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,


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.

Damien Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.


  1. I installed Back in Time in my Fedora system last night. it works goods, shutter is another awesome software I am using, thanks to Vadim.

  2. Thanks! Though I’m -one- of the developers – Mario Kemper ( should be credited on Shutter also ;)

  3. I wanted to comment on this as well. I tried both Flyback and TimeVault in Ubuntu 9.04 and couldn’t get either one of them to work properly (which could have been due to my own lack of knowledge about Linux). But they are not actively developed (the most recent version of each is from 2007), so I don’t have much confidence in them anyway. It’s great to find an actively developed alternative.

    A Time-Machine-style incremental backup solution is one of the two major hurdles to my switching permanently to Linux from Mac (the other being a way to sync my darn iPhone!). Thanks very much for taking the time to make this software.

  4. Damien, thanks for the great articles.

    have a great day! (greeting from ubuntu-user from Bali, Indonesia)


  5. The software does not come with a way to schedule the start hour of your backup, but you can use it in conjunction with Gnome-schedule to schedule the backup time. Simply use the command “backintime –backup” in your Gnome-Schedule

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