terminal. Simply log in as root and enter:

apt-get install deja-dup


3 Backup Files

You can open Déjà Dup by browsing your Menu to Menu > System Tools > Déjà Dup or go directly to the preferences with Menu > Administration > Déjà Dup Preferences. On first startup of the main program you will be presented with a very simplistic menu, consisting of a system toolbar and two large buttons for backing up and restoring file systems:

Before you back up any files, you first have to configure what files to back up, where to back them up and when to back them up. For this, click on Edit and select Preferences. The first tab that opens with the preferences window is the Storage tab. Here, you select where to store the backed up files. This can be on clouds, all kinds of online servers, local servers and folders. You also have the option to encrypt the files and are prompted for a password upon checking the encryption box. This password is needed for backing up and restoring later. Please notice that you cannot back up without encryption into a back-up-folder specified that was used for encrypted back up before. You will be prompted for a bad password if you try.

Please notice that I selected a local folder only for demonstrational purposes. A back up is supposed to save and restore your files in case of emergency, which is most likely a corruption of the hard drive the data is on, that is why you should either select an external hard drive or an online server you have access to. The next tab is the Files tab, where you specify which files you want to back up and, if that is the case, which files to exclude from backing up.

The last tab, Schedule, configures if Déjà Dup shall back up your files automatically on a timely basis, which you can specify.

Now that you have configured everything to your likings you can close the preferences window to go back to the main window with the two large buttons. If you are sure about your settings, click on the Backup... button. Once more you will be asked if your configuration is correct. Continue on Back up and enter the password you have chosen before. After the process is done, close the window.

The files are stored in packages of up to 30 megabyte, either as tar.gz or as gpg files, depending on if they are encrypted or not.


4 Restoring Files

To restore your files, open Déjà Dup once more and click on the large Restore... button. You are given a dropdown menu with a selection of dates you have made a backup on. Choose the desired one and continue with Forward. Choose a location to restore the files to and click Forward again. If the info on the summary is correct, proceed with Restore.

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