Automate Your System Backup With Back In Time

Back in Time is a backup software for Linux system inspired from the Timevault and Flyback. Both Timevault and Flyback are two great software that allow you to back up your system and enable you to roll back and restore your system to the original state before you made any devastating changes. What Back in Time does is to integrate the best features from the two software and put them all into one place.

Back in Time has the exact functionality of Timevault and Flyback. If you have used any of the two software, you won’t be remote to Back In time.


To get Back In Time to run in your system, you can either it using:

  1. the deb package or
  2. add the repository to your sources.list.

Installing via the repository

In your terminal,

Add the following line to the end of the file. Save and close.

and then add the GPG key information:

To install the the application for Gnome:

If you are using KDE 4.1 and above, use this command instead:


The first time you start the application, it will prompt you to configure your backup setting. There are mainly 4 main tabs (and 2 miscellaneous): General, Include, Exclude, Autoremove.

The General tab is where you select the folder to backup your files and schedule the interval for it to run the backup. It is advisable to pick a folder/drive/partition other than the one that you are going to back up.

back in time general settings

The Include is where you define which folder/files are to be backed up. You will need root access to include system folders and files.

back in time include setting

As opposite to the Include, the Exclude option is where you define which folders/files are not to be included in the backup.

back in time exclude setting

The Autoremove allows you to decide how you want to deal with older backup files. You can choose to remove backups that are older than a period of time, or when the free space is less than a certain size.
back in time autoremove

When you are done with the settings, you will arrive at the main window. To start the back up, simply click the BackUp Now button.

back in time

Depending on the number of files/folders that you have specified for the backup, the backup time process can last from several minutes to hours. As soon as the backup is completed, the snapshot entry will appear on the left pane of the window.

To take a peek into the snapshot folder, simply highlight the respective snapshot entry on the left pane and the folders/files that it have backed up will show up on the right pane of the window. At any point of time, you can right-click on the backed up files and select Restore to restore your backup.


If you are already using Timevault or Flyback, there are no distinct differences in Back In Time that is worth your switch. However, if you are sourcing for a backup software with extra features, then Back in Time could just be the one for you.

Thanks to Vadim for notifying us about Back in Time. He is also the developer of the popular screen capture software: Shutter (previously known as GScrot).